pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

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

. (page 99 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

acter. The first settler in the place and an excel-
lent citizen, he is held in high esteem. He has lived
a very quiet life, never allowing himself to be car-
ried away by political excitement.

He is a republican, with whig antecedents.

Mr. Saunders has had two wives : his first was
Miss Edith Cooper; married in 1829, at Springfield,
Illinois. She had three children, and died in 1836.
Only one child, Mary, the wife of John McCoy, of
Mount Pleasant, is living. She was the first child
born in Mount Pleasant. His present wife was
Miss Huldah Bowen, of Mount Pleasant; married in
1837. She has had four children, all living and all
married : Smith and Alvin are merchants in Mount
Pleasant ; Eliza is the wife of John Bowman, of Cal-
ifornia, and Etna is the wife of Frederic Hope, of
Mount Pleasaht. All of Mr. Saunders' living chil-
dren were born in Mount Pleasant : Mary in Mich-
igan territory. Smith in Wisconsin territory, Alvin
in Iowa territory, and Eliza and Etna in the State
of Iowa.



Onawa, is a native of the Granite State, dat-
ing his birth on the 23d of January, 1830, at Wind-
ham, Rockingham county. His father, James W.
Perkins, was a physician early in life, and later a
Congregational minister. The Perkinses came to
this country from England somewhere about the
beginning of the eighteenth century and settled in
Massachusetts. The grandfather of Charles Gove
was in the revolution, taken prisoner, carried to
England and released at the close of the war; and
his father was a private in the second war with the
mother country.

Dr. Perkins left Windham when the subject of
this sketch was less than a year old ; practiced two
or three years in New Boston, New Hampshire, and
about 1833 became pastor of the Congregational

Church at New Hampton, in the same state. He
afterward preached at Warner, Alstead and Hock-
sett, and died in 1873. His wife, whose maiden
name was Fanny Cochran, died in 1874. Charles
G. was educated mainly at Francistown and Pem-
broke academies.

In 1846 he started on a whaling voyage, going
around Cape Horn into the Pacific and Arctic
oceans, his first trip lasting four years. He made
other voyages, the seafaring period of his life lasting
between seven and eight years.

In 1853 Mr. Perkins started the tailoring and
ready-made clothing business at Mont Vernon, New
Hampshire, and two years later removed to Wiscon-
sin, settling on a farm in New Chester, Adams coun-
ty. There, while engaged in agricultural pursuits,
he served on the board of supervisors five or six



years, and as deputy sheriff two years, being post-
master all the time he remained in Wisconsin.

In February, 1862, Mr. Perkins enlisted as a pri-
vate in company G, 19th Wisconsin Infantry, which
was in the eighteenth array corps. He served three
years ; was with the regiment in all the skirmishes
and battles in which it participated, and, like two
brothers who also served the same length of time, he
never received even a scratch. He came out a first
lieutenant of the company.

In September, 1865, Mr. Perkins settled in Onawa,
farming for four years. He was elected recorder of
Monona county in 187 1, but resigned before his
term had expired. He was a member of the four-
teenth general assembly, representing Monona, Craw-
ford, Shelby and Audubon counties, and serving on
the committees on agriculture, on highways and on

some special committees. He was appointed post-
master in February, 1873, and in this, as well as
every other position he has occupied, he has served
the people with the utmost faithfulness. In many
ways he is a very useful citizen.

Mr. Perkins has always affiliated with the repub-
lican party, cherishes its principles with the greatest
cordiality and firmness, and works earnestly to fur-
ther its interests.

On the 9th of October, 1853, he was united in
marriage with Miss Ruth Stearns, of Lowell, Massa-
chusetts. They have had five children and have
lost two of them. Mary W., the eldest of the living
children, is the wife of John Cleghorn, dealer in
agricultural implements, Onawa ; Charles W. and
Addie M. are single, aiding their father in the post-
office and his store.



THIS distinguished army surgeon was born at
Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, on the 31st of Jan-
uary, 1832. His father, Mason Gibbon, was born
at Salem, New Jersey, in 1797. His mother's maid-
en name was Mary Marr Brooks ; she was born at
Roadstown, Cumberland county. New Jersey, and
is still living at Philadelphia. Dr. Gibbon's father
was a civil engineer, and was engaged upon the sur-
vey of the Philadelphia and Baltimore railroad at
the time of the birth of the subject of this sketch.
He died when the son was but fifteen years of age.

Dr. Gibbon attended the Salem Academy, New
Jersey, until he was twelve years of age, shortly af-
ter which ■ his family removed to Philadelphia, at
which city the doctor attended a public school until
he was seventeen ; after which he was employed as
clerk in a dry-goods store at Philadelphia until he
was twenty years of age.

Preferring Esculapius to dry goods, the doctor then
commenced reading medicine with his uncle. Dr.
Quinton Gibbon, at Salem, New Jersey, with whom
he remained studying and attending lectures at the
Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, and from
which he graduated in 1857. He then traveled for
a year, and in the spring of 1858 he came to Chari-
ton, Iowa, where he commenced the practice of his

On the 2d of November, 1861, he was commis-

sioned assistant surgeon of the isth Iowa regiment,
and in the succeeding year was commissioned sur-
geon of the same regiment. In this capacity he
served at the battle of Shiloh, and was with the army
of the Tennessee from that time until the capture of
Vicksburg, and subsequently participated in the At-
lanta campaign, and was with the 17th army corps
during Sherman's memorable "march to the sea."
He was mustered out of the service at the expira-
tion of his term of service at Savannah, Georgia,
and returned to Chariton, where he at once recom-
menced the practice of medicine, in which he is still

During Dr. Gibbon's entire term in the field he
was one of the board of operators, and displayed
great skill in the manipulation of his many and ar-
duous duties. Upon his retirement from the service
Major Pomutz, then in command of the isth Iowa
Veteran Volunteers, issued the following order :

[General Order.*; No. 20.]
Headquarters 15TH Iowa Infantry Veteran Volunteers,
Savannah, Georgia, December 22, 1864.
Surgeon William H. Gibbon, of this regiment, having
this day been honorably discharged the United States ser-
vice, the commanding officer of this regiment cannot for-
bear giving expression to the just appreciation by him-
self, as well as by the officers and men of his command, of
the unabated zeal, efficiency and practical skill with which
the surgeon has discharged his important duties while con-
nected with and in charge of the medical department of this
regiment. In the earlier part of the military life of this
command, during the memorable battles of Shiloh and Cor-



inth, he acquired the individual confidence of the officers
and men by his efficiency in the line of his profession, as
well as by his courageous conduct while bravely and skill-
fully attending to the wounded soldiers in the immediate
rear of the line of battle, then fiercely engaged with the
enemy. That confidence, well merited then, he retained
and deserved ever afterward through the entire period of
his three years' service. The soldiers felt sure that what-
ever vigilant care, knowledge of science and practical skill
could accomplish for the sick and wounded, was secured to
them while under his treatment.

During the eventful campaign of this year, resulting in
the capture of Atlanta and Savannah, being one of the se-
lected board of operators, he displayed those highest quali-
fications in practical surgery that have stamped him as
" one of the best field surgeons of the army." While the
surgical operations performed by him have rescued and
preserved the life and limb of many a brave officer and sol-
dier of this and other commands, the same are justly re-
corded as a triumph of the art and science of his profession.

This command, in hereby tendering thanks to the sur-
geon for his past services, earnestly hope he mav soon re-
turn to the field of his wonted invaluable usefulness to the

The adjutant will forward an official copy of this order to
the surgeon.

By order of Major George Pomutz, commanding regi-
ment. Wm. C. Stidger, Adjutant.

To this we may also add that for meritorious ser-
vices as surgeon, especially at Vicksburg and At-
lanta, Dr. Gibbon was breveted by the United States
as lieutenant-colonel.

On the 4th of September, 1861, he was married to
Miss Laura R. Gibbon, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin,
by whom he has one child, Anna Gibbon.

Dr. Gibbon has had three brothers and two sis-
ters. The youngest brother, Captain Leonard Gib-
bon, of the 19th Michigan Infantry, was killed at
the battle of Bentonville, North Carolina ; the other
two are in private life in Philadelphia, together with
their sisters.

Dr. Gibbon has been a republican ever since the
organization of that party. In religious matters, he
is an Episcopalian.



JOSEPH R. ZUVER, circuit judge of the fourth
district, is a native of Kittanning, Armstrong
county, Pennsylvania, a son of Jacob and Catherine
Claypole Zuver, and was born on the 16th of Sep-
tember, 1833. His paternal grandfather came from
Germany, and nothing is known of the family far-
ther back. Joseph was the third child in a family
of ten children, eight of whom are yet living. An
elder brother had a feeble constitution, and at fifteen
years of age Joseph had not only to take care of
himself, but, in a large measure, of his parents and
the younger m.embers of the family.

At the age mentioned, with an ordinary common-
school education, he commenced flat-boating on the
Alleghany and the Ohio rivers, operating on these
streams, in various capacities, most of the time until
thirty-four years old. He was a steamboat pilot
during the first year of the civil war, and captain of
a boat in 1862, i866 and 1867.

During this period he also learned the carpenter's
trade, working at it at different periods. He also
taught school three terms, and had pressing invita-
tions to continue teaching; but he could make more
at flat-boating and steamboating, and his responsi-
bilities compelled him to make all the money that he
could, without any regard to congeniality of pursuits.

In the spring of 1868 Judge Zuver came to the

Missouri slope in lovi^a; read law in Missouri Valley,
Harrison county ; was admitted to the bar at Mag-
nolia, then the county seat, in June, 1869, and prac-
ticed in Missouri Valley and in Magnolia until he
went on the bench. He was appointed circuit judge
on the 7th of September, 1874, to fill a vacancy oc-
casioned by the resignation of the Hon. Addison
Oliver, now in congress ; was elected by the people
the next month, to fill the unexpired term ; was re-
elected in 1876, and now holds the office, his term
expiring on the 31st of December, i88o. Before
going on the bench he was regarded as among the
best read lawyers in the judicial district, and since
assuming the ermine he has exhibited his eminent
fitness for the honor, he having most of the qualities
which make a good jurist.

Judge Zuver was a whig in early life, and has
acted with the republican party since i860. He is
a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and
of the Masonic fraternity, and is a man of undoubted
honesty and of high moral character.
r hi judge was first ma rried in January, 1861, to
Miss Mary J. Richardson, of Pennsylvania. He had
six children by her, and five of them are living. His
present wife was Mrs. Josie Marshall, of Missouri
Valley, Iowa ; married on the isth of February, 1872.

Though a well read lawyer, the judge has only



moderate literary attainments. Realizing his defi-
ciency in this respect, he takes good care that his
children shall be well educated. They are all in the
graded schools of Sioux City, and his eldest son, in
his sixteenth year, is the best scholar, of his age, in
the school. His attainments are almost astonishing.

While in Pennsylvania and Harrison county, Iowa,
the judge did much good work in the school board,
and probably the cause of education has no warmer
friend in the state. Sioux City has been his home
since June, 1875, and as a citizen the people are be-
ginning to realize and appreciate his worth.



MAHLON JAMES DAVIS, one of the best
physicians and surgeons in the Nishnabotna
valley, belongs to an old Pennsylvania family. He
was born in Juniata county, in that state, on the 20th
of October, 1838, and is consequently in his fortieth
year. His parents were Judah and Charlotte Leas
Davis, both of whose ancestors were early settlers in
the Keystone commonwealth. Mahlon lived on his
father's farm until about fourteen years of age, when
he was placed in the Tuscarora Academy, in his na-
tive county, and a little later in the Kishacoquillas
Seminary, Mifflin county. After receiving a good
academic education, including the higher mathemat-
ics and classics, he commenced in 1859 reading med-
icine with Dr. D. M. Crawford, of Millerstown, Perry
county ; took two courses of medical lectures in the
University of the City of New York, and received
his diploma in March, 1862.

Civil war had been in progress nearly a year, and
after praqficing for a few months in Newport, Perry
county, in August, 1862, Dr. Davis went into the reg-
ular army as acting assistant surgeon, being located
for a long time in the hospitals at Washington, Dis-
trict of Columbia. In May, 1864, he was assigned
to the position of surgeon-in- chief of the artillery of
the second army corps, on the staff of General Haz-
ard, being in some of the heaviest campaigns and serv-
ing until mustered out in November, 1865.

Dr. Davis returned to Newport the same month,
and the next summer located at Lewis, where he is
still in practice, and where he soon secured the con-
fidence of the people. Few young men just out of a
medical college have had better opportunities to im-
prove themselves in surgery, or made better use of
such opportunities. His experience in the army has
been of great assistance to him, and he stands among
the foremost men in his profession in this part of the
state. He has other qualifications besides skill to
make him an eminently useful physician.

In addition to his general practice Dr. Davis acts
as examining surgeon for pensions, has a drug store,
and is also postmaster. He is a very busy man.

In politics, he is a republican, firm and active, and
has at times served as chairman of the county cen-
tral committee.

In religion, his views may be denominated liberal.

Dr. Davis is a Freemason, and was master of the
Lewis lodge for three or four years.

On the 27th of December, 1864, he chose for his
wife Miss Priscilla K. Shuman, of Millerstown, Penn-
sylvania, a cousin of Hon. Andrew Shuman, lieut.-
governor of Illinois ; they have three children.

Dr. Davis has a phlegmatic temperament, a fair
complexion and gray eyes ; he is five feet and eight
inches tall, is always good-natured and inclined to
be jovial.



AMONG the lawyers who early settled in Butler
/i. county, Iowa, is Charles A. L. Roszell, a man
of fine literary as well as legal attainments. He is
a son of Elisha Roszell, a farmer, living in Alabama,
Genesee county. New York, at the time the son was

born, on the 25th of March, 1833. His mother's
maiden name was Hannah Nethaway. The Roszells
were descendants of the Huguenots.

Charles received his academic education at the
Caryville Collegiate Seminary, Genesee county, and



the Clinton (Oneida county) Liberal Institute ; en-
tered the University of Virginia, at Charlotteville, in
1852, and received his diploma four years later. He
spent two years in the law department of Harvard
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; took his de-
gree of LL.B. in 1858; came directly to Iowa, and
after spending a short time at Independence, Bu-
chanan county, settled in Clarksville in 1859. Here
he has built up a fine reputation as an attorney, and
attended very closely to his profession, except during
three years' absence in his country's service.

In the summer of 1862, when the call was made
for six hundred thousand volunteers to aid in put-
ting down the rebellion, Mr. Roszell raised a com-
pany and went into the service as captain of com-
pany G, 3 2d Iowa Infantry. He was at the head of
his company during three years ; was in a dozen
battles or more; had forty of his men hit and thir-
teen killed in a single engagement, the battle of
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, yet was one of the few for-
tunate ones who were never wounded. He was
mustered out with his regiment in August, 1865.

Captain Roszell was elected to the general assem-
bly on the independent ticket in October, 1873, ^"d

in the session of 1874 served on the judiciary com-
mittee, and on the special committees to visit the
blind asylum at Council Bluffs, and to report on the
condition of the people in the district infested by

Captain Roszell has been a life-long democrat,
and was known during the civil strife as a war dem-
ocrat, no man in the Shellrock valley striving harder
than he to restore the Union.

In religious sentiment he is a Universalist.

On the 29th of December, 1867, Miss Mary Veber,
of Clarksville, became his wife, and they have one
child, a son, eight years old.

Captain Roszell has a fair complexion, dark hazel
eyes, a bilious temperament and a solid build. He
is five feet ten and a half inches tall, and weighs
one hundred and eighty-five pounds. His manners
are graceful; his disposition is social; his language
polished, and he is a pleasant converser. Before a
jury he excels in the elegance of his diction, the
strength of his logic and his persuasive rhetoric. He
started out in professional life with a thorough prep-
aration and a laudable ambition to succeed, and has
not been disappointed.



medical practitioner in Greene county, Iowa,
is the son of a physician and a native of Virginia, his
birth dating in Loudon county on the i6th of Febru-
ary, 1830. His parents were Henry C. and Mary Ann
Swartzfager, both of German descent. When George
reached the age of ten or eleven years the family
moved to Malta, Morgan county, Ohio, where the
son assisted his father in the office and attended a
district school. He began to read medicine at an
early age, taking a fancy for the science and being
encouraged by his father. When twenty-three years
of age he attended a course of medical lectures in
Saint Louis, Missouri; practiced several years in Des
Moines city and Boone county, Iowa, and settled in
Jefferson in August, 1865.

In the winter of 1860-61 Dr. Grimmell attended a
course of lectures in the medical department of the
State University at Keokuk, and received an honor-
ary degree ; attended a second course at the same
place, the institution now being known as the Col-

lege of Physicians and Surgeons, and graduated in
February, 1877. He seems ambitious to excel in the
medical science, is yet in his prime, and, should his
life be spared, will continue to progress. He evi-
dently believes in concentrating his talent and labor
and attending to his chosen profession with the ut-
most assiduity.

When the doctor first settled in Jefferson he had
some extensive and very hard rides, extending over
bridgeless streams, into the edges of Calhoun, Dal-
las, Carroll, Guthrie and Boone counties. The valley
of the North Coon river, and of other streams in this
part of the state, is now much more thickly settled,
the counties adjoining Greene are well supplied with
physicians, and Dr. Grimmell rarely goes out of the
county, except to attend to some difficult case of
surgery. He has all the rides he could desire in a
radius of eight or ten miles of his home. He started
out some twenty-five years ago with a pocket case,
saddle-bags, a single horse and no carriage; he now
drives blooded horses second to none in the county.



he has every convenience for expediting calls, and is
surrounded by all the comforts which a liberal com-
petency can afford. Financially, as well as profes-
sionally, he is a success.

In politics, Dr. Grimmell is a democrat, but in
local matters votes for the best man. He is a Royal
Arch Mason ; in religious connection, a Methodist.

He is a member of the Central District Medical
Association, which embraces six or seven counties in
the vicinity of Greene county. His standing in the
profession is excellent.

Dr. Grimmell has had two wives, the first being
Miss Annettie McCall, of Boone county; married on

30th of August, 1861. She died on the 3d of July,
1873, leaving five children, all yet living. His pres-
ent wife was Miss Hannah Scott, a native of Ontario,
Canada; married on the 16th of November, 1874.
She has one child living and has lost one.

Dr. Grimmell has been a director of the Greene
County Agricultural Society since it was organized ;
was one of the prime movers in getting it up, and is
very active in contributing to its efficiency. He has
quite a taste for fine stock, and keeps blooded horses
and hogs and the best strain of fowls. He is a valu-
able citizen of the county, infusing a spirit of lauda-
ble enterprise in more than one direction.



THE branch of the Greenleaf family of which
Dr. Greenleaf is a representative, and which
embraces a great many physicians, clergymen and
other professional men, sprung from Edmund Green-
leaf, a native of Devonshire, England, born about
1600, and dying in Boston, Massachusetts, in 167 1.
In his will he bequeathed money to all his children,
and to his grandchild, Sarah Winslow, he bequeathed
five pounds, adding, "if her father pay me the four
pounds he oweth me." When he married the sec-
ond time he declares that he kept his wife's grand-
child " three years to schooling, diet and apparel."
She had several children by her first husband, Mr.
Hill, and Mr. Greenleaf states that he sent her son,
Ignatius Hill, to the Barbadoes, "in mackerel, cider,
and bread and cheese, as much as come to twenty
pounds, and never received one penny of it." When
he married the widow Hill she brought him a silver
bowl, a silver porringer and a silver spoon, but she
lent or gave them to her son, James Hill, without
her husband's consent. Alas for Mr. Greenleaf!
he had not heard Mr. Weller's advice to his son to
" beware of vidders." Israel Greenleaf, great-grand-
son of Edmund, the common ancestor, and grand-
father of our subject, was the father of twenty-two

Daniel Clinton Greenleaf is a native of Switzer-
land county, Indiana, and was born in the town of
Bevay, on the 31st of March, 1823. His parents
were Stephen Greenleaf, a millwright, and Pauline
Anderson, both born near Boston, Massachusetts.
Stephen Greenleaf had a small farm, on which the

son spent most of his time until eighteen years of
age, pursuing his studies during the winters, as most
lads do under such circumstances. About this date
he began the study of medicine, for which he seemed
to have a natural relish. Before finishing his read-
ings, in 1845, he went to Texas; was there, with his
trunk well lined with medical books, when General
Taylor called for troops with which to fight the
Mexicans ; enlisted as a private, and served under
General Taylor for six months.

Returning northward, Mr. Greenleaf finished his
medical studies ; attended lectures in the medical de-
partment of the Missouri University at Saint Louis,
and graduated in 1850. He had practiced pre-
viously between one and two years in Saint Louis ;
on receiving his diploma removed to Bloomfield, and
with the exception of two more years spent in Saint