Homer Howard Field.

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

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Saints, in which Mr. Bardsley is serving as elder. He also belongs to the
Masonic lodge at Neola and in the community where he resides his genuine
personal worth has gained him the good will of his fellowmen, while in the
Masonic lodge he has the most friendly regard of his brethren of the fraternity.


0. M. Bruce is a pioneer business man of Walnut and in fact the only
man along the Rock Island Railroad in this county who has been continuously
in business here for thirty-five years. Throughout this period he has main-
tained an unassailable reputation for commercial integrity and the salient
traits of his character are such as have won for him the trust and respect of
his fellowmen.

His life history began at Mount Gilead, Ohio, on the 12th of October,
1848. His parents were George S. and Rachel (Livingstone) Bruce. His
father was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, near Culpeper Courthouse,
about 1816 and was there reared and married, after which he removed to
Mount Gilead, Ohio, about 1840. He became one of the leading men of that
town, where for years he was engaged in merchandising, contributing to the


commercial prosperity of the community as well as to his individual success.
That he was one of the prominent residents of his community is shown by
the fact that he was again and again called to public office. He served for
eight years as postmaster of Mount Gilead and by election filled the office of
auditor of Morrow county for two terms. He likewise acted in various other
official positions, to which he was chosen as the democratic nominee and he
never faltered in his support of a principle in which he believed or a course
of action that he deemed would prove of benefit to his town, county, state or
nation. He held membership in the Baptist church and lived a consistent
Christian life, being called to his final reward on the 3d of November, 1902.
In the family were four children, of whom three are living: Sarah M., who
is now the widow of William Miller and resides at Mount Gilead, Ohio; Ann
Elizabeth, the wife of H. G. Cooper, of Coffeyville, Kansas ; and 0. M. Bruce.

The last named was reared in the place of his nativity and as boy and
youth attended the public schools, becoming a high-school student. There
are few men of his years who can boast of active service in the Civil war, but
Mr. Bruce in 1861, when but thirteen years of age, enlisted in the army,
joining Company D, Sixty-fifth Ohio Infantry. He afterward served with
Company B, Tenth Ohio Cavalry, and was with General Kilpatrick in the
siege of Atlanta. He was with the Squirrel Hunters, who were detailed to
intercept Morgan on his raid into Ohio, and on the 10th of September, 1864,
he was wounded at Campbelltown, Georgia, and taken prisoner. From that
point he was marched to Fairburn, Georgia, and thence to General Hood's
headquarters at Lovejoy Station, later proceeding (<i Griffin, Georgia, where
he was placed in the stockade. This was on Wednesday and on the following
Saturday morning he was taken to Macon, Georgia, when' he was held a
prisoner for six weeks, lie was then transferred to Andersonville, where he
was incarcerated for three weeks, and then started to Salisbury, South Caro-
lina, but on the trip the train was wrecked, killing fifteen men and crippling
thirty. The Union prisoners were then returned to Andersonville and the
day following were transferred to Milan, Georgia, from which southern
prison Mr. Bruce made his escape about the 29th of November. He pro-
ceeded to Savannah, Georgia, where he was paroled on the las! day of Novem-
ber, 1864. With other Union troops he met the northern fleet and was taken
to a parole camp at Annapolis, Maryland. About Christmas time of the
same year he secured a furlough and returned home. On the expiration of
his leave of absence he reported but was told to remain until he was called
for and as a consequence he was never recalled for exchange, being discharged
at Camp Chase, Ohio, on the loth of July. 1865. It was a strenuous expe-
rience fur a youth of his years hut he displayed valor and loyalty equal to
that of many a veteran of twice his age and well may he l»e proud of his
military record when — a boy in years — he did a soldiers full duty in defense
of the stars and stripes.

After receiving his discharge Mr. Bruce again took up the work of the
schoolroom, continuing his education until 1867, when he came west to Iowa.
He spent five years in Monroe, where he was engaged in the drug business
and also became extensively interested in the live-stock business. In 1873


he removed to Walnut, where in March of that year he opened a drug store,
since which time he has conducted the enterprise with constantly growing
success. He is one of the honored pioneer business men of the town and has
been closely associated with its commercial growth and prosperity.

Mr. Bruce has ever been a stalwart advocate of the republican party,
which was the defender of the Union in the dark days of the Civil war and
which has ever been the party of progress, reform and aggressive advance-
ment. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln when but sixteen years of
age, the privilege being accorded him by reason of his military service, the
franchise being given to all soldiers. He was incarcerated in the Confederate
prison at the time but was allowed the voting privilege. He has never sought
nor desired political preferment, yet served as a member of the first board
of councilmen when Walnut was organized. His influence has ever been given
for the election of good men to office and he is always found on the side of
justice and civic virtue. He belongs to Moriah lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Star
chapter, No. 47, R. A. M. ; Fairview lodge, No. 194, A. 0. U. W. ; Camp No.
32, W. 0. W. ; and John A. Dix post, G. A. R.

Mr. Bruce was married in 1870 to Miss Sarah A. Worth, of Monroe,
Iowa, a daughter of Joel B. Worth, who went to Monroe from Kentucky in
1849. Mr. and Mrs. Bruce have two children: Maud B., the wife of Roy
Bigelow of Walnut; and Mabel B., the wife of Otto Ronna, a banker of the
same town.

No history of Walnut would be complete without mention of Mr. Brace,
for he is a citizen whose record reflects credit upon the community in which
he lives. He has always been as loyal to the interests of his country in days
of peace as when he followed the old flag upon southern battle-fields. In the
active affairs of this workaday world he has faithfully done his duty day
after day, making a creditable record in business and winning the friendship
of many with whom he has come in contact by reason of a genial, social
nature and deference for the opinions of others.


One of the most successful physicians and surgeons now engaged in
practice in Council Bluffs is this well known gentleman, who is conducting a
private hospital of his own, known as the City Hospital, and is making a
specialty of surgery. He is a native of the neighboring state of Illinois, his
birth occurring in Hancock county, that state, on the 14th of March, 1869,
but the following year he was brought by his parents to Iowa, the family
locating in Montgomery county, where he was reared to manhood. His early
education, acquired in the public schools, was supplemented by a course at
Ames College, Ames, Iowa, where he was graduated in 1893. His parents
were Thomas E. and Sarah (Langford) Gasson, the former a native of Eng-
land and the latter of Illinois.


Deciding to become a physician, Dr. Gasson entered the Creighton Medi-
cal College at Omaha, and was graduated therefrom in 1898. He first located
for practice at Missouri Valley, Iowa, where he conducted a hospital until
1906, when he opened an office in Council Bluffs, and has since engaged in
practice at this place, his specialty being surgery, in which line he has been
remarkably successful. He prefers surgery to a general practice and has
performed many difficult operations that have attracted general notice and
won the commendation of his professional brethren. He is a prominent mem-
ber of the Pottawattamie County Medical Society, the State Medical Society,
the Missouri Valley Medical Society and the American Medical Association,
and outside of his profession is connected with the Modern Woodmen of
America, the Royal Neighbors and the Knights, of the Maccabees. In what-
ever relation of life we find him he is a pleasant, genial gentleman and although
his residence in Council Bluffs is of short duration he has already become
widely and favorably known and has gained many warm friends.

Dr. Gasson was married July 18, 1904, to Miss Bertha Beard, who had
been a missionary of the Methodist church in China for two years.


Rev. Henry De Long, whose life in the service of the Methodist min-
istry has been of far-reaching influence and great benefit to his fellowmen,
was born September 7, L834, in Old Brighton, Beaver county, Pennsyl-
vania, his parents being Ralph and Amanda De Long, the father a foreman
in a woolen factory. They joined the Mormons in 1843 and went west to
Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, and in 1845 both died, leaving five orphaned
children, including our subject. In 1846 he accompanied the Mormon peo-
ple on their emigration to Council Bluffs. The educational privileges which
he received were extremely limited. He attended school held in a log house
three miles east of Council Bluffs, spending three months there in the winter
of 1850. This completed his school training, but in the school of experience
he has learned many of the valuable lessons of life.

Between the ages of six and sixteen years Mr. De Long knew nothing
but hard work, and, ambitious to improve his knowledge, at the age of six-
teen he entered school, where he pursued his studies for three months,
leaving the expense of the course to his own labor. During that time he
learned to read and write. He afterward was employed at the Ocean Wave
saloon, a famous gambling resort of those days, where he says he spent three
years in learning to become a gambler. His life work, however, has been
along; vastly different lines, for in 1858 he was converted and has since de-
voted his life to the service of the Master. In 1860 he was licensed to preach
by the Metbodist Episcopal church, and in 1870 joined the conference at
Boone, Iowa, Bishop Ames presiding. He was appointed to the Council
Bluffs circuit, comprising the west half of Pottawattamie and parts of Mills
and Harrison counties. Preaching every night in the week and three times


n0 x *«°


on Sunday, digging wells in the day time to earn his bread and butter, Rev.
De Long led a life of intense activity. In 1875 he was located at his own
request and has since been engaged in missionary work in Council Bluffs,
eight years of which time he was under commission of the American Sunday-
school union, making his reports to that organization. He is now probation
officer of the juvenile court.

In 1864 Rev. De Long enlisted as a soldier in the Third Iowa Battery
and was stationed at Little Rock, Arkansas. While there he washed shirts
for his comrades, saved some two hundred dollars, and in 1866 he secured
the old Ocean Wave lot at the corner of Broadway and First streets for a
Methodist church site. The purchase price was two hundred and fifty dollars,
of which Mr. De Long paid two hundred dollars and indorsed the preacher's
paper for the remaining fifty dollars. He says that nothing he has ever
done has given him so much pleasure as this — -the transferral of the property
once used to lower and degrade men to an organization which has done
much for the betterment of the city in its moral development.

Few residents of Council Bluffs have a wider acquaintance than Rev.
De Long. He has been in hearty touch with every minister of the various
denominations here for the past half century and has assisted in many of
their meetings. Since his conversion he has never wavered in his loyalty
to the church which he joined and his entire life has been characterized by a
singleness of purpose — an attempt to live, that others seeing his good works
might glorify his Father. Coming to Council Bluffs with the Mormons as
an orphan boy at the age of twelve years, with no restraining influence or
parental love and guidance, he was lured from the path of righteousness,
but words of wisdom later sank deep into his heart and since his conversion
he has regarded no personal sacrifice too great in his endeavor to make the
world better. It was not long after his conversion that he determined to
preach the gospel, and on telling a brother of the church of his intention, re-
ceived the reply : "You do not know enough to be a preacher of the gospel."
Rev. De Long answered : "It is true that there are a great many people who
know more than I do, but it is also true that there are a lot of people that
do not know as much and I shall ask the Lord for sanctified common sense
and pick my crowd," and for fifty years he has lived among the neglected
children of Council Bluffs and has seen many of the worst characters become
useful Christian men and women and good citizens.

To those at all familiar with the history of Council Bluffs and its moral
development, the work of Henry De Long is known. About sixteen years
ago, associated with other Christian workers, he held the first gospel meeting
of the Union Christian Mission in a store building on Broadway. For two
years and six months meetings were held there every night. All the time
they studied the needs for Christian work, seeking out the lowly, the heart-
broken, the desperate, going indeed into the highways and hedges to seek
out and save those who were lost. Out of this work of the Christian Mission
grew the Girls Industrial School, and when it was found that they could
not do justice to both departments they gave up the mission and concentrated
their energies upon the neglected girls both in their own homes and at the


gospel rooms. A record of the work done during seven years with the Union
Christian Mission showed over twelve thousand visits made to families, while
thirteen thousand people received clothing from the mission. More than
twenty-five hundred gospel meetings were held and six hundred and forty
people publicly professed faith in Christ, these converts representing every
class of society. The Girls Industrial School has been an asylum for the
unfortunate thousands of hungry people who have there been fed. At all
times while ministering to the body they have attempted to minister to the
soul and to bring into the lives of the benighted a light of Christian forgive-
ness and love.

On the 25th of September, 1862, in Council Bluffs, Rev. Henry De Long
was married to Sophronia E. Whitcomb, and unto them were born seven sons
and three daughters, but of this family only three are now living, Mrs. Anna
McElrath, Harvey A. and Henry De Long. In politics Mr. De Long has
always been a republican and fraternally is connected with the Grand Army
of the Republic and with the Order of Eagles. His life work has been given
to the cause of the church in its efforts to bring Christ as a moving force
into the lives of those with whom he has come in contact and thousands
there are who bless him for his kindliness, his assistance, his sympathy, his
words of good cheer and of good counsel.


James Hunter has spenl tin- greater part of his life in Pottawattamie
county but bis presenl place of residence is far separated from his birth place,
which was in Scotland. He was born March 24, L864, his parents being
Lawrence and Elizabeth (McEwen) Hunter, who were likewise natives of Scot-
land. They emigrated to the new world in 1874 and. making their way to
Iowa, settled near Neola, where tin father engaged in farming. He continued
a resident of that locality until called to his final rest, his death occurring
in January, 1906.

Xo event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life
for James Hunter in his boyhood days save his emigration to America, which
occurred when he was ten years of age. He was largely reared in this county,
pursuing his education in Neola and Council Bluffs. Having arrived at adult
age, hi' entered the Bank of Neola, and for several years served as bookkeeper
and assistant cashier. In 1892 lie became one of the organizers of the Ger-
man American Hank, a private banking institution, of which Charles R. Han-
nan was chosen president and -lames Hunter cashier. This hank commenced
business on the 1st of June, 1892, and in a, comparatively short lime became
recognized as one of the safe, substantial financial institutions of the county.
In connection with T. G. Turner. Mi-. Hunter also organized a hank at Bentley
in 1906, with Mr. Turner as president and Mr. Hunter as vice president. In
Minden he erected a good bank building and also a pleasant residence. Mr.
Hunter is also secretary of Group No. 5 of the Iowa Bankers Association, and


has always taken a keen interest in the work of the association. Throughout
his business career he has been associated with financial interests and lias
most intimate knowledge of the banking business in all its departments. I Li-
labors have been attended with a measure of success that is the result of
capable management, keen business discernment and strict adherence to a
fixed purpose. The invariable law of destiny accords to tireless energy, indus-
try and ability a successful career and the truth of this assertion is abundantly
.verified in the life of James Hunter, who by determined purpose and laudable
endeavor has worked his way steadily upward to success.

On the 24th of July, 1899, Mr. Hunter was married to Miss Jennie E.
Alver, who was born in England but was educated in the Council Bluffs high
school and for six years was a teacher in the public schools at Neola. In the
family are four children, Helen, Jean, Leta and Harold.

Politically Mr. Hunter is a republican and though not a politician in the
sense of office seeking has ever kept well informed on the questions and issues
of the day. He has been identified with the schools as a member of the board
of education at Minden for twelve consecutive years and he and his wife are
active and faithful members of the Presbyterian church. Fraternally he is
connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the Woodmen of the World.
He has resided in this county from his youth to the present time and is
well known in Neola, Council Bluffs and throughout this part of the slate,
being closely associated with two banking enterprises. He is recognized as a
man of good business capacity and a successful financier. What he has accom-
plished represents the result of the fit utilization of the innate talent which
is his and the directing of his efforts in those lines where mature judgment
and rare discrimination lead the way. There is in him a weight of character,
a native sagacity, far-seeing judgment and a fidelity of purpose that commands
the respect of all.


Among the worthy citizens that Germany has furnished to Pottawattamie
county is numbered Claus Kuhr, a resident of Lincoln township. His birth
occurred in the fatherland, February 20, 1844, his parents being Henry and
Wiebke Kuhr, who were natives of Germany, where they spent their entire
lives. Their family numbered seven children, of whom four are yet living:
Henry, still a resident of Germany: Claus; Frank of Germany: and Hans,
who is living in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Claus Kuhr spent the first twenty-two years of his life in the land of his
nativity, where he acquired a fair public-school education. The favorable
reports which reached him concerning America and its opportunities led him
to seek a home in the new world, and crossing the Atlantic to the United
States, he located first at Davenport, Iow 7 a, in 1866. In the vicinity of that
city he worked as a farm hand for three years and then removed to Benton
county, Iowa, where he was employed for four years, working on a farm by


the month. In 1873 he arrived in Pottawattamie county, and with the capital
he had acquired through his industry and economy he bought a farm in
Shelby county, just across the county line, which he at once began to cultivate
and improve, living thereon until 1888. He then took up his abode in Pot-
tawattamie county, where he purchased two hundred and eighty acres of
land, to which he afterward added one hundred and sixty acres, so that he
is now the owner of a large and valuable farm property of four hundred and
forty acres, all in Lincoln township. The soil is rich and productive and his
labors have resulted in bringing forth good crops. Everything about his place
is kept in excellent condition, the fences and buildings being in a good state
of repair, and in addition to this property he owns a fine residence in the
village of "\Talnut. In his farming operations he has made a specialty of
raising and feeding stock and this branch of his business has contributed in
substantial measure to his income.

On the 20th of February, 1880, Mr. Kuhr was married to Miss Lizzie
Aulerich, who was born in Germany and in her girlhood days was brought
to America by her parents, both of whom died in Pottawattamie county. Mrs.
Kuhr was one of a family of four children and by her marriage has become
the mother of eight children, of whom seven are yet living, namely: Henry,
at home; Emma, the wife of Earnesi Kahl of Lincoln township; Fred, Anna,
Bernard, Otto and Emiel, all yet under the parental roof.

The parents arc members of the German Lutheran church and are greatly
esteemed in the community where they reside, having made many friends
during the years of their residence here. In his political views Mr. Kuhr has
been a democrat since becoming a naturalized American citizen. For ten
years he has served as school director and the cause of education finds in
him a stalwart champion. His business career has been characterized by
progress in successive stages. He has utilized his opportunities to the best
advantage, and each forward step has brought him a broader outlook. Though
he started out in life with very limited capital he is now the possessor of
valuable farming and other realty ii which are the visible evidence of

his thrift and energy intelligently applied.


Lucius G. Consigny, a worthy successor of an honored father in the con-
duct of the milling interests of Avoca, was born near De Soto, Missouri, on the
2d of August, 1869. In 1872 his parents removed to Avoca, where he was
reared and his education, begun in the public schools and continued through
successive grades until he had completed the course, was further
supplemented by study in Simpson College at Indianola. In 1887, when the
Avoca Roller Mill Company was organized, he became a stockholder therein
and from that time on has given his attention to the milling business. For
seven years he was commercial salesman for the company, on the expiration
of which period his services were required in the office. He joined his father


in the purchase of the greater part of the stock in the business and upon his
father's death succeeded to the presidency of the Centennial Mill Company.
This company now owns a specially equipped plant for the manufacture of
flour and the excellence of its product insures a ready sale on the market.
Connected with milling interests throughout his entire business experience,
Mr. Consigny is well qualified to control an extensive plant of this character
and to so shape its course that successful results are reached.

On the 6th of October, 1897, L. G. Consigny was married to Miss Mabel
Simon, a daughter of Charles A. and Cassie (Gray) Simon, of Nebraska City,
Nebraska. They have two children, Eugenia and Margaret. The family is
prominent socially and the hospitality of the Consigny home is one of its most
attractive features.

In politics Mr. Consigny is a stalwart republican and in the fall of 1903
he was nominated and elected to the office of county treasurer of Pottawattamie
county, serving three years, to which position in the discharge of his duties he
brought the same spirit of dispatch, systematic methods and unfaltering de-
termination which has characterized his business career and made him so suc-

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 45 of 59)