Homer Howard Field.

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

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which to rear the superstructure of wealth.

In politics Mr. De Vol was a stanch republican and although not an
office seeker he served as alderman for one term. During the greater part
of his life he was a member of the Presbyterian church and for many years
prior to his death was one of the most honored members of the First Pres-
byterian congregation in Council Bluffs. lie belonged to the Omaha Com-
mercial Club and was the first president of the Iowa Retail Hardware Asso-
ciation, while his son, Paul O, is now filling the presidency. His influence
was ever found on the side of improvement and progress. Socially he was
connected with the Royal Arcanum and with the Odd Fellows society, pass-
ing through all of the chairs in the Council Bluffs lodge, No. 49. Although
in ill health for several year. - prior to his death he continued to give personal
supervision to his business interests until his demise, which occurred De-
cember 26, 1903. He had at that time been a resident of the city for fifty-six
years and had seen its growth from a little village into a city of metropolitan
proportions with every commercial possibility. His development was com-
mensurate with the growth of the city and he belonged to that class of rep-
resentative men who, while promoting individual success, also contribute
largely to the public welfare. He had the confidence of his business asso-
ciates, the respect of all who knew him, and wherever lie was known he
gained warm friendships and kindly regard.

When Mr. Do Vol was called to his final rest the company with which
he was so long connected passed the following resolutions:

"'Whereas. It has pleased our loving Father and divine Ruler to remove
from us our esteemed president, beloved friend and valued business asso-
ciate. Paul Coleman De Vol, therefore be it resolved:


"That while we recognize our loss as his eternal gain, we feel that in his
removal from us we have lost a fellow worker, who was broad, generous and
conscientious in his views, firm and steadfast in purpose and considerate in
action, whose counsel was as wise and conservative as his integrity was un-
flinching, and whose best in thought, act and deed was freely given for the
good of his associates.

"Resolved, That our sympathy be extended to his family who, while
they have lost his genial presence and kind consideration for their interests,
have left the memory of a kind and loving husband and father and a good
name that will be an example for future generations to follow.

"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the records
of the corporation. Wright & Wilhelmy Company."

The press wrote at considerable length on the life of Mr. De Vol and
the daily Nonpareil said: "His death causes widespread sorrow, for there
were few people in this city who did not know and cherish the highest regard
for the kindly, sturdy and upright man. In his death the city loses one
who exerted an active force in its formative period and whose counsels were
sought and heeded in all of the crises that have marked the municipal his-
tory. The influence he exerted was always for the best."

Mrs. De Vol still survives her husband and owns a large and beautiful
residence at No. 332 Willow avenue, where she and her two children are
living. Prior to her marriage she was a teacher in the public schools for
three years. She has long been prominent in society here, and her social
qualities render her a general favorite. Like her husband, she holds mem-
bership in the First Presbyterian church and is much interested in its work
and growth.


Dr. Newton J. Rice, a well known and prominent physician of Council
Bluffs, is a native of Iowa, born in Harrison county in 1860, and there spent
the days of his boyhood and youth, his early education being acquired in
the public schools of that county. Later he attended Tabor College at Tabor,
Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1884. In order to fit himself for the
practice of medicine, which he had decided to make his life work, he entered
Rush Medical College in Chicago and was graduated from that institution
in 1887 with the degree of M. D.

Going to California, Dr. Rice opened an office at Escondido, San Diego
county, and there engaged in general practice until 1894, when he returned to
Tabor, Iowa, where he practiced until his removal to Council Bluffs in 1900.
Soon after locating here he accepted the position of assistant professor in the
chair of materia medica at the Omaha Medical College, now the University of
Nebraska. It was not long before his skill and ability in his chosen profession
became recognized and he now receives a liberal share of the public patronage.
He is a progressive physician, thoroughly up-to-date in his methods of prac-


tice, and has a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the science of medicine
and its application to the needs of suffering humanity. He is now serving as
health officer of Council Bluffs and while a resident of Escondido, California,
filled the office of alderman. In religious faith he is a Congregationalist and
is popular both in professional and social circles, having a host of warm friends
in his adopted city.


The history of the west is largely familiar to William H. Taylor, whose
experiences have connected him with the great section of the country lying
on this side of the Mississippi river. Although born in Clark county, Illinois,
on the 5th of March, 1842, he was only a year old when in the spring of 1843
the parents removed with their family to Wapello county, Iowa, settling five
miles south of Eddyville. The paternal grandfather, Brazilla. Taylor, served
in the war of 1812 under Andrew Jackson and participated in the battle of
New Orleans. He was one of four brothers who took part in that fight and
one of the number died of yellow fever. They also fought the Creek Indians
under the command of Jackson.

Pleasant Taylor, father of our subject, was born in Smith county, Ten-
nessee, and from that state went to Indiana, where at the age of nineteen
years he was married to Miss Jane Allison, a native of Pennsylvania, who
accompanied her parents to Indiana in her girlhood days. Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor lived for some time in Montgomery county, Indiana, afterward in
Barry county, Missouri, and subsequently became residents, of Clark county,
Illinois, whence in 1843 they n moved to Wapello county, Iowa. There they
resided for a number of years, when they started for California, but the
smallpox was so prevalent that they did not continue their journey beyond
Pottawattamie county and settled eight miles south of the present home of our
(subject in Silver Creek township. He was the first gentleman to locate among
the Mormons and bought a claim of D. Jacobs for four hundred and fifty
dollars. This was before the first United States surveys had been made, but
a colony of Mormons had located in this district and had done something
toward developing the land. Upon the claim which he secured Mr. Taylor
resided until February, 1855, when he removed to Washington township,
settling at what is now Taylor's Station, the postoffice of Taylor being named
in honor of the family. Mr. Taylor for several years kept the stage station
on the line between Des Moines and Council Bluffs, this line being owned by
the Western Stage Company, who were owners of various stage lines in the
middle west and well known at that day. He also developed his farm, trans-
forming the raw prairie into richly cultivated fields. His first wife died in
1868. There were five children of that marriage: James A., who died in
Washington township at the age of sixty-two years; Mrs. Mary A. Gorton,
living in Oklahoma; Thomas, who died at the age of four years; Pleasant
M., who died at the age of fifteen years; and William H, of this review.



After the death of his first wife the father married Sidney A. Webb, of Silver
('reck township.

William II. Taylor, whose name introduces this record, accompanied
his parents on their various removals and was reared amid the wild scenes
and environments of pioneer life, sharing with the family in the hardships
and privations incident to the establishment of a home upon the frontier.
He can well remember the time when the family dwelling was a stage station
and various travelers of the early days were there entertained, hi the spring
of 1864 Mr. Taylor made a. trip with his father to that part of Montana
which was then included in Idaho. They traveled across the country with
ox-teams to Virginia City and worked in the mines in that locality. The
return trip was made in the fall of 1865, proceeding down the Missouri river
by steamboat. They came in contact with about two thousand Indians at
Fort Rice, where they had met to make a treaty with the whites. His experi-
ences in the northwest left upon the mind of Mr. Taylor many ineffaceable
impressions. During the absence of himself and father the family remained
in this county.

Following bis return to Iowa Mr. Taylor was married on the 28th of
September, 1865, to Miss Mary E. Bratton, wdio was born near Winchester,
Ohio, in 1845. and came to Iowa in 1855 with her parents, John and Rebecca
(Harris) Bratton, who located in Grove township, Pottawattamie county.
The father was born in Pennsylvania and the mother in Tuscarawas county,
Ohio, and after removing to Iowa they continued their residence in this
county until called to their final rest. Mr. Bratton was a carpenter by trade
and followed that pursuit the greater part of bis life. However, be made
extensive and judicious ' investments in real estate, owning at one time nearly
one thousand acres of land. He died February 7, 1805. at the age of eighty
years, one month and thirteen days, while his wife passed away November 15,
1895, in her seventy-seventh year. They were the parents of five children:
George W., deceased; Mrs. Martha L. Taylor, of Silver City, whose husband
is a cousin of William H. Taylor; Mrs. Mary E. Taylor; James H., who died
at the age of four years; and John A., who died when a year and a half old.
Mrs. William H. Taylor's maternal grandfather was George W. Harris, one
of the first settlers of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, going there from Virginia
when a young man. Every evidence of pioneer life was to be found there.
The Indians were still numerous and his father-in-law, Mr. Evans, was shot
through the wrist by one of the red men but was rescued by men from the
fort. John Bratton, the father of Mrs. Taylor, became a prominent and influ-
ential citizen of western Iowa. He served as county judge here for two terms,
beginning in 1865, and left the impress of his individuality upon the judicial
history of the state. In politics he was a stalwart repiiblican but when a can-
didate for county judge was also endorsed by the democrats — such w r as his
personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow towns-
men. We was a minister of the Protestant Methodist church and was inter-
ested in all that tended to uplift humanity and worked for the good of


After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Taylor located upon the farm where
his father first settled, living there until 1869, when they came to their present
farm on section 3, Silver Creek township. This comprises one hundred and
thirty-five acres of land which is rich and arable, returning good crops annually.
Mrs. Taylor also owns two hundred and thirty-eight acres adjoining the home
farm on the west and Mr. Taylor has fifty-five acres in Washington, while his
wife has one hundred and thirty-one acres there. Mr. Taylor has made all
of the improvements upon his place and his labors have converted it from
a wild and uncultivated tract of land into one of rich fertility and productive-
ness. He cultivates the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and also buys,
raises and feeds stock. His business interests are carefully managed and he
has gained recognition as one of the substantial and representative agricul-
turists of the community.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have been born three children : George P., who
is living in Washington township, is married and has two living children,
while one child has passed away; Rebecca J. is the wife of F. M. Smith, of
Silver Creek township, and they have four children living, while two are
deceased ; Emma L. is the wife of Erasmus L. Long, of Silver Creek township,
and they have five children.

Mr. Taylor and his family are prominent and well known in this part
of the state. No history could be complete without mention of his record, for
from pioneer times down to the present he has been closely associated with the
growth and development of Iowa. He is, moreover, familiar with the
history of the northwest in its early mining days and knew what it was to
travel across the plains where there was no habitation to be met with for mile
after mile. In improving the rich natural resources of this part of the county
he has gained substantial financial recognition and well deserves mention as
an early settler.


Peter Langer is accounted one of the worthy and leading representa-
tives of agricultural interests and of business life in Minden. He owns
about four hundred acres of valuable land near the town, from which he
gains a good annual income. In 1878 he became a resident of the county
and in the spring of 1879 took up his abode in Minden township. Like
many of the residents of this locality he is of German birth, the place of his
nativity being Schleswig, Germany, and the date January 12, 1853. He
spent the first thirteen years of his life in his native country and then emi-
grated with his parents to the United States in 1867, arriving at St. Paul,
Minnesota, on the 1st of May. Three months later he went to Davenport,
Iowa. In his youth he worked at farm labor for several years and later went
south to Mississippi and Louisiana, where he was employed on cotton planta-
tions for four years. He then returned to Davenport and in that locality he
rented land which he cultivated for four years.


In 1878 Mr. Langer came to Pottawattamie county and here made his
first purchase, buying three hundred and twenty acres, constituting his present
farm. In the fall of 1878 he built a house and barn, took up his abode upon
the place and with characteristic energy began to cultivate and improve it.
Later he bought more land from time to time and he now owns four hun-
dred acres in the home place. In all of his work he has been practical, fol-
lowing systematic methods that have produced good results. In the tilling
of the soil he has been careful to keep his fields productive through the
rotation of crops and the judicious use of fertilizers. He now owns about
seven hundred acres in Minden township, all well improved land, making
him one of the extensive property holders in this locality. He was one of
the promoters, stockholders and organizers of the Farmers Savings Bank,
which was established in 1903, and at that time he was chosen president. It
is now a well known and substantial institution. Mr. Langer is widely
recognized as one of the foremost, progressive and public-spirited men of his
part of the county. In 1904 he was one of the promoters and organizers
of a company which built and put in operation a canning factory for can-
ning sweet corn, which has since been carried on successfully and is a valued
addition to the business enterprises of the community, furnishing an excel-
lent market to those who raise sweet corn and also giving employment to a
large number of workmen and at the same time bringing good financial
return to the stockholders. Recently Mr. Langer has sold his interest in
the factory, of which he was a director and vice president. He has regarded
real estate as the safest of all investments and has bought and sold property
until his possessions at the present time include one thousand acres in South
Dakota and six hundred and forty acres in Texas.

In 1876, at Davenport, Mr. Langer was married to Miss Vilena Bloomer,
a native of Switzerland, and unto them have been born ten children, six sons
and four daughters: John, a resident farmer of Pleasant township; Peter,
who is cashier in the Farmers Savings Bank at Minden ; Christ ; Jake ;
William; Walter; Rachel, the wife of Charles Stuhr, of Minden; Christina,
the wife of Gustav Bamesberger, a farmer of Minden township ; Anna and
Ella, at home. The family are widely and favorably known in this part
of the county and the members of the household occupy an enviable position
in social circles in which they move.

Mr. Langer is a republican, interested in the political questions and
issues of the day and giving loyal support to the party. He was elected
and served for a number of years as township trustee, has also been presi-
dent of the school board and has frequently been a delegate to county con-
ventions. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran church and attends
its services. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow and became a charter member
in Minden lodge, in which he has served as vice grand. He is also con-
nected with the Woodmen of the World and has served as an officer in the
local lodge of that order. He is widely recognized as one of the substantial
and progressive men of Pottawattamie county, has assisted in its material
development and has been closely associated with its prosperity and with
its upbuilding. He has the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has


come in contact and is widely recognized as a man of excellent business
ability, whose industry and enterprise are demonstrated in the splendid suc-
cess which has crowned his efforts. He deserves much credit for the position
to which he has attained as a business man and his life record proves that
success and an honored name can be won simultaneously.


A farm hand, a renter and now a prosperous land owner — such has been
the business career of Fred P. Shuttleworth, whose realty interests embrace
four hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Valley township and who
is also extensively and successfully engaged in raising and feeding cattle.
His advancement has been made by successive steps — the improvement of
each opportunity that has come to him and the careful utilization of the
talent- with which nature endowed him.

A native of Granl county. Wisconsin, he was born Augusl 25, 1S63,
a .-on of Craven and Nancy (Kaley) Shuttleworth. His parents were natives
.if Yorkshire, England, and after their marriage took passage on ;i -ailing
v.— el which, after a voyage of six weeks readied American shores. They
settled in Madison, Wisconsin, and the father, who was a cabinet-maker by
trade, worked on the state capitol, then being erected. After two years
there passed lie removed to Crawford county, Wisconsin, and subsequently
took up hi- abode in Fennimore, thai state, where he turned his attention
to merchandising, in which he was very successful. He was also one of the

promoters of the railroad built fr Woodman to Madison and afterward to

Lancaster, he being the only man of hi- locality who advocated and worked
for the load, acting a.- treasurer until it was -old to the Northwestern Rail-
road Company, putting forth earnest effort for eight years before he saw
hi- hope- nali/. d. lie was associated with Pat Flynn in the building of the
line and having faith in the project he gave extensive credit at his store
to Die construction gangs and thus in various ways he was the dominant
facto,- in the building of the road. At first a narrow gauge line was con-
structed hut later it wa- replaced by the standard gang.' and the road wa>
; to the Northwestern system. In politic- Mr. Shuttleworth was a repub-
lican, influential in the councils of hi- party and tor years lie held one or
another office in the county. He .lied at Madison, Wisconsin, in February,
10(14. and thus closed a life of gre.u activity and usefulness. Iii hi- family
were eight children: Job C, a railroad man living at Centralia. Illinois;
Ella,, the wife of D. P. Guthrie, of Osceola county, Iowa; Farrand K., an
attorney of Madison, Wisconsin; William I)., a lumber and grain merchant
at Ocheyedan, [ow&; Fred I'.: Craven, engaged in the commission bus:
in Omaha. Nebraska; luc If. an attorney of Avoca; and May, who is living

with her sister in Sibley, Iowa.

Removing with his parents to Fennimore. Wisconsin, Fred P. Shuttle-
worth completed hi- education in the high school there. In 188fi he came to


Iowa, settling in Pottawattamie county, where for two years he worked as a
farm hand by the month. He rented eighty acres of land in 1888 and later
purchased the tract, his ownership thereof proving an added stimulus for
renewed effort and labor. As he has prospered he has added to his posses-
sions from time to time, purchasing one hundred and sixty acre- in 1890.
It was unbroken prairie on which he built and Located. In L893 he bought
an adjoining tract of one hundred and sixty acres and in 1904 purchased
one hundred and twenty acres on section 25. Valley township. Today he
is the owner of four hundred and forty acres of land and is accounted one
of the wealthy agriculturists of his adopted county, lie has made many
improvements on his property, has engaged in the raising of shorthorn
cattle, and for years has Ween extensively engaged in feeding of cattle and
hogs. His business interests have constantly grown in volume and impor-
tance and his labors, intelligently directed, have brought to him the very
desirable measure of success which he is now enjoying.

On February 26, 1890, Mr. Shuttleworth was united in marriage to Miss
Alice Frank, a daughter of John A. Frank, then of Lincoln township. Pot-
tawattamie county, but now of Atlantic, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Shuttle-
worth have been born four children: Vernis K., born May l'.». 1891; Lloyd
D., born July 9, 1893; Parnell, born January 13, 1895; and Jessie May, born
July 2, 1899. The parent- are widely and favorably known and are much
esteemed by many friends. Mr. Shuttleworth exercises his right of franchise
in support of the men and measures of the republican party and has served
as township trustee and member of the school board. His interest in mat-
ters of progressive citizenship i- deep and sincere and Valley township
numbers him among its worthy and prominent residents.


The subject of this sketch was born in Edmeston, Otsego county, New
York, August 29, 1871. He spent the first ten years of his life under the
parental roof amid the beautiful rural scenes of his native county. Here he
learned the lessons of industry and economy so well taught by hi- parent-.
who were pioneers of central New York. His parents had one paramount
object in view — the education of their children — a family consisting of 'four
boys, of which this is a sketch of the life of the youngest. So whatever sacri-
fices were necessarv, they were made in summer, and winter found the boys
enrolled in school. While all were compelled, by force of circumstance-,
to work on the farm in the summer time, each pursued his studies with
equal diligence in the district school during the winter months.

At the early age of ten our subject left home to work by the month
on a farm and continued to do so for a period of ten years. However, at
the age of fourteen, he left the Empire state and settled in Blackhawk county,
Iowa. After working on the farm during the summer of 1886 he attended
the school in College district in Eagle township. Here he pursued his


studies with avidity. After working on the farm the following summer
until September he entered Leander Clark (then Western) College, at
Toledo, Iowa. Being able to stay during only the fall and winter terms,
the spring of 1888 found him again on the farm, where he continued until
the autumn, when he resumed his studies at Western College. At Christmas
time, having passed the examination for a license to teach, he began his
career as a teacher at Eagle Center, Blackhawk county, Iowa. He taught in
several schools of Blackhawk county, and finally succeeded to the princi-
palship of the Hudson public schools, which position he resigned to enter the
Normal School at Cedar Falls in the autumn of 1892. After two years of

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 39 of 59)