Homer Howard Field.

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

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phones in Iowa and Nebraska. Mr. Miller deserves great credit for this work.
He has never asked nor held office in connection with the company, simply
laboring for the good of the community in this direction.

Mrs. Miller bore the maiden name of Belle B. Whitmore and was a resi-
dent of Fulton county, Illinois, her parents being H. J. and Ann Whitmore,
the former a farmer by occupation. They have three sons: Earl W.. now a
student in the state college at Ames, Iowa, where he is pursuing an electrical
engineering course; Carl D., a student at the John A. Creighton Medical Col-
lege in Omaha, Nebraska; and Clarence, who is attending the high school at
Council Bluffs. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Women's Club and has al-
ways taken a very active part in associate charity work. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Miller are prominent socially and one of the leading features of their attrac-
tive home is its warm hearted hospitality They attend the Congregational
church and Mr. Miller is a member of the Elks lodge, the Commercial Club
and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In community affairs he is
deeply and helpfully interested, bis name being a synonym for true American
patriotism, which seek* the good of the community and not personal aggrand-


Robert W. Jones, chief of the fire department of Council Bluffs, was born
in Greene county, Iowa, in 1873, a son of Augustus Jones, who was born in
New York in 1826 and died in 1903 at Council Bluffs. The father lived in
those days when a man's life was filled with various industries and various in-
terests and was not given to a specialty as it is today. As a young man he
taught school, that being considered a most dignified position for young men,
but it proved to be too tame for him and he took up life as a steward on a
merchant ship on the lakes, where he had various interesting experiences.
His father had early' apprenticed him to a carpenter and he felt that at any
time he could return to the trade which he had acquired when a boy. He was
also proficient as an agriculturist, having been reared upon a farm. In 1849
he was seized with the gold fever and took a trip overland to California.

Robert W. Jones came to Council Bluffs with his parents at the age of
seven, and here he received his education in the public schools. He was a
proficient student but, like all boys, was eager to get out in the world and earn
his own living. He had from the time he was a child been interested in fire


engines and had followed them with enthusiasm on their missions through
the streets. At the age of seventeen he left school and entered the fire depart-
ment, first as pipeman, then as captain of No. 4, and in April, 1906, was made
chief. Unlike his father, who was interested in many lines, Mr. Jones early
selected the business that he cared for most and has stuck to it with the per-
sistent determination to win the highest position that it offered.

In 1901, Mr. Jones was married, in Council Bluffs, to Mary A. Wilson, a
daughter of E. Wilson. He has been a life-long republican and though he has
never sought the offices or honors of his party he has always been active in as-
sisting those who have done so. On occasions of duty or emergency he has al-
ways asserted himself with energy and promptness. He is a devoted husband,
an honorable and enterprising citizen, a genial and generous companion, vigi-
lant yet kind and humane in all the office- of life. There are hosts of families
in this city who feel deeply grateful to Mr. Jones for his efficient work as chief
of the fire department. Fraternally he is connected with the Maccabees, the
Knights of Pythias, the Eagles and the Woodmen of the World.


Paul McDonald, living in Neola township, his tanning interests covering
portions of sections _. 3, P> and 11. is numbered among the prosperous and
progressive agriculturists and stock-raisers of this locality. His place em-
braces three hundred and thirty acres and is well improved with good build-
ings and modern and valuable equipments, such as facilitate the work which
now claims his attention. His place is pleasantly Located within four miles of
Neola, so that the conveniences of town life arc easily accessible.

Mr. McDonald is a native of Illinois, having been born in La Salle county,
October 27. L857. His father, James McDonald, was born in Ireland and on

c ing to the new world in L844 settled fibrsl in St. Louis, Missouri, whence he

afterward removed to La Salle county. Illinois. He was a pioneer of that lo-
cality and opened up and developed a farm there, upon which he reared his
family and spent his remaining days. His family numbered three sons and
a daughter, of whom Paul McDonald is the eldest. The sister is P>ridget, the
wife of Dennis Owen^. a farmer of Bureau county. Illinois. The brothers are:
John J., a substantial agriculture of Neola township; and William J. McDon-
ald, who follows farming in Bureau comity. Illinois.

Paul McDonald was reared upon the old farm homestead in the county
of hi- nativity and acquired his education in the public schools there. He was
a young man of twenty-three years when he came westward to Iowa, settling
in Pottawattamie county in 1880. He soon returned to Illinois, however, but
in 1882 located permanently here. On his previous visit he had in connec-
tion with his father purchased two hundred and forty acre.- of land, which is
now owned by Paul McDonald and his brother, John J. In 1880 he began to
break the sod and till the fields. Later he buill a good dwelling and also sub-
stantial barns for the -heller of hay. grain and .-lock, lie likewise planted


shade and fruit trees, which add much to the value and attractive appearance
of the place. His farm, now one of the fine properties of Neola township, has
been developed entirely from the raw prairie. He at first owned but one hundred
and twenty acres, to which, however, he has added from time to time as his
financial resources have permitted until he now has three hundred and twenty
acres all in one body. It is a good tract of land, responding readily to the care
and labor which is bestowed upon it and in connection with the cultivation of
crops best adapted to soil and climate Mr. .McDonald raises high grade Hereford
cattle, having a herd of one hundred head with two pure blooded registered
males at the head of the herd. He makes a business of raising, feeding and fat-
tening stock and keeps from fifty to sixty head annually. In the management
of his business affairs he displays good judgment which, coupled with his un-
faltering industry, has secured his success.

In Neola, in 1885, Mr. McDonald was married to Miss Rachel Ballard,
who was born at Salt Lake City, Utah, a daughter of Mrs. Peter Drury, of
Boomer township, where Mrs. McDonald was reared and educated. By her
marriage she has become the mother of three daughters: Lizzie, who was edu-
cated in Neola and at Island Park, Des Moines, and is now a teacher in this
county; Nellie, the wife of Garrett Schnitker, a farmer of Neola township;
and Mary, at home.

Politically" Mr. McDonald is independent, casting his ballot for candi-
dates, regardless of party affiliations, considering only their capability and fit-
ness for office. He has never desired political preferment himself, as he has
always wished to give undivided attention to his busine-.- affairs. He and his
wife are Catholics in religious faith, holding membership with the church in


C. H. Berkshire, living on section 31, Valley township, owns and culti-
vates one hundred and twenty acre.- of land, which is rich and productive.
He was born in Johnson county, Indiana, on the 17th of March, 1837, and
has therefore reached the Psalmist's allotted span of three score years and
ten. His parents were Felix and Herlina (Hencely) Berkshire, natives of
Kentucky, whence they removed to Indiana in 1836, there residing for three
years. In 1836 they became residents of Lawrence county, Illinois, where the
family home was maintained until 1856. The mother died in 1851, and five
years later the father took his family to Kentucky, where he remained until
1865. He then became a resident of Illinois and later removed to Indiana,
where his death occurred. In his family were eight children.

C. H. Berkshire, the only surviving member of the family, was reared to
farm life and started out for himself at the early age of fourteen years, work-
ing by the month as a farm hand until 1861. He then put aside all business
and personal considerations and offered his services to the government, en-
listing in the Sixty-second Illinois Infantry. He participated in several hotly


contested engagements in that sanguinary conflict and served until 1864, when
he was honorably discharged in Virginia. With a most creditable military
record he returned to his home in Illinois, where he learned the carpenter's
trade, which he followed until 1871. In that year he came to Iowa, settling in
Valley township, Pottawattamie county, where he purchased eighty acres of
land upon which he is now living. Later he bought forty acres more, making
a total of one hundred and twenty acres on section 31, Valley township.

In 1867 Mr. Berkshire was united in marriage to Miss Lavinia Jarett,
who was born in Henderson county, Illinois, in 1848. They have become
the parents of three children: Mary, at home; Frederick F. and C. O, both
in Council Bluffs. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal
church in Oakland and Mr. Berkshire belongs to the Masonic lodge, No.
335, at Oakland. Politically he is a democrat and though he has never
held political office he has served for sixteen years as school director, the
cause of education finding in him a warm friend, who is always loyal to
the welfare of the public schools. His life has been one of untiring industry,
crowned with success. Starting out empty-handed when a young boy, he
has worked his way upward and is demonstrating the power of efficiency,
energy and perseverance as factors in an active business life. Today, at
the age of seventy years, he is in possession of a fine farm and goodly com-
petence, so that he is now enabled to enjoy the comforts and some of the
luxuries of life.


John T. Hazen, who for many years figured prominently in connection
with the official life in Avoca and Pottawattamie county, but is now practi-
cally living retired, although to some extent he engages in auctioneering, has
by reason of this line of business and by his public service become one of
the best known men in this section of the state. He was born in Dearborn
county, Indiana, on the 27th of July, 1846, his parents being Isaac and
Rebecca (Stewart) Hazen. Although the family was established in the
middle west in early pioneer times the father was a native of Pennsylvania,
born about 1821, and in the Keystone state was reared. Soon after his twen-
tieth year he was married and immediately started with his bride for the
frontier, his destination being Dearborn county, Indiana. He was one of
the first to engage in farming in that locality and in the midst of the forest
he built a log cabin and cleared and developed his farm, which he continued
to cultivate until his removal to Iowa in 1854. He again took up the hard-
ships and burdens of pioneer life as he located in Washington county, this
state, entering a quarter section of land from the government near Ains-
worth, where he resided up to the time of his death, about 1893.

When his son, John T. Hazen, was but a boy the father took him in a
covered wagon forty-one miles, to Davenport, to see the first railroad engine
that was brought to the state. It was taken across the river on the ice and


pulled up the bank by a capstan and cable, having been brought to the state in
order to haul the timbers and rails for the roadbed which was being built to
the capital at Iowa City. The family was closely associated with pioneer
conditions and events, bearing their full share in the work of progress and

The father was a life-long democrat but a man of retiring disposition
and never sought or desired office. Having lost his first wife about 1860,
he afterward wedded Mrs. Charlotte Allen. By the first marriage there were
eight children, of whom four are yet living: Melinda, the widow of George
W. Davis, of Piano, Iowa; Minerva, the wife of Ozias Stotts, of River-
side, Iowa; Rosetta, the wife of Edwin F. Keys, of Ainsworth, Iowa; and
John T. By the second marriage there were three children, of whom two
are living: Emma A., whose home is in Ainsworth; and Charlotte, who is
married and also resides in Ainsworth.

John T. Hazen was but a young lad of eight years when brought by his
parents to Iowa and thus upon the frontier he was reared amid its wild scenes
and environments, early becoming familiar with the hardships and diffi-
culties which beset the path of the pioneer. His education was acquired in
the graded schools of Ainsworth and in the academy at Washington, Iowa.
He received ample training in farm labor as he assisted his father in the
development of the fields and later he began cultivating his father's land
as a renter. In 1871 he came to Pottawattamie county, buying a farm of
eighty acres six miles southeast of Avoca in Layton township, where he settled
down to farming. The land was then unbroken prairie and it required much
arduous labor to transform it into cultivated fields. His first wife had died
and he was a widower. As there was no house upon the place he lived for a
time in a tent until he had opportunity to build a little cabin, in which he
kept bachelor's hall for about eighteen months, when he was again married.
His second wife's health proved poorly and he left the farm, removing to
Avoca, where he has since resided. After locating here he worked for some
years as a day laborer, carrying the hod in the building of the second brick
structure erected in the town. He was thus employed during the summer of
1877 and later he worked on a section at a dollar and fifteen cents per day.
In this position, however, he was singled out by the roadmaster as a man of
ability and placed in the freight-house, checking freight. Later he was made
baggage master, which position he filled until he resigned in order to give his
attention to auctioneering. He was able to speak both low and high German
and after he took up auctioneering he soon found that his time was fully
occupied in this way.

In less than twelve years after coming to Avoca Mr. Hazen was elected
sheriff of the county, which position paid him more than six thousand dollars
per year. In 1896 he again bought a farm on the corporate limits of the
town, where he lived for five years, when he sold that place and invested in
three quarter sections in Boyd county, Nebraska, which he still owns. Again
taking up his abode in Avoca, he has since made it his place of residence and
is yet engaged in auctioneering. He is the leading representative of the busi-
ness in Pottawattamie and other counties of this portion of the state and has


become very popular in that regard. As a crier of sales he is apt and ready
and at the same time he displays the keen business judgment which enables
him to drive a good bargain.

In 1867 Mr. Hazen was married to Miss Addie Jones, who died a year
and a half later, and in September, 1872, he married Mrs. Julia R. Harris,
of Avoca, who is a native of Indiana but was reared in Illinois, her father
removing to Nauvoo just as the Mormons vacated that town. Mr. and Mrs.
Hazen have become the parents of six children, of whom five are yet living:
Clara M., the wife of Rev. Alexander F. Irvine, a prominent Congregational
divine of New York city and a well known magazine writer; Paul T. ; Mabel
C, the wife of H. A. McComb, a farmer of the Rosebud agency and a grad-
uate of the State University of Nebraska at Lincoln, while Mrs. McComb was
formerly matron of the Sante Indian agency; Roy R. ; and Edith E., at
home. Ray, a twin brother of Roy, died in infancy. Paul is a graduate of
the law department of Yale University and is now practicing at Naper, Boyd
county, Nebraska. He was a member of the Yale football team and was a
contestant in the oratorical contest in the south half of the state, win-
ning a gold medal. Roy is a graduate of the law department of the Nebraska
State University and a member of a Greek letter fraternity. He is now
practicing his profession in Fairfax, South Dakota. He won the second
honors in the oratorical contest in the south half of the state two years .after
his brother Paul had taken the medal, and Paul gained the silver medal or
second honors in the state contest, losing by only three-eighths of a point.
Both sons are prominent young attorneys.

In his political views Mr. Hazen i< a stalwart democrat and was the only
man elected on the democratic tickel in L890, being chosen to the office of
sheriff. Two years later he was again elected and for twenty-three years he
served in various local position, but lias now retired from active connection
with political work. Hi is a member of Avoca camp, W. <). W.; Avoca lodge,
No. 220, I. O.O. F.. ami of the encampment, while bis wife and daughters are
members of the Rebekah lodge. Mr. II is a self-made man whose ad-

vancement and prosperity in life have come to him through his own labors,
and his record may well serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to
others, showing what may lie accomplished when one is energetic and deter-
mined and possesses laudable ambition.


On a good farm on section 35, York township, lives Eaton Barnes, who
is known in Pottawattamie county as a prosperous and enterprising farmer
and stock-raiser. His Landed possessions comprise four hundred and fifty
acres and the soil is rich and productive, so that good results are obtained
from his farm work. He is, moreover, entitled to representation in this volume
as one of the early settlers of the county, having lived here for thirty-five
years. He has made his home in the state -ince 1852, at which time he settled


in Monroe county. The story of its development and progress is therefore
largely familiar to him. He has witnessed the many changes which have
brought it to its present condition of prosperity and in the localities where he
has resided has contributed to its general growth.

Mr. Barnes is a native of Indiana, having been born near Morgantown,
February 16, 1849. His father, Jesse Barnes, was a native of Kentucky,
where lie was reared, removing thence to Indiana. He was a wheelwright and
gunsmith by trade and followed that business in the Hoosier state up to the
time when he sought a home in Iowa, settling in Monroe county. Here he
turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, owning and occupying
a farm in that county up to the time of his death. II is wife survives him now
at the age of more than fourscore years and is living with a daughter.

Eaton Barnes was but three years of age at the time of the removal of his
parents from Indiana to Iowa and was therefore reared upon the frontier in
Monroe county, sharing with the family in the hardships and trials of pioneer
life at a time when most of the homes of the locality were log cabins, when
much of the land was uncultivated, and when the district was destitute of
many of the improvements, advantages and conveniences known to the older
east. His privileges were therefore comparatively few but his training at farm
labor was not meager and he remained upon the old homestead with his
father until he had attained his majority. However, in the meantime, when
about fourteen years of age, he worked by the month as a farm hand and con-
tinued in the employ of one man for nearly ten years, a fact which is indis-
putable proof of his fidelity as well as his industry.

On the 12th of September, 1872, in Monroe county, was celebrated the
marriage of Eaton Barnes and Miss Mary C. Roll, a native of Indiana, who
was reared, however, in Monroe county, Iowa, where her father, W. L. Roll,
settled at a very early date. He was a native of Kentucky and was descended
from French parentage, the family having been established in Kentucky dur-
ing the pioneer epoch of its development. After his marriage Mr. Barnes
rented land in Mills county, Iowa, and engaged in farming for several years.
In 1872 he arrived in Pottawattamie county and purchased a tract of raw land
of one hundred and sixty acres. This he placed under the plow, continuing
the work of further development and improvement as the years passed, while
from time to time he has added to his original holdings until he now has four
hundred and fifty acres all in one body, although a part of it lies just across
the road in Washington township. The improvements upon the farm include
a commodious and pleasant residence, a basement barn, large corn cribs and
all of the latest machinery to facilitate the work of the fields. From seed that
he planted he has raised fine maple, elm and other forest trees, and has put
out four Orchards, which are all in bearing. He has much fruit of all kinds,
including apples, peaches, cherries and berries and has been very successful
as a horticulturist. All these years he has also been raising, feeding and fatten-
ing stock for the market, shipping annually about two carloads of hogs and
from three to five carloads of cattle. Every branch of his business is proving
profitable owing to his unfaltering energy and his perseverance that never
flags. He has made a study of the best methods to pursue in raising grain,


fruit and stock, and his knowledge, gained from research and practical ex-
perience, largely makes him an authority upon questions connected with agri-
cultural life.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have been born ten children, of whom eight
are yet living : Fremont, a resident farmer of Norwalk township ; Eddy, who
follows farming in York township; Albert L., who is in business for himself;
Charles Fred, at home; Nettie, the wife of D. P. Donnivan, of Harrison
county, Iowa; Mary L., the wife of Irving Andres, of Canada; Nealie and
Nina, both at home. They lost two children — Fannie, who became the wife
of Michael O'Leary and died about a year later, and Vernon, who died at the
age of fourteen years.

Mr. Barnes votes with the democratic party but while -he has been loyal
to its interests he has never sought nor desired office as a reward for party
fealty, preferring to give his undivided time and attention to his farming and
business interests. He has been a resident of the state from very early child-
hood, has witnessed almost the entire development of Pottawattamie county
and has assisted in many ways in the promotion of those interests which haw
contributed to its growth and prosperity. Mr. Barnes is well known as a man
of strict integrity and sterling worth as well as of business capacity and enter-
prise, and he and his estimable wife and their family are much esteemed in
the county, while their hospitable home is a favorite resort with many friends.


Charles C. Platner, deceased, who resided in Council Bluffs and in Pot-
tawattamie county during the greater part of his life, devoted his time and
energies to stock-raising and breeding. He was also the owner of fine race
horses and in these connections was well known. For a short time he was
on the police force of Council Bluffs — his native city. His birth occurred
February 3, 1856, his parents being Ira and Elizabeth S. (Blair) Platner, of
whom mention is made on another page of this work. His educational
privileges were those afforded by the common schools of this city.

When Mr. Platner became a young man lie embarked in business on
his own account, purchasing a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in
Hardin township, Pottawattamie county. He turned his attention to gen-
eral agricultural pursuit-, but made a specialty of stock-raising. Following
his marriage he lived upon the farm until 1883, when he removed to the
northern part of South Dakota, where he took up a claim, which he entered
from the government, There he began the arduous task of developing a
new farm and gave his time and energies to its further improvement. He
also raised stock there for five years and in that time made a good property

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 47 of 59)