Homer Howard Field.

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

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study here he was graduated from the third year Latin course, receiving
the degree of Bachelor of Didactics. In the fall of 1894 he began his duties
as principal of the Dows public schools, resigning at the close of the year
to enter again upon his studies at the State Normal School. In June, 1898,
he was graduated from the fourth year Latin course, receiving the degree of
Master of Didactics. During his student life at Western College and at the
Normal he took an active part in the social, literary and religious life of the

In the autumn of 1896, he began his duties as principal of the Neola
public schools, a position he filled with satisfaction for a period of four and
one-half years, resigning January 1. 1900, to enter upon his duties as county
superintendent of schools of Pottawattamie county — a position to which he
had been elected at the preceding election.

On July 25. 1900. he was married to Florence A. Baker, the youngest
daughter of Frederick J. Baker, then a farmer living in Pottawattamie
county, but for more than a quarter of a century a wool broker for A. T.
Stewart, the predecessor of John YVanamaker, of New York city. Miss
Baker had been for five years a very successful teacher in the schools of
Iowa, since 1895, the year in which she was graduated from the Iowa State
College, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science. As a result of this
union four children have been born: Harold. Constance, Faith and Truth,
three of whom are now living, Harold having died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. MoManua make no effort to enter into the social life of
the community, but their home, which is a model home, is open at all times
to their friends, whom they number as far as their acquaintance extends.

As county superintendent of schools of Pottawattamie county. Mr. Mc-
Manus was never satisfied with anything but the best for teachers and pupils.
The schools under his supervision made greal advancement. New buildings
were erected, school sites were beautified, and the school equipment was im-
proved, until the schools of Pottawattamie county were second to none in
the state. Tn all of his work he was greatly aided by Mrs. McManus, who
was able and disposed to enter into the spirit of the work in a way thai
compelled success. Mr. McManus held the office for seven years, having the
honor of being thrice elected to the office to which no other republican has
ever been re-elected in the history of the county.

For four years Mr. McManus was a member of the state board of educa-
tional examiners, having been endorsed by over ninety per cent of the


county superintendents and other educators of the state. While he thus
served the state some important steps, looking toward a more rational method
of examination and certification of teachers, were taken by that body, and
Mr. McManus made a record there that received the approval of that exacting
body of people — the teachers of the public schools of Iowa.

Having closed his work as county superintendent of schools January
1, 1907, Mr. McManus opened an office in Council Bluffs, where he could
continue his law reading. He is now prosecuting his law studies under the
direction of Judge Joseph R. Reed, one of the editors of this work and a
distinguished member of the Iowa bar. While thus engaged in completing
his law studies Mr. McManus is giving some attention to the real-estate
business, in which he has been eminently successful. Mr. McManus in
addition to his regular duties finds time for discussing public question -
through the press and from the platform, and as a citizen stands for the
best things in his community. He is active, energetic and public spirited.
Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason ; religiously he is a member of the
Baptist church.


The care and watchfulness necessary to the successful conduct of a
business, the enterprise and energy which promote progress, are all numbered
among the strong characteristics of Frank A. Fox, who is now filling the
responsible position of manager for the George A. Hoagland lumber business
at Council Bluffs. He was born in Constableville, New York, July 25, 1861,
and when eight years of age accompanied his parents on their removal
to Kirkwood, Illinois. Eighteen months- later the family went to Corning,
Iowa, where the father and mother are still living. The former, Dennis
Fox, was born in Ireland, in 1830, and came to the United States with his
parents in 1834. He was married in New York to Miss Elizabeth Clafiin and
unto them were born eight children, of whom five are yet living: George
M. ; Charles A.; Teresa M., the wife of Lawrence Casey; Frank A.; and
Anna J., the wife of James L. Thompson.

Frank A. Fox, the fourth in order of birth, accompanying his parents
on their various removals, remained at the family home in Corning until
1883 and during that time acquired a good public school education. In
1881 he left school and began work in a grocery store. In 1883 he removed
to Council Bluffs, being then a young man of twenty-two years, and here
he entered the employ of F. W. Spetman & Company, general merchants,
with whom he continued until the 1st of January, 1887. Having in the
meantime saved his earnings, he invested his capital -in a grocery business,
becoming the senior partner of the firm of Fox & Galvin. This was con-
tinued until July, 1888, when Mr. Fox sold out and in 1889 entered the
employ of George Bebbington, a lumber merchant, with whom he continued
until May. 1890. when Mr. Bebbington sold out to George A. Hoagland,
with whom Mr. Fox has since continued. He has gradually worked his


way upward in the business world until he is now filling the responsible
position of manager of the business.

On the 30th of November, 1889, in Council Bluffs, Mr. Fox was mar-
ried to Miss Wilhelmina C. Spetman, a daughter of H. H. Spetman. He
belongs to the Elks lodge and in his political faith is a democrat. Through-
out almost the entire period of hi- manhood he has lived in Council Bluffs
and his Imsiness record is well known to his fellow citizens as one which has
at all times been creditable.


John H. C. Stuhr. who is now living a retired Life in the little city of
Minden, was for years a prominenl business man and farmer of Pottawat-
tamie county, and is numbered among its old settlers, having for a third of a
century lived within its borders. He was born in the town of Preetz, Hol-
stein, Germany, near Kiel, February "J7. L841, and was there reared to the
age of sixteen years, when, attracted by the broader business opportunities
of the new world, he emigrated to America in 1857, taking passage on a
ship at Hamburg, which was seven weeks and four days in completing the
voyage, during which time two severe storms occurred, lie landed safely,
however, in New York in May, and tin nee proceeded by way of the lakes and
by rail to Davenport, Iowa.

For a time Mr. Stuhr engaged in working on the farm near Davenport
and al.-o in teaming. At the outbreak of the Civil war he became deeply
interested in the event- which were shaping national history, and in Sep-
tember, 1861, offered hi- services to the government. He continued at the
front until L866, serving in the Twelfth and in the Fifteenth Missouri Regi-
ments of Infantry. In both he was a member of Company I. With the
former he served for three years and was then transferred to the fifteenth
Missouri Infantry, when he veteranized, continuing at tie- front then until
after the close of hostilities, lie participated in the battles of Jackson, Vicks-
burg, Lookout Mountain. Missionary Ridge and Ringgold, Georgia. At the last
place the command lost very heavily, many being killed or wounded. He
was also on active duty in the Atlanta campaign, aided in the capture of
Jonesboro and proceeded with Sherman as far as Savannah. With his
command he was then senl on the Carolina campaign, afterward to New York
and later to Nashville. When hostilities had ceased the regiment was
ordered lo Texas, where they were on guard duty until sent later to the
north. Mr. Stuhr was honorably discharged at St. Louis in L866, ami with
a, most creditable military record returned to Davenport, where he engaged
in teaming.

It was on the Hth of October of that year that Mr. Stuhr was married
in Davenport to Miss Eva Ahron, a native of Germany, in which countrj
she was reared. Following their marriage Mr. Stuhr rented a tract of land
in Scott couhtv, which he cultivated for eighl year-, and in 1874 he cami




I— I


Pottawattamie county, purchasing land near Shelby. The tract was wild
and unimproved, but in the course of years he opened up and developed a
good farm of two hundred and live acres. After living there for some time
he turned the place over to the care of his son, who is still operating it.
Coming to Minden, Mr. Stuhr engaged in the grain trade for seventeen or
eighteen years. He took up his abode in the town in the fall of L893. In
1892 he had purchased an eighty-acre farm near the town, which he greatly
improved, adding to it many substantial buildings. This farm he sold in
1904 for one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre and he .sold the old
home place for one hundred and ten dollars per acre. In Minden he has
erected a number of residences, thus adding to the material improvement
and development of the town. His own home is a line pressed brick dwelling,
commodious and attractive in style of architecture. He has here ten acres
of land, for which he paid one hundred and fifty dollars per acre. He has
helped to improve and make the county what it is today and his labor-
have been especially beneficial to the town of Minden. In all that he under-
takes he is practical, following methods that lead to substantial result.-.

In 1882 Mr. Stuhr was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife,
who had for fifteen years been to him a faithful companion iand helpmate
on life's journey. She died on the old homestead farm, her death being
deeply regretted by many friends, as well as her immediate family. There
were eight children of this marriage; William, who now owns and culti-
vates the old home place; Emma, the wife of William Martins: Mary;
Clara, the wife of William Schultz, of Davenport; Katie, the wife of Charles
Lantz, railroad agent and telegraph operator at Durant, Iowa; Tillie, the
wife of Harry Jens, a farmer of Pottawattamie county; Dora, the wife of
Otto Soukop, a farmer of this county; and Anna, the wife of Herman Ball,
of Minden. In 1883 Mr. Stuhr was married in Plea-ant township to Miss
Abel Lienaun, also a native of Germany. There are four children by this
marriage: Amel W., John O, Olga and Alma.

Mr. Stuhr cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in
1864, when a member of the army, and has supported each presidential
nominee at the head of the republican ticket. While in Pleasant township
he served as assessor for six consecutive years. He has been identified with
the schools as a member of the school board for a long period and also as
its president, the cause of education finding in him a stalwart champion.
Moreover, he has served as a delegate to county conventions and has been
township trustee. In every position that he has been called upon to fill he
has proven himself a faithful officer and one most loyal to the best interests
of the community. He belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge at Shelby and to
the encampment, and in the lodge has filled all of the chairs and is a past
grand, while he has served as delegate to the grand lodge at Sioux City. He
is also a member of the Grand Army post at Shelby and thus maintains
pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He is one of the few remain-
ing veterans of the Civil war who fought for the old flag and the Union.
Since coming to America he had made a splendid record as a business man,
winning success by industry and perseverance, carefully placing his earn-


ings in real estate, which is the safest of all investments. He is now the
owner of five hundred and sixty acres of land near Missouri Valley, Har-
rison county, Iowa, of which his son-in-law is cultivating two hundred and
forty acres, and while winning success in a material way he has also gained
an honored name in the land of his adoption and is regarded as one of the
public-spirited and worthy citizens of Pottawattamie county.


Frank R. Children, manager of the Children's Sons Manufacturing
Company, manufacturers of agricultural implements, is a prominent repre-
sentative of industrial circles in Council Bluffs, his intense and well directed
activity gaining for him a creditable position in the business world. He was
born in Dunleith, now East Dubuque, Illinois, in 1868, and is of English
lineage. His paternal grandfather, Robert Children, was born in England
and came to America in 1846, his last days being spent in Dunleith, Illinois.
Throughout the greater part of his active business life in this country he
was identified with farming and he also appeared at different times on the
lecture platform.

Edwin Children, father of our subject, was born in England on Christ-
mas day of 1830 and was brought to America by his parents in 1846, the
family home being established in Michigan. Five years later he went to
southern Wisconsin, where he remained until 1852, when he crossed the
plains to California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast
and the business opportunities which were thereby opened up. He con-
tinued for four years in that section of the country, working at his trade
of blaoksmithing at French Camp, about thirty miles from San Francisco.
In 1856 he returned by way of the isthmus and settled on a farm near
Lancaster. Grant county. Wisconsin, where he carried on general agricul-
tural pursuits until 1867. Removing in that year to Dunleith, Illinois, he
began the manufacture of corn cultivators and in 1892 he came to Council
Bluffs, continuing his residence here until he was called to his final home
on the 13th of June. 1900. In Lancaster, Wisconsin, ho married Miss Sarah
Carter, who was born in Sussex, England, May 29, 1S40, and came to the
United States with her parents in LS50. Of the children born to Edwin
Children and wife five are yet living: Laura A., Nina A., Frank R., Fay B.
and William C. While living in East Dubuque or Dunleith the father
served for several terms as alderman and was there recognized as a citizen
of genuine personal worth, opposed to misrule in public affairs and stand-
ing for all that is just and right in every relation of life. Both he and his
wife held membership in the Swedenhorgian church.

Frank R. Children spent the greater part of his youth in his native
city and acquired his education in its public schools, which he attended to
the age of fifteen years, when he put aside his text-hooks and entered his
father's factory. There he became familiar with the business of manufactur-


ing corn cultivators and in September, 1892, the factory was removed to
Council Bluffs, so that he became a resident of this city. Here the business
was incorporated in August, 1900, under the name of E. Children & Sons,
of which Frank R. Children became president and so continued until the
fall of 1906, when William C. Children was chosen president and Frank R.
Children manager, while E. G. Anderson continued as secretary. When the
factory was removed to Council Bluffs the business was carried on under
the name of E. Children & Sons, which was also the first incorporated name,
but in August, 1904, the present style was assumed. It is true that Frank
R. Children entered upon a business already established but in enlarging
and extending this in scope many a man of less resolute spirit would have
failed. He is a man of broad outlook and keen discrimination and has dis-
played marked ability in the management of the business, which is now a
successful productive industry of Council Bluffs. He belongs to the Benevo-
lent & Protective Order of Elks and is well known socially, having many
warm friends in his adopted city.


Fritz Bernhardt owning and conducting the barber shop in the Grand
Hotel in Council Bluffs, was born in Cassel, Germany, on the 11th of October,
1844, his parents being George and Marie (Crell) Bernhardi, who were like-
wise natives of Cassel, the former born in March, 1802, and the latter in
1811. The father was a shoemaker by trade and died in his native land
in 1872, while his wife passed away in the same country in 1875.

Their son, Fritz Bernhardi, was a pupil in the common schools of Ger-
many between the ages of six and fourteen years. He was then appren-
ticed to learn the trade of barber and worked for four years in this way
without receiving compensation for his services. He was then granted a
diploma, issued by the civil authorities of his native town, permitting him
to practice his profession and still has this document in his possession. In
1865 he went to Hamburg, Germany, to follow his chosen calling, walking
across the country with his pack of clothes in one hand and a cane in the
other. He also carried with him a pipe of large dimensions, without which
the son of Germany never feels at home. Mr. Bernhardi remained in Ham-
burg for a year, and two weeks after his arrival there he met Johanna Woll-
burg, whom he afterward made his wife. Upon his return to Cassel he
entered the army and served for three years in the war between Prussia and
Austria. He then returned to Hamburg after his discharge from military
service in 1868. It was in 1869 that he married and in the same year he
engaged in the barber business on his own account, continuing therein for
a year. In 1870 he again enlisted in the army and saw active service in
the war between France and Prussia for eleven months, when he was honorably
discharged, having in the meantime been promoted from private to the rank
of corporal.


While Mr. Bernhardi was at the front his business was destroyed and
he was left without anything to work with save his honest hands and good
tools. He again opened up a shop in Hamburg but after a short time he
disposed of his business there and entered the employ of the Hamburg Steam-
ship. Company as barber and doctor's assistant. For eight years he remained
with that company, crossing the Atlantic eighty-five times. On one of these
trips he met the late George Keeline, St., of Council Blurt's, who was suffer-
ing from carbuncles on his back. Mr. Bernhardi treated him and upon
inquiry concerning his nativity Mr. Keeline learned that our subject was
a fellow countryman. A warm friendship sprang up between them and it
was through the influence of Mr. Keeline thai Mr. Bernhardi came to Council
Bluffs, being ottered unlimited assistance by Mr. Keeline if he would engage
in business in this city. Accordingly, in 1879, he decided to come to
America, locating first, however, at Long Branch, where he remained for only
a short time. On the 4th of October, 1879, with his wife, whom he had
married December 18, 1869. he came to Council Blurt's and has here since
conducted a barber shop.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bernhardi have Keen born the following named:
Bertha, born in Hamburg, Germany, is the wife of John Hinkle, a linotype
operator, who is employed in the office of the Daily Nonpareil of Council
Blurt's. They have four children. Gertrude, Madge, Dorothy and Fritz.
Mary, horn in Hamburg, became the wife of Ephraim Strong in 1901.
Mr. Strong operates a machine repair business in Omaha bul lives in this
c ity and unto him and bis wife has been born one child. Donald. Robert,
born in Hamburg, was married in 1901 to Mrs. Elizabeth Tanner, nee Watt.
and they have two children, Bernice G. and Ethel. Mrs. Tanner had two
children of first marriage, Cecil and Margaret Tanner. They live in Council
Bluffs, when- Roberl is employed in hi.- father's shop. Fredericks, born in
Hamburg, was married in 1901 to Walter Ellis, who is employed by the
Kimball Elevator Manufacturing Company of this city, and they have one
child. Margaretta. Mary and Fredericks were married at the same time and
place. Helena, horn in Hamburg, was married in March, 1902, to Theo-
dore Rosch, a plumber, and they have two children. Eldred and a baby.
George William, born in Council Bluffs, was married December 24, 1905,
to Hattie Huntington, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Huntington, and
they have one child. George W. Bernhardi holds a responsible position as
bookkeeper in the Commercial National Bank. Oscar is employed as a bar-
bel in his father's -hop. Rosalinda lives with her parents.

Mr. Bernhardi owns and conducts the barber -hop in the Grand Hotel.
having on,, of the besl equipped tonsorial parlors of the city. It ha- five
chair- and secures a very liberal ami gratifying patronage. He also owns
his beautiful home at No. 217 South First street, where he has lived for
twenty-six years. He took out hi- final naturalization papers in 1884 and
he is an ardent supporter of the republican party, with which he ha- been
' allied since casting his first presidential ballot for .lame- G. Blaine. He be-
long to the Elk lodge, to the Masonic fraternity, the Royal Arcanum, the


sons of Hermann and the Reform church. His life has Keen one of busi-
ness activity and whatever success lie has achieved ha.-; come to him as the
merited reward of his own labor.


Henry H. Rock, identified with agricultural interests in Pleasant tovvn-
shipj where bis birth occurred od the 23d of January, 1880, is a. son of
William V. Rock, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume.
Throughout his entire life he has been identified \\ i 1 1 1 agricultural interests,
fur lie was reared upon the home farm, and since attaining manhood has
engaged in the tilling of the soil. In his boyhood and youth he was a.
pupil in the district schools, where lie acquired a fair English education,
and at the age of twenty-one year- be started out in life on his own account,
working for one year as a farm hand.

Mr. Puck made preparations for having a home of his own by his mar-
riage on the 28th of August, 1901, in Miss Reoa Russmann, of this town-
ship, and in the following spring the young couple located on a farm which
has since been their place of residence. It is owned by Mr. Pock's father
and is a well developed property. Mr. Rock is a successful agriculturist,
and in addition to tilling the soil, in the production of crops best adapted
to the climate, gives considerable attention to the raising of shorthorn cattle,
and this branch of his business adds materially to his income.

Unto Mr. and Mr-. Rock have been born three children, Pearl, Esther
and Lawrence. The parent- are well known socially and have the warm
regard of many friends, who esteem them for their excellent traits of char-
acter. Mr. Rock belongs to Avoca lodge, No. 120, I. 0. 0. F., and to Avoca
camp of the Modern Woodmen. His religious faith is indicated by his
membership in the Lutheran church, to which his wife also belongs. He
is regarded as one of the representative young farmers of Pleasant township,
and, possessing strong traits of character, it is not difficult to predict for
him a successful future. He belong.?, to one of the old and prominent fam-
ilies of this section of the state and his own record is one which reflects
credit upon an untarnished family name.


The time has long since passed when it is considered that it requires
little mental effort to engage in farming. Today the farmer is as well
trained for his work as is the representative of commercial or professional
life. Agriculture has been reduced to a science, and experiment and investi-
gation have brought to men a knowledge not only of the qualities of the


soil and the elements which are needed for different kinds of plant life,
but also a knowledge of even the chemical processes which are undergone
as the plant takes up its nourishment from the ground and converts it into
the leaf and to the grain. Regarded as one of the most scientific farmers
of Pottawattamie county, Frederick William Habicht stands today as a
prominent representative of agricultural life here. He is also well known
as a breeder of registered Aberdeen Angus cattle, Poland China hogs and

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 40 of 59)