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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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of John A., settled on Swift creek, Nash county
North Carolina, and died in 1790, leaving a large
amount of property. Benjamin, the father of our
subject, inherited the homestead ; married Celia
Thayer, and had eight children, five sons and three
daughters. John A. was born on this homestead on
the 2ist of October, 1802, and reared on a farm.
He was educated in a log school-house, with fair op-
portunities for improvement, having a good teacher.
In 1829 he removed to Wilson county, Tennessee,
worked a short time at the carpenter's trade, and in
October, 1830, located at Rushville, Schuyler coun-
ty, Illinois. There he remained for seven years, en-
gaged in house-building, merchandising, and filling
some important offices. He removed to Fort Madi-
son, Iowa, in 1837, and there traded in real estate,
remaining in Lee county nine years. During that
period he held at different times the offices of justice
of the peace, master in chancery and probate judge.

In 1846 Judge Drake founded the town of Drake-
ville, Davis county, where he traded until the spring
of 187 1, when he started a private bank. In 1876
the Appanoose County Bank was started at Center-
ville, the county seat ; Mr. Drake was elected its
president, and in March, 1877, removed to Center-

At the time of writing he is still running the
Drakeville bank, but is preparing to close it. His
faculties seem to be unimpaired, but there is no ne-
cessity for burdening himself with cares at this pe-
riod of life and in his comfortable circumstances.

Mr. Drake was a member of the legislature in the
session held at Iowa city in tRe winter of 1852-53,
representing Davis county.

He was formerly a whig, but is now a republican.

He has been a member of the Christian church a
long time, and was an elder many years. The char-
acter of no man in Appanoose county stands fairer.
He is a christian gentleman and philanthropist.

On the 1 2th of June, 1826, Miss Harriet J. O'Neal,
of Franklin county, North Carolina, became his
wife, and she is the mother of fourteen children,
seven of whom are now living, two sons and five
daughters. The sons are elsewhere mentioned in
this work. The daughters are all married: Nancy
M. is the wife of J. B. Lockman, of Drakeville;
Jane, of F. M. Kirkham, of Centerville ; Henrietta
J., of G. T. Carpenter, of Oskaloosa; Adeline, of M.



H. Kirkham, of Centerville, and Ella, of C. W. Lane,
of Centerville.

Having lived a christian life at least forty-five
years, and having always been a man of temperate

and virtuous habits, Mr. Drake enjoys a green old
age, free from the remorse attending wasted energies
and sin-blighted hopes, and has a spiritual elasticity
which an age of folly might behold with envy.



of ancient and modern languages, etc., was
born in Canterbury, Merrimack county. New Hamp-
shire, on the 28th of May, 1830, and is the son of
John L. and Hannah Bradley n^e Mason, both of
New England parentage.

The name (Bradley) is of English origin, the fam-
ily tracing their lineage back to Abraham Bradley,
who is supposed to have immigrated to New Eng-
land early in the eighteenth century, and settled in
Haverhill, Massachusetts, from whence, in 1730, he
removed to Concord, New Hampshire. Benjamin
Bradley, the grandfather of our subject, was second
in descent from Abraham Bradley, and was a sol-
dier of the revolution, and fought at Bunker Hill
and other hotly contested fields of that memorable
struggle. He was also the hero of some thrilling
adventures with the Indians. He was a man of
powerful frame-work, and lived to the age of eighty
years. His mother is the daughter of Benjamin
Mason, of Chichester, New Hampshire, a large and
portly man, noted as a great story-teller and a firm
believer in witches. He lived to the age of eighty
years. The Mason family is likewise of English

The ancestors on both sides as far back as known
were tillers of the soil, men of probity and sterling
worth, inheriting and transmitting the strict religious
principles of the early New England colonists.

His father, John L. Bradley, was the owner of a
small farm on a rock-bespattered hillside in the
Granite State, and the father of a family of eight
vigorous and healthy children, of whom George S.
was the eldest ; from which circumstances it may be
inferred that the children were early initiated into
habits of economy and frugality. They were like-
wise early taught good morals by their mother, who
was a most excellent christian woman and devotedly
attached to her children. She gave them their first
start in reading and arithmetic.

Until the age of seventeen our subject worked on

his father's farm, attending school for a number of
terms at the New Hampshire Conference Seminary,
at Tilton. He also attended for several terras at
the Gilraanton Academy, defraying his own expenses
as best he could. His object in early life was to fit
himself for the profession of teaching, and he passed
through many struggles and privations in order to
attain this end. The severe discipline of this pe-
riod prepared him for endurance and success in
after life, while it has given him a hearty sympathy
for students who, like himself, have had to work
their own way to an education. In the hour of his
greatest necessity God raised up for him a friend in
the person of the Rev. Edmund B. Fairfield, his
pastor and teacher in New Hampshire, subsequently
president of Hillsdale College, Michigan, and now
Chancellor of the University of Nebraska. This
gentleman often gave him jobs of work, for which
he ])aid him generously, but ofttimes his purse was
empty and he knew not where the next dime would
come from. By the advice of this excellent friend
he removed to Michigan in 1849, and by his influ-
ence he was appointed tutor in Hillsdale College,
where he taught and studied for seven years. He
was an ambitious student, and was rarely second
in his class. He gained a thorough knowledge of
the Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages (to which
he has since added German), as well as the natural
sciences, being especially proficient in chemistry.
This institution conferred upon him the degree of
A.M. in 1871.

Before leaving New Hampshire he had experi-
enced religion and united with the Freewill Baptist
church, and during his early christian experience he
greatly desired to go to India as a missionary. This
aspiration was encouraged by Rev. B. B. Smith,
since a successful missionary among the Hindoos.
With this end in view he entered the theological
department of Oberlin (Ohio) College in 1858, where
he was placed under the instruction of the cele-
brated Rev. Charles G. Finney, under whose tuition



he remained two years, having in the meantime
taught school one winter at Mount Gilead and an-
other at Xenia, Ohio. The labor and anxiety inci-
dent to these years of study and self-sacrifice so
impaired his health that his friends persuaded him
to relinquish his missionary' plans and to accept a
tutorship in Hillsdale College, which he retained
for a short time, and in 1859 accepted the principal-
ship of the seminary at North Parsonfield, Maine,
which he conducted successfully for two years, when
he returned to the west and was called to the pas-
torate of the Baptist church at Mount Pleasant, Ra-
cine county, Wisconsin. Here he remained for three
years, when he accepted a commission as chaplain
of the 22d Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He joined
his regiment at Nashville, Tennessee, on the 19th
of April, 1864, and made the famous ''march to the
sea," participating in all the hardships, dangers and
privations, as well as the glories, of that memorable
campaign, being present at the '' grand review " in
Washington, on the 2Sth of May, 1865, which pro-
claimed the war ended and the authority of the gov-
ernment restored in the rebellious states.

After his discharge from the army he returned to
his former charge at Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, and
remained there two years longer. In the spring of
1867 he opened a private seminary at Rochester,
which he conducted successfully for two years over
and above his pastoral duties. In 1869 he became
principal of the Evansville (Rock county, Wisconsin)
Seminary, which he conducted with very consider-
able success for six years. In 1875 he received a
very flattering invitation from the board of directors
of the Collegiate Institute at Wilton, Iowa, to take
charge of that institution, jvhich he accepted, and
conducted for two years with marked success. In
1877 he was invited by unanimous vote of the board
of directors to take the superintendence of the pub-
lic schools of Wilton, Iowa, which he accepted, and
is T\o\s (1877) the incumbent of that office.

As a teacher, the professor has been eminently
successful ; his pupils have always been warmly
attached to him. His scholars, who are now quite
numerous, are scattered over the nation from Maine
to California, and are among the most prosperous
business and professional men to be found in the
country. As a pastor, he has also been a great fa-
vorite and not less successful, though he considers
teaching to be his mission, but his versatility of tal-
ents would have qualified him for any of the pro-
fessions. During the many years he has devoted to

teaching he has rarely been without one or two
churches to look after. He has seen many of his
students converted to God, a large number of whom
he has devoted to Christ in baptism. As a public
speaker, he is terse, logical, argumentative and en-
thusiastic. He has also been a voluminous and
conspicuous writer. At the age of sixteen he com-
menced contributing articles to the " Boston Culti-
vator," which were generally credited to a popular
writer living in the same town. In 1858 he spent
a vacation in Canada West, gathering facts and
sketches of slave life in the south, which he pub-
lished in the " Morning Star " of Dover, New Hamp-
shire. He has also written a good many polemical
articles for the press, under such titles as " Second
Adventism," "Women Speaking in Meeting,"
"John's Baptism," "Foundations of Moral Obliga-
tion," " Infant Salvation," " Union of Baptists," etc.,
some of which had a wide circulation, and were af-
terward put into pamphlet form. In 1874 he was
editor and proprietor of a weekly newspaper in Ev-
ansville, Wisconsin, entitled " The Evansville Jour-
nal." He was also one of the prime movers in
starting the " Christian Freeman " of Chicago, a
weekly denominational paper, which was finally
merged into the " Baptist Union " of New York,
and has for many years written largely for both the
secular and religious press. But the largest contri-
bution to the current literature of the period, and
that by which he is best known to the public, is his
history of " The Star Corps,- or Notes of an Army
Chaplain during Sherman's Famous March to the
Sea," which he published in 1865, giving a minute and
thrilling history of that memorable campaign, inter-
spersed with anecdote and incident of march, camp,
skirmish, forage, devastation arid all the horrors of
war. While m^ny of the incidents are so ludicrous
as to stir the risibles, others are so sad as to moisten
the eyes with tears. The volume is interspersed
with a number of very spirited and meritorious pa-
triotic songs and poems, which are of the chaplain's
own composition.

The professor has also been an extensive lecturer
on educational topics, especially before teachers'
institutes, and has won an honorable place as a pub-
lic speaker. As early as the year 1856, while teach-
ing in central Ohio, he became very much interested
in the "' spelling reform," and since then he has been
an ardent advocate of the phonetic system, and has
written and lectured largely on the subject.

He has never been sectarian in his religious work,



but has operated in harmony with all evangelical
denominations. In 1873 he held a public discus-
sion in Evansville, lasting for three days, with some
of his brethren of the " close communion " school,
in which he took the ground that all believers have
a right to the Lord's Supper, and should be invited
thereto by all christian churches. He has recently
written a lecture on a " New Theory of Creation,"
in which he denies the eternity of matter, and ad-
vances the idea that matter is force, and that the
world is only an exhibition of God's eternal power.
His conclusions are arrived at by an original and
ingenious method of reasoning, making, upon the
whole, a novel and interesting theory. He has al-
ways taken a prominent part in ministers' meetings
and institutes, and at all times and in all places has
strenuously advocated the principles of total absti-

Reared among the hills of New England, he early
imbibed an ardent love of liberty ; and although his
relations and associates were all democrats, yet he
seemed to drink in abolition principles by instinct,
and from early boyhood antagonized the institution
of slavery, and consequently found his place in the
republican party, the principles of which he has in-
variably advocated. He has never held any polit-
ical office, but has often been honored by his own de-
nomination of christians with positions of trust and
responsibility. In 1874 he was elected to a profess-
orship in Hillsdale College, which he declined.

He has given considerable attention to the subject
of natural history, and has a very fine ornithological
cabinet, as well as a number of specimens of the
smaller native quadrupeds of the west. He is also

the owner of one of the finest libraries of the coun-
try, embracing an endless variety of subjects, be-
sides one hundred large scrap-books, each devoted
to a special department of literature.

On the 1 2th of December, 1858, he married Miss
Sally Ann Weaver, a native of Somerset, Michigan,
a lady of very high literary attainments, who has
generally assisted him in his educational labors,
taught classes in his seminaries and written exten-
sively for the press. She has, moreover, drank
deeply of the sacred " Castalian fount," and is one
of the sweetest poetical writers of the period. Many
of her poems, elicited by incidents of the late war,
are interspersed through the volume above alluded
to, adding a peculiar charm to its pages. She seems
to fathom the depth of human affection, and to bring
to the surface the best and purest feelings of human-
ity. They have had a family of four children, only
one of whom survives, namely, Charles Clement,
born in 187 1.

The professor, like his forefathers, is a splendid
specimen of humanity ; over six feet high, of easy
manners, pleasing countenance and dignified bear-
ing; strong in his friendships and uncompromising
in his principles. Sensitive of his good name, he is
scrupulously upright in character. He is an inde-
pendent thinker, outspoken in the advocacy of his
opinions and penetrating in his judgment. In his
relations to society he realizes that he is one of the
people, and that their interests are his inter-ests, and
that it is in their prosperity alone that he can pros-
per. With his irresistible will power and nerve force
he is destined to carve a niche still higher up in the
temple of fame.



Irish pedigree, his ancestors, in the days of
persecution, fleeing from Scotland to the north of
Ireland, whence his father, William Ruddick, emi-
grated to this country, settling in Sullivan county,
New York. There George W. was born, in the town
of Thompson, on the iitli of May, 1835. His
mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Conner, who
died when he vifas less than two years old. His
father was a farmer and lumberman, and died at the
old homestead in Sullivan county on the istof Octo-

ber, 1861. The son worked at farming and lumber-
ing until fourteen years of age, then spent two years
at an academy in Kingsville, Ashtabula county, Ohio,
supplementing it with a similar course of instruction
at Monticello, New York, and at eighteen commenced
reading law in the same place with A. C. Niven. In
September, 1855, he entered the law school at Al-
bany, graduated the following spring, and came
directly to Iowa. After a few weeks spent in pros-
pecting he concluded to settle in Waverly, and here
he is still to be found. Part of the time he has



practiced alone, and the remainder of the time with
other parties; from 1858 to i860 with H. A. Miles,
the firm being Ruddick and Miles, and for a short
time, commencing in 1865, with O. F. Avery, the
firm being Ruddick and Avery. During the twenty-
one years that Mr. Ruddick has been in the Cedar
valley he has probably had more offices bestowed
upon him than have been held by any other man in
Bremer county. He was elected prosecuting attor-
ney of the county in 1857, and held the office until
the new constitution did away with it ; was elected
to the general assembly in 1859, and served in the
regular session of i860 and the special or war session
of 1861-; was elected county judge in 1862, holding
the office two years; was elected circuit judge in 1867,
and entered upon the duties of that office on the ist
of January, 1868; held it nearly two years, when he
was elected judge of the twelfth judicial district, to
fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Hon. W.
B. Fairfield. To the latter office he has been twice
reelected, having held it seven consecutive years.

Judge Ruddick has emphatically a logical mind,
and is remarkable for the clearness of his perceptions,
and his comprehensive and masterly grasp of the
details of a case. He is not swift to decide, but is
correct in his conclusions, and is no doubt the best
equity lawyer in the district. He has great executive
ability, a good measure of dispatch in business, and
is impartial. He has been strongly recommended
by lawyers and others who best know him for the
supreme bench of the state.

Judge Ruddick has always acted with the repub-
lican party, and in being elected to office from time
to time has usually drawn much more than the party
vote. He is very popular in his judicial district.

On the 15th of December, 1859, he was united to
Miss Mary Estella Strickland, of Andover, Ohio, and
they have four boys.

Judge Ruddick is of full medium height, of good
proportions, of dignified bearing, and in social and
moral character and legal qualifications is an honor
to the bench.



AMONG the physicians of Newton no one has a
. better reputation for skill than Joseph R. Gor-
rell. He is as much a student now as he ever was;
devotes his leisure to reading his medical periodicals
and other scientific works, and hence is constantly
progressing in knowledge, and, as a practitioner, in
the confidence of the people. His mind is of that
inquisitive, inquiring cast which is never satisfied
without trying to look to the bottom of a subject,
and without seizing any newly developed truths in
medical science, and making use of them. Such
minds can never become dry, they must expand.

Dr. Gorrell is of distant English descent, spring-
ing from early settlers in Pennsylvania, his parents
being Joseph and Esther Glass Gorrell. His pater-
nal great-grandfather was in the first war with the
mother country.

Joseph R. was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, on
the 6th of May, 1835, and at ten years of age moved
with his parents to Wells county, Indiana, where
they settled on a farm, and where the son remained
until about sixteen years of age. He then spent
four years at institutions of learning in Fort Wayne ;
read medicine at Bluffton, with Dr. J. R. McCleary ;

attended one course of lectures in the University pf
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and another in Buffalo,
New York, where he graduated in the spring of 1859.

After practicing three years at Newville, DeKalb
county, Indiana, in the autumn of 1862 Dr. Gorrell
was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 129th
regiment Indiana Volunteers; went south in the win-
ter following, and served nearly two years in that
capacity ; was then commissioned surgeon of the
30th Indiana, but owing to poor health resigned and
returned to the north.

Late in the winter of 1865 Dr. Gorrell settled in
Newton, where he soon secured a remunerative prac-
tice. He makes a specialty of no one branch of the
healing art; has a good name both as a physician
and surgeon, and usually has as much business on
his hands as any one man ought to be obliged to
attend to. Pecuniarily as well as professionally he
has been quite successful.

He is a member of the State Medical Society, and
has been treasurer of the county society.

In politics, he is a republican, but seeks no office.
He is thoroughly devoted to his profession.

The wife of Dr. Gorrell is a daughter of J. E.



Hendricks, Esq., editor and publisher of " The An-
nalist,'' of Des Moines. They were married on the
2d of December, i860, and have two children.
Dr. Gorrell is an extensive reader of scientific

works outside of his profession ; is a great admirer
of the writings of Herbert Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall,
and that class of thinkers, and indorses, in the main,
their views of religion as well as science.



years a medical practitioner, and three of
these years in the Union army, is a native of Wheel-
ing, West Virginia, and was born on the 2 2d of Au-
gust, 1835. His father, William Grimes, was a black-
smith by trade, and his grandfather was General
Washington's blacksmith in the revolutionary war.
The Grimes family were from Coot Hill, Ireland,
and settled in Virginia. The mother of Dr. Grimes,
whose maiden name was Rebecca Buff, and who was
a native of Virginia, died when he was born. The
son lost his father when only twelve years old, and
he was reared in Cincinnati by an aunt, Sarah Ber-
tholf, who is still living in that city in her eightieth

The subject of this sketch was educated at Wood-
ward College, Cincinnati, and graduated in 1854.
He read medicine with the celebrated Dr. R. D.
Mussey, of that city ; attended lectures at the Mi-
ami Medical College, Cincinnati; graduated in 1857;
came to Iowa and practiced in Council Bluffs until
the civil war broke out in 1861. He accompanied
the 4th Iowa Infantry, Colonel Dodge, to the south
as assistant surgeon ; served in that capacity one
year, and was promoted to surgeon 29th regiment.
Colonel T. H. Benton, remaining in that position un-
til July, 1864, when an affliction of the eyes com-
pelled him to resign. After the battle of Pea Ridge,
and while with the 4th regiment, he spent six months

in the hospital at Cassville, Missouri, taking care of
the sick and wounded. He was at home a short
time when the 29th was raised, and aided in the

On leaving the army Dr. Grimes located in Des
Moines, where he has been the leading surgeon for
a dozen years or more. His opportunities for edu-
cation while in the army were very favorable, and he
improved them to the best of his abilities.

Not fully satisfied, however, with his medical and
surgical attainments. Dr. Grimes spent the winter of
1873-4 at his old medical Alma Mater, Miami Col-
lege, attending lectures and devoting especial atten-
tion to surgical science, in which he is very proficient.
He is also an aurist and oculist, having an extensive
practice in both these branches of the healing art.

In politfcs, the doctor is an unwavering republi-
can, but he will not turn aside from his profession
to accept any civil office.

His religious connection is with the Baptists.

Dr. Grimes was first married in 1857, to Miss Ida
C. Campbell, of West Point, Lee county, Iowa ; the
second time, in 1870, to Mrs. Julia G. Mayne, of Du-
buque, Iowa. By her he has three children.

Although unusually tall, six feet and four inches,
the doctor is well proportioned, and, without being
corpulent, weighs two hundred and thirty pounds.
He has a ruddy complexion, dark hazel eyes, a san-
guine-bilious temperament, and a very quick step.



JOHN CONAWAY, for the last four years state
J senator representing Poweshiek and Tama coun-
ties, is a native of Cadiz, Ohio, born on the i6th of

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 97 of 125)