Homer Howard Field.

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

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cessful as a representative of industrial interests here. Those qualities, too,
made him a valued official, and he won high encomiums as the custodian of
public funds. He has also been a member of the town council of Avoca. Fra-
ternally he is connected with Council Bluffs lodge, No. 531, B. P. O. E., and
also with the Knights of Pythias lodge. He keeps in touch with the trend of
modern thought, not only regarding business but all those affairs which touch
the general interests of society and at all times he stands for justice, truth and


Hans Peters is the owner of an excellent farm in Layton township. He
was born in Holstein, Germany, on the 10th of November, 1851, his parents
being Frederick and Lottie Peters. The father came to America with his
family in 1868, first settling at Davenport, Iowa. He made his home there
until 1873, when he and his wife removed to Avoca, Iowa, where they spent
their remaining days. In their family were eight children, of whom four
are yet living, namely: Fred, a farmer of Shelby county, Iowa; Johann, of
Avoca ; Albert, also of Shelby county ; and Hans.

In his native country Hans Peters spent the first sixteen years of his life
and then accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world. He
was reared to the occupation of farming, which he has always followed, and
he worked by the month as a farm hand for ten years in his youth and early
manhood. In 1875 he purchased a farm of eighty acres in Knox township,
which he rented for two years, later taking up his abode upon the place. Sub-
sequently he extended the boundaries of the farm by additional purchases un-
til he now owns two hundred and forty acres lying partly in Knox and partly
in Layton township. He has two hundred and forty acres in Lincoln town-


.ship, on which his son Antone resides. He likewise has four hundred and
eighty acres in southeastern Kansas and his farm property is the visible evi-
dence of his life of thrift and enterprise. He has improved his home place by
erecting all the necessary outbuildings and also putting up a nice residence
and the farm is now one of the attractive and valuable properties of the com-
munity. Mr. Peters makes a specialty of the raising and feeding of cattle and
hogs and also carries on general farming, annually gathering good crops.

In 1877 occurred the marriage of Hans Peters and Miss Lena Goettch, a
daughter of Peter and Salki Goettch, who came to America in 1876, settling at
Avoca, whence they afterward removed to a farm. Mrs. Peters was one of
a family of five children and by her marriage became the mother of eleven
children, of whom eight are yet living: Mate the wife of J. J. Maassen, of
Valley township, Pottawattamie county. Iowa: Emil and Antone, both at
home: Amanda, the wife of Henry Stamp, of Layton township, Pottawattamie
county; Emma. Minnie, Anna and Ferdinand, all at home; and Henry, Dora
and Bertha, who have passed away.

The parents are members of tie- German Lutheran church and in politics
.Mr. Peters is ;i democrat, who keeps well informed on the questions and issues
of the day and is a stalwart supporter of the party principles, lie has served
as school director for several year- and also a- road supervisor. Whatever
success hi' lias enjoyed is attributable entirely to hi- own efforts, for lie started
nut in life empty-handed and has worked his way upward by reason of his
unfaltering diligence, close application and strong purpose.


Herman Grote, Sr., who i.- now living retired in Council Bluffs, at the
venerable age of eighty-two years, deriving his income from 1 i i — invested inter-
ests, was born in Kohlstadt, Germany, November 21, 18-2"). a son of Fred and
Sophia Grote. His father, horn in 1808, -pent his entire life in that country
and died in 1853. He was married in Kahl.-ladt. and his wife, long surviving
him. came to the new world, her death occurring in Pottawattamie county,
Iowa, in L880, when she was eighty years of age.

Herman Grote, Sr., acquired bis education in the schools of his native
country and in the spring of 1856 arrived in this city. He had previously
learned the brick-maker's trade in his native country, hut wages were -mail
ami business opportunities were few. Favorable report- reached him con-
cerning tin' business conditions of the new world, and Imping to benefit thereby,
he crossed the Atlantic and made his way to Iowa. For ten years after his
arrival be lived upon a farm in Hardin township, and when that decade had
passed, took up hi- abode in Council Bluffs, where he engaged in the manu-
facture of brick for fifteen year-. During the Civil war he was drafted in
L864 hut hind a substitute.

Ere leaving his native country, Mr. Grote was married to Miss Wilhelmena
Dreiver, a native of Germany. The wedding was celebrated on the 31st of


December, 1854, and for more than a half century they traveled life's journey
together but at length were .separated by the hand of death on the 20th of
December, L906, when Mrs. (h'ote was called to her final rest. She was a
member of the Evangelical Association, which is also the religious faith of
Mr. Grote.

Unto this worthy couple were born the following named: Wilhelmena,
born September 7, 1856, died July 3, 1857. Herman, born February 4, 1858,
on the home farm in Hardin township, was married to Miss Maggie Tjardes,
and they have five children. Mary, born June 20, 1859, became the wife of
Matthew Bartel, on the 4th of December, 1879, and they now reside at No.
901 East Broadway. Mr. Martel being engaged in the grocery business in this
city. Anna, born February 20, 1861, is the wife of Charles Prefke, a resident of
Omaha, Nebraska, and they have seven children. Clara, born November 12,
1862,- is the wife of 0. Yunkerman, who is engaged in the wholesale feed and
seed business in Council Bluffs. He is also a member of the city council from
the first ward. Louisa, born November 21, 1864, died in childhood. Rosa,
born March 6, 1867, married Lou Kost, of Council Bluffs, who is a blacksmith
and wagonmaker of the firm of Kost & Reynolds. They have three children.
Adolph, born November 12, 1868, married Emma Floyd, by whom he has
four children, and is engaged in the wholesale feed and seed business as a
number of the firm of Yunkerman it Company. Minnie, born October 3,
1873, is acting as her father's housekeeper. William O, born June 13, 1875,
married Clara Backemulhe, has one child and is a member of the firm of
Yunkerman & Company, wholesale feed and seed dealers.

Mr. Grote owns two fine farms in Hardin township, Pottawattamie county,
besides several other properties, which bring him a good income, and in addi-
tion has a comfortable home at No. 903 Broadway. He is now living in
retirement, enjoying a well earned rest, for his life through a long period was
one of intense activity, and his energy and perseverance constituted the basis
of the success which now enables him to live in well earned ease. He belongs
to the Evangelical Association, as do his daughters. Mrs. Bartel, Mrs. Kost
and Miss Minnie Grote, and his son, W. C. Grote. The father has now passed
the eighty-second milestone on life's journey, and a review of his life shows
that his has been an honorable record, characterized by diligence and integrity
in business and by faithfulness to every trust reposed in him in other relations
of life.


Samuel B. Snyder, judge of the superior court of Council Bluffs, was born
in Butler county, Pennsylvania, January 30, 1854. His boyhood and youth
were there passed and his primary education was acquired in the public schools
of his native county. He afterward attended Grove City College in Mercer
county, Pennsylvania, where he pursued an elective course. He left the col-
lege in 1878 to enter upon the study of law in Butler, Pennsylvania, and after
thorough preliminary reading was admitted to the bar in 1880 and at once


entered upon active practice. He soon gave proof of his ability in the line of
his chosen profession and in 1882 was elected district attorney for a term of
three years.

Mr. Snyder continued a resident of Pennsylvania until 1887, when he
came to Council Bluffs and opened a law office. Here he soon won recogni-
tion in a liberal clientage, and in 1902 he was elected city attorney, which po-
sition he filled by re-election for two terms, or four years. In 1906 he was
chosen by popular ballot to the office of judge of the superior court for a term
of four years. He has always been a student and deep thinker and in hi?
wide general information is found one of the strong elements of his power
to operate as lawyer and jurist. His broad knowledge enables him to
understand life in its various phases, the motive springs of human conduct
and the complexity of business interests, and this, combined with a compre-
hensive familiarity with statutory law and with precedent, makes him one of
the ablest judges who ever sat on the superior court bench.

In 1885 Judge Snyder was married at Greenbun;. Pennsylvania, to Miss
Mazie, daughter of Eli McGlauglin, and they had six children, of whom two
sons and a daughter are yet living, namely : Erwin P., Kenneth McGlauglin
and Ruth A.

Judge Snyder is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of the Maccabees, while his
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, of
which he is now serving as an elder. Strong in his purposes, clear in his
views, determined in his actions, Judge Snyder is recognized as one of the able
and honored citizens of Council Bluffs, winning success in his professional
career and commanding the confidence ami trust of his fellownien by reason
of an irreproachable private life.


Hugh Pritchard is the owner of the Fairview Stock Farm, having two
hundred and forty acres of valuable land on section 24, Knox township, and
seventy acres on section 19, Layton township, and aside from his agricultural
interests is known in business circles as our of the directors and stockholders
of the Avoca State Bank and a stockholder in the Savings Bank of Avoca.,
He is likewise financially interested in the Harlem & Avoca Telephone Com-
pany, of which he is a director, and his capable management, of his business
interests makes him a leading and prosperous resident of Pottawattamie

His birth occurred in Oneida county. New York, on the 28th of June.
1848, his parents being Daniel and Elizabeth (Hughes) Pritchard, both of
whom were natives of Wales. They came to America in 1837, settling in
Oneida county, New York, and unto them were born six children but Hugh
Pritchard is now the only survivor of the family. The father was a tailor
by trade and followed that pursuit for twelve years in the Empire state. In

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1849 he removed to Racine, Wisconsin, where he engaged in tailoring and
farming until 1864, when he came to Iowa, locating near Iowa City. There
his wife died July 2, 1871, and in 1875 he came to Pottawattamie county,
making his home with his son Hugh until called to his final rest January 26,
1893, his grave being made by the side of his wife in Iowa City.

Hugh Pritchard was a young child at the time of the removal of the
family to Wisconsin. He was graduated from the Racine Select School and
also attended the Iowa State University. After completing his own education
he taught school in Johnson county, Iowa, for four years. He has continuously
followed farming since 1874, when he located upon his present farm in Knox
township, Pottawattamie county. It is all arable and the fields annually re-
turn rich harvests. Mr. Pritchard is likewise extensively engaged in raising
and breeding shorthorn Durham cattle and has recently purchased a straight
Scotch Durham bull, for which he paid eight hundred and fifty dollars, at
West Branch, Iowa. He is now only a senior yearling but weighs sixteen hun-
dred pounds. In addition to his fine cattle Mr. Pritchard has a valuable flock
of Oxford Down sheep and his stock-raising interests are a very important
branch of his business. However, he has extended his efforts into other fields
of activity and is prominently known in financial circles, being one of the di-
rectors and stockholder's of the Avoca State Bank ; a stockholder in the Citizens
Savings Bank of Avoca; and one of the heavy stockholders in the Harlem &
Avoca Telephone Company. He readily solves intricate business problems and
clearly understands complex business situations. His judicious use of his op-
portunities have led to his steady advancement in the business world and he
is now one of the prosperous citizens of Knox township.

On the 9th of November, 1871, Mr. Pritchard married Miss Laura M.
Shaff, who was born in Johnson county, Iowa, January 17, 1850, a daughter
of H. N. and Angeline (Fry) Shaff, in whose family were ten children. The
father, who was a native of Ontario, Canada, died in this state, January 17,
1890, having survived his wife for about six years. She was born in Licking
county, Ohio, and died July 13, 1884. The Fry family, to which she belonged,
was an old and honored one. Her father, Jacob Fry, was a native of Vir-
ginia and of Dutch ancestry. About 1809 he became a resident of Ohio and
from that state enlisted in the war of 1812. In the fall of 1839 he brought
his family to Iowa and located at what became known as Frytown, where he
developed a fine farm, dying there in 1845. His wife, who died at the age of
fifty-five years, bore the maiden name of Susanna Breckenbaugh and was a na-
tive of Pennsylvania. In their family were nine sons and five daughters.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard have been born six children: Lizzie M.,
now the wife of W. H. Jackson, a resident of Oakland, Iowa; James N., who
wedded Mary C. Ward and is living in North Dakota; Charles D., who mar-
ried S. Grace Wood and is engaged in the implement and harness business in
Oakland; Nellie, who is a graduate of the Avoca high school and is now the
wife of Walter Ward, living in North Dakota; Jennie, at home; and William
E., who married Nellie Gerusil and lives on one of his father's farms.

Politically Mr. Pritchard is a republican and for fifteen years has served
as secretary and treasurer of the school board, while at the present writing, in


1907, he is a school trustee. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge, No.
154, of Avoca, and he and his family are all members of the Congregational
church at that place. They occupy an enviable position in social circles and
Mr. Pritchard is likewise prominent in business life, all recognizing the
strength of his character and his marked individuality.


Ira Platner, deceased, was numbered among the pioneer.- of Council
Bluffs, having become a resident of the city in 1850, when the Indians were
still numerous in this section of the state. The town, too, was of small pro-
portions and of little industrial and commercial importance. With its busi-
ness interests he became closely associated as a real-estate dealer and money
leaner, and so continued throughout his remaining days. He was born in
Cherry Valley, New York, a son of Christopher Platner. who was a native of
Germany, whence he came to America in early life, first settling in the Empire
state. There he resided lor a few years, after which he removed westward to
Cedar county, Iowa, purchasing a tract of land near Tipton. He then began
the development and improvement of that property and was engaged in gen-
eral farming there until his death, while his wife also passed away in the
same locality.

Ira Platner began his education in the schools of his native state and fur-
ther continued his studies in Cedar county. Iowa. He resided there when a
young man and was associated with hi- father in the work of the home farm.
After hi- first marriage, however, he left Cedar county and in 1850 came to
Council Bluffs, where In- began dealing in real estate, buying and selling city
property and also building and making improvements. He thus added much
to the attractive appearance of Council Bluffs and to its substantia] growth and
progress. He was very successful in In- real-estate operations and the money
that he made on his property ho would loan on land to farmers and newcomers.
who were then making their way into tin- section of the country to settle homes.
He continued in the real-estate and loan business up to the time of his demise
and in all his business operations a el with gratifying prosperity.

While living in Cedar county. Iowa, Mr. Platner was married to a Miss
Bear, who died in Council Bluffs. There were live children by that marriage:
Marshall, who is now residing in Montana, where he is engaged in mining;
Adnie Dwight, who makes his home in Monts Ferry, Ohio; E. Adelia, the de-
ceased wife of William A. Mynster, a very prominent attorney of Council
Bluffs: and two who died in infancy.

After losing his first wife. Mr. Platner was married in this city to Miss
Elizabeth S. Blair, born August 6, 1831, in Bourbon county. Kentucky, and a
daughter of James Blair, who removed from the Blue Crass state to Potta-
wattamie county in an early day and settled on a farm near Council Bluffs.
He engaged in farming here for a short time and then went to the far west,
establishing his home in California, where he engaged in farming and fruit-


raising, becoming very wealthy through his business operations in that place.
He resided there throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in 1899,
and his wife passed away in that state in 1906. Unto the second marriage of
Mr. Platner there were born two sons, Charles and Clay B. The former died
in 1905, leaving a widow, who bore the maiden name of Annie B. Smith. She
is now a resident of Council Bluffs and has one daughter, Lizzie Marie. The
younger son, Clay B. Platner, is a salesman for the wholesale grocery house of
Groneweg & Schoentgen of this city. He was married January 24, 1883, to
Miss Carrie Kintz, and they make their home with his mother, together with
two of their children. They have three sons: John, at home; Charles, now
of Nevada; and Dwight. at home. They also lost a daughter, Ruth C, who
died at the age of eighteen months.

The death of Mr. Platner occurred in 1899. He held several minor of-
fices in the city but was never a politician in the sense of office seeking. His
political allegiance was given to the democracy and he had firm faith in its
principles. His wife and daughter-in-law are both members of the Presby-
terian church. Mrs. Platner owns considerable property here and for many
years resided in a brick residence on Broadway but in 1907 sold that property
and erected a large and attractive dwelling at No. Ill Glen avenue, where she
is now living, together with her son and his family. Mr. Platner was for al-
most a half century a well known and prominent business man of the city,
his business interests bringing him into close connection with many residents
of this part of the state and wherever he was known he was held, in high es-
teem. In his business career he was watchful of opportunities and through
the improvement of the advantages which came to him he was enabled to
leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances.


William L. Overman, president of the Oakland Savings Bank since Feb-
ruary 1, 1907, was born in Muscatine county, Iowa, on the 8th of May, 1874.
His father, Benjamin Overman, also a native of this state, is living at What-
eheer, Iowa. He was formerly identified with farming but is now engaged in
merchandising, and he gives his political support to the republican party. In
early manhood he wedded Elizabeth L. Cunningham, who was born in Illi-
nois and died in 1890 at the age of thirty-five years. They had six children :
William L. ; Myrtle, a trained nurse, living in Pasadena, California; Harriet,
deceased; Jesse, a farmer of Atalissa, Iowa; Pearl, a school teacher near Grin-
nell, Iowa; and Charles, who follows farming near Atalissa.

William L. Overman was reared to farm life and attended the country
schools, after which he continued his studies in the high school at Malcom,
Iowa. He afterward filled a clerical position with the Rock Island Railroad
Company at Malcom. eventually becoming telegraph operator and subsequently
station agent, continuing at that place for seven years. He was afterward
transferred to Anita as agent, spending eight years there, on the expiration of


which period he resigned to enter the banking house of James E. Bruce at
Anita. He spent two and a half years in that place, after which he was trans-
ferred to a bank owned by Mr. Bruce at Atlantic, Iowa, where he served as
cashier for about two years. He came to Oakland on the 1st of February, 1907,
when the Spalti Brothers Bank was reorganized and incorporated as tbe Oak-
land Savings Bank, Mr. Overman becoming its president. His experience in
the banking business, acquainting him with every detail, well qualified him to
take up the onerous duties which now devolved upon him in this connection.
He brings to his work keen discernment, sagacity and unfaltering industry — -
qualities which argue well for a successful future. He is a member of the
Iowa Bankers' Association.

In 1896 was celebrated the marriage of William L. Overman and Anna
Cady, who was born in Malcom, Iowa, in May, 1873, a daughter of Silas M.
and Julia Cady, the former a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Overman
have one daughter, Dorothy Louise, born in March, 1898. A member of the
Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias lodge and the Modern Woodmen
camp, Mr. Overman is loyal to the principles and the purposes of these orders.
He is equally faithful in his allegiance to the republican party and while liv-
ing in Anita was a member of the city council but he prefers to give undivided
time and attention to his business affairs, in which he is meeting with merited


Franklin W. Miller, an able practitioner at the bar of Council Bluffs, has
been a resident of Iowa since 1881, in which year lie settled in Mills county,
coming thence to this city in 1896. He was born in Fulton county, Illinois,
his parents being Daniel Y. and Jane (Randolph) Miller, who settled in the
Prairie state in 1848 and are still living there.

Mr. Miller's life has been one of intense and well directed activity. His
literary education being completed, he engaged in teaching school for five
years and during that time devoted his leisure, aside from the duties of the
schoolroom, to the mastery of the principles of law. After careful and thor-
ough preparation he was admitted to the bar at Springfield, Illinois, in 1880,
by the supreme court of that state. The following year he removed to Iowa
and settled in Mills county, where he continued in the practice of his profes-
sion until his removal to Council Bluffs in 1896. He has for twenty-seven
i ars been a member of the bar, during which time he has given proof of his
wide and comprehensive knowledge of law principles and his ability in cor-
rectly applying them to the points in litigation. He is engaged in general
practice in all the courts, both state and federal, and he was in 1906 honored
by the democratic nomination for the office of district judge. The district,
however, has a republican majority of eight thousand and although he did
not succeed in overcoming this he ran far ahead of his ticket, polling a strong
vote. Aside from what he has accomplished in his profession, Mr. Miller is
deserving of mention for what he has done in establishing an independent


telephone system here. He was the organizer of the Independent Telephone
Company at Council Bluffs, having been the one who formed the company by
selecting the persons composing it and who circulated a petition for its fran-
chise, which was carried by a vote of two to one at a special city election held
therefor and was also the first signer for stock. The movement was started on
the 15th of July, 1904, and the company was organized in the spring of 1905.
It now has over three hundred thousand dollars invested, a local exchange of
over three thousand and connection with one hundred and seventy thousand

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 46 of 59)