Homer Howard Field.

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

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this section of the state. For twenty-seven years he has been a valued mem-
ber of Valley lodge No. 439, I. 0. O. F., of Hancock, and he also belongs
to the Farmers camp, Xo. 204, of the encampment. Pleasantly located, his
success in life is attributed to his close application and well directed energy,
and he is today accounted one of the foremost representatives of agricultural
interests in Valley township.


John lV:t. who is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits on sec-
tion 10. Pleasant township, was born in Ireland on the 20th of June, 1836,
a son of Michael and Mary (Rhyne) Dea, who were also natives of Ireland.
The father followed farming in his native land, and in 1857 emigrat3d to
the United States, first making a location in New York. After remaining
there for one winter he removed to Portage lake, near Lake Superior, which
became the permanent home of the family, both he and his wife passing
away there. They had seven children but the subject of this review is the
only one now living.

John Dea acquired his education in his native country and remained
under the parental roof until he had attained the age of eighteen years. He
then made the voyage across the briny deep to the United States, and for three


years was employed in the copper mines at Portage lake, near Lake Superior.
On the expiration of that period he determined to go to Australia but when he
reached New York he met his parents, who had just emigrated from Ireland.
He therefore remained with them at New York and in the spring, in com-
pany with his father and mother, he returned to the Lake Superior country,
where he again began work in the copper mines, being thus engaged until the
spring of 1866. In that year he came to Iowa and opened a restaurant at
Davenport, which he conducted successfully for two and a half years. On
the expiration of that period he took up his abode at Walnut, Pottawattamie
county, Iowa, where he secured employment as a section foreman with the
Rock Island Railroad. In the spring of 1870 the railroad sent him to
Shelby, where he was employed as foreman until the fall of 1880. Mr. Dea
then purchased a farm of one hundred and nineteen acres on section 16,
Pleasant township, Pottawattamie county, took up his abode thereon and
began improving and tilling the land, which he has brought under a high state
of cultivation by his untiring labor and modern methods of farming. He
erected a nice house and barn and all other necessary outbuildings and in its
neat and thrifty appearance the farm indicates the supervision of a practical
and progressive owner.

On the 15th of January, 1862, Mr. Dea was united in marriage to Miss
Mary Barrons, who was born in Ireland in 1837. She was one of a family of
four children and her parents both passed away in Ireland — -their native land.
Mr. and Mrs. Dea became the parents of eleven children, as follows: Edward,
who has departed this life; Adelia, the widow of John Gross, who makes her
home in Nebraska; Michael, living in Tacoma, Washington; John, deceased;
Martin and Nora, both at home; Catharine, who is living at home and has
taught school for twelve years; Mary, who has also been engaged in teaching
school for twelve years and is now in a convent at Milwaukee; Margaret, who
has followed the same pursuit for eight years; John, at home; and William,
who is also employed as a teacher.

Mr. Dea gives his political support to the democratic party and has served
as township trustee for several years and also as school director for a number
of years. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic church at Avoca,
Iow ? a, and are well and favorably known throughout the entire community.
The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America has
been more than realized, for here he has found the opportunities he sought
and through their utilization has gained the prosperity which is today his.


The Officer family was well known in Council Bluffs in pioneer days,
and its representatives are found here today, members of the family having
ever been valued citizens of the community since Robert Officer arrived in
1868. For a long period he was numbered among the wealthy and retired
citizens. His birth occurred in Chester county. Pennsylvania, on the 5th


of February, 1795, and during his childhood he accompanied his parents
on their removal to the village of Washington, Pennsylvania, where he wa=
educated in the common schools. He was still a resident of that place at
the time of his marriage to Miss Margaret Scott, who was born in Washing-
ton county. Pennsylvania, May 10, 1707, her parents having been pioneer
farming people of that community, where they spent their entire lives.

After his marriage Mr. Officer was engaged in the dry-goods business
in the village of Washington for a number of years, conducting an establish-
ment which proved to him a good source of income. He was then made
sheriff of Washington county and held that office for a few years. Follow-
ing his retirement he invested his money in farm lands in Washington
county and turned his attention to the sheep-raising business, which he
carried on in tin- easl until L852. In that year he disposed of his prop-
erty and other interests in Pennsylvania, and came to the middle west, set-
tling first in Jacksonville, Illinois, purchasing farm lands near that city.
He made hi- home in the city but gave hi- supervision to the further develop-
ment and improvement of hi- farm property lor ;i year. On the expiration of
that period lie removed to Springfield, Dlinois, and again invested in farm land
lying m Sangamon county. He lived practically retired in the capital city
but gave hi- supervision to hi- farming interests until L868, when he .-old his
property in Mmois and came to Council Bluffs, a.- hi- son Thomas was then
living here. He continued to make his home in Council Bluffs until his
demise. Here he invested in city property and managed hi- interests but
practically lived retired until his death, which occurred October 3, 1873, in
the house where hi- daughter, Mr-. Blaine, and hi- granddaughter, Mr-.
Wirt, are now living. Hi- wife survived him for only about .-'even year-.
passing away on the 12th of December, 1880. They were a mosl worthy
and highly esteemed couple and enjoyed in large measure the friendship
and good will of those with whom they came in contact. Mr. Officer was
tan of upright principle- and manly conduct, who held membership in
tie Presbyterian church and took greal interest in the church work. He served
as elder in his church in Washington, Pennsylvania, and after coming to
the west did all in hi- power to promote the growth and extend the influence
of his church in this pari of the country.

1 nto Mr. and Mr- Officer were horn eleven children, of whom three are
yd living. Rebecca A., the eldest daughter, horn Augusl 5, 1826, in Wash-
ington county. Pennsylvania, i- now the widow of Neil (i. Blaine ; who was
a brother of Tames 0. Blaine, the distinguished statesman and republican
lender of men. Mrs. Blaine now re-ides in Council Bluffs with her daughter,
Mrs. William 0. Wirt, at No. 716 Willow avenue. In early life Mr. Blaine
was a farmer in Washington county, Pennsylvania, and at an early period in
the development of the middle west be became a residenl of Springfield, Illi-
nois, and engaged in farming near that city. There he lived until called to
his final rest, his death occurring, however, when he was a comparatively
young man. There were two children horn unto Mr. and Mrs. Blaine: Mrs.
William <i. Wiit. of Council Bluffs; and William G., who died at the age of
nine years. Sarah E. Officer is the widow of W. II. M. Pusey and resides with


her daughter, Mrs. Penny, on the old Penny farm near Council Bluffs. Robert
P. married Margaret Hughey and they also reside in Council Bluffs with Mr.
and Mrs. 'Wirt at No. 716 Willow avenue. Mr. Officer being engaged in the
real-estate business here. Eight of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Officer have
departed this life. Thomas, who was a banker of Council Bluffs and a promi-
nent business man, died September 12, 1890, leaving a widow and two chil-
dren, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. The others were:
.Mrs. Martha J. Newell: John Scott; William IT.; David, who died at the age
of nineteen years; and three who died in infancy.

Mrs. Wirt, the granddaughter of Robert Officer, is the wife of William 0.
Wirt, who is connected with the Union Pacific Land Company, at Omaha,
Nebraska, but they reside in Council Bluffs and take care of her mother, Mrs.
Blaine, who has now passed the eighty-first milestone on life's journey. Mr.
and Mrs. Wirt have two interesting children. Edward B. and Eleanor B. The
family home is at No. 716 Willow avenue, which property is owned by Mrs.
Blaine, who also has other real-estate interests here, Mr. Officer having left his
family in very comfortable financial circumstances.


Almost forty years have come and gone since William Niemann took up
his abode in Pottawattamie county, and with its history, its development and
its upbuilding he is largely familiar, having witnessed its growth, since it
was a tract of almost unbroken prairie, through successive stages of improve-
ments until it is now one of the prosperous and populous counties of this great
state. As the years have passed he ha- lived a life of activity that has resulted
in making him a successful farmer and stock-raiser, owning and cultivating
one hundred acres of land on section 7, Norwalk township.

Mr. Niemann was bom in Hanover, Germany, July 14, 1852, his parents
being John and Lena Niemann. They were born, reared and married in Ger-
many and four of their children were born there. In 1866 William Niemann
emigrated to the LTnited States, settling first in Wisconsin, whence in 1868 he
came to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here he worked in a brickyard for some time,
after which he was employed in the agricultural implement shops. After liv-
ing here for two years he was joined by his father, who bought land in Nor-
walk township and spent his last days here. William Niemann broke the sod
and started the farm for his father, continuing its cultivation for four or five
years. He then purchased eighty acres of raw prairie where he now resides,
turned the first furrows on the place, fenced the land, and developed the farm;
which year after year has brought forth rich crops as the result of his labors
and energy. He afterward bought twenty acres adjoining the original tract
and has erected a comfortable dwelling and also good outbuildings. He has
likewise planted fruit and made the farm what it is today — a valuable prop-
erty. Later he bought another farm but eventually sold that place.


Mr. Niemann has been married twice. In 187S, in Norwalk township, he
wedded Dora Grundel, a native of Germany, who died in 1887, leaving two
children: John, who is connected with railroad service in Denver, Colorado,
as assistant station agent; and Dora, the wife of Louis Grobe, a farmer of this
county. In 1888 Mr. Niemann was again married, his second union being
with Miss Sophia Schuerle, also a native of Germany. They have three daugh-
ters — Sophia, Lena and Mary.

The parents are members of the Lutheran church at Underwood and in
politics Mr. Niemann is a republican. He has long resided in the county and
whatever success he has achieved is attributable entirely to his own labors and
energy. He has made good use of his opportunities and has prospered year
after year, being now one of the substantial agriculturists of his community.


Frank B. Hahn, deceased, was engaged in the retail liquor business in
Council Bluffs for nearly twenty years and was well known in political as
well as business circles. During the period of his residence in the city, datinu
from 1886, he was regarded as one of the leaders in democratic circles. Hi-
birth occurred near Louisville, Kentucky, January 9, 1865, his parents being
Bernard and Racine (Chad wick) Hahn, both of whom were natives of Penn-
sylvania. After their marriage the father removed with his family to Ken-
tucky, where he lived for a few years and then became a resident of Morri-
son, Illinois. He was there engaged in railroad work as a conductor on the
New Albany Railroad, serving in that capacity, when in 1866 he met death
by accident at Morrison, Illinois. The mother afterward came to Iowa and
lived with her son Frank until she, too, passed away at Missouri Vallcv. this
state. Only one of their children survives, a daughter, who resides in Nevada.

Frank B. Hahn was educated in the public schools of Missouri Valley, to
which place he removed with his mother. The father died when the son
was but an infant, and after he had acquired a public school education he
devoted his time and attention to various lines of business. In 1886 he re-
moved to Council Bluffs, where he entered the employ of Harry Inman, with
whom he remained for a few years, and then started in business on his own
account, having in the meantime saved from his earnings a sum sufficient to
enable him to open a store of his own. He established a saloon at No. 545
West Broadway and there continued in the retail liquor business throughout
his remaining days, his death occurring July 22, 1907, after he had been in
ill health for about two years.

Mr. Hahn was married in Council Bluffs to Miss Anna Sutton, a native
of Missouri Valley, Iowa, and a daughter of George and Nellie (Marshall
Sutton, the latter a native of England and the former of Germany. The
father, on emigrating to the United States, became one of the early residents
of Iowa, settling at Missouri Valley. In pioneer times he was engaged in run-
ning a stage coach between that place and Onawa. He was killed by accident






N 'foundation*


at Missouri Valley when his daughter, Mrs. Hahn, was an infant. Mrs. Sut-
ton died at Missouri Valley when the daughter was but five years of age.

In his political views Mr. Hahn was a democrat and greatly interested in
the work and success of the party and recognized in his community as one
of its local leaders. Fraternally he was connected with the Red Men and with
the Eagles, and passed all of the chairs in the local lodge of the former or-
ganization. He possessed a genial manner and cordial disposition that won
him many friends. Mrs. Hahn still owns the business left by her husband,
but expects to dispose of this soon, although she will still retain the ownership
of the business block for rental purposes. She owns a nice residence at No.
315 East Washington avenue, where she has resided for eleven years.


Judge John Crow, for so he is familiarly known in his home locality,
needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, having for more than a
quarter of a century been one of the public-spirited and leading citizens of Min-
den. The circle of his friends embraces nearly all of the townspeople and
includes many others in different parts of the county.

Here he has lived since 1877 and his residence in Iowa dates from 1856.
At the time of his arrival in this state he was a lad of only about .-even years,
his birth having occurred in Mercer county, Ohio, November 16, 1849. The
father settled in Cerro Gordo county, where he reared his family, and when
John W. Crow had reached adult age he looked back upon a boyhood largely
devoted to farm labor interspersed with some little attendance at the country
schools. He is largely self-educated, however, and has added greatly to his
knowledge through reading, observation and experience. Through the prac-
tical affairs of life he has learned many valuable lessons. After arriving at
years of maturity he worked on a farm by the month and later when his labors
had brought him sufficient capital he purchased a tract of land in Hancock
county, Iowa, and was there engaged in general agricultural pursuits.

Coming to Pottawattamie county in 1877, Mr. Crow settled in the village
of Minden and here became identified with commercial interests, opening a
store and carrying on a dry-goods business for eighteen years. Later he en-
gaged in the real-estate, insurance and collection business, in which he still
continues, and in this direction he has a liberal clientage. At different times
he has been called to serve in various offices of public honor and trust and has
left the impress of his individuality upon the city's growth and its municipal
development. He has served as mayor of the town at different times, also been
a member of the town board and a member of the city council. In these dif-
ferent positions he has closely studied municipal needs and possibilities and
has labored along effective lines for the welfare and progress of the community.
For the past fifteen years he has been secretary of the independent school board
and was elected and served as justice of the peace for ten or twelve years. His
decisions were strictly fair and impartial, so that he thereby "won golden


opinions from all sort- of people." In the discharge of his official duties he
has ever been found thoroughly trustworthy and he is regarded as one of the
foremost representatives of the democracy in Minden and this part of the
county. He cast his first presidential ballot for Horace Greeley in 1872 and
has since voted for each nominee at the head of the democratic ticket since that
time, never missing a single election. lie has served as a delegate to numerous
county and state conventions, lie is well acquainted with many of the demo-
cratic leaders of the state and his opinions are not without considerable weight
in the party councils.

Mr. Cmw was married in Minden, February 27, 1889, to Mrs. Sophia Led-
erer, a native of Germany, who was there reared. There is only one son of
this marriage, John L. By her former marriage Mrs. Crow had a daughter,
Lilly, who grew to mature years, became the wife of Harry Peters and died in
1904. Mr. Crow i- a member of die Knights of Pythias lode,. a t Council

Bluffs and also of the YV Imen of the World, lie possesses good business

ability, i- attentive and diligent, neglecting no opportunity nor duty. He is
well known as one whose integrity stands as an unquestioned fact in his busi-
ness career and whose personal worth has won him the confidence and friend-
ship of many with whom lie ha- been brought in contact.


John F. McAneney, auditor of Council Bluffs, was horn in Piqua, Ohio.
on the 11th of February, LS 10, ami there lived to the age of ten year.-, when

he became a residenl of Pottawattamie county, Iowa, the family settling upon
a farm in Wrighl township, where he was engaged in farming and stock-
raising up to the year of L888. During tin- time he taught school for a num-
ber of years, proving a capable educator.

In 1888 he went on the road a.- traveling salesman for 1>. M. Osborne A
Company of Auburn, New York, ami has since thai date followed the vocation
of commercial traveler up to November, L905, when through an accident he
lost his left arm. This necessitated bis retirement from the road and in
March, 190 '>. he was elected to hi.- present office of auditor of Council Bluffs for
a term of two years. In April, 1907, he was given a vote of thanks by the city
council for the splendid report which he made before that body and which was
highly complimented bj the mayor, who is a democrat, while Mr. McAneney
is a republican. A.- a traveling -ale-man he was very popular in the territory
in which he traveled, possessing no1 only the alert, enterprising spiril so

necessary to the -ale of g 1- hut also a genial and courteous manner which

won him the warm friendship and regard of the great majority of those with
whom he came in contact.

In 1884, in Atlantic. Iowa, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. McAneney
and Mi<s Joanna \l. Graham, a dau-hter of Christopher Graham. They now
have four daughters, two of whom are teachers and two are students. The
family is well known in Council Bluffs and the hospitality of many of the


best homes is freely accorded them. Mr. McAneney is proving a trustworthy
and capable officer, discharging his duties with a sense of conscientious obli-
gation that has won him high encomiums.


John N. Frum owns and cultivates an excellent farm of two hundred and
twenty acres in Pleasanl township, and in addition to the tilling of the soil
annually feeds and ships two carloads of cattle. He was born in Monongalia
county. West Virginia, on the 7th of January. 1849, his parents being Joseph
and Mary J. (Boyd) Frum. The father, also a native of Monongalia county,
was born in 1818, and the mother's birth occurred there in the same year.
Having reached adult age, they were married, and to provide for his family
the father engaged in farming. In L868 he brought his wife and children to
Iowa, locating first in Poweshiek county, and in the spring <>f 1872 he came to

Pottawattamie county, ,-ettling in Pleasant township, where he purchased

hundred and sixty acres of land on section 17. There he resided up to the
time of his death. His political allegiance was given to the republican party.
For about ten years alter her husband's death Mrs. Frum continued to culti-
vate and manage the farm, after which she removed to Shelby, where she
made her home until called to her final rest on the 12th of July, 1907. In
their family were nine children, of whom eight are yet living: Samuel B., of
Shelby, Iowa; Catherine, the wife of Thomas Brown, of Dixon, South Dakota;
John N. and Joseph E., twins, the latter of Shelby, Towa ; Yian. the wife of
L. M. Ostrom, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Christopher O. of Homer, Nebraska;
Anna, the wife of A. M. Scott, of Pleasanl town-hip, this county; and George,
of Dixon, South Dakota.

John N. Frum was reared on the home farm and in the district schools
acquired his education. In early manhood hi' became a partner of his father
in agricultural pursuits and on coming to Pottawattamie county the father
and his sons acquired a body of land in partnership, securing then over one
thousand acres, which was divided soon after the marriage of John N. Frum,
who thus acquired his present homestead of two hundred and twenty acres,
upon which he has since lived. Here he has been engaged in the raising of
cattle for a number of years and he annually feeds about two carloads each win-
ter. In this he has been very successful and is one of the best known cattle-
men of this section of the state.

In 1880 Mr. Frum was united in marriage to Miss Emma E. Nippert, of
Pleasant township, and they have since become the parents of seven children:
William E. and Mable G., both at home; Ida, the wife of Lloyd W. Longa-
necker, of Shelby, Iowa; George H., Joseph M., Corvvin J. and Mary Cecil, all
yet under the parental roof. With the exception of the two youngest all of
the children have attended the Shelby high school.

Mr. Frum has always been a stalwart champion of the cause of education
and has done effective service in behalf of the schools as a member of the


board. In politics he is an earnest republican and has served for several years
as township trustee. He belongs to Silencia lodge, No. 371, A. F. & A. M., to
Raboni chapter, R. A. M., and he and his wife, together with one son and
daughter, are members of the Eastern Star. His religious faith is indicated
by his membership in the Presbyterian church and throughout his entire life
he has been a man whom to know is to esteem and honor, for he has never
been known to take advantage of the necessities of others in business transac-
tions but on the contrary has been straightforward and honorable.


Irad T. Spangler is the oldest grain merchant in years of continuous con-
nection with the trade on the line of the Rock Island in western Iowa, and his
business career has at all times been such as to merit the confidence and trust
of his associates in the commercial world. He is a native of Pennsylvania, his
birth having occurred in Lebanon county on the 16th of May, 1844. His
father, Levi S. Spangler, was born in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, of German
ancestry, our subject, however, being of the fifth generation of the family in

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 50 of 59)