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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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to Miss Eliza Saar and they had six children, of whom four died in early
life, while two are yet living, the brother of our subjecl being Dr. Henry C.
Deetken, a physician now in Seattle Washington. He was married in 1902,
in Council Bluffs, to Miss Estella Mclntire and they have one son, Carl Deetken.
The mother is still living and yet makes her home in Council Bluffs.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 341

Reared in the city of his nativity, Dr. Deetken is indebted to its public-
school system for the educational privileges he enjoyed. He then began to
study dentistry and in 1898 was graduated from the dental department of
the University of Iowa at Iowa City. Returning home he opened an office
and has been very successful in building up a good practice. He had many
friends here and his personal popularity contributed toward winning him a
patronage which his skill and ability have enabled him to keep. He does
excellent work, as is attested by public opinion, and he keeps at all times abreast
with his profession in the advancement which is continually being made by
the dental fraternity.

Dr. Deetken was married, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1902, to Miss
Anna G. Coyne and they have two daughters, Katharine Elizabeth and Mary
Lynn. Dr. Deetken affiliates with the Elks and gives his political allegiance
to the republican party.



ARTHUR L. PRESTON.

In a history of the bar of Pottawattamie county mention should be made
of Arthur L. Preston, a member of the Avoca bar, whose knowledge and ability
in the line of his profession has gained him rank with the leading lawyers
of this section of the state. Born at Newton, Jasper county, Iowa, on the
25th of October, 1860, he is a son of Sylvester S. and Amelia (Wilde) Preston.
The father was born in Vermont, December 7, 1832, and was a son of Warner
Preston, also a native of the Green Mountain state.

Sylvester S. Preston was reared and married in the state of his nativity
and in 1856, immediately after his marriage, he came to Iowa, locating at
Newton, purchasing a quarter section of land four miles east of the town.
There he engaged in farming until 1870, when he removed to Marseilles,
Illinois, spending, however, only a year at that place. He then again came to
Iowa, settling at Grinnell, where he turned his attention to merchandising,'
continuing actively in that business until 1885, when he retired to private
life, having since enjoyed the fruits of his former toil. In 1903 he removed
to Los Angeles, California, where he is now residing. In politics he was
a republican but has never been an aspirant for public office. He holds
membership in the Congregational church and in all his life has been actuated
by a spirit of enterprise and of fidelity to the public good. In the family
were ten children : Byron W., a resident of Oskaloosa and judge of the sixth
judicial district of Iowa; Herbert B., of Los Angeles, California; Arthur L. ;
Elmer S., also of Los Angeles, California; Myrta L., the wife of Fred Burlew,
of Los Angeles, California; Virgil G., a merchant of Cornell, Iowa; Viola G.,
living in Los Angeles; Fred A., an attorney of Oskaloosa; and George W.,
a merchant of Anita, Iowa. The other member of the family is deceased.

Arthur L. Preston spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his father's
home and after attending the public schools of Grinnell, continued his educa-
tion in Iowa College, of that place, being graduated from that institution with



342 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 1883, while in 1886 his alma
mater conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. His preparation for
his profession was begun in the winter of 1882-3. when he attended the law
department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, pursuing a six
months' course, after which he returned to Iowa College and was graduated
with his class. In the spring of 1884 he was graduated from the law depart-
ment of the University of Michigan, and soon afterward entered into partner-
ship with D. W. Norris for the practice of law in Grinnell, this connection,
being maintained until 1890. Mr. Preston afterward practiced alone until
1893, where he removed from Grinnell to Avoca, where he formed a law
partnership with Fremont Benjamin, with whom he was associated until
September, 1899. He has since been alone and a liberal clientage has been
accorded him, he being most devoted to the interests thereof. He does not
slight the laborious work of the office which must always precede that of the
courtroom and in the presentation of his cause he is clear and logical in his
deduction and sound in his reasoning. He is recognized as one of the county's
able barristers. He has been the attorney for the Avoca State Bank since
1899 and in 1906 was elected a director of that institution. He is also local
attorney for the Rock Island Railroad Company and for various business enter-
prises of Avoca. In addition to his practice he derives his income from two
good farms, one in Knox township of eighty acres and one in James township
cil' one hundred and seventy-three acres. These axe valuable properties.

On the "21st of October, L884, Mr. Preston was married to Miss Cyrilla
B. Smith, of Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, and unto them were born three chil-
dren, but only one is now living: Gertrude, who is now a pupil in the Avoca
high school.

Politically Mr. Preston is a republican and although never an aspirant for
office he is interested in community affair.- and is now serving as president
of the school board. Fraternally lie i- connected with Avoca Camp, No. 165,
M. W. A., in which he has passed all the chairs, but while his varied interests
make his a well rounded character he concentrates his attention and time
chiefly upon hi- professional duties, his devotion to his clients' interests being
proverbial.



THOMAS J. BEATTY.

Thomas J. Beatty is prominent among the agriculturists of .lames town-
ship, owning and controlling four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land.
Hi- life record may well serve a- a source of inspiration to others, showing
what may he accomplished by determined and energetic purpose, for when he
located upon this place he was not only empty-handed but also considerably in
deht. Lone ago his financial obligation has been discharged and he has added
to his original holdings. Moreover, his success has been won through straight-
forward, honorable method-:, being due to his perseverance' and close applica-
tion to business.



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HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 345

Mr. Beatty was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, on the 25th of
September, 1845, his parents being William and Charlotte Beatty, natives of
the Keystone state and of Virginia respectively. Removing to the middle west,
they located in Pottawattamie county, where their last days were passed. Of
their family of nine children only four are yet living: William, a resident of
Avoca; George, who is living in Cass county, Iowa; Samuel, whose home is in
Nebraska; and Thomas J., of this review.

The last named spent his boyhood and youth in his father's home and
during that period acquired a common-school education. He came to Potta-
wattamie county in 1874 and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land,
which he at once began to cultivate, living thereon for a year. He next sold
out and removed to Shelby county, Iowa, where he bought one hundred and
sixty acres, upon which he lived for a year and a half. He then sold that prop-
erty and again came to Pottawattamie county, making investment in eighty
acres of land, on which he lived for a year. On the expiration of that period
he traded his farm for two hundred acres in James township and subsequently
he added another two hundred-acre tract, upon which he resided until 1894.
Disposing of that farm, he established his home in the town of Hancock,
where he turned his attention to the creamery business, conducting it for a
year. The venture, however, proved financially disastrous and he lost eight
thousand dollars. He then began buying grain and feeding cattle and hogs
and was so engaged for four years. In the meantime he purchased four hun-
dred acres of land at forty-six dollars per acre — a tract which is today valued
at one hundred and ten dollars per acre. In 1899 he took up his abode upon
this farm, which has since been his place of residence. At that time he had an
indebtedness of eight thousand dollars but with strong and determined purpose
he set to work to clear this away and has not only discharged his entire financial
obligation but has extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase
of eighty acres, giving him four hundred and eighty acres of as fine land as
can be found in Pottawattamie county. He also bought eighty acres of ex-
cellent land in Woodbury county, Iowa, and he owns two fine residences in the
village of Hancock. In addition to tilling the soil and producing the crops
best adapted to climatic conditions here found he makes a specialty of raising
and feeding stock quite extensively and both branches of his business are prov-
ing profitable. He possesses strong purpose and unfaltering determination that
enables him to overcome many difficulties and obstacles and by careful manage-
ment he has worked his way upward to success.

On the 20th of August, 1885, Mr. Beatty was united in marriage to Miss
Clarissa Brown, who was born in Johnson county, Iowa, November 23, 1856, a
daughter of A. P. and Nancy (Ricker) Brown, who were natives of Ohio.
Their family numbered five children. The mother departed this life in 1906
but the father still makes his home in this county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beatty
were born five children but they lost one son, George Austin, who was born
March 23, 1886, and was attending college at Des Moines when he died Sep-
tember 10. 1904. The others are: Anna E., born December 26, 1887; Alvin
T., born March 9, 1891; Mary M., born December 22, 1894; and James W.,
born February 26, 1899. All are at home.



346 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

Mrs. Beatty is a member of the Christian church at Oakland and a most
estimable lady, possessing many sterling traits of heart and mind. Mr. Beatty
is a valued representative of the Odd Fellows lodge at Hancock, which he joined
upon its organization. In politics he is an earnest democrat and for five years
he served as school treasurer. His life record should serve as a source of en-
couragement and inspiration to others, showing what may be accomplished
when one has the will to dare and to do. His business affairs have been capably
conducted. Tireless energy and honesty of purpose, joined to every-day com-
mon sense, are his chief characteristics and have been the salient factors in .his
prosperity. Both he and his wife have a wide acquaintance and are held in
the warmest regard by all who know them in this part of the state.



EDWARD D. BURKE.

The reader in search of the sensational chapter would find nothing
of interest in the history of Edward D. Burke, but the student of human
nature who places a true value on life and its opportunities would learn in
the perusal of this record that it has been through close application and the
exercise of his native talents that Edward D. Burke has attained his present
enviable and responsible position as cashier and general manager of the
Citizens Bank of Walnut.

He was born in Durant, [owa, November 29, 1866, his parents being
Patrick and Mary (Murphy) Burke, both natives of Ireland, the former
born in County Tipperary, in 1832, and the latter in County Cork, in 1837.
They came to the United States when young people and each settled on
Statin [aland, New York, where they were married. Afterward they re-
moved to Pottsvillc. Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, where the father en-
gaged in mining, but the west attracted him, thinking that he might have bet-
ter business opportunities and advantages in a district less thickly settled. In
1854 he accordingly joined the band of pioneers who were reclaiming Cedar
county, [owa, for the uses of civilization, and located in Durant, where he was
engaged in various lines of business until 1*7:1. Ee then removed to Walnut,
purchased a tract of land north of the town and engaged in fanning for five or
six years, bringing his fields into a state of rich fertility. He then retired from
active agricultural life and took up his abode in the village of Walnut, where
he lived until 1908. when he removed to Rocky Ford, Colorado, where he
is now making his home with his son, Charles M. Burke. He lives with his
children and has retired from active business. He has long survived his
wife, who died in 1882. in the faith of the Catholic church, of which he is
still a communicant. They were the parents of eight children, of whom
live are vet living, namely: William F., a resident of Walnut; John P.,
whose home is in Los Angeles, California; Charles M., living at Rocky Ford,
Colorado; and Elizabeth M., the wife of Albert M. Brassy, of San Jose,
California,



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 347

The other member of the family is Edward D. Burke who, while spend-
ing his boyhood days under the parental roof, acquired his education in
the public schools of Walnut, his time being divided between the duties of
the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the various tasks which
were assigned him at home. From his eighteenth year he worked in the
store of his brother, W. F. Burke, at Walnut, until 1888, when he accepted
the position of assistant cashier in the Exchange Bank. In 1890 the bank
was reorganized into the Exchange State Bank, and Mr. Burke continued
to act as assistant cashier until 1895. In that year he joined his brothers,
William F., John P. and Charles M. Burke, in organizing and establishing
the Citizens Bank of Walnut, and became the cashier and general manager
of this new financial institution. Under his capable control the bank soon
became recognized as one of the strong and reliable financial institutions
of Pottawattamie county and a liberal patronage has been accorded it. The
firm of Burke Brothers do an extensive real-estate business and are largely
interested in farming and in the live-stock business, while their banking
interests are second to no bank in this section of the county.

On the 10th of October, 1894, Edward D. Burke was married to Miss
Florence L. Simpson, a daughter of Jeremiah Simpson, of Fowler, Indiana,
and now a resident of Iowa Falls, Iowa. Unto this marriage one child has
been born, Simpson, whose natal day was August 5, 1895.

Mr. Burke is independent in politics but is much interested in the sub-
ject of good government and opposed to misrule in public offices. He
believes that the same honesty, integrity and ability should be brought to
bear in the discharge of official duties as in the conduct of private business
interests, and such was his demonstration, when for some years he served
as town treasurer. He stands for advancement, reform and improvement
along all lines affecting the general interests of society and his own career
proves that success and an honored name may be won simultaneously.



MATTHIAS P. MERGEN.

Matthias P. Mergen, junior partner of the firm of Neumayer & Mergen,
proprietors of the Neumayer Hotel, of Council Bluffs, was born in Leavenworth,
Kansas, in 1872. His father, Philip Mergen, now living in Omaha, was
a native -of Germany, who is now living retired from business, having for
many years been an active factor in business circles wherein he won the
competence that now enables him to enjoy his present ease. He married
Walburg Tisch, and they had four children : Matthias P. ; John P. ; Mary,
the wife of Antone Schmitz; and Louisa.

Matthias P. Mergen remained a resident of his native city until 1883,
after which he spent six years in different parts of the west prior to locating
in Council Bluffs in 1889. Here he entered business life, being employed
in different ways until 1903, when he formed his present partnership with
Mr. Neumayer. They are conducting the Neumayer Hotel, and have a



348 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

large and growing business, drawing an extensive patronage from the country
people who visit the city. They conduct a first class hostelry and their
prosperity is well merited.

Mr. Mergen was married in 1903 to Miss Theresa Neumayer, and they
have two children, Eleanor L. and Frances A. Mr. Mergen is independent
in politics. He belongs to the Catholic church and is well known in the
city, where for eighteen years he has made his home, or since he attained
the age of sixteen. He is yet a young man, energetic, alert and enterpris-
ing, and in the conduct of his present business has not only become well
known but has also gained a gratifying measure of prosperity.



ADOLPH KAY.



Adolph Kay has tor thirty-one years lived upon his present farm on
section 14. York township, where he owns four hundred acres of productive
and valuable land. lie al30 has four hundred and eighty acres in Minden
township, so that he is one of the huge landowners and prominent represent-
atives of the agricultural interests of the county, being engaged extensively
in stock-raising in addition to the production of grain. A fact of which
due recognition is not usually accorded in connection with the agricultural
history of the west is that to no foreign element is due a greater amount of
credit for the advancement of this character than to those who have had
their nativity in or trace their lineage to the great empire of Germany.
Among those who left the fatherland to identify themselves with American
life and institutions, who have pushed their way to the front and who are
a credit alike to the land of their birth and that of their adoption is the
Kay family.

He whose name introduces this review was born in Holstein, Germany,
April 20, 1861, his parents being Detlef and Anna Kay, farming people
of Germany, whence they came to America in 1870. They did not tarry
in the east but made their way at once across the country to Pottawattamie
county. Adolph was the youngest of their seven ebildren and was at that
time nine years of age. The father farmed for one year just south of
Council Bluffs and then removed to Mills county, where he purchased one
hundred and twenty acres of land. This he improved, living there for five
years, when he sold that property and in 1876 returned to Pottawattamie
county. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in York
township, making his home thereon up to the time of his demise, which
occurred in 1891, when he was seventy-three years of age. His widow is
still living, at the advanced age of eighty-four years and makes her home
with a daughter in Mineoln. Mill- county. Iowa.

Adolph Kay was reared on the home farm and educated in the common
schools. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of
agricultural life for him in his boyhood and youth, save the emigration from
the fatherland to the new world. In Iowa he assisted in the arduous task



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY .349

of developing a new farm as his age and strength permitted and he gave to
his father the benefit of his services until after he had attained his majority.

On the 21st of March, 1889, Mr. Kay was married to Miss Anna Rohlfs,
a native of Germany, and a daughter of John Rohlfs, of Minden township.
Following his marriage he took charge of his father's estate and built thereon
a good two-story residence, also adding substantial barns, cribs and other
outbuildings as they were needed. He likewise set out the first orchard on
the place. From time to time he has been buying land until he now owns
four hundred acres in the old homestead and four hundred and eighty acres
in Minden township, so that he is one of the large landholders of the county.
He raises good grades of stock, making a specialty of shorthorn cattle and
Duroc hogs, and he now feeds two or three carloads of hogs annually. He is
an excellent judge of stock, seldom if ever at error in his estimate of the
value of any farm animals.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kay were born four children but they lost twins in
infancy. The others, Walter and Martha, are still under the parental roof.
The parents are members of the Lutheran church at Minden and Mr. Kay gives
his political allegiance to the republican party upon questions of state and
national importance, but at local elections casts an independent ballot. He
was road supervisor for one term and then resigned, never caring for office.
He has found that private business pursuits make sufficient claim upon his
time and attention. His business duties are onerous because of the extent
of his realty holdings but his life of intense activity finds compensation in
the excellent income which results as a reward for his care and labor. In
his business affairs he is found thoroughly reliable and in an analyzation
of the character and life of Mr. Kay we note many of the characteristics
which have marked the German nation for many centuries — the persever-
ance, trustworthiness, energy and an unconquerable determination to pursue
a course that has been marked out.



VERNON LAURENCE TREYNOR, M. D.

Dr. Vernon Laurence Treynor, one of the leading physicians and sur-
geons of Council Bluffs, was born in this city on the 28th of September, 1866,
and is a son of Thomas P. and Mary E. (Smith) Treynor. The father was
a native of England, and the son of an officer in the British army. Coming
to the United States at the age of sixteen years, he located in Ohio, where he
made his home until after his marriage, and in the spring of 1853 came to
Iowa, taking up his abode in Council Bluffs. When a. young man he engaged
in business as a carriage builder but subsequently turned his attention to
newspaper work, owning a controlling interest in the Council Bluffs Daily
Nonpareil. As a prominent and influential citizen, he took quite an active
part in public affairs and for eight years filled the office of postmaster of
Council Bluffs under both administrations of President Grant. On his retire-
ment from that office he located on a farm, where he made his home until



350 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

bis death in January, 1892. His wife, who was born in Ohio of Dutch and
English stock, is also deceased. She was a devoted wife and mother and like
her husband was held in high regard by all who knew her.

Reared in the city of his nativity, Dr. Treynor is indebted to its public
schools for his early educational privileges, and after completing his literary
course he took up the study of medicine, graduating from the medical depart-
ment of the Iowa State University with the degree of M. D. Since then he
has been actively engaged in the practice in Council Bluffs and has met with
most gratifying success.

On the 13th of October, 1891, Dr. Treynor was united in marriage to
Miss Susie C. Clark, of Iowa City, and to them have been born four sons
but only two are now living, namely: Thomas P., born April 29, 1895; and
Jack, born September 21, 1897.

In addition to his large private practice the Doctor has served on the
staff of the W. C. A. and St. Bernard's Hospital; and as surgeon for the
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Union Pacific Railroad Companies.
For some time he was professor of physiology in the Omaha Medical College
and also in the Dental College of that city, is now professor of clinical
medicine in the College of Medicine, University of Nebraska; has served as
coroner of Pottawattamie county; and for two terms served as city physician
of Council Bluffs, during which lime he made a strenuous effort to improve
the sanitary conditions of the city and enforce the quarantine laws. In
1904 Dr. Treynor was elected by the legislature a member of the board of
regents of the Iowa State University but has found little time to devote to
outside matters other than refer to his profession. He has. however, taken a
very active and prominent part in the work of various medical fraternities,
having served as president and secretary of the Council Bluffs Medical
Society; as secretary of the Iowa State Medical Society; as president of the
Medical Society of the Missouri Valley; and also a.- president of the South-
western Towa Medical Association. In addition to these societies he is also
a member of the Iowa State Association of Railway Surgeons; the Interna-
tional Association of Railway Surgeons; and the American Medical Asso-
ciation. He is not only prominent in professional circles but is also popular
socially and is an honored member of the Masonic fraternity; the Indepen-



Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 37 of 59)