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Homer Howard Field.

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

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son, Donald, Jr., who was born January 24, 1870, and is now successfully
engaged in the practice of medicine in Council Bluffs. The wife and
mother died on the 28th of March, 1904.

It was in March, 1867, that Dr. Macrae of this review took up his resi-
dence in Council Bluffs and opened an office. He was not long in building
up a good practice, which steadily increased as the years passed by, and he
was always regarded as one of the most popular and successful physicians
of his adopted city. The well established family physician obtains an in-
fluence in any community which is more far-reaching than that of any man
sustaining other relations to the public. Through his long practice Dr.
Macrae became widely known and was universally respected and esteemed.
For several years he was professor of the principles and practice of medi-
cine in the Omaha Medical College and also dean of the faculty, and was
president of the Iowa State Medical Society and of the Missouri Valley Medi-
cal Society. At the meeting of the International Medical Congress held
at Washington, D. O, he was vice president of the surgical section, and these
facts plainly indicate his standing with his professional brethren. Frater-
nally he was a member of the Elks, the Masons and the Woodmen of the
World, and religiously was connected with the Presbyterian church, while
his wife was a member of the Episcopal church. His political support was
given the democratic party, but he never took a very active part in public
affairs, though he served on the school board and as mayor of Council Bluffs
to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.



SOREN JENSEN MYRTUE.

Soren Jensen Myrtue, architect and building contractor, occupies a prom-
inent position in business circles of the city and his success is the public
acknowledgment of his skill and ability in his chosen field of labor. He was
born at Wester Hjermitslev, in the extreme northern part of Denmark. His
father, Jens C. Sorensen Myrtue, born in the same place, September 13, 1826,
still lives in his native country and has devoted his life to farming. The
mother, Karen Marie (Jensen) Myrtue, was born at Wester Hjermitslev,
June 23, 1832, and died in that country in June, 1881.

In the public schools of his native country Soren J. Myrtue pursued his
preliminary education and afterward took a three years' course in a technical
school in Denmark, completing courses in architecture and construction,



264 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

thus becoming well trained for his life work. Coming to America he settled
in Council Bluffs, February 12, 1890, and turned his attention to the business
in which he is now engaged. He is widely known and has gained a most
enviable reputation as an architect and contracting builder, and since 1894
he has been associated with his brother, J. J. Myrtue, their place of business
being No. 30 South Fourth street. They employ on an average twenty men,
with a payroll of three hundred and fifty dollars a week, their business having
constantly increased in volume and importance until it is scarcely equalled by
any in their line in the city. Many of the fine structures of the city are
monuments to their skill and handiwork, and the firm bears an unassailable
reputation for fidelity and reliability.

On the 22d of July, 1904, Mr. Myrtue was united in marriage to Miss
Ella Smith, of Council Bluffs, who was born near Macomb, Illinois, in 1867.
Her father died when she was quite young and her mother died in Council
Bluffs, in September, 1906. Both Mr. and Mrs. Myrtue have a wide acquaint-
ance and the friendship of many with whom they have been brought in
contact. He is a member of the Danish Brotherhood and is a stockholder in
the building owned by that society. He lives at No. 384 Harrison street,
where he owns a pleasant residence, and in addition to his business property
he has an interest in several properties elsewhere in the city, from which
he derives a good income. Throughout his life he has made good use of his
opportunities, seeking in the field of unremitting diligence the chance for
advancement, and his business rectitude, combined with his technical skill
and practical methods, has brought him a goodly measure of prosperity.



JOHN BENO.



John Beno, deceased, was for many years prominently identified with the
business interests of Council Bluffs, being at the head of the largest department
store in the city. His early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he
was born in Alsace, France, now a part of Germany, January 11, 1843, but
was only seven years of age when he was brought to this country by his
parents. The mother, however, died soon after coming to America.

The family home being established in St. Louis, the son there worked at
anything he could find to do for about six years. He then spent three years in
St. Joseph, Missouri, where be was also variously employed, and in 1861 came
to Council Bluffs. During tlie first year after his arrival here he made his home
with a brother, who removed from the city on the expiration of that time and
he then went to work for Mrs. W. D. Turner, at whose home he stayed. He
had only been able to attend school at short intervals up to this time, and
feeling the need of a better education, he entered night school. Through per-
sistent and untiring effort he acquired a good practical education, which well
fitted him for a business career in later years. In 1863 Mr. Beno made his
home with H. C. McNutt and worked in a local express office. Later he entered
the store of Johnson, Spratlan & Company, as salesman, and remained with



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 265

that firm until July, 1866. For a short time he was in the employ of Fore-
man & Warner. The former eventually withdrew his interests from the
firm and Mr. Beno resigned his position and formed a partnership with
Mr. Foreman, conducting business under the firm style of Foreman & Beno.
In August, 1879, Mr. Beno withdrew from the business and went to Port-
land, Oregon, to visit his father, brothers and sisters, but in the fall of 1880
he returned to Council Bluffs and opened a general store at No. 18 Main
street and 17 Pearl street. Success attended his efforts from the start and
to meet the growing demands of his trade he was obliged to move to larger
quarters opposite the Grand Hotel, where he occupied five adjoining stores,
three stories in height. In 1900 he purchased the building erected by
Eiseman & Company, which is still occupied by his nephew T s, who are hia
successors in business. In 1901 the business was incorporated under the
name of The John Beno Company and in 1902 Mr. Beno sold his interest
to his nephews, the business being conducted under the original firm style.
Of excellent business ability and sound judgment, Mr. Beno succeeded in
establishing the largest department store in this section of the state, carry-
ing an extensive stock of dry goods, clothing, millinery, etc., for which he
found a ready market. Owing to ill health he retired from the business
about four years prior to his death, but it is still carried on under his name,
the present directors being Adolph F. Beno, Charles A. Beno, Lincoln R.
Hypes, F. L. Ellis and W. F. Hypes, the last named being a resident of
Chicago. In addition to an extensive wholesale and retail trade, they do a
large mail order business and their stock is unexcelled by any similar estab-
lishment in this part of the country.

On the 4th of June, 1872, Mr. Beno was united in marriage to Miss
Elizabeth M. Robertson, of Little Sioux, Iowa, who had previously been a
resident of Council Bluffs, and after her marriage her parents, William H.
and Catherine Robertson, returned to this city, making their home with
Mr. and Mrs. Beno throughout the remainder of their lives, Mr. Robertson
having retired from business. Unto our subject and his wife were born
five children, who are still living, namely: John, Donald, Grover, Eliza-
beth and Catherine, and with the family also resided Mr. Beno's two
nephews, Charles A. and Adolph Beno.

After disposing of his interest in the store Mr. Beno practically lived
retired though he gave his personal supervision to his property, but owing
to a cancer he was forced to spend considerable time in the hospital. Death
finally released him from his sufferings on the 13th of June, 1907, and the
community mourned the loss of one of its most valued and useful citizens.
He was a member of the Elks lodge but was not identified with any political
organization, holding himself free to support the men whom he believed best
qualified for office regardless of party lines. His business affairs were always
conducted along the strictest principles of honor and integrity and through
his own unaided efforts he worked his way upward to a position of affluence,
but the most envious could not grudge him his success, so worthily was it
achieved. His business associates always spoke of him in terms of the
highest praise. He was loyal in friendship and in his home was a loving



266 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

and indulgent husband and father. Mrs. Beno is an earnest member of the
Presbyterian church and a most estimable lady, who resides with her children
at a beautiful home at No. 120 Frank street.



ALFRED A. LENOCKER.

Alfred A. Lenocker, with varied business interests, is accounted one
of the most alert, energetic and prominent citizens of Oakland, where he
owns and conducts a drug store. As the growth and prosperity of any com-
munity depends upon its business men, it is easily seen that Mr. Lenocker
may well be termed one of the foremont resident of Oakland.

He was born in Holmes county, Ohio, in 1861, a son of Jacob Lenocker,
a native of Switzerland, who is now living in Dexter. Iowa, at the age of
seventy-five years. He was broughl to the United States at the age of seven
by his parents, who located on a farm in Holmes county, Ohio, and he was
reared to agricultural life, which he chose for an occupation when he started
out in business on his own account. For many year- he carried on farming
but is now living retired in Dexter. lie dates his arrival in Iowa from
1869, at which time he took up his abode in Madison county, where he
carried on the tilling of the soil and became prosperous. He was also a
large cattle raiser and shipper and owned a farm of four hundred and forty
acres, which is one of the finest in the state. He belongs to the Odd Fellows
society and gives his political allegiance to tin democracy. He married
Barbara Drushal. who \\a- born in Pennsylvania and died in 1879 at the
age of thirty-eight year-. She was a member of the German Lutheran
church. Their family numbered seven children, of whom four survive:
Henry D., who follows farming at Fort Morgan, Colorado; Alfred A.: Mary
E., the wife of J. J. Larky, a farmer of Oxford, Nebraska; and Carolyn S.,
the wife of R. II. Rankin, a stock raiser and buyer of Cambridge, Nebraska.

Alfred A. Lenocker was reared to farm life and attended the country
schools. In 1881, abandoning agricultural pursuits, lie turned his atten-
tion to the dmg business, entering a store in Dexter, in which he acquainted
himself with pharmacy. In 1885 he removed to Oakland, where he estab-
lished a store of his own and hns since been successfully engaged in its con-
duct, his modern business methods and his well known reliability securing
him a liberal patronage. He is. moreover, a >toekholder and director of the
Oakland Savings Bank and was the builder of the Lenocker Rural Telephone
lines, which he built in 1901. He is likewise a stockholder in the Council
Bluffs telephone exchange and the Harlan and Avoca exchanges and has
acted as manager of the Oakland exchange. His property holdings embrace
four hundred acres of land in Furnas county, Nebraska, and two hundred
and forty acres in Yuma county, Colorado. His business interests are thu-
varied and extensive but the ability which enables him to readily solve in-
tricate business problems qualifies him for the successful control of all these



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 267

interests and he is justly accounted a representative citizen of Pottawattamie
county.

Mr. Lenocker was married in 1883 to Miss Erne L. Frantz, who was
born in Ohio in 1862, a daughter of William and Margaret Frantz, the
former a fanner by occupation. He came to Iowa in 1870, settling in Mills
county, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits. Mr. and Mrs.
Lenocker have one son, Ivan, who was born in 1888 at Oakland and is now
with his father in the drug store.

The parents are members of the Congregational church and Mr.
Lenocker is an Odd Fellow and a Woodman. His political allegiance is
given to the democracy and he has served as treasurer and clerk of the town.
Aside from any official service he has done active work for the community
in support of its progressive public measures and the good qualities which
he has manifested as a citizen, as a business man and in private life well
entitle him to the regard in which he is so uniformly held.



STEPHEN T. MILLER, D. V. S.

Dr. Stephen T. Miller, who is city meat and fruit inspector for Council
Bluffs, was born on a farm in Powcsheik county, Iowa, on the 23d of August,
1864, and is a representative of one of the old families of this state, his
parents having located here at an early period of Iowa's development. The
father, Jacob S. Miller, was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in 1812,
and after his removal to the middle west continued his residence in Iowa
until his death, which occurred in Montezuma in 1877. He married Armilda
Edmonds and they became the parents of a large family "of seventeen children,
fourteen of whom are yet living. The mother still survives and makes her
home in Montezuma.

Dr. Miller of this review spent the first fifteen years of his life in the
county of his nativity and during most of that period was a pupil of the
public schools near his father's home. In 1879 his mother removed to
Norton, Kansas, where he lived on a homestead until 1892, and there he
completed his education in a sod schoolhouse, such as was common upon the
plains of the Sunflower state, where it was difficult to obtain building mate-
rials. Considering his education completed at the age of twenty-one, he started
in life "on his own account. About that time he was elected a school director
and served for three years. He went to school, however, for nine months
after he was elected to office, and, as he expresses it, "hired his own teacher,"
and says that he learned more in that period than he had done in all of his
previous attendance at schools. In 1891 he became a student in a veterinary
college at Des Moines, Iowa, and was graduated in 1893. He then located
at Shelby, Iowa, as a veterinary, and in 1898 he pursued a post-graduate
course in the Kansas City Veterinary College. In 1905 he located for prac-
tice in Council Bluffs, where he has since remained, and he has here secured
a liberal patronage as a member of the profession. In 1906 he was made



268 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

meat and fruit inspector, which position he is still filling, and in 1907 he
was appointed by Governor Cummings assistant state veterinary.

Dr. Miller was married in 1891, in Kansas, to Miss Ida Roys, and they
have three children: Russell T., Miss Marvel D. and Bernard C. Dr. Miller
belongs to the Yeomen and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and
is also connected w'ith the Methodist Episcopal church. Although he was
denied in youth many advantages which most boys enjoy, owing to the fact
that he lived upon the frontier, he has nevertheless made use of his opportuni-
ties and he has now attained to a position of prominence in his profession
owing to the skill which he has acquired therein.



JOHN B. BURKEY.



John B. Burkey belongs to one of the pioneer families of Iowa, honored,
esteemed and successful. The name has been closely associated with the
county and its progress for a number of years. John 1'.. Burkey was born in
Clinton county, Iowa, on the 14th of December, L870, and is the eldest in
the family of three children, whose parent.- were David and Catherine
(Burgin) Burkey. The father, a native of Indiana, came to Iowa at an
early date when a boy with his parent-, the family home being established
in Jack- hi county. There he was reared amid pioneer environment and
after attaining his majority he was married to Mi - Catherine Burgin, being
at that time about twenty-three years of age. During the two succeeding
years be followed fanning in Clinton county. Iowa, and in 1872 came to
Pottawattamie county and purchased eighty acres on the southeast quarter
of section 27, Layton township. Not long afterward he bought the oiler
eighty-acre tract on thai quarter section and upon his farm resided until
about 1898, when he retired from active business life and removed to Atlantic.
Iowa, where he has since made his home.

John B. Burkey is the eldest of three children, the others being William
H., now a resident fanner of Layton township, and Mary, the wife of William
Berry, of Cass county, Iowa. The children spent their youth under the
parental roof and were educated in the common schools. When not busy
with hi< text-books John B. Burkey assisted in the work of field and meadow
and on attaining his majority started out in life on hi* own account. For
two years lie engaged in farming as a renter and in 1893 he purchased his
present farm of one hundred and sixty acres constituting the northeast
quarter of section 27, Layton township, adjoining the old homestead farm
on the north. Here he has since resided, and the excellent and well-kept
appearance of the place indicate.- his careful supervision. In addition to
tilling the -=oil and rawing the crops best adapted to climatic conditions he
has also made a specialty of raising shorthorn cattle and during the past
two year* he has also been feeding cattle, finding this branch of his business
very profitable.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 269

On the 22d of February, 1893, Mr. Burkey was married to Miss Cordelia
Berry, of Marna, Cass county, Iowa, a daughter of John W. Berry, a prom-
inent farmer and one of the early settlers of that county. Unto Mr. and
Mrs. Burkey have been born two children, Roy Evan and Mildred Myrtice.
The parents are widely known in this locality and occupy an enviable posi-
tion in social circles, the hospitality of the best homes being cordially ex-
tended them. Mr. Burkey is a democrat in his political views but is with-
out aspiration for office, his entire time and attention being concentrated
upon his business affairs, in which he has met with creditable success.
He has spent almost his entire life in this county where the family has lived
from pioneer times to the present, and throughout the years the name of
Burkey has ever stood as a synonym for progress and improvement.



SAMUEL B. WADSWORTH.

The subject of this review is actively connected with a profession which
has important bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of any section
or community, and one which has long been considered as conserving the
public welfare by furthering the ends of justice and maintaining individual
rights. For twenty years he has been a resident of Council Bluffs and has
successfully engaged in the practice of law here since 1895.

A native of Illinois, Mr. Wadsworth was born in Grand de Tour town-
ship, Ogle county, February 22, 1851, and is a son of Christopher and Matilda
(Feaster) Wadsworth, who were born in Maryland and were of English
descent. Our subject began his education in the country schools of that
county. In 1868 he entered Dixon Seminary at Dixon, Illinois, where he
was a student for one year, and in 1873-4 attended the Illinois State Normal
University at Normal, Illinois. In 1875 he was appointed secretary of the
State Scientific Society of Illinois, in which capacity he served for two years,
at the same time being superintendent of the schools of Heyworth, that state,
to which position he was appointed in 1874. He was next superintendent of
the city schools of Oregon, Illinois, for twelve consecutive years and in 1886
was elected president of the Northern Illinois Teachers Association and also
county superintendent of schools of Ogle county.

Resigning these positions in 1887, Mr. Wadsworth came to Council
Bluffs and embarked in the abstract business, becoming general manager of
the Union Abstract & Trust Company upon its formation, but retired from
that position several years ago. From 1889 until 1893 he was secretary of
the Council Bluffs Board of Trade. Taking up the study of law, he was
admitted to the bar in 1895 and has since engaged in the active practice of
his profession with marked success.

Since coming to Council Bluffs, Mr. Wadsworth has taken a very active
and prominent part in public affairs, being elected a member of the park
commission in 1888. He was chairman of the democratic central committee
o"f Pottawattamie county from 1889 to 1893 and was then selected as chairman



270 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

of the democratic committee of the ninth congressional district, of which he
is still a member. In 1893 he was elected a member of the board of county
commissioners of Pottawattamie county and during that year was chairman
of the board. In 1897 he was elected city solicitor of Council Bluffs, in which
capacity he served until 1901, and in the fall of 1900 was the democratic can-
didate for congress from the ninth congressional district but was defeated. He
was a delegate at large to the democratic national convention in 1904 and is a
recognized leader in the ranks of his party in this section of the state. Such in
brief is the life history of Mr. Wadsworth. In whatever relation of life we find
. him — in the government service, in political circles, in business or social
relations — he is always the same honorable and honored gentleman, whose
worth well merits the high regard which is uniformly given him.



HON. JOSEPH PEA REED.

Joseph Rea Reed was born in Ashland county, Ohio, on the 12th of
March, 1835, his parents being William and Rosanna L. (Lyle) Reed, both
of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. He is a lineal descendant of Joseph
Reed, who became a resident nf Pennsylvania in an early day, settling in
Chanceford, York county. He was a member of the convention of the colony
of Pennsylvania at its session in Carpenter's hall at the time of the convention
which formulated the Declaration of Independence was in session in Independ-
ence hall. He subsequently served as a colonel in the Revolutionary war and
was still later a member of the legislative assembly, where he introduced and
secured the passage of a bill for the manumission of slaves in the Keystone
state. This was adopted about 1793-4. In his private business interests he
was a farmer, landowner and miller, and his wife, who was a worthy and reso-
lute woman, during her husband's absence in the army, operated a mill and
ground flour to feed the soldiers. Colonel Reed and his wife were Presby-
terians in religious faith. They reared a large family, including James Reed,
who removed to Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in farm-
ing. He wedded Elizabeth Reed, a distanl relative, and their family of four
sons and two daughters included William Reed, the father of Hon. Joseph R.
Reed. William Reed married Rosanna Lyle, daughter of Robert Lyle, a sol-
dier in the Continental army in the Revolutionary war. In 1829 he removed
to what is now Ashland county, Ohio, where he secured a farm and both he
and his wife remained residents of that locality until death. Their family num-
bered three sons and three daughters, who reached adult age: James R., a
farmer in his youth and later a teacher, died on his farm in St. Landry parish,
Louisiana. Sarah J. resides with her brother Joseph in Council Bluffs. Eliza-
beth is the wife of the Rev. D. A. Newell. William is a merchant, of Loudon-
ville, Ohio, and Rosanna is the wife of Jesse R. Hissem, also of Loudonville.

Upon the home farm in the county of his nativity Joseph Rea Reed
spent the days of his boyhood and youth, remaining at home until eighteen
years of age, after which time he attended school and taught alternately, meet-




JeorfX </£ 4L«l..



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 273

iiig the expense of his academic course by the money earned in teaching. After
completing his studies at Hayesville Academy in Ohio he became a student in
the law office of the firm of Dodge & Boyle, at Adel, Iowa, to which city he



Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 29 of 59)