Constant R. Marks.

Past and present of Sioux City and Woodbury County, Iowa online

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3 1833 01084 8387





Associate Editor.


'A People that take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never

achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by

remote generations." — Macaulay.


The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company

Siography is the only true history."

— Emerson.



Sioux City and Woodbury County have had history in which the people may take just pride.
In securing the services of Bon. Constant R. Mirk in the compilation of the history, the pub-
lishers feel that they have secured the one man well qualified to do justice to the work, and
the citizens of the county and city may well be congratulated on the result.

The biographical sketches incorporated with the work are of special interest, our eorp of
writers having gone to the people, the men and women who have, by their enterprise and in-
dustry, brought this county to a rank second to none among those comprising this great and
noble state, and from their lips have the story of their life struggles. Xo more interesting or
instructive matter could he presented to an intelligent public. In this volume will be found
a record of many whose lives are worthy the imitation of coming generations. It tells how some,
commencing life in poverty, by industry and economy have accumulated wealth. It tells bow
others, with limited advantages for securing an education, have become learned men and wom-
en, with an influence extending throughout the length and breadth of the land. It tells of men
who have risen from the lower walks of life to eminence as statesmen, and whose names have
become famous. It tells of those in every walk in life who have striven to succeed, and records
how that success has usually crowned their efforts. It tells also of many, very many, who, not
seeking the applause of the world, have pursued the "even tenor of their way." content to have
it said of them, as Christ said of the woman performing a deed of mercy — "They have done
what they could." It tells bow many, in the pride and strength of young manhood, left the plow
and the anvil, the lawyer's office and the counting-room, left every trade and profession, and
at their country's call went forth valiantly "to do or die," and how through their efforts the
Union was restored and peace once more reigned in the land. In the life of every man and
of every woman is a lesson that should not be lost upon those who follow after.

Coming generations will appreciate this volume and preserve it as a sacred treasure, from
the fact that it contains so much that would never find its way into public records and which
would otherwise be inaccessible. Great care has been taken in the compilation of the work and
every opportunity possible given to those represented to insure correctness in what has been
written: and the publishers flatter themselves that they give to their readers a work with few-
errors of consequence. In addition to biographical sketches, portraits of a number of repre-
sentative citizens are given.

The faces of some, and biographical sketches of many, will be missed in this volume. For
this the publishers are not to blame. Not having a proper conception of the work, some refused
to give the information necessary to compile a sketch, while others were indifferent. Occasion-
ally some member of the family would oppose the enterprise, and on account of such opposition
the support of the interested one would be withheld. In a few instances men never could be
found, though repeated calls were made at their residence or place of business.

October. 1904. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.




Craig L. Wright, lawyer and a counselor of
the Republican party of Iowa, has been an in-
fluential factor in his profession and in public
life, especially in political circles, since he took
up his abode in early manhood in Sioux City
to rind in the growing west the coveted oppor-
tunities for business advancement and success.
Much greater credit is commonly awarded to
tin isc who have risen from the depths of pov-
erty through stern adversity to the highest place
of honor among men, than to those to whom for-
tune has been kinder, who were born of hon-
orable ancestry and reared in the lap of luxury.
The rare example of sons of great men rising
as high or higher than their fathers seems to
support the notion that there is in this country
a sort of hereditary bar to such distinction.
This class of voting men are not rated by their
associates, but in comparison with their dis-
tinguished ancestors, and often to bear an il-
lustrious name is to invite the shafts of jeal-
ousy and envy. As a western editor has ex-
pressed if: "If any section of a bouse still
honored rises to greatness he will have achieved
it. lie will not be born to it or rind it thrust
upon him, and lie musr be very great indeed to
overcome the disadvantage of standing in the
shadow of the colossal dead." And yet, an
honorable ancestry is a precious heritage, a
supreme help to the aspiring young man. Of
this.Crait;- L. Wright can boast and yet bis
position of eminence at the bar and in the pid>-
lic life of Iowa is due to his own inherent force

of character, bis strong purpose, bis unwearied
industry and the exercise of his native talents,
for he has won his prominence in a calling and
along lines where distinction must be gained
by individual merit and close personal applica-

The family of which he is a representative
was established in Pennsylvania in 1720 by an
emigrant from Wales, whose descendants lived
in the Keystone state for several generations.
John Wright, the grandfather of Craig L.
Wright, was born in Pennsylvania and was a
mason by trade. In early life he married Miss
Rachel Seaman and bis death occurred in
Bloomington, Indiana, in 1S25. His widow
survived him for many years and lived in Iowa
in its territorial days, her last years being
spent in Keosauqua, where her death occurred
in 1850. Hon. George G. Wright, the father
of Craig L. Wright, was born in Bloomington,
Monroe county, Indiana, March 4, 1820, and
died at the age of seventy-six years. His pre-
liminary education was supplemented by a
course of study in the University of In. liana,
in which he was graduated when in his twen-
tieth year, lie read law witb his brother Joseph
Wright, who afterward became governor of In-
diana. He resided in his native state until the
early '40s, when he came to Towa, settling in
Keosauqua, where he resided until the early
'60s. He then became a resident of Des
Moines, but prior to this time he had attained
prominence in connection with public affairs
in his adopted state. A lawyer by profession,


he was elected judge of the supreme court of
Iowa in 1855, and served upon the bench for
fifteen years or until 1870, and at different
times served as chief justice of the state. On
his retirement from the bench he was chosen
to the office of United States senator, where he
served for a term of six years and then declined
a second nomination. On the bench he won
marked distinction. A man of unimpeachable
character, of unusual intellectual endowment,
with a thorough knowledge of the law, patience,
urbanity and industry, he took to the bench
the very highest qualifications for this respon-
sible office in the state government, and his rec-
ord as a judge was in harmony with his record
as a man and lawyer, distinguished by unswerv-
ing integrity and a masterful grasp of every
problem which presented itself for solution.
He was the best known of the older statesmen
of Iowa and his influence was a potent element
in shaping the policy of the commonwealth, in
promoting its substantial development and in
upholding its intellectual and legal status. He
took a deep and commendable interest in Iowa's
progress along other lines outside the strict path
of the law and was president of the State Agri-
cultural Society for several terms, laboring
earnestly in its behalf in early days. His
early political allegiance was given to the Whig
party, and he was the Whig candidate for con-
gress when his district comprised the whole
southern half of the state. His election as chief
justice of Iowa occurred in January, 1855,
when he was not yet thirty-five years of age.

Judge Wright was married in Van Buren
county, Iowa, October 19, 1843, to Miss Han-
nah M. Dibble, daughter of Thomas and Ruth
(Gates) Dibble. Mrs. Wright was born in
Saratoga county, New York, near the cele-
brated springs, and came to Iowa with her
parents in 1S39. She was a representative of
an old New England family that was estab-
lished in Connecticut during the colonial epoch
of our country's history and from the Charter
Oak state representatives of the name removed

to New York early in the eighteenth century.
Her death occurred in June, 1898, when she
was seventy-four years of age. Judge and
Mrs. Wright have five children: Carroll, who
is an attorney for the Rock Island Railroad
Company at Des Moines ; Craig L., ; Mrs.
Frank H. Peavey, who died in Minneapolis
in August, 1903 ; Mrs. E. H. Stone, of Sioux
City, and George G., who is a broker in Des
Moines, Iowa.

Craig L. Wright was born in Keosauqua,
Iowa, December 5, 1S46, and attended the pub-
lic schools there until his fifteenth year, when
he entered the college department of the State
University, in which he was graduated four
years later. The following year he received
his diploma from the law department of the
same institution at Des Moines and he was a
law student in the office of Withvow & Wright
at Des Moines until his admission to the bar
in 186S. Immediately afterward he came to
Sioux City, believing that this new but rapidly
developing town afforded a good field for pro-
fessional success. He entered into partner-
ship with William L. Joy, under the firm style
of Joy & Wright, a relation that was main-
tained until 1884. During the succeeding three
years A. L. Hudson was connected with them
and at the end of that time Mr. Wright with-
drew and practiced alone until 1890, when the
law firm of 'Wright & Hubbard was formed,
his partner being Senator E. H. Hubbard. Be-
tween the years 1890 and 1S96 George A. Yeo-
man and T. W. Bevington were also associated
with Mr. Wright in law practice. In 1896 A.
F. Call was associated with them under the
firm style of Wright, Call & Hubbard, and
since the withdrawal of Mr. Hubbard from the
firm in 1902 the business style has been Wright
& Call. In the early history of the bar of Sioux
City its attorneys attended court at Vermilion,
Elk Point, Yankton, Cherokee and in Monona,
Harrison, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties,
Mr. Wright having considerable law business
at all these points. He has never engaged to


any great extent in the practice of criminal

law, but has devoted his energies to other de-
partments of jurisprudence and lias gained fame
as a counselor. He has given much of his time
to the preparation of law briefs for the appel-
late court and his been regarded as a deep and
thorough student of the law and one who has
comprehensive and accurate knowledge of many
of its branches. His practice has been of a
varied character in civil law, sometimes acting
as the counselor and advocate of corporations
and again as their opponent. During the days
of Sioux City's rapid growth, when it was
undergoing what is known in modern parlance
as a "boom," Mr. Wright was the counselor
who assisted in organizing the corporations
which did business here, probably doing more of
such legal work than any other lawyer. Among
the many which, as attorney, Mr. Wright
organized were the old Sioux City Cable Rail-
road Company that built its line on Jackson
street, the elevated road operated under the
name of the Sioux City Rapid Transit Com-
pany, the Union Stockyards Company, the
Sioux City & Northern Railroad Company,
the Terminal Railroad & Warehouse Company,
the Pacific Short Line, and the Northern Land
Company. He has ever had a distinctively
representative clientage. He is felicitous and
clear in argument, thoroughly in earnest, full
of the vigor of conviction, never abusive of ad-
versaries, imbued with highest courtesy and
yet one of the most able practitioners at the
Iowa bar, an opponent whom the weaker lawyer
dreads to meet and whom the stronger repre-
sentative of the profession regards as a foe for
whom he must put forth his best preparation.
In politics Mr. Wright has held much the
same position that he has held in the law. He
has been the manager and adviser and while
his plans have shaped many campaigns and he
has always been closely identified with politics,
laboring earnestly and unceasingly for the in-
terests of his friends, he has never sought or de-
sired political honors or emoluments for him-

self. The only political position he has ever
tilled was thai of city attorney, in which office
ho served in L870 and 1ST I.

In 1ST:) Mr. Wright was married to Miss
Kate P. Van Dyke, the wedding being cele-
brated at Keokuk. Two children have been
born unto them: Wilfred L., who is now man-
ager of the New York office of the Bethlehem
Steel Works of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ; and
Mary L., who is now a student in an eastern
college. In business circles and in public life
Mr. Wright is rather austere in manner, there
being about him a dignity which forbids fa-
miliar approach. In private life, however, he
is described as a most companionable gentle-
man, genial, society-loving and a prince of
story tellers. His attention from early man-
hood, however, has been directed to his pro-
fession and he is at home in all departments
of the law, from the minutiae in practice to
the greater topic wherein are involved the con-
sideration of the ethics and philosophy of juris-
prudence and the higher concern of public
policy, but he is not learned in the law alone,
for he has studied long and carefully the sub-
jects that are to the statesman and the man of
affairs of the greatest import — the questions of
finance, political economy, sociology — and has
kept abreast of the best thinking men of the


Lewis B. Jenness, the popular postmaster of
Danbury and editor and proprietor of The Dan-
bury Review, is a native of this section of Iowa,
his birth having occurred in Monona county on
the 23d of December, 1*71. He is a son of
M. J. P. and Ra.-hel (Wilcox) Jenness. For
forty years the father has engaged in auction-
eering ami lias cried more sales than any other

The elementary education of Lewis B. Jen-
ness was obtained in the common schools near



his boyhood home and was supplemented by a
normal course. On the 30th of September,
1894, Mr. Jenness was united in marriage to
Miss Maud C. Adams, a native of Vermont,
and they have become the parents of three chil-
dren, two sons and one daughter, namely:
Joyce, born July 6, 1896; John C, born Janu-
ary 28, 1899 ; and Randolph, born November
16, 1901.

Fraternally Mr. Jenness is a member of the
Masonic order, being made a Mason in 1901,
and also belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge and
encampment. In politics he is an ardent Re-
publican and has taken quite an active interest
in public affairs. On the 1st of July, 1901, he
was appointed postmaster of Danbury, which
office is of the fourth class, and he has since
acceptably filled that position. He is pro-
gressive and public-spirited and both personally
and through the columns of his paper does all
in his power to advance the interests of his town
and county.


William M. Stevens, the superintendent of
the public schools of Sioux City, has for a num-
ber of years been identified with educational
interests here and to his zeal, enterprise and
ability is largely attributable the high stand-
ing of the schools at the present day. Education
is the basis of industrial success, for without
the hand disciplined to execute and the mind
trained to plan and direct the industrial or-
ganization the modern commonwealth could
not exist. The state recognizes this not only in
its watchfid care and endowment of its common
schools, but in the higher institutions of learn
ing that have been established for both mental
and manual culture, and there is no greater
work to which the individual may direct his
labors than that of teaching, whether it be
from the schoolroom, the pulpit or the lecture

platform. The career of Professor Stevens as
an educator has been one of continuous and
consecutive advancement and each forward step
has opened to him a wider field of labor and
broader scope for the exercise of his native
talents and acquired ability.

Professor Stevens was born in the town of
Sutton, New Hampshire, November 27, 1852,
and at an early age he entered the preparatory
department of the New London Literary &
Scientific Institution, where on the comple-
tion of a regular course he was graduated with
valedictorian honors in the class of 1874. That
was then one of the best educational institu-
tions of New England. He thoroughly pre-
pared himself for his life work of teaching by
studying with such well known educators as
Dr. Harris, Dr. G. Stanley Hall, Madam
Krause, Colonel F. A¥. Parker and others who
have won note in the field of educational labor.
While pursuing his own course he engaged in
teaching in graded schools during the winter
months. Following the completion of his col-
lege work he pursued special courses in the sci-
ences at the School of Technology in Boston,
studying philosophy under Dr. W. T. Harris,
the history of education and psychology under
Dr. G. Stanley Hall and kindergarten methods
under Madam Krause, of New York. He also
studied pedagogy and psychology under Colonel
Parker, of Chicago. Since that time he has
filled various positions as principal of large
grammar schools and high schools and each
change that he has made has indicated promo-
tion and advancement. In the fall of 1874 he
was elected principal of the high school of Han-
cock, New Hampshire, and superintendent of
the town schools and on his retirement from
that position a local paper commented as fol-
lows : "We regret to say our highly respected
principal, W. M. Stevens, has been called to
Manchester, New Hampshire, as the principal
of the West Manchester schools." His success
during the five years in which he filled the lat-




ter position is bost told in the words of the
Manchester Union: "We were shown to the
different rooms and in each the brightest look-
ing pupils were seen, their smiling faces at-
testing the popularity of their principal, \Y.
M. Stevens, who, we are sorry to say, is about
to enter a much larger field of educational work
in Quincy, Massachusetts." Concerning his
work in the latter place, report for 1882 or 1883
contains the following: "Mr. Stevens has ac-
cepted a position in Somerville, Massachusetts,
at an advance of sixty per cent on his present
salary. His work in Quincy has been highly
acceptable and wholly satisfactory to all con-
nected with the schools and to the citizens."
At each transition stage in his career Professor
Stevens has taken up his work with renewed
courage, zeal and energy, and often the difficul-
ties of his different positions have seemed
to serve as an impetus for renewed ef-
fort. On leaving Somerville, he accej^ted
the superintendency of the schools on
Staten Island, Xew York, where again he
was given a largely increased salary and again
he won the favorable comment of the press, the
Staten Island Star saying: "Superintendent
W. M. Stevens is beyond all doubt the man
for the place. Understanding thoroughly the
system he was brought here to introduce, his
eminent executive ability enables him to dem-
onstrate every department of school work effi-
ciently and impartially."

Business interests brought Professor Stevens
to Sioux City in 1886 and here he has been
well known as a factor in educational circles
and his efforts have been far reaching and bene-
ficial in the promotion of the school interests.
In 1889 he was chosen a member of the board
of directors of the city schools ami acted in
that capacity until 1892. He served as princi-
pal of the Armstrong school for four years and
was then principal of the Hopkins and Smith
schools for three years, while in January, 1901,
he entered upon the duties of superintendent of

the Sioux City public schools, in which capacity
he has since been retained.

Professor Stevens was married .Inly 22,
1S7S, to Miss Fannie Townsend, a daughter of
Samuel Townsend, of Now Hampshire, who i>
a farmer and stock-raiser. They have three
children: Clyde, Ruth and Earl, who are at-
tending the public schools of Sioux < 'ity, Clyde
being now a student in the high school. Pro-
fessor Stevens ami his wife hold membership in
the Unitarian church ami he has membership
relations with the Masonic fraternity, the An-
cient Order of United Workmen, the Modern
Brotherhood and the Fraternal Union. His
political allegiance has been given to the Re-
publican party and he feels a public-spirited
interest in the welfare and progress of city,
state and nation. In the line of his profession
he is connected with the National Teachers'
Association and he is a member of the executive
council of the Iowa State Teachers' Associa-
tion. He has fully kept in touch with the best
thinking men of the age in the line of his pro-
fession and' also along lines of thought touch-
ing the general interests of society. He is a
recognized factor in the higher social circles in
Sioux City and is a man of broad culture and
scholarly attainments who has, moreover, an
abiding charity and deep sympathy that have
gained him the respect and confidence of his
fellow men.


In the year 1886 James Eaynatn became a
resident of Woodbury county and is now en-
gaged in general farming on section 22. Union
township, where he owns and operates eighty
acres of land, pleasantly located within two
miles of Correctionville. Among the adopted
sons of Iowa that England has furnished to the
new world he is numbered, his birth having
occurred in Monmouthshire on the loth of
June, 1S:>7. He spent the first fifteen years of



his life in his native land and during that time
enjoyed good educational privileges. In 1872,
however, he hade adieu to friends and native
country and with an uncle came to America,
locating in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He there
began working in a foundry, in which he was
employed for two years, after which he turned
his attention to farm work. Later he was en-
gaged in the manufacture of grain cradles and
also continued as a farm laborer, being in the
employ of one man for seven years. He came
to Iowa in the spring of 1882, locating first in
Ida county, where he secured a tract of land,
upon which he began farming on his own ac-
count. He was married in that county and
when three years had passed he removed to
Woodbury county and operated a rented farm
for two years. He located where he now resides
in 1888, broke the fields, fenced the place,
erected buildings and made many other impor-
tant improvements. His farm at first com-
prised but forty acres, but later he added to
this tract and now has a good place of eighty
acres. Pie also farms another tract of one hun-
dred and twenty acres and as an agriculturist
he is well known because of his practical and
progressive methods. He has planted fruit
and shade trees, has added many modern
equipments, and in addition to the production
of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate
he is engaged in the raising of stock, and both
branches of his business are proving pi-ofitable.
I71 Ida county, Iowa, in March, 1883, Mr.
Baynam was united in marriage to Miss Mag-
dalena Pierce, a native of Ireland, born in
County Fermanagh. There her girlhood days
were passed and when a young lady she made
the voyage to the new world and took up her
abode in Ida county, this state. Two children
have been born of this marriage, John J. and
Emma Margaret, The parents attend services
at the Methodist Episcopal church but arc not
identified with any religious organization
through membership relations. He exercises

Online LibraryConstant R. MarksPast and present of Sioux City and Woodbury County, Iowa → online text (page 1 of 74)