Homer Howard Field.

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

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his hearing, his deafness continuing throughout his remaining days.

It was while he was residing in Columbus, that Mr. O'Donnell was first
married, Miss Marie Howard becoming his wife. She died in Council Bluffs
and is survived by a daughter, Katherine, now the wife of Charles V. Parker,
a resident of California. The elder child of the marriage, John, is now

From Columbus Mr. O'Donnell removed to Michigan, where he worked
at his trade for a short time and then with his family started westward,
making the journey to Council Bluffs by wagon. They resided for a short
time at Iowa City and the husband and father there engaged in black-
smithing and horseshoeing, after which they resumed their journey, travel-
ing across the country after the primitive manner of the times. This was in
the year 1857. On reaching his destination Mr. O'Donnell opened a black-
smith shop, which he conducted for a few years, meeting with good suce ess
in his business. Leaving his wife and family in Council P>lufTs. lie afterward


went to the west to look over the country, and while he was in Virginia City,
Montana, his wife became ill and died. He then returned to Council Bluffs
and once more took up blacksmithirig. Here he was married again in 1869,
his second union being with Miss Ellen Shcedy, also a native of Ireland and
a daughter of John Sheedy, who came to the United States at an early age.
He first settled at Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where he resided for several
years, but his sons had come to the west and on that account Mr. Sheedy made
his way to Iowa, settling near Lyons, upon a farm, which his sons had pur-
chased for him. There he turned his attention to general agricultural pur-
suits but was soon afterward taken ill and died nine months after his arrival.
His wife survived him and passed away in Council Bluffs. Unto the second
marriage of Mr. O'Donnell there were born three children : Margaret M.,
who is living with her mother and is a stenographer in Council Bluffs ; Wil-
liam, who died August 6, 1906, at the age of thirty years; and Mary, who
resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is editor of the woman's
section of the North American.

Mr. O'Donnell continued to engage in blacksmithing and wagonmaking
and secured a liberal patronage. He established shops in various parts of
the city, employing a number of workmen, and he also engaged in buying
and selling horses, which he found could be conducted profitably. At length,
on account of failing health, he determined to retire, and in 1889 sold out
all of his business interests. He then lived retired for ten years, spending
his last decade in the enjoyment of a rest which he had truly earned and
richly merited. He died here. April 6, 1899, to the deep regret of many
friends who esteemed him as a man of genuine personal worth. His friends
desired him to become a candidate for city offices on various occasions but
he always refused, giving, however, a steadfast support to the democracy.
His religious faith was indicated by his membership in St. Francis Catholic
church, of which Mrs. O'Donnell is still a communicant. Mr. O'Donnell
was a friend to every pioneer of Council Bluffs. In fact he was one of the
best known residents of the city, living here at a time when a man was not
rated by money but by real character. All who knew him esteemed him,
and his death was deeply deplored by many with whom he had been associated
for long years. Mrs. O'Donnell owns a fine residence at No. 323 Glen avenue,
where she and her daughter reside. She also has other valuable property
here, including an attractive residence on Park avenue, from which she
derives a good rental.


William Fletcher Sapp, city clerk of Council Bluffs, clerk of the superior
court and clerk of the board of police and fire commissioners, has made an
excellent record for capability and fidelity in public office. Virtually all of
his life has been spent in this city, whither he came with his parents in his
childhood days. He was born in Mount Vernon, Knox county, Ohio, March


13, 1858, a son of Colonel William Fletcher Sapp, one of the most dis-
tinguished citizens of Council Bluffs, now deceased, of whom extensive men-
tion is made on another page of this volume.

The removal of the family to Omaha, Nebraska, occurred during the
early childhood of the subject of this review, and after the Civil war, in
which the father served, the family came to Council Bluffs. In the schools
of this city the son obtained his early education, which was supplemented
by study at Tabor College in Tabor, Iowa, at Columbia University, in Wash-
ington, D. O, and in Phillips Academy, at Andover, Massachusetts, from
which he was graduated in June, 1879. He then spent several years in Wash-
ington, D. O, with his father, who for several years was a member of congress,
and in 1881 he returned to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where for years he was in
the office of his father, who was engaged in the practice of law, and later he
was engaged in the real-estate and fire insurance business.

Mr. Sapp has been for some years well known in republican circles as
a leading member of the party and in 1906 was its candidate for mayor.
The republican ticket met a partial defeat at the polls that year but soon
afterward -Mr. Sapp was appointed to his present office by the city council,
and in the discharge of his duties has displayed the executive force, keen
discrimination and devotion to duty which make him one of the trustworthy
and honored officials of Council Bluffs. He has fraternal relations with the
Elks, IIoo-IIoo and Eagles, while his religious faith is indicated by his
membership in the Episcopal church.

Mr. Sapp was married July 10, 1888, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Miss
Lucy Luella Loomis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Loomis. Her father
was then prominently engaged in the implement business at Council Bluffs,
beinii managing partner of the firm of David Bradley A: Company. He is
now a resident of Los Angeles, California.


G. D. McClaskey is a partner in the Avoca Printing Company, publishers
of the Avoca Tribune, and throughout the greater part of his life has been
connected with the printing business. He is perhaps even more widely
known in connection with poultry interests and has conducted a number of
poultry exhibits throughout the great middle west.

\ native of Illinois, Mr. McClaskey was born in Plainfield, Will county,
November 23, 1877, a son of Mr. and Mrs. II. B. McCla«key, who came to
Avoea at the same time as their son— July 1. 1907. G. D. McClaskey was
nine years of age when he removed with his parents from his birthplace to
Nebraska. He attended the public schools of that state and during the
periods of vacation worked on the farm or with his father at the carpenter's
trade. He had a greal fondness for line ,-toek and poultry, and at the age

of fifteen years was devoting all his tii ut of school to his stock.

On the 14th of May, 1894, he entered upon an apprenticeship to the


printer's trade in the office of the Papillion (Nebraska) Times and thoroughly
acquainted himself with the trade and the newspaper business. While still
in his teens he held a position in one of the big printing establishments in
Omaha, Nebraska, and spent one year on the Auburn (Nebraska) Post. After
a few years he became part owner and manager of the Papillion Times, in
the office of which he served his apprenticeship, and all the time he con-
tinued his work with his live-stock interests, in which he has operated to
the present time.

On the 29th of December, 1904, Mr. McClaskey sold his newspaper inter-
ests at Papillion and removed to Clay Center, Nebraska, where he spent
a year as editor of the Poultry Gazette, a monthly poultry magazine. On the
1st of January, 1906, he accepted a position in the office of the Sure Hatch
Incubator Company, then at Clay Center, as correspondent, and when the
plant was removed to Fremont, Nebraska, July 1, 1906, he was retained as
office manager, which position he filled until the following December, when
there was a change of management and he accepted the position of adver-
tising manager of the Fremont Daily Herald.

Having again become associated with newspaper work, Mr. McClaskey
had a desire to again engage in business for himself- and soon began looking
about for a favorable location. He decided on Avoca, Iowa, and with Wil-
liam Stull, formed the Avoca Printing Company, purchased the Avoca Print-
ing plant and business, taking possession July 1, 1907. He has always been
successful in newspaper work, is a good printer and is thoroughly competent
and conversant with every department of the business, keeping in touch with
the most progressive methods. In his job printing department he makes a
specialty of live-stock and poultry printing. Under his able management
the Tribune has grown since he assumed control and is now a newspaper
that would be a credit to any town. After two months it was necessary to
employ another man to take care of the newspaper business and T. B. Hutch-
inson, a veteran newspaper man of Fremont, Nebraska, was secured as asso-
ciate editor, Mr. McClaskey's time being now entirely devoted to the manage-
ment of the business. He is also well known as a poultry judge and manages
a number of exhibits every season in the territory between Chicago and
Denver. He has few if any equals in this line or in a knowledge of fine
poultry, and his opinions are largely received as authority on the subject.


Well controlled business interests brought to Clair J. Stilwell a gratifying
competence and he is now living retired in one of Council Bluffs' most beau-
tiful homes, at No. 444 Glen avenue, deriving a goodly income from the
judicious investments which he has made in real estate. He was born in
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, February 2, 1854. His father was E. S. Stilwell, a native
of Akron, Ohio, born June 27, 1828. For many years he was a farmer and
also carried on contracting and building for a long period. On the 23d of


March, 1853, he wedded Miss Eliza Sumner, who was born in Akron, Ohio,
March 1, 1833, and they now reside in that city, to which they removed
from Oshkosh many years ago.

Clair J. Stilwell was a student in the common schools of Ohio and Wis-
consin, and when he put aside his text-books he began learning the cigar-
maker's trade. He was married to Miss Helen Nichols, a daughter of Thomas
and Hannah Nichols, on the 3d of February, 1879, the wedding being cele-
brated in Oshkosh. The marriage of her parents took place in the same
city, November 8, 1855, Mrs. Nichols bearing the maiden name of Hannah
Remington. They now reside upon a farm near Oshkosh, where Mr. Nichols
has for some years successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits.

Mr. and Mrs. Stilwell arrived in Council Bluffs on the 17th of March,
1880, and for a few months he worked at the trade of cigar-making. Dur-
ing that time he sold some property in Akron for five hundred dollars and
this sum he invested in a farm in Lewis township, four miles east of the
city. He then turned his attention to the cultivation of the soil and also
established a dairy, which he conducted for ten years, retailing milk during
the first three years and then conducting a wholesale business during the
remainder of the time. His farm was appropriately named Meadow Brook
and upon it he resided for twenty-four years, during which period he engaged
in the business of raising fine horses and cattle. He was quite successful in
this enterprise and with a gratifying competence won from his labors he
retired to private life in July, 1904, and took up his abode in Council Bluffs.
Here he built a home a1 No. 4 14 Glen avenue, where he and his estimable
wife now reside. The doors of this dwelling ever stand hospitably open for
the reception of their many friends and the <rnod cheer which always abounds
there is greatly enjoyed by their many acquaintances.

Mr. Stilwell is an enthusiastic member of the Elks. His political alle-
giance is given to the republican party whore question- of state and national
importance are involved but at local elections he casts an independent ballot,
regardless of party ties He possesses considerable property in Council Bluffs,
from which he derives a good income, in addition to the Meadow Brook farm,
and he is now most comfortably situated in the enjoyment of the fruits of his
former toil.


An excellent- farm property of two hundred and forty acres, situated in
Pleasant township, three miles west and two miles south of Avoca, pays tribute
to the care and supervision of its owner, Christ V. Rock. Standing in the midst
of well cultivated fields is a beautiful residence, while near by is a mammoth
barn, with all other buildings necessary for the sheltering of grain and stock.
The farm is in fact one of the best improved properties of the locality, lacking
in none of the accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century. Today
Mr. Rock is classed with the prosperous residents of his community but when







I— I




he arrived in Iowa he was possessed of a capital of only twenty dollars. All
that he now owns has come as the direct result of his labor and perseverance.
In connection with general farming he follows stock-raising, making a spe-
cialty of registered polled Durham cattle.

Mr. Rock was born in the province of Waldeck, Germany, January 5,
1858, a son of Frederick Rock. His parents' home was his shelter during the
days of his boyhood and youth, while the common schools of Germany afforded
him his educational privileges. The reports which reached him concerning
America proved so attractive to him that in 1876, when eighteen years of age,
he bade adieu to friends and native country and sailed for the United States.
Journeying into the interior, his destination being Iowa, he spent two months
in Clinton county and afterward came to Pottawattamie county, where he be-
gan work as a farm hand, continuing in the employ of others for nine years.
During this period he carefully saved his earnings with the intention of some
day becoming the owner of a farm.

In the fall of 1881 Mr. Rock returned to Germany and in the following
spring brought his father to the United States. He then located in Scott
county, Iowa, and for three years longer was employed at farm labor, when he
began farming on his own account on rented land in Scott county. In 1889
he once more arrived in Pottawattamie county and here his earnings took
tangible form in a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he purchased
on section 23, Pleasant township, where he now lives. The land being now his
own, he resumed agricultural pursuits in earnest and has carefully conducted
his business affairs up to the present time. In 1898 he erected a barn of very
extensive proportions, the following year purchased an adjoining eighty acres,
whereby the boundaries of his farm were extended until it now comprises two
hundred and forty acres. Further evidence of his prosperity was given in
1903, when he erected a handsome residence, while at different times he has
built substantial fences, sheds, cribs and added all of the conveniences of a
model farm of the twentieth century. What a contrast to his financial con-
dition when he first came to Iowa! He had twenty dollars and was a
stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the customs and habits and the
speech of the people. He has since become possessed of a comfortable com-
petence through the wise use he has made of his opportunities and his careful
investment. The secret of his success lies entirely in his perseverance and his
diligence, and his record should serve to encourage others to follow a similar
course and reach the same desirable results.

In 1885 Mr. Rock was married to Miss Caroline Rock, a native of Scott
county, Iowa. Her father also bore the name of Christ Rock and came to this
state from Germany, being among the early settlers of Scott county, where he
located in 1856. Our subject and his wife became the parents of six children
but Caroline, the third, is now deceased. The others, Bertha, Ida, Alfred, Ar-
thur and Rosa, are all at home.

Mr. Rock is a democrat with somewhat liberal views and while supporting
the party on national questions he often casts an independent local ballot.
He is a member of the board of trustees, having served for six years in the
office, while for ten or eleven years he has been a member of the school board,


putting forth effective effort in behalf of the cause of education through the
employment of competent teachers and the adoption of new and liberal ideas
concerning education. He belong- to Avoca lodge, No. '220. I. 0. 0. F., and
to Avoca Gesang verein. His church relationship is with the Lutherans and
he is classed with the prominent and leading German farmers of Pottawattamie
county. Never neglectful of any business interest, he has never allowed the
accumulation of wealth to make him sordid but on the contrary is a man of
generous spirit and progressive views, desirous that others shall accomplish a
success similar to that which he has won in his business life here.


Philip E. Hetrick. living on section 35, York township, has been a
resident of Pottawattamie county since 1 S T7 and for nine years has resided
upon his present farm. A native of Pennsylvania, his birth occurred in
Buntingdon county, April 2. L862, and his parents. Peter and Elizabeth
(Aumen) I let rick, were also natives of the Keystone state. They were the
parents of seven children, three daughters and four .suns, of whom five were
born in Pennsylvania and were broughl by their parents to Iowa in 1866,
the family home being established in Scot! county. The father, a farmer
by occupation, continued to engage in the tilling of the soil in Scott county
for eighl years, after which he removed to Poweshiek county. Two and
a half years later he came to Pottawattamie county, having previously invested
in one hundred and sixty acre- of land here. Upon this trad he located,
making the farm his home for a long period, it being his place of residence
throughout his remaining days. His death occurred September L5, 1895,
when lie had passed the age of sixty year-, and his wife died July 10, 1890.
They were much esteemed in the community when- they lived, being people
of the highest respectability.

Philip E. Hetrick was only four year.- old when brought by his parents
to Iowa and was a lad of eleven year- at the time of the removal of the
family to Pottawattamie county. Here he was reared in the usual manner
of farm lads, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall
to the lot of the agriculturist. Uo attended the common schools for the
acquirement of an education and remained with his parents up to the time
of his marriage, which was celebrated on the 1st of January. 1888, the lady of
his choice being Miss Alma J. Johnson, a native of Sweden.

The young couple began their domestic life upon a rented farm, where
they lived for two years, al the end of which time Mr. Hetrick felt justified
in purchasing seventy-three acres, having acquired sufficient capital by eco-
nomical expenditure and unwearied industry in the previous years. He
resided upon that place for five year- arid greatly improved it. after which
he sold the farm to good advantage and for two year- more cultivated rented
land. In 1898 he bought his present place of one hundred and sixty acres on
section 35, York township, and has since built here a good barn, granary


,iiid hog house. He has also fenced the place and has thus divided it into
fields of convenient size. His fanning work is carried on in accordance with
the most advanced methods of progressive agriculture, and through the
careful tilling of the soil and the rotation of crops he annually gathers good
harvests. Upon his place he has good graded stock, including short horn
and Durham cattle and Chester White hogs, annually feeding two carloads of
cattle and one carload of hogs, the sale of which brings to him a very desirable

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Hetrick has been blessed with three chil-
dren — Charles A., Mabel and Sophia, all of whom are yet under the parental
roof. The family attend various churches and Mr. Hetrick is a member
of the Modern Woodmen camp at Oakland. In national affairs he is a
republican, while locally he is independent, little regarding party ties where
no issues are involved. In matters of citizenship, however, he is progressive and
withholds his support from no measure or movement that is deemed of public
benefit. He has witnessed the development of the county for thirty years and has
been a participant in many movements which have proved directly helpful.
In his private business affairs he has displayed keen discernment and unabat-
ing diligence and each year has added to his income, so that he is now one
of the substantial agriculturists of York township.


John W. Warner, living in Valley township, is a native of Parke county,
Indiana, born October 1, 1850, bis parents being Alpheus and Catherine
(Huxford) Warner. Their children were four in number but only two
are living, the brother of our subject being Charles Warner, also of Valley
township. The father was horn in Culpeper county, Virginia, March 4,
1819, and removed to Indiana with his parents in 1832, a settlement being
made in Parke county, where he was reared. He then engaged in farming,
there spending his remaining days, his death occurring in 1879. In politics
he was a democrat. His wife, who was born in Ohio in 1827, died in 1856,
and the father afterward married Mrs. Alvira Dicken, nee Shirk. By this
marriage there were five children, of whom one is living — Frank L., of
Crawfordsville, Indiana.

John W. Warner was reared at home, acquiring his education in the
common schools, and upon his removal westward to Iowa he located at Knox-
ville, Marion county, where be was employed as a farm hand for a year.
In October, 1875, he went to Nebraska and upon his return from that state
stopped in Pottawattamie county and purchased eighty acres of land in Valley
township, on which he now resides. Later he returned to Marion county,
but remained there only a few months, and in the spring of 1876 he set-
tled on his Pottawattamie county farm. Success was with him and he
prospered. In 1882 he bought a two-thirds interest in an eighty acre farm
near him but later sold that, and in 1899 he purchased eighty acres adjoin-


ing. In 1900 he bought an additional forty acres and in 1902 he bought
another eighty acres, making his present farm one of two hundred and eighty
acres lying on sections 15 and 22, Valley township. He has been quite
extensively engaged in raising cattle and has a number of thoroughbred polled
Angus cattle on his farm. He also makes a specialty of Duroc Jersey hogs,
and in his stock-raising interests, as well as in general farming, has been
very successful, becoming one of the prosperous residents of his community.

In March. 1877, Mr. Warner was married to Miss Mary V. Griffith, of
Valley township, Pottawattamie county, and daughter of Mahlon Griffith, who
came to Iowa from Licking county, Ohio, in 1851 or 1852, arriving in
Pottawattamie county in 1854. Mrs. "Warner was born and reared in Valley
township, and at her death, on the 7th of December, 1905, was the oldest
citizen of the county in point of years of residence here. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Warner were born twelve children, of whom Minnie L. and Bessie M. are
both deceased. The ten still surviving are Ella M. ; Florence E., the wife of
Henry Olsen. of Valley township; George R., who is a graduate of the Wood-
bine Normal school and for several years has been teaching; Inez V. and
Iva L., twins; Charles E., Fred E., Blanche, Elvira E. and Lawrence E., all
yet at home. With the exception of the second daughter all are yet under
the parental roof.

Mr. AVarner votes will: the democracy and has served for three terms as
township assessor and for one term as township trustee. He has repeatedly
been a delegate to the county and state conventions, and for years has been
one of the strong factors in democratic ranks in Pottawattamie county and

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 49 of 59)