Homer Howard Field.

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

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nue will be derived therefrom and steps should be taken at the next real estate
assessment in the spring of 1891, to get the same property upon the books.'
His recommendations were acted upon promptly by the present city adminis-
tration, and at this writing the exact boundary lines between the cities of Coun-
cil Bluffs and Omaha, in the vicinity of this valuable tract of ground consti-
tutes a case in the supreme court of the United States." This was later decided
in favor of city of Council Bluffs.

On the 11th of September, 1877, Mr. Rohrer was united in marriage to
Miss Sarah Beach Beers, the only child of John B. and Eliza (Beers) Crawford.
Her parents were among the early settlers of Council Bluffs, where her father
engaged in the wholesale grocery business and also became an extensive dealer
in real estate in western Iowa, in Omaha, and in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
Two sub-divisions of this city bear his name and through their development
he contributed to the substantial upbuilding of Council Bluffs. Unto Mr. and
Mrs. Rohrer have been born three children: John Beach Beers, who died


February 8, 1880, at the age of thirteen months; Isaac Beers; and Caroline
Test, wife of Robert E. Theinhardt.

Mr. Rohrer is a vestryman of St. Paul's Episcopal church of Council
Bluffs and his wife is also an active member of said church, also taking great
interest in the Woman's Christian Association Hospital, now the Jennie Ed-
mundson Memorial Hospital. Mr. Rohrer is a charter member of the Elks
lodge in Council Bluffs and is identified with Bluff City lodge, No. 71, A. F. &
A. M. ; Star chapter, No. 47, R. A. M. ; and the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows. He has since 1888 been a trustee of the Council Bluffs free public li-
brary, during which time (or during 1904-5) the present magnificent library
building was erected, and he is much interested in all matters of citizenship,
withholding his co-operation and aid from no movement that he deems will
prove of public benefit. His entire life has been actuated by a devotion to the
general good that has been one of his marked characteristics and his worth as
a citizen is widely recognized.


The name of Klopping is not unknown in this county. On the contrary
it has figured in connection with the business and agricultural development
of this portion of the state through many years, and he whose name intro-
duces this review now ranks with the prosperous and wide-awake farmers of
Norwalk township, his home being on section 2. where he has a valuable
farm of two hundred and twenty-four acres.

His birth occurred in Council Bluffs, March 25, 1868, his father being
August Klopping, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. The removal
of tbo family to a farm enabled him to spend lu- days amid rural surround-
ings, while in the schools of Underwood he acquired his education, his time
being divided between the work of tilling the soil and mastering the common
branches of English learning. Through the summer months he rendered
his father valuable assistance in the w T ork of developing the fields and re-
mained at home upon the farm up to the time of his marriage, which occurred
in Underwood on the 25th of February, 1892, the lady of his choice being
Miss Mary Fisher, who was born in this county and is a daughter of H. G.
Fisher, also one of the well known early settlers here.

The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Boomer
township, where they lived for a year and in 1893 removed to their present
place of residence, Mr. Klopping taking up the active work of tilling and
developing this place, which gives visible proof of his energy and activity in
the excellent appearance which it now presents. His home is a commodious
and pleasant residence which he erected and lie has also built good barns for
the shelter of hay and the stock. Other necessary outbuildings have also
been erected and well kept fences divide the farm into fields of convenient
size. Fruit has been planted and various cereals adapted to soil and climate
are raised, good crops being gathered annually. About the house is a neat


and well kept lawn and altogether the farm presents a most attractive appear-
ance. In the pastures are found high grades of stock, for Mr. Klopping is
both raising and feeding stock, fattening from sixty to ninety head of cattle
and shipping from four to five carloads annually and also about one carload
of hogs. He is now making a specialty of the raising of shorthorn cattle,
having a pure blooded registered male at the head of his herd and also some
pure blooded cows. His stock-raising interests constitute an important ele-
ment in his success, while in the cultivation of grain he has also prospered.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Klopping have been born three children : May Leta,
Zella Vera and Ray Adolph. Mrs. Klopping belong to the Church of the
Latter Day Saints at Underwood. Mr. Klopping has been a life-long demo-
crat but his business interests have precluded his active participation in
political affairs even had he desired to put forth any effort in that direction.
He has worked along lines that have produced good results in business and
now derives his income from a valuable farm property.


Esty P. Woodring, one of the most enterprising business men of Council
Bluffs, who is now the owner of the undertaking business formerly carried
on by Charles Lunkley, was born in Laketon, Wabash county, Indiana,
December 22, 1869. He received his early education in the public schools
of his native county, supplementing these advantages by a term at tbe State
Normal at Terre Haute, Indiana. Having completed the term he returned
to his native county and began work on his brother's farm, where he received
a practical training in all the details of agriculture.

In April, 1894, Mr. Woodring came to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he entered
the undertaking business with his brother-in-law. He subsequently removed
to Des Moines, Iowa, where he remained for about five years, being engaged
in the undertaking business all of this time. Desirous of enlarging his busi-
ness opportunities, he removed to Boone, Iowa, where he conducted an under-
taking and furniture business until August, 1900, when he removed to Council
Bluffs and entered the employ of Charles Lunkley, the well known under-
taker. Upon the death of this gentleman, April 15, 1905, Mr. Woodring
succeeded to the business. He has added many improvements and is building
up a large and prosperous business, which in every way is a credit to him
and to the town in which it is conducted. In all the progressive under-
takings of this city he is always foremost, realizing that it is upon the busi-
ness men of a community that a city must rely for this work. His generosity
in this respect has indirectly added to his own success by increasing the
business in which he is engaged.

On December 16, 1906, Mr. Woodring was married, in Norfolk, Nebraska,
to Lillian Jackson, a daughter- of George W. Jackson, deceased. Mr. Wood-
ring is a firm believer in fraternal organizations and is a member of the
following secret orders: Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of


Pythias, Knights of the Maccabees, Modern Woodmen of America,
Daughters of Rebekah and Fraternal Order of Eagles. He belongs to the
Broadway Methodist Episcopal church, but has never been intensely inter-
ested in politics nor has he ever sought any office, preferring to devote his
energies to his business. When these duties are finished he finds his greatest
happiness among his friends and with his family, and is held in the highest
respect and esteem by all those who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Honorable and honest in all his dealings, they feel that he can always be
relied upon. He is always ready to aid those who need his help and to say
an encouraging word to those who are discouraged.


Prominent among the business men of Council Bluffs is the firm of
Myrtue Brothers, contracting partners. In this connection John J. Myrtue
has made a creditable record. A young man, possessing the enterprising
spirit of the west, he became a factor in industrial circles and, brooking no
obstacle that honest effort can overcome, he has steadily worked his way
upward until, having long since left the ranks of the many, he stands today
among the successful few.

He was born in Denmark, on the 2d of May, 1864, and landed in New
York city on the twentieth anniversary of his birth. He had been educated
in the public schools of his native country, and the favorable reports which
he heard concerning America and its business opportunities led him to seek
his fortune in the new world. He did not tarry in the east but made his
way at once into the interior of the country, stopping at Harlan, Shelby
county, Iowa. He had previously learned the carpenter's trade in Denmark
and on reaching his destination he made a change of his avocation, turning
his attention to agricultural pursuits. Two years were thus passed and in
1886 he came to Council Bluffs, where he resumed work at his trade, being
in the employ of others until 1890, when he began business on his own
account. In that year his brother, Soren J. Myrtue, came to the United
States and entered his employ and in 1897 the present partnership of Myrtue
Brothers was formed. Since he began general contracting Mr. Myrtue has
enjoyed a constantly increasing patronage, as he has demonstrated his ability
as a builder and his fidelity in executing the terms of a contract. His close
application to business and his excellent management have brought him a
degree of prosperity which is today his and at all times his business record
has been characterized by an unbending integrity, unabating energy and unfal-
tering industry.

Mr. Myrtue was married in Council Bluffs, in 1898, to Miss Julia A.
Mickelson, a daughter of Nels Mickelson. and they now have two daughters,
Marie J. and Doris H. Mr. Myrtue belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Dannebo Society and Danish
Social Club. He votes independently at local elections and where national


issues are involved casts his ballot for the men and measures of democracy.
In an analyzation of the character and life work of Mr. Myrtue we note many
of the characteristics which have marked the Danish nation for many cen-
turies — the perseverance, reliability, energy and unconquerable determination
to pursue a course that has been marked out. It is these sterling qualities
which have gained him success in life and made him one of the valuable
and substantial citizens of Council Bluffs.


A life of activity well directed by sound judgment never fails to produce
good results in the business world. It is particularly true that the basis of
success in agricultural life is unremitting diligence and it has been upon this
foundation that H. J. Giese has builded his present prosperity. His farm
property comprises one hundred and twenty acres on section 17, York town-
ship, upon which are found modern improvements and many indications
of the progressive spirit of the owner.

Mr. Giese is a native of York township, born October 13, 1872, and is
of German lineage. His father, August Giese, was born in Germany and
when a young man emigrated to the new world. He did not tarry in the
eastern part of the country but came at once to Iowa, his destination being
Dewitt, Clinton county, Iowa. Near that town he began farming, cultivating
rented land for a few years, after which he came to Pottawattamie county.
Here he opened up a new farm, becoming owner of three hundred and twenty
acres of land, upon which he placed substantial improvements. The soil was
made fertile through the rotation of crops, the judicious use of fertilizers
and by careful cultivation, and thus good harvests were annually gathered.
In Clinton county he had married Frederica Balte, also a native of Germany,
who proved to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life's journey for
many years. Her death, however, occurred in Neola in April, 1905, and was
deeply regretted by many friends. In their family were four sons, of whom
H. J. Giese is the second. The others are: William, a veterinary of Neola;
Gus; and A. K. Giese.

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm
life for H. J. Giese in his boyhood days. He worked in the fields through
the summer months and was educated in the district schools and in the
Neola high school. While not busy with his text-books his time was largely
occupied with the labor of the home farm and he continued to assist his
father up to the time of his marriage, which was celebrated in Neola on the
18th of March, 1896, Miss Nellie Maxfield becoming his wife. She was born
and reared in Norwalk township and was educated in the district schools and
in Neola, while for three years prior to her marriage she successfully engaged
in teaching. This union has been blessed with one daughter, Avadna Ruth.
Mr. and Mrs. Giese commenced their domestic life on the farm where
they yet reside, having here one hundred and twenty acres of land. With


the added stimulus of having to provide for his own home, Mr. Giese resolutely
set to work to improve the property and enhance its value and productiveness.
He built a neat dwelling and substantial outbuildings and in early spring
planted the crops which in the summer and autumn bore rich harvests. Year
after year he has carried on the work of tilling the fields and he also raises,
feeds and fattens stock, in which branch of his business he has met with
good profit, selling annually about a carload of steers and two carloads of hogs.
Mr. and Mrs. Giese attend the sendees of the Presbyterian church in
Bentley. Mrs. Giese takes much interest in church and Sunday school work,
has served as assistant superintendent of the latter and has also been a mem-
ber and secretary of the Ladies' Aid Society. Mr. Giese belongs to the Masonic
lodge at Neola and in his life exemplifies its beneficent spirit. He exercises
his right of franchise in support of the democracy and on that ticket has been
elected to public office, serving for two years as assessor, also as township
trustee, as road supervisor and as township clerk, the duties of which offices
have been discharged with a promptness and fidelity that have won him high
encomiums. He is well known in Neola and Council Bluffs as a man of
tried integrity and worth, reliable in his business affairs and progressive in
his citizenship.


"William Spears, a general fanner and stock-raiser of Minden town-
ship, is numbered among the extensive landowners of the county, having
eight hundred acres, which returns to him a very gratifying annual income.
He has been a resident of Iowa since 1848 and on his present farm since
1871, his home being now on section 7. His original purchase, however,
embraced but eighty aires, and this serving as a nucleus, he has continually
added to his possessions until his holdings are now very extensive.

Mr. Spears was born in Mercer county. Pennsylvania, September 3, 1836,
His father, George Spears, was a native of Scotland and when a young man
sought the broader opportunities of the new world, settling in Pennsylvania,
where he followed the trade of a machinist and blacksmith. In 1839 he
again removed westward, becoming a resident oi II incock county, Illinois,
where he lived until 1846, when he came to Iowa. For a time he was in
Council Bluffs and then went to Nebraska, where ho lived for two years.
He became entirely blind through an accident. "While in Pennsylvania he
married Miss Sarah Churchfiokl. of that state, and they became the parents
of eight children, of whom four are now living.

"William Spears, the eldest of this family, was reared upon the home
farm and enjoyed common-school advantages. His father died in Florence,
Nebraska, in 1846, and the mother afterward married again in that state,
becoming the wife of George Sweet, who, in 1S4S. returned to Iowa, where
he engaged in farming. The occupation to which he was reared, William
Spears decided to make his life work and for several years he worked by






the month and later rented land until he acquired capital sufficient to
enable him to purchase property. In 1862 he bought eighty acres at the
edge of Harrison county, where he made a home, living there for several
years. In 1871 he came to Minden township and has since resided on his
present farm on section 7.

In the meantime, on the "27th of May, 1863, in Council Bluffs, Mr. Spears
was united in marriage to Miss Levina Stoker, a native of Pottawattamie
county, born December 10, 1846, and a daughter of Eller Stoker, a pioneer
of this county, who in 1836 established his home lure and was numbered
among those who aided in laying the foundation for the present progress
and prosperity of the county by reclaiming wild land for the purposes of

As the years passed Mr. Spears carried on the work of the farm and
prospered in his undertakings. As his financial resources increased he
added to his property from time to time until he is now the owner of eight"
hundred acres, which is divided into four farms, with good sets of build-
ings upon each. In all of his work he has been practical and has accom-
plished what he has undertaken by reason of bis diligence, perseverance
and well directed labor. His first home was a log cabin, but this has long
since been replaced by a more modern structure and he now has a good
two-story dwelling upon bis farm, together with substantial barns and out-
buildings. In fact, all of the equipments of a model farm are to be found
upon this place. He has made a specialty of raising and .selling polled
Angus cattle, keeping full blooded registered stock. He also makes a
specialty of Chester White hogs. He feeds about three carloads of stock
each year. He has planted orchards and small fruits and has good farms,
thoroughly equipped with modern conveniences and representing in their
well kept appearance the care, labor and practical methods of the owner.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Spears were born ten children, but they lost three
in infancy, while Agnes became the wife of John D. Bennett and died at
the age of twenty-two years. The others are : Mary Jane, the wife of G.
J. Winslow, of Fort Collins, Colorado; Daisy Ann, at home; Myrtle, the
wife of F. N. Wilson, a farmer who aids Mr. Spears in the conduct of the
home place; Eva, who is at home; William II., who assists his father in
carrying on the work of farming and stock-raising; and Cora, also at home.

Mr. Spears is independent in polities, supporting men and measures
rather than party. He has held all of the township offices both here and
in Harrison county, being called to public positions by his fellow towns-
men, who recognize his worth and ability and appreciate the faithful service
which he always renders. He was a member of the old Grange and of the
Farmers Alliance and has ever been deeply interested in all that pertains
to the advancement of material interests. He started out in life empty-
handed and has made a splendid record as one whose diligence constitutes
the basis of his success, his labors being at all times guided by sound judg-
ment and practical views. He has helped to make the county what it is
to-day, breaking prairie and opening up farms and thus reclaiming the
wild land for the purposes of civilization. He is the oldest settler in Min-


den township in years of continuous connection therewith. He has passed
the scriptural age of three score years and ten, but is still active and gives
personal supervision to his extensive farming interests, embracing the culti-
vation of eight hundred acres of land. His life record is in many respects
worthy of emulation and should serve as a source of encouragement to those
who have to start out as he did without capital. He early realized that labor
is the strongest force in winning success and as the years have gone by he
has so directed his efforts that difficulties and obstacles have been overcome
and he has gained a place with the most prominent and prosperous agricul-
turists of this community.


William H. Goff, deceased, was for many years engaged in contracting
in Council Bluffs and was also well known as the leader of Goff's Band, pos-
sessing musical talent of superior order. He came to this city in 1867 and
at his death left behind him many sincere and warm friends. His birth
occurred in Jersey City, New Jersey, January 5, 1830. His parents, William
and Hattie Eliza Goff, were natives of England and in early life came to
America, settling in the state of New York, where the father engaged in
farming for several years. He then removed to Homesdale, Pennsylvania,
where he also followed the same pursuit for a number of years. He then de-
termined to come to the west but never lived to reach his destination, being
killed on the way. Ills wife died in the Keystone state. But one of their
children now survives — John, who is located at Homesdale, Pennsylvania.

Having acquired a good practical education in the public schools, Wil-
liam H. Goff afterward learned the carpenti r's trade, which he followed in the
vicinity of his home until he left Pennsylvania for the middle west. Set-
tling at Peru, Illinois, he was there connected with building interests and
the various departments of carpentering.

Soon after his arrival in Peru, Mr. Goff was there married on the 1st
of January, 1867, to Miss Isabelle A. Lininger, who died in Council Bluffs,
June 7, 1871, leaving a daughter, Carrie May, now the wife of John L.
Templeton, a resident of this city. For his second wife Mr. Goff chose Miss
Viola Reed, of Ohio, who died in Council Bluffs. His third marriage was
with Miss Mary Miller, a native of Germany and a daughter of Andrew and
Margaret (Schubert) Miller, who were likewise natives of Germany, whence
they came to the United States in 1866, settling in Council Bluffs, where Mr.
Miller was employed for several years as foreman of a vinegar factor}'. He
then purchased a farm ten miles south of the city, in Lewis township, and
devoted his remaining days to general agricultural pursuits, both he and
his wife spending their remaining days upon that place. By the marriage
of William H. Goff and Mary Miller there were born eight children: Hat-
tie E., at home; William E., who is residing in Kalamazoo, Michigan;
Charles H.. who occupies a clerical position in the Union Pacific Transfer


office in Council Bluffs; George Walter, who is a clerk in an implement
manufactory of Omaha ; Arthur, who died at the age of thirteen years ; Hazel,
who is a fine cornet player and resides at home; Oscar and Merwyn, also at

Shortly after his first marriage, Mr. Goff removed to Council Bluffs and
became identified with its carpentering and building interests. He had sev-
eral shops in the city and was not long in securing a very extensive patronage,
important contracts being awarded him. He employed twenty men and con-
tributed in substantial measure to the upbuilding of the city. He also owned
a large planing mill and shop on Third street, which he conducted for
several years with gratifying success.

Mr. Goff was always a lover of music and in his younger days learned
to play the cornet and other instruments, being a fine performer. He re-
sided in Chicago for a short time after his removal to the middle west and
while there and in Peru engaged in teaching music. He was leader of bands
in all the different towns in which he resided and likewise in the Civil war,
and soon after his removal to Council Bluffs he became leader of what was
known as Goff's Band. Some time later he gave up contracting and carpenter-
ing and devoted his entire time to music. He signed a contract with the
Forepaugh circus and was leader of its bands for two seasons. After several
years he retired permanently from business life and made his home in Council
Bluffs until his death, resting in well earned ease.

In politics Mr. Goff was a stalwart democrat. He belonged to the Masonic
fraternity and while in the east held membership in the Methodist Episcopal
church. He was widely and favorably known in Council Bluffs, where he

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 53 of 59)