Homer Howard Field.

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

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participated in the battles of the regiment up to and including the engage-
ment at Chickamauga, where he was in command of his company. At the
close of the battle he was captured and was first incarcerated in the tobacco
warehouse, known as Libby prison, was later sent to Belle Isle and lastly to
Andersonville, being a prisoner of war for nineteen months. He was then
exchanged and was on the steamer Sultana when she blew up near Mem-
phis, Tennessee. Mr. Brown swam and floated down the river four miles,
when he climbed a tree on a submerged island where he held on from one
o'clock at night until ten o'clock the next morning, when with others he
was rescued. There was, however, an awful loss of life from that steam-
boat disaster. When the war ended he came to Iowa, where he died on the
7th of January, 1904, his death being largely caused by his army experi-
ence, for his health had become broken down and he never fully recovered from
the effects of his life upon the tented fields of the south. He had for some
years survived his wife, who died in 1892. She was a cultured and literary


woman and numerous articles, both prose and poetry, from her pen appeared
at various times in eastern and mid-western periodicals.

Dr. Brown is one of a family of four children, the others being Anna
R., who died at the age of nineteen years while attending college in Ohio;
Elizabeth, the wife of Levi H. Fuller, an attorney, who holds a chair in
the law department of the Northwestern University at Chicago; and Cyn-
thelia Maud, the wife of Alfred C. Watts, one of the head district civil and
mining engineers for the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.

Dr. Brown acquired his early education in the public schools of his
native town and afterward attended Parsons College at Fairfield, Iowa. He
prepared for his profession as a student in the Still College of Osteopathy,
of which he is a graduate. He also took a course at Kirksville, Missouri,
in 1900, and post-graduate work in various medical colleges. Coming to
Council Bluffs, he located here in 1901 and has since been successfully
engaged in the practice of his chosen profession. He has secured many
patrons, enjoying a generous practice and is now well established.

The Doctor is a member of the Masonic fraternity and also of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is quite well known in social
circles, being a popular member of the Commercial Club and the Council
Bluffs Boat Club. In the line of his profession he is connected with the
Iowa Osteopathic Association, being a member of the board of trustees, and
the American Osteopathic Association. His religious faith is indicated by
his membership in the First Presbyterian church, in which he is serving
as elder. In politics he is a stalwart republican and when William Mc-
Kinley was candidate for the presidency was living in Colorado. He was
made a delegate to the state republican convention in a free silver state,
where to work for a gold standard man meant to stand fearlessly in support
of one's views in the face of strong opposition. Such a course, however,
is characteristic of Dr. Brown. He has never wavered in his allegiance to
any cause or purpose which he believed to be right. On the contrary he is
ever most loyal to his convictions and stands as one who is unfaltering in
his advocacy of what he believes to be for the best interests of the individual,
the citv or the nation.


William H. Dudley, a stockman of Council Bluffs, was born June 8,
1854, near Windsor, Vermont, a picturesque old village beautifully situated
at the foot of Ascutney mountain. It was in this village that Hiram Pow-
ers, the famous American sculptor, was born. The Dudley farm also lay
at the foot of the mountain in a district noted for beautiful scenery. His
father, Allen Dudley, was born in Vermont in 1828 and was there married
to Miss Sarah E. Harrington. They became the parents of four children,
of whom one died in childhood, while throe are yet living, namely: William


H. ; Mary E., the wife of Henry S. Britton, of Hartland, Vermont; and
Helen A., the wife of Ernest E. Martin, of Mount Holly, New Jersey.

William H. Dudley was reared on the old homestead, remaining there
until he had attained his majority. He attended the public schools of
Windsor and when not busy with his text-books was occupied with the labors
of the farm. Wishing to see something of the world and desiring to have
better business opportunities than he could secure in his native locality, he
left Vermont in 1876 and made his way westward to Chicago, entering a
packing house for the purpose of learning the business. There he remained
for five years, conducting a packing house for John P. Squires, of Boston.
In 1881 he came to Council Bluffs, where he entered the live-stock business,
in which he has since been engaged. For years he has been a well known
live-stock commission merchant of South Omaha, conducting extensive oper-
ations in this line and winning a creditable measure of prosperity.

In 1884 Mr. Dudley was married, in Council Bluffs, to Miss Susan L.
Patterson, a daughter of William L. and Mary I. (Wallace) Patterson.
They have three children: Allan H, Chester P. and H. Eusebia.

Mr. Dudley belongs to the Elks lodge. He has never sought to figure
prominently in public life aside from his business interests, being content
to devote his time and energies to the brokerage business, in which he has
met with growing success as the years have gone by. His worth is widely
recognized as a man of integrity as well as industry. Each forward step
he has made has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunities
and he has at all times been actuated by laudable ambition in whatever he
has undertaken.


John Peter Mergen, well known as a brewer of Council Bluffs, his native
city, was born May 26, 1876. His father, John Mergen, was born in Beezle-
bach, Luxemburg, Germany, December 16, 1837, and died in Council Bluffs,
July 15, 1901. On coming to America he had located in Omaha in the
early '50s and there he engaged in gardening until after the outbreak of
the Civil war, when he enlisted in defense of the Union cause, serving with
Company B of the First Nebraska Regiment under General Thayer. At
the close of the war he came to this city, where he engaged in the grocery
and liquor business, in which he continued up to the time of his death.
He was a man of sterling worth and attended strictly to his own affairs.
He never held an elective office and took but little interest in politics but
was very devoted to his family and loyal to his large circle of friends. He
was married to Elizabeth Rautenkranz, in Council Bluffs, in the early '70s.
She was born in Germany, December 24, 1849, and came to this country
a few years prior to her marriage. She now makes her home at No. 709
South Sixth street and is a member of the Catholic church, of which her
husband was also a communicant during his life. He likewise affiliated


with the Catholic Knights of America. In their family were three chil-
dren. Anna, the eldest, is the wife of Jacob M. Krug, of the Knag Brew-
ing Company of Omaha. She was educated at St. Francis Academy in this
city, is also a member of the Catholic church and by her marriage has be-
come the mother of one daughter, Clara, born in 1907. Lena M. Mergen,
born December 24, 1874, was educated at St. Francis Academy and is living
with her mother.

John Peter Mergen, the only son, was a student in the public schools
of Council Bluffs in early youth and for three years attended St. Benedict's
College in Atchison, Kansas, where he was graduated in 1893, being the
youngest pupil to complete the course in that institution. He was married
September 7, 1898, to Miss Ellen Frances McGann, a daughter of Hugh and
Anna McGann, of this city. Mrs. Mergen was born and reared here and
was educated in the public schools. She, too, is a member of the Catholic
church and is identified with the Degree of Honor. By her marriage she
has become the mother of two daughters: Rodna Marguerite, born Novem-
ber 3, 1899; and Cecil, born August 3, 1901.

Mr. Mergen is now manager for the Willow Springs Brewing Company
of Council Bluffs, having been connected with this industrial enterprise since
1905. His office is at No. 617 Main street, while the brewery is located at
Third and Hickory streets, Omaha, Nebraska. It was formerly owned by
the Nebraska Brewery Company but was purchased by the present company
in 1903, since which time the business has rapidly grown, while extensive
additions and improvements have necessarily been made in order to meet
the increased demand for the output of this celebrated brewery, which is
recognized as one of the leading enterprises of this character in the west.
Much credit is due Mr. Mergen for the success of the business. He is a
genial, whole-souled, public-spirited citizen, highly esteemed in the community.
He belongs to the Catholic church and is without aspiration for political
office, preferring to devote his entire time to his business interests. He is
yet a young man but he occupies a responsible position in trade circles,
his ability winning for him liis presenl place in the commercial world.


A. T. Hubbard, living on section 26, Neola township, carries on general
farming and the raising and feeding of stock, his place of three hundred and
forty-three acres indicating his practical methods and systematic labor in its
well improved appearance. He has for a quarter of a century made his home
in Pottawattamie county. 14 is birth occurred in Crawford county. Pennsyl-
vania, October 14, 1846, and he comes of English ancestry, the family having
been founded in the new world during the early years of the seventeenth cen-

His father, J. T. Hubbard, was born in Fredonia, New York, a son of
Jonathan T. Hubbard. In the Empire state he was reared to the age of four-




teen years, when he went to Pennsylvania, where he attained his majority. In
that state he wedded Emeline Cooper, a native of Vermont, and to provide for
his family he followed agricultural pursuits in Crawford county, Pennsylvania,
where his remaining days were passed. There his death occurred about 1895,
when he had reached the ripe old age of seventy-five years. His wife still sur-
vives him and is now a well preserved woman of eighty-one years. A. T. Hub-
bard is the eldest of the five children, two sons and three daughters, his brother
being William Hubbard, who died when a young man of twenty-two years.
The sisters are: Mary, the wife of T. B. West, of Lyonsville, Pennsylvania;
Caroline, the wife of William Head, of Conneautville, Pennsylvania; and Har-
riet, the wife of Ira Hites, of West Springfield, Pennsylvania.

Upon the home farm A. T. Hubbard spent the days of his boyhood and
youth, enjoying the educational advantages afforded by the common schools
and by the Conneautville Academy. Later he engaged in teaching for four
winters in the Keystone state but afterward took up the occupation of farming
as a life work, and has since engaged in that pursuit. He was married in
Pennsylvania in 1876, to Miss Mary J. Dull, who was born in Paris, Portage
county, Ohio.

They took up their abode upon a Crawford county farm and Mr. Hubbard
carried on a large dairy business there for a number of years, but the middle
west attracted him and in 1882 he arrived in Pottawattamie county, hoping to
find it easier to purchase land and become owner of a good farm in this section
of the country. He first rented a tract of land in Norwalk township — his
brother-in-law's place — comprising fourteen hundred acres. Upon this farm
he lived for seventeen years, being thus extensively engaged in agricultural
pursuits. During that time, about 1887, he bought his present property on
section 26, Neola township, and upon this place took up his abode in 1899.
Here he has erected a good residence, barns and outbuildings and has fenced
and made a valuable place of this property, which is pleasantly located within
a mile of Neola. He makes a specialty of raising, feeding and fattening stock
and is extensively engaged in the business, shipping about twenty-five car-
loads of cattle annually. In fact he is one of the most prominent stock-dealers
of the county and his large business brings him a gratifying financial return

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard has been blessed with three children:
John N., a farmer and stock-feeder of Harlan county, Nebraska; Louise, the
wife of Clarence F. Sealock, a farmer of Neola township; and Wilbur F.. who
assists his father on the home farm.

The parents are members of the Presbyterian church at Neola, in the work
of which they are actively interested. Mr. Hubbard is serving as one of its
elders and contributes generously to its support. Politically he is a life-long
republican, and while never a politician in the sense of office seeking he has
been identified with the educational interests of the county, doing effective
work of that character while serving on the school board for fifteen years. A
quarter of a century has passed since he arrived in this county and he has
therefore witnessed much of its growth and development, while his labors have
been an important element in its advancement, especially along agricultural


lines. His worth as a man and citizen are demonstrated by the high regard
which is uniformly tendered him, while his ability in business circles has
found expression in the acquirement of a valuable property which he now
owns and in the conduct of the business which has made him one of the sub-
stantial residents of the community.


Nels Olsen, who died August 30, 1907, resided on section 26, Neola
township. He was classed with the prosperous and progressive agriculturists
of his community and that he deserved this reputation is indicated by the
neat and attractive appearance of his home farm of two hundred and forty
acres. In addition to this place he owned another tract of three hundred
and twenty acres and that his life was a very busy one may be readily
imagined owing to the fact that he personally superintended the cultiva-
tion of both farms. He possessed the characteristic thrift and enterprise
of his Danish ancestry.

His birth occurred in Denmark, October 12, 1840, and there the days
of his boyhood and youth were passed, his education being acquired in the
common schools, while his knowledge of the English tongue was gained
after he came to the new world. A residence of thirty-three years in his
native land convinced him that ho would find better business opportunities
in the new world and accordingly in 1873 he came to the United States,
making his way to Council Bluffs, Iowa. There he worked in the transfer
yards for four and a half years. On the expiration of that period he came
to Nenla and bought eighty acres of land upon which no improvements
had been made. He cleared and fenced the place, erected good buildings
and opened up the farm. As the years passed he carried on the work of
development and improvement in such a practical, progressive way. that
he bad one of the best farm- of his locality. As his financial resources
increased he added to his original holdings from time to time until he
-. i( ured two hundred and fori \ acres in (lie home place. He erected here
a commodious and pleasant residence, good barns and a granary, set out an
orchard and made the place what it is today — one of the best developed
properties of the locality. He also had another farm of three hundred and
twenty acres situated on section :'.■">. Neola township. This is also a valuable
property and with his farming he carried on raising and feeding of stock,
conducting his varied interests so carefully, systematically and industriously
that he was numbered among the prosperous agriculturists of this part of
the state. In all his labors he was ably assisted by his wife and son, Mrs.
Olsen indeed proving to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life's

It was on the 19th of June. L875, in Council Bluffs, that Mary Jen-
sen became the wife of Nels Olsen. She was born January 22, 1852, and
reared in Denmark, came alone to the new world and was here married.


Fourteen children have been born of this union, eight of whom are living,
three sons and five daughters: Julius, who aids in carrying on the home
farm; George and Edward, also at home; Olena, the wife of Samuel Christ-
ianson; Anna, at home; Sophia, the wife of Hans Hansen; Alma; and
Dagmar. They lost four daughters and two sons, of whom Augusta grew
to womanhood and married but died December 13, 1908, while the others
died in infancy.

Politically Mr. Olsen was independent, supporting men and measures
rather than party, nor has he ever sought or desired office. He was, how-
ever, much interested in the cause of public education and did effective
service in behalf of the schools while acting as a member of the school board
for eighteen years. He and his wife were members of the Danish Lutheran
church. In the community where they resided they became widely and
favorably known by reason of the many good qualities which they displayed
in business and social relations. The life record of Mr. Olsen is a splendid
illustration of the fact that success may be gained by those who start out
in life empty-handed if they have but the determination and energy to
closely apply themselves to business.


Among the citizens of German birth now living in Silver Creek town-
ship is numbered August Olderog, whose home is on section 6, where he
has one hundred acres of good land. This is now a model farm property
and its splendid appearance is due to the labor which the owner has bestowed
upon it. A native of Holstein, Germany, he was born January 16, 1851,
of the marriage of Clans and Gertrude (Mekermang) Olderog. The father
died in Germany and the mother came to America in 1881, her death occur-
ring in 1903, when she had reached the advanced age of eighty-four years.
By her marriage she had become the mother of four children : Henry died in
Nebraska at the age of fifty-six years on the same day on which his mother's
death occurred — March 3, 1903; August is the second of the family; Doris
is the wife of William Husz of Silver Creek township; and Amolia is the
wife of Ulysses Strohbehn, of Silver Creek township.

August Olderog arrived in Davenport, Iowa, on the 8th of May, 1869,
when a young man of eighteen years. He had attended school in his
native country to the age of fourteen years in accordance with the laws of
that land and afterward worked at the carpenter's trade, completing his
apprenticeship in Davenport. He continued his residence in that city from
1869 to 1871 and afterward spent one year in Chicago. He then returned
to Davenport, where he made his home until 1876, being engaged in car-
pentering during the greater part of the time.

In the last mentioned year he came to his present farm, which he had
purchased in 1872 and which comprises one hundred acres of land on sec-
tion 6, Silver Creek township, Pottawattamie county, lying partly in the


village of Treynor. It was unbroken prairie when it came into his posses-
sion and he paid about ten dollars per acre for the tract. It has since in-
creased in value tenfold owing to the rapid settlement of the county and
the splendid improvements which Mr. Olderog has placed upon it. He has
erected good buildings here, has set out a fine grove of maple trees, having
brought the nursery stock from Davenport, and has also planted an orchard
which has come into good bearing. For the first two or three years after
he came to the county he continued to work at his trade to some extent
and thus secured some ready money which enabled him to prosecute his
farm work. He has followed farming and stock-raising with excellent suc-
cess, also feeding and shipping stock, and his careful management has
brought to him gratifying prosperity. His business is systematically con-
ducted and through the rotation of crops he keeps his land in good con-
dition. He is also an excellent judge of stock and this enables him to make
judicious purchases and profitable sales.

On the 3d of May, 1878, Mr. Olderog was married to Miss Marie Dorothy
Dow, who was born near Kiel, Holstein, Germany, November 7, 1859, and
was brought to Iowa in 1872, the family home being established in Daven-
port. Her parents were Detlef and Dorothy Dow. The father died during
the first year of their residence in the new world and the mother is now
living in Welton, Iowa. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Olderog has been
blessed with six children, namely: Augusta, the wife of Peter Kilgore, of
Council Bluffs; Rosa, Emil. Minnie, John and Elsie, all yet at home.

Mr. Oldcrog's political views accord with the principles of the repub-
lican party and he gives loyal allegiance thereto. He has served as trustee
of his township for six years and is a member of the Treynor council. He
filled out an unexpired term in that office and was then elected to the posi-
tion. In this capacity he gives loyal support to every measure introduced
for the good of the village, and his labors in behalf of public progress have
been far-reaching and beneficial. He belongs to the Lutheran church of
Treynor and in his life is actuated by honorable principles and worthy


J. C. Miller, the owner of two hundred acres of land in Knox town-
ship, Pottawattamie county, which he is successfully operating, was born
in Denmark on the 9th of September, 1860, a son of Andrew and Hannah
Miller, who were also natives of Denmark and passed away in that country.
They had the following children : Christine, the wife of Chris Sorenson,
living in Nebraska; J. O, of this review; William, deceased; Trine, the wife
of Peter Nelson, a resident of this county; Carl, who makes his home in
Shelby county, Iowa; Lena, who became the wife of Martin Larson and now
resides in the state of Washington ; and Marie, who still resides in Denmark.

J. C. Miller was reared in his native country and there acquired his
education. In 1885, at the age of twenty-five years, he determined to take


up his abode in the new world and accordingly crossed the briny deep, tak-
ing up his residence in Pottawattamie county, Iowa, on his arrival in this
country. He operated rented land for nine years and then, with the money
which he had saved during this period, purchased a farm of his own. He
is now the owner of two hundred acres on section 26, Knox township, Potta-
wattamie county, and has improved his farm until it is one of the model
properties of the county. He has built a fine residence, also a barn and
other outbuildings and has equipped his place with all modern accessories
and conveniences. He is meeting with success in his agricultural interests
by reason of his well directed energy and capable business management and
is recognized as one of the county's alert and enterprising farmers and busi-
ness men.

In 1881, Mr. Miller was joined in wedlock to Miss Marie Hansen, who
was born in Denmark in 1859. She was one of a family of six children
and both her parents died in Denmark. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the parents
of seven children, namely: Christ F., of Twin Falls, Idaho; Hannah,
Christine, Fred, Antone, Emma and Carl, all yet at home.

In his political views Mr. Miller is a democrat and has served as school
director for two terms. He and his family support the Lutheran church
and are recognized throughout the community as people of genuine per-
sonal worth and commendable traits of character. Mr. Miller has never
had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world, for
here he has found the opportunities he sought and through their utilization
has gained his present prosperity. He also attributes his success in large
measure to the aid of his estimable wife, who has ever been a faithful com-
panion and helpmate to him on the journey of life.


For over twenty years Dr. Melvin J. Bellinger has been engaged in the
practice of medicine and surgery in Council Bluffs and has gained a leading
place in his profession. He is of German lineage and was born in New

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 43 of 59)