Homer Howard Field.

History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) online

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assigned to duty at Columbus, Kentucky, in command of the Central Divi-
sion, Army of the Tennessee, where his previous experience as a railroad
builder was brought into requisition in the reconstruction of the Mobile &
Ohio Railroad, which had been destroyed by the rebels and was much needed
in carrying supplies to the army. The road lay through a long stretch of
country where every mile had to be watched and every stream and bridge
guarded from guerrillas, but by the 26th of June, 1862, General Dodge had
trains running from Columbus to Corinth, Mississippi.

On the 15th of November, 1862, General Grant appointed General
Dodge to command of the Second Division, Army of the Tennessee, and
soon after to the district of Corinth, a position which required all kinds of
business talent, as he discharged his duties there of engineer, railroad mana-
ger, chief of the corps of observation, etc. At the same time both Grant's
army at Corinth and Rosecrans' army at Chattanooga relied on him for all
information as to the movements of the enemy. He built all railroads needed
in his department and destroyed those that could be of any use to the enemy.
He intercepted and defeated all raiding parties and quite effectually put
a stop to guerrilla warfare. At the same time he was of great assistance to


Colonel Straite and other raiding parties of the Northern army, one of
which under his command destroyed many million dollars' worth of sup-
plies for Bragg's army.

About this time President Lincoln called General Dodge to Washington
to consult with him about the location of the eastern terminus of the Union
Pacific Railroad, the result of which it was located at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In the campaigns of 1863 he defeated the rebel forces under Generals
Forrest, Roady, Ferguson and others and took a prominent part in the
movement against Grenada, Mississippi, that resulted in capturing fifty-five loco-
motives and one thousand cars — a valuable equipment for the Northern
army. He received appreciative recognition from General Grant on the
5th of July, 1863, the day after the fall of Vicksburg, being first on his
recommendations for promotion to rank of major-general and in appoint-
ment to the command of the left wing of the Sixteenth Army Corps, with
headquarters at Corinth. When General Grant succeeded General Rosecrans,
General Dodge's command was ordered to move with General Sherman to
Chattanooga, but before the latter reached Chattanooga, General Grant ordered
him to halt and rebuild the railroad from Decatur to Nashville, a work which
he accomplished in forty days.

At the opening of the Atlanta campaign he joined General Sherman
at Chattanooga on May 4, 1864, in command of the Sixteenth Army Corps
in the field and was entrusted with the advance of the Army of the Tennessee
in its famous flank movement, taking Ships Gap at midnight on the 5th of
May and Snake Creek Gap on the 8th of May, reaching Johnson's rear at
Resaca and forcing him to give up his almost impregnable position at Dal-
ton, Georgia.

General Dodge was successful in many brilliant engagements and espe-
cially distinguished himself in the greatest and most decisive battle of the
Atlanta campaign, July 22, 1864, in first meeting and checking and finally
defeating, with the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, General Hood's desperate
and able movement to the rear of the Army of the Tennessee. While stand-
ing in a trench before Atlanta he was severely wounded in the head, August
19, 1864, and was sent north to recover. During his convalescence he visited
General Grant at City Point, Virginia, and saw the splendid armies of the
Potomac and James. On the restoration of his health he was assigned in
November to the command of the Department and Army of the Missouri.
The western country was overrun by guerrillas, and the army was in bad
condition. General Dodge proceeded at once to restore order, to introduce
discipline and demand obedience, and also quelled the general Indian out-
break which then threatened along the entire frontier, and opened the
overland mail routes to Denver, Salt Lake and California, which had been
closed three months by the Indians, at the same time making a vigorous war
on the guerrillas. General Jefferson Thompson's command, with eight thou-
sand officers and men, surrendered to him in Arkansas. At the close of the
war General Dodge's command was made to include all the Indian country
west of the Missouri river and north of Indian Territory, and for a year
thereafter he was in command of the Indian campaigns reaching from the


Arkansas to the Yellowstone rivers. Many Indian battles were fought by
his troops, which finally brought about a temporary peace with all the
plains tribes.

Feeling that his country no longer needed his aid, General Dodge
tendered his resignation, which was reluctantly accepted, May 30, 1866. He
had been placed by General Grant at the head of the list of major-generals
of volunteers whose services he desired to retain with that rank in the Regular.

Upon his retirement General Dodge directed his energies into other chan-
nels of usefulness. Undoubtedly he could have attained high political honors
had his ambition been in that direction. He was elected on the republican
ticket to represent his district in congress, his nomination coming to him
entirely unsolicited. He did not desire political preferment, but accepted
for one term and proved an able working member of the house, rendering
valuable aid in putting the army on a peace footing and also in solving the
questions pertaining to internal improvement in the west, including the
building of the transcontinental railway lines. He had already gained dis-
tinction as a civil engineer in railway building and his opinions were
regarded as most valuable. While in congress General Dodge continued his
work as chief engineer of the Union Pacific, which position he had accepted
upon leaving the army. This great transcontinental line owes its existence
largely to him. He had faith in its possibilities and with wonderful presc-
ience recognized what its worth might be to the country. Obstacles con-
fronted him on every hand and at one time when it appeared the entire
plan would fall through, General Dodge w-ent to New York and so demon-
strated the feasibility of the scheme to the financiers that the work was
undertaken with new heart and courage. Nearly every mile of the road had
to be built under military protection because of the hostile red men who
sacrificed to their blood-thirstiness many of the best men employed on the
work. The materials and supplies had to be brought from the east and
hauled hundreds of miles from the end of the track over wagon roads in
the poorest condition and the difficulties were almost insurmountable, but
the chief engineer possessed a faith and courage that knew no defeat. He
believed that his plan was the most practical solution of the question and
though criticisms were heaped upon him he had the satisfaction of complet-
ing his line and winning the approval of the government commissioners
appointed to examine it and of the engineers who made an examination for
the purpose of making changes that would better the line. The great under-
taking was completed May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah, ten hundred
and eighty-six miles from the starting point on the Missouri river, and it
was built in three years, five hundred and fifty-five miles of it being built
in one year, a feat that has not been equaled up to this time. This was
but the beginning of his great work as a railroad builder. In 1871 he was
chief engineer of and built the Texas & Pacific Railway from Shreveport to
Dallas, and Marshall to Sherman ; also located the line from San Diego, Cali-
fornia, constructing it from San Diego eastward. From 1880 until 1885 he
was engaged on the construction of the Texas & Pacific Railway from Fort
Worth to El Paso; the New Orleans & Pacific Railroad from Shreveport to


New Orleans; the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway; the International &
Great Northern Railway; the Mexican Oriental Railway in Mexico, and the
Fort Worth & Denver City Railway. From 1886 until 1890 he was engaged
on the construction of the Denver, Texas & Fort Worth, the Denver, Texas
& Gulf and other railway lines, and in 1894 he was chosen president of the
Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railroad. The railroad had been justly styled
the chief promoter of civilization and in this connection General Dodge,
has done a great work for his country in opening up the vast west with all
of its natural resources and possibilities. From 1874 until 1900 he spent a
portion of the time abroad, where his advice was sought by the builders
of the great Russian transcontinental line from St. Petersburg through Siberia
to the Pacific ocean. He was also consulted on other foreign enterprises and
was asked to take charge of a system of internal improvements in China but
the project failed at first on account of the death of Anson Burlingame,
former United States minister to China, who had this work in charge, and
when the work was undertaken again in 1886, although General Dodge was
once more asked to go to China in connection therewith, he found himself
unable to do so.

General Dodge since he was nineteen years old has been continuously
and actively connected with the railroad interests of the United States and
has taken an active part in all the questions affecting those interests. He
was one of the first to appreciate the necessity of national supervision of
the internal improvements of the country, and supported the president and
congress in the passage of all the national laws which have now proved so
beneficial to the companies ami the country, and at tbis time, 1907, is con-
nected with several railroads, more intimately the Colorado & Southern,
which line he commenced building in 1880. and which now reaches from
Galveston, TexaSj to Orin Junction, Wyoming, and needs only three hun-
dred and fifty miles to build to connect with the Lines north of the Yellow-
stone river, which will give a continuous line from Galveston to Edmonton,
Canada, a distance as far north and south along the east base of the Rocky
mountains as it is east and west from the Atlantic to the Pacific along the
transcontinental lines, and it has been one of the ambitions of his life to see
this north and south connection completed.

A republican from the organization of the party, General Dodge was
delegate-at-large from Iowa to the national conventions at Philadelphia, Chi-
cago and Cincinnati and has done much effective campaign work. His posi-
tion is never an equivocal one and he has a state-man's grasp of affairs,
studying closely the great problems which have confronted the country in
all of the campaigns since the election of Abraham Lincoln. That General
Dodge has never sought political honors or had aspirations in that direction
is indicated by the fact that in September, 1869, he declined an appoint-
ment to the position of secretary of war by General Grant and in January,
1876, the election of United States senator from Iowa. Civic and military
honors have been conferred upon him. The state of Iowa has honored him
by placing his equestrian statue upon the soldiers' monument at the state
capitol, and his statue in bold relief is upon the pedestal of the General John


A. Logan monument and in bas relief upon the pedestal of the statue of
General William T. Sherman in our national capital.

General Dodge's relations with his commanding officers during the Civil
war were very close. General Grant in his memoirs pays him the highest
tribute and General O. 0. Howard gives his relations with General Sherman

"General G. M. Dodge was Sherman's special favorite on account of his
work with the bridge making and railway construction on marches or in
battles. Dodge's capabilities and personality alike drew Sherman to him.
I never knew an officer who on all occasions could talk so freely and frankly
to Sherman as Dodge. One good reason for this was that Dodge's courage
was always calm and his equanimity contagious, no matter how great or
trying the disturbing cause."

President Roosevelt stated when the Panama Canal- was to be constructed
that if General Dodge was ten years younger he would be given the entire
control of the work, and in his speech at Indianapolis paid this tribute to
him :

"Iowa did its share in the work of building railroads when the business
was one that demanded men of the utmost daring and resourcefulness; men
like that gallant soldier and real captain of industry, Grenville M. Dodge;
men who ran risks and performed feats for which it was difficult to make
reward too high; men who staked everything on the chances of a business
which today happily involves no such hazards."

He has been deeply interested in the various military organizations which
are the outgrowth of the Civil war. lie assisted in founding the Loyal
Legion, was commander of the New York commandery for two years and
is now, 1907, commander-in-chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion
of the United States. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic,
and was elected president of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee upon
the death of General Sherman. He is vice-president of the Grant Monu-
ment Association and in 1897 was chosen as grand marshal at the inaugura-
tion of the tomb of his old-time friend and comrade, General Grant. He
is likewise president of the Grant Birthday Association, both of these societies
being New York Organizations. In April, 1898, he was appointed major
general of the United States volunteers of the Spanish war and in September
of the same year he was made president of the commission appointed by
President McKinley to investigate the conduct of the war department in its
relations to the war with Spain. He is a member of the Union League, the
Army and Navy Clubs of New York, and also of the National Geographical So-
ciety. He likewise holds membership in the Benevolent Protective Order of
Elks and in the Odd Fellows of Council Bluffs. He is president of the Nor-
wich University Alumni Association and the Iowa Society of New York.

General Dodge's career has been one succession of victories — victories
achieved because he has always had the courage of his convictions, has felt
that his position has been a correct one and because he has had the determina-
tion and loyalty to continue in the conflict until he brought it to a success-
ful termination. Such has been his course in business as well as in military


life. His projects have been so vast and of such far-reaching effect that they
have naturally awakened the opposition of many conservative men and of
those who for selfish, personal reasons have championed a different course.
Such opposition has been to him the call to battle, and in no instance of his en-
tire life has he ever been known to lower his colors or swerve in his loyalty.
No one has ever questioned the honesty of his intent or purpose and he stands
today among the great men of the nation by reason of the fact that his life has
been one of signal usefulness to his fellowmen.


Walter I. Smith, a prominent lawyer of Council Bluffs, was born in
this city on the 10th of July, 1862, a son of George Francis and Sarah H.
(Forrest) Smith, early settlers of Council Bluffs, where the father carried on
business as a contractor and builder for many years. During his boyhood
Walter I. Smith attended the public schools of this city, graduating from the
Council Bluffs high school in 1878, and for a part of the following year he was
a student at Park College in Missouri. He then taught school in Potta-
wattamie county from the spring of 1880 until the summer of 1881, when he
commenced the study of law in the office of Colonel D. B. Dailey and was
admitted to the bar in December, 1882. He began practice at once in partner-
ship with his former preceptor, Colonel Dailey, and this connection con-
tinued until May, 1885, after which he was alone for two years. In 1887 he
formed a partnership with Hon. J. E. F. McGee, a relation that was maintained
until Mr. McGee was elected superior judge of Council Bluffs in the spring
of 1890.

In July, 1890, he was united in marriage to Miss Effie Marie Moon, and
to them have been born four children, all of whom are still living, namely:
Howard Forrest, Barbara, Grace Marian and Malcolm Alan. Mr. Smith is
a member of various fraternal organizations. He has taken all of the York
rite degrees of Masonry; is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; and a member of
the Order of the Eastern Star; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; the
Knights of Pythias: the Royal Arcanum; the Ancient Order of United Work-
men; the Modern Woodmen of America: and the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks.

Recognizing his worth and ability. Mr. Smith has been called to various
official positions of honor and trust. He was elected judge of the fifteenth
judicial district of Iowa, composed of the counties of Shelby, Audubon, Pot-
tawattamie, Cass, Montgomery, Mills, Fremont and Page, to which Harrison
was subsequently added. He was re-elected in 1894 and 1898, but resigned
on the 1st of September, 1900, to accept the republican nomination for con-
gress in the ninth district of Iowa, composed of Harrison, Shelby, Audubon,
Guthrie, Pottawattamie. Cass, Adair, Mills and Montgomery counties.. He
was elected to fill a vacancy in the fifty-sixth congress and was elected a
member of the fifty-seventh, fifty-eighth, fifty-ninth and sixtieth congress.


He has served on the committee to investigate hazing at the West Point Mili-
tary Academy; also the committee on banking and currency; on elections;
and is now in 1907 a member of the committee on appropriations.

C. H. READ, D. D. S.

Dr. C. H. Read, an active and successful member of the dental profes-
sion, practicing in Avoca, where he is also filling the position of postmaster,
was born in Ogden, Iowa, on the 20th of August, 1875. His parents were
Herbert R. and Cora (Ring) Read. The father was born in Utica, New
York, in 1842, and when eight years of age accompanied his parents on their
removal to Wales, that state, where he was reared, his early education being
supplemented by a course of study in the normal school. After winning
a state certificate he began his career as a teacher and followed that profes-
sion for a number of years. He afterward spent some time as a commercial
traveler and later engaged in mercantile business on his own account in
partnership with his brother, Elgene Read, in Wales, New York. After carry-
ing on the store for some time he sold his interest to his brother in 1872 and
came to Iowa, settling near Ogden, where he engaged in farming. He made
purchase of three hundred and twenty acres of good land, which he culti-
vated and improved, his time and energies being devoted to active farm labor
for fourteen years. In 1886 he took up his abode in Ogden, where he estab-
lished a lumber business, conducting the same with goodly success until
1900, when he retired from active commercial. life. Removing to Avoca, he
purchased a small farm of forty acres adjoining the town and has since given
his time here to the raising of Duroc Jersey hogs. This has proven a very
successful venture, as have his other business interests in life, and as the
years have gone by his labors have enabled him to enjoy many of the com-
forts and some of life's luxuries. A stalwart republican in politics, he has
never been an aspirant for public honors nor office, yet has held some minor
positions in the township, to which he has been called by his fellow townsmen,
while in the local councils of his party his opinions have proved an influ-
encing factor. An earnest and consistent Christian gentleman, he is an active
worker in the Methodist Episcopal church and for many years was super-
intendent of the Sunday school. For a long period he was also a member of
the official board of the church and his labors have been far-reaching and
effective in promoting its welfare and growth. Unto him and his wife have
been born three sons: Professor William B. Read, who fills the chair of
mathematics in Simpson College at Indian ola, Iowa; C. H., of this review;
and Dr. Ervin C. Read, a practicing dentist of Oakland, this county.

Dr. Read, of Avoca, was reared under the parental roof and in the public
schools of Ogden acquired his early education, which was supplemented by
study in Simpson College in the spring of 1893. He afterward attended the
World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and from that city went east to
Buffalo, New York, where he was employed in the mercantile store of his


uncle, E. W. Read & Company, for one year. On the expiration of that period
he returned to his native state and took up the study of dentistry, entering
the dental department of the University of Iowa in the fall of 1894. In the
fall of 1895 he became a student in the University of Pennsylvania at Phil-
adelphia, where he spent one term, after which he again came to Iowa and
for three years was engaged in the practice of his profession in Ogden. In
order to further perfect himself in his chosen field of labor, in the fall of
1899 he once more entered college as a student in the Northwestern Univer-
sity of Chicago, from which he was graduated in the class of 1900. He then
came to Avoca and on the 14th of May of that year opened his office for the'
practice of his profession. His skill soon gained him an extensive practice
and he has since conducted a business which is constantly growing in volume
and importance. His work is of a satisfactory character and he continued
in active charge thereof until his appointment to the position of postmaster
in September, 1906. Assuming the duties of this position, he placed his
office in charge of his cousin. Dr. H. E. Read.

On the 5th of January. 1898, Dr. C. H. Read was married to Miss Lilly
S. Williams, of Ogden, Iowa, and onto them have been born two children,
Cora Lilly and Florence Charlotte. Dr. Read is a republican and for two
years has served as clerk of Knox township, Pottawattamie county. He be-
longs to Mount Nebo lodge, No. 297, A. F. & A. M.. served for two years
as it- master, and in 1906 was junior grand deacon of the grand lodge of Iowa.
He likewise affiliates with Raboni chapter, R. A. M.. and with the Eastern
Star, of which lie lias boon worthy patron. He is also an Odd Fellow, holding
membership in Avoca lodge. No. J20. He is regarded as one of the repre-
sentative citizens of Avoca and in the position of postmaster is making a
record equally creditable with that which he has made as a member of the
dental fraternity


Dr. Donald Macrae. St., who passed away on the 14th of August, 1907,
- the most popular as well as one of the oldest physicians of Council
Bluffs, having been engaged in practice here for over forty years. His
early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he was born in Ross-
shire, Scotland, on the 3d of October, 1839. his parents being Rev. Donald
and Jessie (Russell) Macrae. His father was a minister of the Free church
of Scotland, and his maternal grandfather, Rev. James Russell, was also a
clergyman, living at Gairloch, Ross-shire, Scotland. The Doctor is survived
by three brothers and one sister: James R., of Council Bluffs; Rev. John
S of Melbourne, Australia; F. A., of London. England; and Mrs. Mary
Stewart, of Melbourne. Australia.

Dr. Macrae was reared and educated in his native land and was a
student at the University of Edinburgh, graduating from the medical de-
partment of that noted school in August, 1861. For a year and a half

lOu^JiMJ UJj^eyr&Jly




thereafter he was engaged in practice at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
and then accepted a position as surgeon for the Cunard Steamship Com-
pany, crossing the ocean seventy-five times during the four years spent in
their service.

On his last trip the Doctor landed in New York and was married in
that city in 1867 to Miss Charlotte Douchette, a native of Canada and a
daughter of Joseph Douchette, who was surveyor general of Canada and
died in 1881 at the age of eighty-six years. Dr. and Mrs. Macrae had one

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 28 of 59)