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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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the 14th of July, 1870, thus spoke of his operations
as a stage proprietor :

With persistent energy, amid trials and vexations of no
mean kind, he has constantly kept a line of coaches run-
ning to the end of the North Missouri railroad, through
sunshine and rain ; and when that treacherous stream. Big
Soap, swelled with pretensions and overflowed its banks, in
order not to stop communication, Mr. B. built a pontoon
bridge across its bosom during the darkness of the night
and pelting of the storm, so that passengers should not be
delayed, and that they could pass hither and thither on time
and in safety. He has coach lines running all over this
country ; superintends the Depot Hotel, and we know not
what else, besides holding the most thankless position a man
was ever placed in — democratic trustee in a republican
city council — where the same spirit of unconquerable busi-
ness proclivities marks his proceedings. And with all his
idiosyncrasies he is always the same affable, genial, whole-
souled gentleman, one we could illy spare from our commu-
nity, and whose fame for his business peculiarities is one
well merited.

An irrepressible, slashing, dashing, energetic enigma.
Has more vim and perseverance in him than any othej
man we know. It is as Impossible for him to let a dollar
lie useless as it is to get along without breathing. Here,
there, everywhere at the same time, the nearest an omni-
present entity that can be reared in this imperfect world. If
Pete had the means he would build the whole face of the
globe over, and sigh for more ground. His first great am-

bition is to do good and be accommodating, and to accom-
plish this end he permits no surmountable obstacle to block
his pathway. With an indomitable will and plenty of nerve
to back it, Pete is decidedly a man for the public ; no
demonstration of a public kind can be set on foot but that
he is in the front with cheery voice and restless soul, ready
and anxious to do something.

The " Iowa Homestead " of Des Moines, edited

by J. Duane Wilson, thus spoke of Mr. Ballingall in

July, 1871:

" Pete," as he is familiarly called, is equal to any emer-
gency. For a number of years he catered in Chicago,
and is well known to thousands. Twelve or thirteen years
ago he came to' this promising town, and has been one of
its moving spirits from the date of his arrival. He takes
advantage of every opportunity for improvement, and never
lets money rot or rust in his possession. One man of his
staiup in a community is worth a thousand miserly drones,
and a hundred of such could make a large city in about six
days. He is not called rich, in what this world calls riches,
but he is worth more than the entire generation of antedi-
luvians who have a being in the common den of idleness,
lust and selfishness. The citizens of Ottumwa are beginning
to learn that they have a man in their midst who is worth
his weight in gold. His business is everywhere, and he
turns his hand to everything. The press is enthusiastic in
his praise, and those who envy him his position must yet
learn to pay him homage.

In 1866 he built the Ballingall House, a four-story
brick structure with mansard roof, one of the finest
hotel buildings in the Des Moines valley, and he is
also proprietor of the Depot Hotel, finding no diffi-
culty in operating both.

Mr. Ballingall is interested in the pork-packing
business ; has attended three national conventions
of pork packers, and was vice-president of the con-
vention which met at Indianapolis in 1876.

He has always been a democrat, and is an active
and warm partisan. He often attends the state con-
ventions of his party, and was a delegate to the na-
tional democratic convention in 1876. In 187 1 he
ran for state senator in a strong republican district,
and greatly reduced the usual republican majority.
He has been in the city council as alderman ten

He was a leading spirit in organizing the library
association of Ottumwa, and is one of its oldest di-
rectors. He is foremost in all commendable enter-
prises. In March, 1873, he received from his fellow-
citizens a fine gold watch and chain, the whole
costing five hundred and twelve dollars, as a token
of their appreciation of his services as an enterpris-
ing man. The inside front case is most elegantly
engraved with the following inscription : " Hon. P.
G. Ballingall, by his guests at_ Soldiers' Reunion at
Des Moines, 1870, and other friends in Iowa, in
token of esteem." On the chain is a gold heart,
with the date of presentation on one side, and on



the other the inscription, "The live man of the
place." The Hon. E. H. Stiles, reporter of the su-
preme court of Iowa, made the presentation speech.
In the course of his remarks he very appropriately
said :

It seems to me that one of the most gratifying facts of a
man's existence and life, one of the most pleasant reflections,
is that there is something about his character that attracts
man to man. These vows of sympathy bind man to man
as brothers ; it is one of the most pleasant reflections that a
man has, that he is loved in life, and will be mourned when

Mr. Ballingall was commissioned major of the 5th
regiment of the Iowa National Guard, on the 20th
of May, 1876, and was presented by the Sheridan
Guards with a handsome gold-mounted sword, with
steel and bronze scabbard and gilt regulation belt,
engraved on the hilt, " Presented to Major P. G.
Ballingall, by the Sheridan Guards, Ottumwa, June
25, 1876"; and on the scabbard, " Major P. G. Bal-
lingall." Was commissioned colonel on the loth of

April, 1877. He was made temporary president of
the convention of the national guard of the state,
held at Dubuque on the 6th of June, 1877 ! also
permanent president of the convention held at Des
Moines on the 6th of February, 1878, and has re-
ceived the nomination from nearly all the compa-
nies in the state for major-general.

Mr. Ballingall's employes presented him with an
elegant gold-headed ebony cane, on the 14th of Jan-
uary, 1878.

Colonel Ballingall is a Methodist in religious sen-
timent, but very liberal.

It will be seen that he began early in life to paddle
his own canoe ; and he has so managed as never to
get stranded. As an energetic, industrious man,
he has few equals, always planning some public or
private improvement, and never resting or halting
until he sees it completed. Such men are the most
useful citizens in any community.



AARON KIMBALL, state senator representing
L Howard, Chickasaw and Bremer counties, is a
son of Thomas D. Kimball, a farmer, and Mary Ann
Youngs, and was born in New York city on the i6th
of March, 1836. The Kimballs were an early New
Jersey family. The mother of Aaron was a native of
Chester, Orange county. New York. When he was
a little more than a year old the family moved to
Middlebury, Elkhart county, Indiana, where the son
spent his youth in aiding his father in tilling land.
The winter of 1851-52 he gave to study in the On-
tario Indiana Academy, and the next three winters
he taught district schools, spending his summers on
the farm. In March, 1854, we find him in the fresh-
man class of the University of Michigan, in which
institution he remained three years, paying his way
by manual labor and with the funds accumulated
by teaching before entering college. At length, his
exchequer being exhausted, he left at the close of
the junior year; in March, 1857, came to' Howard
county, of which he has since been a resident, and
of which he early became a leading citizen. The
first year and a hqlf in the county he served as
deputy recorder and treasurer, and taught school
meantime at Vernon Springs. In that township, in
January, 1859, he settled on a farm, which he culti.

vated until January, 1865, when he became clerk of
the district court and of the board of supervisors,
a position to which he was reelected, and in which
he was offered a third term; but Cresco, a new 'town
on the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul railroad,
needed a bank ; Mr. Kimball moved to this place,
and on the 14th of May, 1869, the banking house
with which he is now connected was organized.
The name of the firm is Kimball and Farnsworth,
his partner being John Farnsworth, a native of Mus-
catine county, Iowa. Theirs is the oldest bank in
Howard county, aod it is a substantial and highly
reputable institution.

Mr. Kimball was elected to the state senate in
October, 1877, and while we write he is serving his
first term. He is on the committees on ways and
means, soldiers' orphans' home, and suppression of
intemperance, and chairman of the committee on
college for the blind.

The " Howard County Times," the republican
organ at Cresco, thus spoke of the politics of Mr.
Kimball, on the 4th of October, 1877 :

Politically, he is of the republican faith, beginning with
the Fremont campaign in Indiana, when Henry S. Lane
was elected governor, and the old-time republican gospel
was propounded by such men as Kinsley S. Bingham, An-
son Burlingame, Cassius M. Clay, and Schuyler Colfax,



down through the intervening years ; and while not an ar-
dent partisan, he has been a consistent and earnest republi-
can, believing the principles and policy of this party to more
nearly represent his own convictions than any other of the
great political parties of the country.

Mr. Kimball is thoroughly identified with the in-
terests of the county and state, and has done valu-
able service to both. In January, .1871, he was made
a director of the State Agricultural Society, and la-
bored assiduously to advance its interests.

He is a member of the Congregational church, and
an earnest worker in the Sunday-school cause. His
character has always been above suspicion.

Mr. Kimball has a second wife : his first was Mrs.
Irene S. Kelley, of New Bedford, Massachusetts;
married on the 21st of August, 1858; she died on
the 19th of August, 1870, leaving one child, Mary F.
His present wife was Miss Emma W. Laird, of In-
dianapolis, Indiana; married on the 20th of March,
1872 ; she has two children, Lois C. and Ruth L.

Mr. Kimball is six f^et in height, weighs two hun-
dred and ten pounds, and his fine physique, dignified
bearing, frank address and cordial manners naturally
arrest the attention of strangers. It is not surprising
that he is most popular where best known.



A LEADER of the people, a man of most excel-
lent judgment and an iron will, a keen observer
of human nature, a man of pronounced opinions upon
all subjects, professional or political, one who likes
his friends and hates his enemies ; in fact, a perfectly
reliable man, one whose good discretion lets him see
the right, which he follows, let it lead where it may;
such can truly be said of Dr. Van Sandt.

His father, John Van Sandt, was born in Fleming
county, Kentucky, on the 23d of September, 1793.
In the meridian of life he removed to Brown county,
Ohio, where the subject of this sketch was born on
the 7th of May, 1825. He was by nature opposed
to the institution of slavery, and being a man of fixed
character he made many enemies, and was subjected
to long-continued lawsuits in defense of his princi-
ples, which exhausted his means. John Van Sandt
married Miss Nancy Northcote, daughter of the Rev.
Benjamin Northcote, who was a Methodist minister
of the Kentucky conference for upward of sixty
years, and remained upon his estate in Fleming
county, Kentucky, until his death in 1850, at the
advanced age of eighty-seven.

John Van Sandt was an energetic and inteUigent
farmer, a rabid abolitionist at a time when it cost
something to be such, and at the age of fifty-four
he died at Hamilton county, Ohio.

Dr. Van Sandt worked upon his father's farm dur-
ing the summer months, and attended a district
school until he was eighteen, when he went to an
academy ten miles off, at which place he resided,
being in disfavor with his step-mother. From this
academy he went to Woodward College, Cincinnati,

where he remained awhile, and then returned to the
school at College Hill, where he had previously been,
and which had been reconstructed, finally finishing
his instructions at the hands of a private tutor near
his father's home.

About this time he began the study of medicine
for one year under Dr. Avery at Reading, Ohio, and
then took a course of lectures at the Eclectic Med-
ical Institute, Cincinnati, from which he graduated in
1850. This year he married Miss Eliza Heald, of
Miami county, Ohio, after which he located in Troy,
Ohio, and practiced medicine there for eight years.
From Troy he removed to Iowa, located at Clarinda,
at which place he has continuously resided, practic-
ing his profession.

Dr. Van Sandt was originally a whig in politics,
then a free-soiler, and subsequently a red-hot repub-
lican. He has been an active politician ever since
he came to Clarinda. He was a zealous supporter
of all the war measures of President Lincoln's ad-
ministration. He was elected to the tenth assembly
of Iowa in 1863, and was again elected to fill the
unexpired term of Hon. Charles Linderman.

Although continuously prosecuting his profession
while at home, he has found time to devote an im-
mense amount of exertion in the development of a
farm of one hundred and thirty acres, which he pur-
chased in 1862, situated near the city, and where he
now resides. This is indeed a model farm, so far as
success in winter wheat and fruit raising is concerned.
He was the first to cultivate fall wheat to any extent
in Page county. In his reports to the agricultural
I bureau at Washington he demonstrated the fact, as



the result of his experiment, that fall wheat produced
in four crops averaged sixty-eight bushels to the acre,
as against forty-six bushels of spring wheat per acre
for the same four crops. His fruit growing, too, is
an immense success. In apples of a superior quality
and variety, in " Concord " grapes and in cherries,
his farm takes the lead of every other in Page county.
Dr. Van Sandt has had born to him two children,
one of whom died in infancy ; the other is a young
man of twenty-five, of varied education and a supe-
rior mind, well stored with the higher order of literary
attainments. He is at present with his father in the
real-estate business, of which he has the management.

The doctor was appointed postmaster under Presi-
dent Grant, from 1871 to 1873, and has been United
States pension agent since 1863 to the present time,
with the exception of two years.

He is a Presbyterian in religious views, but, like
Prof. Swing, takes no stock in Calvinism.

Clarinda was a close inland town, fourteen miles
away from the main trunk of the Chicago, Burling-
ton and Quincyj-ailroad, and by the exertions of Dr.
Van Sandt and a few others the Nodaway Valley
railway via Clarinda was constructed, which has
proved not only to be the making of the city, but in
itself a source of profit to its projectors.



HIRAM SCOFIELD, soldier and lawyer, was
born at Hadley, Saratoga county. New York,
on the ist of July, 1830, and is the eldest son of Will-
iam Scofield and Susannah n^e Bishop. The Scofield
family in the United States is descended from Eng-
lish ancestors who settled in Stamford, Connecticut,
about the year 1730, where a large colony of -the
descendants still reside, though large offshoots have
found their way in the middle and western states.
Major-General J. M. Schofield is of the same lin-
eage, and not very distantly related to our subject.

The grandfather of our subject, Neazer Scofield,
who was fipurth in descent from the first settler of
that name in America, was born in Stamford, Con-
necticut, in the year 1752, and married Thankful
Scofield, a relative of his own.

He was a soldier of the revolutionary war, serving
in southern Connecticut, in the vicinity of Long Isl-
and, and up the Hudson river ; was present at the
engagement in which General Wooster was killed,
and saw him fall. He was also present in New York
city at its evacuation by the federal forces in 1777.
About the year 1800 he removed with his family to
Saratoga county, New York, going up the Hudson,
and being among the pioneers of the mineral-spring
region, since become one of the most fashionable
summer resorts in the nation, if not the world. He
was a pensioner of the government up to the time
of his death. He was, moreover, a man of large
intelligence and considerable influence in his day
and generation, and a leading member of the Pres-
byterian church. He died in Saratoga county. New

York, in the year 1846, in the ninety-fourth year of
his age.

The father of our subject, William Scofield, was
born in Stamford, Connecticut, in the year 1793,
and removed with his parents, when but a lad, to
Saratoga county. New York. He was a tiller of the
rough and comparatively unfruitful soil of the last
named locality, from which he was able, with the
utmost frugality and industry, to wring out a sub-
sistence for his family, who, it will be naturally in-
ferred, were brought up in habits of industry and

Mrs. Scofield was a most excellent woman, am-
bitious, energetic, and devoted to the interests of
her children. To her influence and efforts is mainly
due the superior education that all her children at-
tained. She was a devout christian, an exemplary
member of the Presbyterian church, as was also her
husband, both of whom lived to old age. He died
in Washington, Iowa, in the year 1874, in the eighty-
first year of his age, and she in 1862, in the seven-
tieth year of her age.

The preparatory studies of our subject were pur-
sued in the public schools of his neighborhood, and
at the Cambridge Academy, Washington county,
New York, after which he entered Union College,
Schenectady, then under the presidency of the Rev.
Eliphalet Nott, D.D., from which he was graduated
with honors in the class of 1853.

After quitting college he removed to Little Rock,
Arkansas, where he engaged in teaching for two
years, reading law at the same time under the di-



rection of the celebrated Albert Pike. Returning
to his home he attended the law school of Albany,
New York, from which he was graduated in 1856.

..In the year following he removed to Washington,
Iowa, which has since been his home, where he en-
gaged in the practice of his profession, at which he
has long since taken a leading rank.

Immediately after the outbreak of the rebellion,
and in response to the first call of President Lincoln
for troops to defend the national flag, he enlisted in
the 2d Iowa Infantry, and was mustered into the
service on the 27 th of May, 1861, and served one
month as a private, for which he received the mu-
nificent sum of eleven dollars. He was then pro-
moted to the rank of second lieutenant, and soon
after to that of first lieutenant.

His first military service was in northern Missouri,
guarding the Hannibal and Saint Joseph railroad,
then down the Mississippi to Bird's Point, under
General Fremont. He commanded his company at
the battle of Fort Donelson, on the 14th and isth of
February, 1862, in which the regiment lost heavily,
but covered itself with glory, and wrung from the
imperturbable Halleck the most enthusiastic admira-
tion. Colonel Tuttle, who commanded the regiment,
in his official report, among other staff and line offi-
cers, commends Lieutenant Scofield by name for
noble deportment in this memorable struggle. In
his history of "Iowa and the Rebellion," L. D. In-
gersoll thus refers to the conduct of the 2d Iowa at
the siege of Fort Donelson :

Colonel Tuttle led the advance. Not a man spoke, not a
gun was fired from the ranks. Silent as the grave and in-
exorable as death the 2d Iowa pushed its way up the hill
through a storm of grape, shell and ball. Many dropped
dead, many were wounded, but not a groan or a cry was
heard. The regiment moved as noiselessly as so many lions
stealing upon their prey. Reaching the works, the men
bounded over with wonderful agility. . . . The enemy re-
sisted with great stubbornness, but the whole regiment
forming in line inside the rebel works drove the enemy
before them.

On the surrender of the fort, on the following day,
the 2d Iowa was awarded the post of honor, and
was the first to enter the rebel stronghold, marching
in at the head of the grand column, which made a
most imposing display. The 2d marched up to the
citadel, when Corporal V. P. Townley, the only one
of the color guard who had escaped uninjured,
planted the stars and stripes upon the captured fort
amid the wild huzzas of the victorious army. This
was the most complete victory of the Union army.
The surrender of the rebels was unconditional.

Soon after the fall of Donelson our subject was

promoted to the rank of assistant adjutant-general
and placed on the staff of General Lauman, and in
that capacity he participated in the battle of Shiloh,
where he received a musket ball through the leg,
which for a time rendered him unfit for service. In
the latter part of 1862 he was placed on the staff of
General McCarthy in the same capacity, and served
through the Tennessee campaign and down the river
to the neighborhood of Vicksburg. Took part in
the siege and capture of Corinth ; the battle of the
Hatchie, under Generals Ord and Hurlburt, where
his gallantry, courage and skill were conspicuous,
and received the well-merited commendation of his

In May, 1863, he was promoted to the command
of the 8th Louisiana Colored Infantry, afterward the
47th United States Colored Infantry. After his ap-
pointment to the rank of colonel he commanded the
post at Lake Providence, and at Milliken's Bend
during the siege of Vicksburg, and was among the
first to enter the city after its capture. He subse-
quently commanded the second brigade in the di-
vision of colored troops in the siege of Blakely and
in the operations against Mobile, where himself and
his command won an imperishable fame, and already
fill one of the brightest pages in the history of the
rebellion ; was stationed and commanded at Alex-
andria, Louisiana, during the summer and fall of
1865. He also did considerable duty on court-mar-
tials ; his legal knowledge, no less than his cool and
impartial judgment, eminently fitting him for that
duty. He was mustered out at Baton Rouge, Lou-
isiana, on the 6th of January, 1866. He was brevet-
ed brigadier-general in April, 1865.

Such is a brief outline of the military career of
Hiram Scofield, a career second to that of but few
heroes of the war, and of which his state and coun-
ty, no less than his immediate friends and relatives,
may well be proud.

On his retirement from the war he resumed the
practice of his profession at Washington, Iowa, in
partnership with his brother William, also a lawyer
of high standing, and has long since taken the high-
est rank at the bar of his adopted state.

In politics, the general was raised in the demo-
cratic faith, though always opposed to slavery, and
at the outbreak of the rebellion found his place in
the republican party, where he has since remained,
except in 1872, when he favored the election of
Horace Greeley to the Presidency. He was a presi-
dential elector, and voted for General Grant in 1868.



He has also filled the office of city solicitor of Wash-
ington for several years. He has never been con-
nected with any secret societies.

He was raised under Presbyterian influence, and
still prefers that branch of Christianity, but is not in
union with any church.

In personal appearance, General Scofield is of
dark complexion, full beard, regular features, and
intellectual countenance ; five feet eleven inches in
height, and weighing one hundred and eighty-five
pounds. His habits are studious, and he loves re-
tirement and quiet, though ambitious and desirous
of success.

As a lawyer, he is thoroughly read, gentlemanly
and dignified, always trying his cases upon their
merits and the law governing them.

As a military man, he was brave, skillful and pa-
triotic. Entirely loyal, and desirous to do his whole
duty to his country, he was contented to serve in any
capacity where his superiors might be pleased to
place him, or his services could be most useful.

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 94 of 125)