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

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in Richland county after eight years of age, aiding
his father in cultivating land, and securing such edu-
cation as a common school afforded. When he was
eighteen years of age he entered Vermilion Insti-
tute, at Hayesville, Ashland county, Ohio, where he
remained two years, teaching during that time. In
1850 he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University at
Delaware, where he pursued special studies for one
year, teaching a school in the summer and vocal
music in the winter ; then became a medical student
in the office of Dr. O. J. Rotsel, of Rome, Richland
county ; read for three years, and took two courses
of lectures in Cincinnati, receiving his diploma on
the loth of June, 1854.

After spending one year in company with his old
preceptor at Rome, Dr. Woods found himself alone,
Dr. Rotsel retiring from the practice. In May, 1856,
Dr. Woods crossed the Mississippi, and made a

permanent settlement in Fairfield, where for twenty
years he has been a leading physician.

On the breaking out of the civil war, in 1861, he
was appointed medical examiner for Jefferson coun-
ty, under direction of the war department. 'In Sep-
tember of the next year, while six hundred thousand
troops were being raised, he was commissioned as
surgeon of the 23d Iowa Infantry, but to accommo-
date a friend of the colonel of that regiment, took
the same position in the 39tli. He was with the
latter regiment in the battles at Jackson and Parker's
Cross Roads in 1862, wintering at Corinth, Missis-
sippi; was in the series of battles near Tuscumbia,
Bear Creek and Town Creek in the spring of 1863 ;
was made surgeon-in-chief of his division the winter
following, under General Sweeny, with headquarters
at Pulaski ; and subsequently was in the whole se-
ries of engagements before reaching Atlanta. At
this time Dr. Woods was detailed to. see that the
wounded of the fourth division, fifteenth army corps,
were properly dressed before being sent back to the
division hospital, he spending his nights in dressing
the wounded. In July, 1864, he was made surgeon
of the division hospital at Rome, Georgia, and had
the care of the wounded after the battle of Altoona.
Dr. Woods continued in that position on General
Sherman's march to the sea ; at Savannah was put
in charge of a branch of the general hospital, and
on being relieved was ordered to Blair's Landing,
at Buford, South Carolina, and made surgeon-in-
chief of General Sherman's provisional division, in
which capacity he served until the disbanding of
the division at Raleigh, North Carolina. In June,
1865, the regiment was mustered out, and Dr. Woods



returned to Iowa, having been in the service nearly
three years.

It is doubtful if any Iowa surgeon in the civil war
was more faithful in discharging his duties in their
fullest sense. He was untiring in his devotion to
the sick and wounded.

Since the close of the rebellion Dr. Woods, has
been very assiduous in his duties as a citizen, as
well as a physician, taking great interest in the pros-
perity of his adopted home. He is proprietor of the
Fairfield woolen mills, and is doing all he can to
encourage manufactures and whatever is for the
benefit of the state. He was chairman of the build-
ing committee of the school board when the elegant
and stately Union school-house was erected. His
professional duties are very arduous, yet he finds
some time, as it is seen, to devote to local interests.

Dr. Woods is a third-degree Mason ; a past-grand
in Odd-Fellowship ; a republican since the demise of
the whig party, and a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church.

On the 14th of September, 1855, Miss Mary L.
Wolph, a native of Richland county, Ohio, became
the wife of Dr. Woods, and they have two children,
both boys. Both parents have been very active in
religious and benevolent enterprises.

Dr. Woods is a hard student, and not only keeps
up with the progress of medical science, but also de-
votes considerable attention to the collateral sciences,
chemistry, electricity, etc. He i*. a progressive man.

His residence, located in the center of the city,
is one of the finest in the place. Its tasteful sur-
roundings are an indication of culture and refine-
ment within.



THE best representatives of the mercantile inter-
ests of Avoca, Pottawattamie county, Iowa, are
Messrs. Coffman and Harlow, proprietors of the new
Opera-house block, completed in the autumn of 1877,
at an expense of twelve or fourteen thousand dollars.
The store which they occupy in the block is forty
by eighty feet, fourteen feet in the clear, and filled
with the finest stock of groceries and provisions in
the place.

Archibald W. Coffman, the senior member of the
firm, is a native of Jackson county, Ohio ; is the son
of John Coffman, a farmer, and Priscilla Myrick,
and was born, on the i8th of February, 1832. His
father enlisted for the Mexican war in 1846, but the
company was not called into the service. When
Archibald was four years old the family moved to
Lake county, Indiana, and ten years later returned
to Ohio, settling in McArthurstown, then in Athens,
now in Vinton county.

When nearly of age Archibald came into north-
western Indiana, and spent a dozen years or more
in the lumber district of La Porte and the adjoin-
ing counties, part of the time as a chopper, and part
of the time as a contractor.

In the early part of the summer of 1870 Mr. Coff-
man crossed the Mississippi, reaching Avoca on the
i8th of June, and in August, 187 1, engaged in the
mercantile trade, his business being attended with

marked success.. He has been of the firm of Coff-
man and Harlow from the start.

Mr. Coffman has a pleasant home in the city of
Avoca, some lands of his own exclusively in the
southern part of the state, and four hundred acres
in company with Mr. Harlow. By economy, pru-
dence, and careful management, in the few years
which Mr. Coffman has been in Iowa, he has put
himself on a solid financial basis, and with his part-
ner has a standing second to none in the town.

He is a republican in politics, a strong and active
partisan, but carefully avoids office, being contented
to be known as a successful business man.

He is an Odd-Fellow ; has passed all the chairs in
the subordinate lodge, and is a member of the en-

On the nth of July, 1853, he was joined in Wed-
lock with Miss Clarretta A. Wilkinson, of Middle-
bury, La Grange county, Indiana, and they have one
child, Alice M., aged twenty-two years.

Silas Chandler Harlow, the junior member of this
firm, is the son of Chandler and Mary Banks Har-
low, of Piscataquis county, Maine, and was born in
the 'town of Parkman, on the 30th of May, 1848.
Both families were early settlers in New England,
and his maternal great-grandfather was a soldier in
the struggle for freedom from the mother country.
Silas lost his mother when he was three. years old;



at sixteen he left Parkman, with only the education
common to farmers' boys ; worked one year in the
lumbering district of Pennsylvania, finely develop-
ing his muscular powers; returned to his native
state, and in the autumn of 1867 pushed westward
into the Territory of Wyoming. There he worked as
a teamster, and found no trouble in securing honest
use for his toil-hardened hands. He was careful to
husband his. earnings, and at the end of three years
turned his steps eastward, halting at Avoca, in west-
ern Iowa, here making his home, and here achieving

After being in trade by himself for a year or more,
on the 6th of August, 1871, he became a partner of
Mr. Coffman, and they have since been together.
In public spirit, enterprise, business tact, and all the

elements which constitute the first-class merchant,
they are well mated.

Mr. Harlow has been a Freemason since a little
prior to the date of his settlement in Iowa, going,
however, no higher, as yet, than the blue lodge.

He uniformly votes the republican ticket.

His religious sentiments accord with those of the
Baptists, though he belongs to no church. He is a
young man of excellent standing in society.

Mr. Harlow has a light complexion and dark
hazel eyes; is five feet and nine and a-half inches
tall, having a solid build and a robust appearance.
He weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds.

His business education, picked up at intervals of
leisure, is excellent, and, like his partner, he is very
active and efficient.



and Sarah Forrest Traverse, members of the
agricultural class, was born in White county, Indi-
ana, on the 29th of August, 1839. His paternal an-
cestors were Virginians, though both of his parents
were natives of Kentucky. His maternal grand-
father aided in gaining the nation's independence.

When Henry C. was eight years old his father
died, and his mother, with four children, moved to
Monroe county, Iowa, and a year later settled in
Davis county, where she is still living.

The subject of this sketch had a rough time in
boyhood, beyig obliged to " paddle his own canoe "
at an age when the hands are tender. He worked
at farming for some time, and at length found his
way into a printing office in Bloomfield, and here,
and in Illinois and Missouri, worked his way up
from boy-of-all-work, classically called the "printer's
devil," to a first-class journeyman, and also dipping
at times into journalism. To the mental drill of
the district school and the printing office he added
some hard study in private, having from early youth
a strong relish for books. To this early love of
study it is understood he attributes what degree of
success he has had in life. He taught school at dif-
ferent times, in all five or six terms.

In i860 he commenced reading law with Hon.
George W. McCrary, of Keokuk, now secretary of
war ; was admitted to the bar at Bloomfield in Sep-

tember, 1862, and before commencing to practice
entered the service in company F, 30th Iowa In-
fantry, acting as orderly sergeant for three years.
He was offered the position of lieutenant of the
company at one time during the progress of the war,
but for reasons best known to himself refused to be
promoted. He was with the 30th through all its
campaigns and battles, accompanying General Sher-
man as far toward the sea as Ringgold, Georgia,
where he was disabled and followed the regiment no

Since returning from the south Mr. Traverse has
been in the practice of law, and has built up a
thrifty business. He is of the firm of Traverse and
Eichelberger, who have been attorneys for two local
banks, and whose collecting business is extensive
and growing. They are prompt and reliable, have
the fullest confidence of the community, are among
the younger class of attorneys in Davis county, and
stand well.

Mr. Traverse excels as an office lawyer. He is
a close student.

He was a member of the lower house of the gen-
eral assembly in 1866, and of the senate in the ses-
sions of 1868 and 1870, and in the upper house was
on the committees on the judiciary and federal rela-
tions, and chairman of one or two committees of
minor importance.

In 1877 he was the republican nominee for mem-



ber of the assembly in the seventh district, and was
defeated by the combined opposition of democrats
and greenbackers. Mr. Traverse ran a long way
ahead of the gubernatorial candidate of his party.
His connection hasr always been with the republi-
cans. He makes an effective political canvass.

His rehgious connection is with the Universalist
church. He is a third-degree member of the Odd-
Fellows order.

On the 1 2th of April, 1868, he was united in
matrimony with Miss Ellen Presson, of Bloomfield,
and they have two children.



JOHN WESLEY CARR, one of the many patriot-
ic young rnen who early responded to the Presi-
dent's call for volunteers in 1861, from Poweshiek
county, is a son of William Carr, an Illinois farmer,
and Catherine Moore, and was born near Mount
Pulaski, Logan county, on the 26th of April, 1839.
The Carrs were among the early settlers in Virginia,
and moved into Ohio when it was a very new state.
William Carr was a soldier in the war of 181 2. Both
parents of John W. died when he was quite young,
and from eight to seventeen years of age he lived
on a farm with his paternal grandmother, who re-
moved to Iowa in 1846.

After working one season for himself he attended
school at Iowa College, Grinnell, two years, teach-
ing during the winters until the rebellion.

In August, 1861, he went into the service from
Montezuma as second lieutenant in company F, loth
Iowa Infantry ; resigned the next February on ac-
count of ill health; in September, 1862, again en-
listed, this time as captain in company C, 28th Iowa;
was wounded at the battle of Winchester, Virginia,
on the 19th of September, 1864; soon afterward
had command of the regiment for two months, and
remained in the service until mustered out, in Au-
gust, 1865. Before leaving he was breveted major

for meritorious services. He made a splendid rec-
ord while in the army, and has since done nothing
to soil it.

On returning to Iowa Major Carr engaged in the
mercantile business at Montezuma, and followed it
until March, 1870; was elected clerk of the district
and circuit courts the following autumn, and by re-
peated elections served six years, ending on the 31st
of December, 1876 ; he made a popular officer, doing
his work with the utmost accuracy and promptness.

During the time that he was in the clerk's office
he studied law; was admitted to the bar in February,
1877, and has recently added the abstract and real-
estate business to that of law, he being in partner-
ship with W. H. Redman, an enterprising and pros-
perous firm.

Major Carr is a staunch republican, and a Royal
Arch Mason.

His wife was Miss Lottie Frick, of Montezuma,
chosen on the loth of January, 1866. They have
two children.

Major Carr has light blue eyes and a fair com-
plexion, is five feet and eleven inches tall, stands
perfectly, and weighs one hundred and forty pounds.
He has the bearing of a dignified, open-hearted,
strictly honest man, whom it would be safe to trust.



THE oldest practicing physician in Knoxville,
Marion county, is Norman Riley Cornell, who
settled in Iowa in May, 1850, when the state was
only four years old. He is a native of Steuben
county, New York, and was born on the nth of
September, 1824. His parents were Amos Cornell,
a farmer, and Destimony Chamberlain. The Cor-

nells were from England, and early settlers in Mas-
sachusetts. Amos Cornell was a soldier in the sec-
ond war with the mother country. When Norman
was eight years old the family moved to Livingston
county. New York, settling near Mount Morris, the
son aiding his father and attending the winter term
of the district school. At nineteen he went to Ken-



tucky and attended the Lexington Academy ; read
medicine at Hartford, Kentucky, with Dr. Samuel
0. Peyton, afterward member of congress; prac-
ticed two years ; graduated from the Geneva (New
York) Medical College in 1848; was one year at
Cromwell, Ohio county, Kentucky, and then settled
in Knoxville, where he has been in practice with the
exception of a period of eight or nine years when
out of health, and while in the army.

In 1863 Dr. Cornell went into the service as as-
sistant surgeon of the 23d Iowa, and in January,
■ 1864, was appointed by Governor Stone surgeon of
the 40th Infantry, serving until the regiment was
mustered out in August, 1865. During most of the
time the last year he was brigade surgeon. His
services in the army were eminently satisfactory.

Since the war Dr. Cornell has attended very close-
ly to his profession, his experience in the army in-
creasing his reputation, particularly as a surgeon.
He makes a specialty of the eye and ear, yet does a
general practice, with a standing second to none in
the county.

Dr. Cornell has always acted with the democratic
party, but refuses to be a candidate for any political
office. He has a fine library, literary as well as med-
ical, and is much more interested in medical science
than in political preferment. He is a Master Mason.
He attends the Christian church.

The wife of Dr. Cornell was Miss Mary Fletcher
Timmonds, of Hartford, Kentucky. They were mar-
ried in October, 1847, and have had eight children,
of whom seven are living. Two of the sons have
chosen their father's profession. The eldest, Corwin
W. Cornell, a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chi-
cago, is in partnership with his father and rapidly
rising in the profession. Park L. is a graduate of
Louisville Medical College, and is settled in Pleas-
antville, Marion county, twelve miles from Knox-
ville. Dr. Cornell and his son Corwin are surgeons
for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway

The subject of this sketch is a member of the
County and State Medical Societies, and has a high-
ly creditable standing in both organizations.



ONE of the oldest practicing physicians in Ce-
dar county, Iowa, is Charles Lewis Chambers,
son of Mustoe Chambers, a physician and surgeon,
and Mary Ann Lewis. He was born in Rocking-
ham county, Virginia, on the i8th of May, 1818.
His father was an adjutant in the war of 1812-15.
The Chamberses and Lewises were originally from
the north of Ireland. Four brothers of the Lewis
family came over and settled in Virginia, and all be-
came distinguished men. Andrew Lewis was with
General Braddock at the time of his defeat ; was
himself afterward a general, and defeated the cele-
brated Indian, Cornstalk, in 1774, and later in life
held the same office under General Washington.
Thomas Lewis was a member of the houses of
burgesses in Virginia. William Lewis was in the
French and Indian wars, and a colonel in the revo-
lutionary army. Charles Lewis was a colonel, also,
and was killed in the battle of Point Pleasant, on
the loth of October, 1774.

When Charles L. was twelve years old his father
moved to Dayton, Ohio, and subsequently to Xenia.
With the exception of a short time in a drug store

at Dayton, the son spent most of his youth in pro-
curing a' literary education. He read medicine with
his father at Xenia; attended-lectures at Louisville,
Kentucky ; practiced a short time in the Scioto val-
ley; came to Muscatine county, Iowa, in 1847, and
was in practice there until the spring of 1850, when
he removed to Tipton. Two years later he attended
a course of lectures at Starling Medical College,
Columbus, Ohio, and took his degree of M.D.

The year after the civil war burst upon the na-
tion — August, 1862, — Dr. Chambers went into the
service as surgeon of the 35th Iowa Infantry, and
in September, 1863, was obliged to resign on ac-
count of ill-health. As soon as he had sufficiently
recovered he resumed practice in Tipton, and has a
very extensive ride. His practice is general, and
extends into adjoining counties. The doctor's char-
acter as a man is as elevated as it is in a professional

He is a member of the Presbyterian church, an
elder of the same, and a gentleman of fine feelings,
as well as pure principles and excellent habits.

To the bedside of the sick he carries a sympa-



thizing heart, together with words often fitly chosen,
which " are like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
Dr. Chambers is a republican in politics. In ear-
lier life he was a whig. He has never sought oflfice.
In all the walks and relations of life he is modest
and unassuming.

On the nth of November, 1847, Miss Ann Hud-
son, of Muscatine, was married to Dr. Chambers,
and the fruit of this union has been eisght children,
only five of them now living. The eldest daughter,
Elizabeth B., is the wife of A. M. Kirk, druggist, of



ADGATE WARD COLLINS, one of the earliest
iJL merchants in Knoxville, and one of its best
business men, was born in Richland county, Ohio,
and is the son of Isaac and Elizabeth Adgate Col-
lins, plain farming people. His paternal grandfather
was a lieutenant in the northern army in the revo-
lutionary war. Young Collins lived on a farm two
miles north of Belleville, in his native county, until
nineteen, spending more time in tilling land than in
cultivating his mind, his opportunities for education
being very limited. About 1841 he went to Mus-
kingum county, worked four years at the manufac-
turing of stoneware; went thence to Newcastle,
Coshocton county, and sold dry goods until 1852,
when he removed to Knoxville, which has since been
his home, and where, for twenty-five years, he has
been among the leading business men. He con-
tinued in the dry-goods business until two "or three
years ago, dealing also, at times, to some extent, in
land, and achieving success as a general dealer,
whether in merchandise or real estate.

When the Knoxville National Bank was organized
in 1871 he was chosen vice-president, and, two or
three years later, president. The latter position he

now holds. He is a practical, efficient business man,
with high notions of honor and integrity.

He was a whig in early life, and is now a republi-
can, but is not an office seeker. He served some
years on the local school board, was its president at
one time, and that is about the only office of the
kind he would ever accept. He is deeply interested
in educational matters and the general interests of
the community.

In religious sentiment, he is a Methodist, and is a
man of irreproachable character.

He was first married in June, 1845, to Miss Susan
M. Olive, of Muskingum county, Ohio; she left five
children. Charles L. Collins, her eldest son, has a
family, and is a lawyer in Bay City, Michigan ; Mina
E. is the wife of John Reed, of Knoxville; Emma J.
is the wife of Dr. W. K. Sloan, of Eddyville, Iowa;
David O. is reading law with Stone and Ayres, in
Knoxville, and Susan M. is with her brother in Bay
City. The last two are single. Mr. Collins' second
wife was Miss Sarah J. Lewis, of Jefferson, Ohio.
About seven years ago she became insane, and is
now in the asylum at Mount Pleasant. She has had
four children, of whom three are living.



. oldest and best medical practitioners in Marion
county, Iowa, is a native of Burlington, Vermont, a
son of Seth D. and Anne Northway Wetherell, and
first saw the light of this world on the 21st of July,
1818. His progenitor on his father's side was from
England, on his mother's side from Scotland.. Both
great-grandfathers were participants in the war for
independence, the Wetherell being a captain of ran-

gers. His maternal grandfather was a lieutenant
in the war of 1812-15. In 1833 Seth D. Wetherell
removed with his family to Licking county, Ohio,
settling on a farm near Granville. Up to this date
Aaron D. had only common-school instruction. He
now spent a few terms in the preparatory depart-
nient of Granville College, now called Dennison
University, aiding his father more or less each year
in tilling land.



In 1840 he commenced reading medicine with
Dr. W. W. Bancroft, of Granville; attended lectures
at the Ohio Medical College, Cincinnati ; graduated
in 1844, and after practicing nearly thirteen years in
Licking county, in October, 1856, settled in Knox-
ville, where he continues to practice with marked
success. Though doing a general business, he has
made an especial study of surgery, and has a wide
range of practice in this branch. He not unfre-
quently goes into adjoining counties on professional
business, and enjoys an excellent reputation where-
ever he is known.

During the early part of the civil war Dr. Wfther-
ell acted as examining surgeon at Knoxville. He
was offered the position of surgeon of one of the
Iowa regiments, and but for disability at the time
would have gone into the service.

The doctor was originally a whig, of late years
has been a republican, but has shunned political

He is a Sir Knight among the Freemasons, and
has been grand scribe of the Grand Chapter.

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 90 of 125)