Homer Howard Field.

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

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died June 29, 1906, leaving many friends who greatly esteemed him because
of his genial nature, kindly spirit and deference for the opinions of others.
Mrs. Goff and her children reside at No. 707 South Seventh street and are
well known in social circles.


Frederick Swingle was born on the farm where he now resides on the
5th of December, 1875, his parents being Lewis and Elizabeth (Scott) Swin-
gle. The father's birth occurred near Buffalo, New York, July 24, 1848, and
in his boyhood he accompanied his parents on their removal to Bureau county,
Illinois, where he was reared and married. The spring following his mar-
riage he came to Pottawattamie county, Iowa, arriving here in 1875. At
that time he purchased eighty acres of the present homestead farm in Lincoln
township and upon that place resided until called to his final rest on Septem-
ber 7, 1891. He was a successful agriculturist and added to his original
holdings from time to time until he became the owner of a valuable farm of
two hundred and eighty acres, which he placed under a high state of cultiva-
tion. He was practical in his methods, progressive in his work and reliable
in all of his business dealings. His political support was given the repub-


lican party and he was one of the influential men of the community who
labored earnestly for advancement and welfare of the county. Unto him and
his wife were born twelve children, of whom nine are yet living: Frederick,
Christine. Frank. Elizabeth, Charlie, Louisa, Edna. Sarah and Lewis.

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm
life for Frederick Swingle in his boyhood and youth. He acquired his edu-
cation in the common schools and at his father's death, he being the eldest
of the children — then sixteen years of age — the management of the farm
largely devolved upon him. It is still an undivided estate and Frederick
Swingle continues to manage the property. In the meantime, however, he
has acquired one hundred and twenty acres of his own and is accounted
"in' of the prosperous and enterprising young farmers of Lincoln township.
He possesses keen business discernment and laudable ambition and upon
this foundation he has builded his success.

In his political views Mr. Swingle is a republican. He belongs to Excel-
' Indue. No. 6986, M. YV. A., and is well known socially in the community,
having the warm regard of a large circle of friends. For almost a third of a
century lie lias been a witness of the development and progress of this section
of the county, having spenl his entire life here, and to the public welfare he
is devoted, being interested in all that pertains to general progress and im-


The 1 e farm of Julius C. Strohbehn comprises four hundred and

eighty acres of land in one body. The residence stands on section 18, Silver
Creek township, and he has three eighty-acre tracts on both sections 17 and
18. He likewise owns one hundred and sixty acre- in York township, so
that his total holdings are -i\ hundred and forty acres — equivalent to an

entire secti f land. Thai he started ou1 in Life with little capital and

that he is now one of the substantial agriculturist- of the county is proof of
unfaltering industry intelligently directed. His record again attests the
fact that success is ool i matter of genius, a- held by some, hut is the outcome
of clear judgment, experience and indefatigable labor.

Mi-. Strohbehn was born in Holstein, Germany, January "2, 1860, and
was brought in Iowa in L871, at the age of eleven years, by his parents Henry
and Eudora (Weis) Strohbehn, who were also native- of Holstein. Their
la.-t days, however, were -pent in Pottawattamie county, the father passing
away at the age <>f seventy-one years, while the mother survived him to the
age id' eighty-lour year-. Their family cumbered four children: Louisa,
the wife df Dotlif Guttau, who now live.- iii California hut own.- property in
this county: William, who died m tin.- county at the age of fifty-three years:
Agatha, the wife of Charlie Roth, of Council Bluffs; and Julius C.

The last named was thirteen years of age when the family came to Silver
Creek township, Pottawattamie county, where he has since resided and


throughout hi.-; entire life he has been interested in farming. With his
father he lived for five years upon a farm that belonged to his brother Wil-
liam, and on the expiration of that period he bought one hundred and twenty
acres of his present farm at thirteen dollar's per acre. It was then wild prairie,
upon which he broke the sod and planted the first crops. He has in fact
made all of the improvements here and the attractive appearance of the
place is due to the commodious and substantial buildings upon it, the fine
shade trees, the orchard and the well tilled fields. As his labors brought to
him a fair profit he saved his money and from time to time invested in other
land until within the boundaries of his farm are now comprised four hundred
and eighty acres situated on sections 17 and L8, Silver Creek township. A
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in York township also pays tribute to
him, it being now rented. The home place, however, is operated under the
direction of Mr. Strohbehn and its excellent appearance indicates his careful
supervision and progressive methods. The fields are now well tilled and he
is furthermore known as a stock buyer, feeder and shipper, selling about one
hundred head of cattle annually and about two hundred and fifty head of

In 1883 Mr. Strohbehn secured a companion and helpmate for life's
journey through his marriage to Miss Amalie Olderog, who was born in
Holstein. Germany, in 1862, a daughter of Clans and Gertrude Olderog.
With her widowed mother she came to America in 1882 when a young lady of
twenty years. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Strohbehn has been blessed
with eight children: Harry, Amelia, William, Edward, Herman, Arthur,
Hugo and Helen.

In his political views Mr. Strohbehn i< a. republican and at the present
writing, in the fall of 1007, is serving as a trustee of his township. He has
been a member of the township school board and belongs to the German
Lutheran church of Treynor, in which he is serving as a deacon. He is
deeply interested in all that pertains to the material, intellectual and moral
progress of his community, and his influence is ever found on the side of
right and improvement.


Paul I. Van Order, secretary of the C. Hafer Lumber Company and
treasurer of the Consolidated Construction Company of Council Bluffs, his
native city, was born March 20, 1879. His boyhood and youth were that
of most lads of the period. His time was divided between the duties of the
schoolroom and the pleasures of the playground, and passing through suc-
cessive grades in the public schools he at length completed the high-school
course by graduation in the class of 1897. In 1900 he became connected with
the lumber business and is well known in trade circles as the secretary of
the C. Hafer Lumber Company. He brought to bis work laudable ambition,


unfaltering diligence and perseverance, and these qualities have proven an
element in the success which has attended the efforts of the house.

Mr. Van Order, as a result of his study of the political situation of the
country, gives stalwart support to the republican party and its principles. He
belongs to the blue lodge of Masons, the Hoo Hoos and is a communicant of
the Episcopalian church. He is not unknown in military circles, as for ten
years he has been a member of the Iowa National Guard, being now batallion
adjutant of the Fifty-fifth Infantry, while he has also been captain of the
Dodge Light Guards. He is much interested in military organizations and is
a favorite in military crcles.


To the business men who have made their own way to success a city
is accustomed to look for aid in its growth. They are the men who have
the energy and determination both to make plans and to carry them to com-
pletion. For these reasons Council Bluffs has always relied on Robert R.
Sherer, contractor and builder. He was born in Big Grove, now Oakland,
Pottawattamie county, Iowa, August 6, 1876. His parents removed to Mercer
county, Illinois, in 1884 and there, in Aledo, the county seat, Mr. Sherer
received his early education in the common schools. During his summer
vacations and in his leisure hours outside of the schoolroom ho was engaged
in learning the carpenter's trade. At eighteen he left school, feeling that he
was ready to push out further in the business at which he had worked up
to this time. He came to Avoca, Pottawattamie county, Iowa, and soon after
removed to Council Bluffs, where ho entered the employ of the Consolidated
Construction Company. He proved of great value to this company and con-
tinued in their service until March, 190(3, when he entered into business with
Charles H. Knight under the firm name of Knight & Sherer. In September,
1906, his brother, Oren L., purchased Mr. Knight's share in the business and
the firm was known as Sherer Brothers for several months, but is now conducted
by Robert R. Sherer alone.

In 1897 Mr. Sherer was married, in Mercer .■.unity, Illinois, to Austa
May Smith. This union has been blessed with throe children: Herschel M..
J. Walter and Roberta Lucile Sherer. Mr. Sherer is erecting a modern home
on Harrison street.

Mr. Sherer in his political relations has always given his support to the
men and measures of the republican party. He has never sought its honors
or offices, for he has felt that his business has demanded his entire attention.
He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Though holding
his own religious beliefs, he has never identified himself with any church
but has always been interested in any good work in which the churches have
been engaged. He is a reliable business man because he doe- business on honor.
Hi- progress has never been based on another's loss but is due to his own
efforts to aid in the growth of the town, and as it has grown his business h is


grown. To all that would promote the welfare of Council Bluffs, Mr. Sherer
has always given his hearty support and has been a force in the business
circles of this city since the day he entered them.


David A. Snapp has been closely associated with the business develop-
ment and material progress of Carson and this section of the county. He
has been a prime mover in the successful conduct of various enterprises and
in all that he has undertaken has manifested the spirit of advancement which
has ever characterized the development of the middle west. He is one of
Iowa's native sons, his birth having occurred at Fort Madison on the 23d
of July, 1854. In both the paternal and maternal lines he is a representative
of old families of the state. His parents were Simpson and Lucinda (Tade)
Snapp, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina respectively, whence they
went to southeastern Iowa with their parents in early life. Their marriage
was celebrated in this state and they spent their remaining days upon a farm
near Fort Madison, their family numbering eight children, four sons and
four daughters, of whom David A. was the fourth in order of birth. All of
the sons came together to this county, namely: William L., now a resident
of Kansas; Edward A., who is living in Carson township; George B., who
left Pottawattamie county in the spring of 1907 for Alberta, Canada; and
David A.

No event of special importance ocurred to vary the routine of farm life
for David A. Snapp in his boyhood and youth. He worked with his father
upon the old homestead until about eighteen years of age. His mother had
died in 1869 and his father passed away in 1875. It was soon after this that
David A. Snapp came to Pottawattamie county with his brothers and here
he purchased a farm, having since devoted his attention to agricultural pur-
suits, although he has not confined his efforts exclusively to one line. He
now owns and cultivates two hundred and eighty acres in the home place,
which is situated on sections 32 and 33, Carson township. Upon his arrival
here he bought one hundred acres, having to go in debt for this. Only one
crop had been raised upon the farm prior to that time and Mr. Snapp lived
in a little shack on an adjoining farm. As his financial resources have
increased, however, he has continued to develop and improve his place, erected
a comfortable residence, substantial barns and outbuildings, set out a fine
maple grove covering an acre, and has planted three acres to apples. This
is now an excellent farm property and the present fine appearance of the
place is all due to the efforts and untiring labor of Mr. Snapp. Prospering
in his undertakings, he has also purchased one hundred and forty-five acres
which is situated on section 29, Carson township.

At different times he has bought and sold a number of farms and as the
years have gone by he has gained that prosperity which never fails to
crown industry intelligently applied. He has also engaged in the grain and


elevator business at Carson and he rebuilt and operated the Carson flour
milk, at the same time carrying on his farming interests. His business affairs
at Carson were conducted as a member of the firm of Snapp, Ried & Company.
He was also on'e of the organizers and director of the Carson State Savings
Bank, and commercial and financial as well as agricultural interests have
been stimulated by his co-operation and promoted by his well directed labor.
He resided in this county five years before a railroad was built through the
section in which he makes his home. The village of Carson had not then been
established and he had to go to Hastings or Avoca for supplies and to sell his

On the 26th of December. 1877, Mr. Snapp was married to Miss Maggie
Alston, a native of Ohio and a daughter of Joshua and Martha Alston, who
were natives of England and came to America just prior to the birth of their
daughter. Mr. and Mrs Snapp have a daughter and son: Grace, who is the
wife of John A. Carse, of Carson township; and Lawrence, who in the spring
of 1907 went to Saskatchewan, Canada, where he i- now located on a half sec-
tion of land belonging to his father.

Tn politics Mr. Snapp is a democrat bul while he believes firmly in the
principles and purposes of the party he has never been an office seeker. His
time has Keen well spent and his energies carefully directed, and in the quiet
pursuits of the farm he has fell that he has found opportunity for the display
of enterprise and capable business management — his dominant qualities. As
stated, however, other business enterprises have profited by bis co-operation
and the community owes its substantial development in no small degree to his


Benjamin Ross Purdy. who own- and controls a valuable farming prop-
erty of two hundred and forty acre- on section 21, Center township, is justly
accounted one of the leading agriculturists of his community and a glance
at his place indicate.- his careful supervision and progressive methods. A fine
dwelling stands in the midst of his large farm and around it beautiful shade
trees, while much fruit has Keen set out on the place, giving to it in parts
the appearance of a timber tract, the beautiful trees adding to the value
and attractiveness of the place.

Mr. Purdy was horn in Covington, Fountain county. Indiana. Decem-
ber 11. 1850, his parents being Joshua Milton and Penelope Ann (Johnson)
Purdy. who were natives of Michigan and Virginia respectively. The father
died in Minnesota at the age of thirty-eight years, when bis son Benjamin
was five years old, and the mother now resides in Monona county, Iowa, with
her son. By her first marriage she had two children, Benjamin Ross and
James Arthur. After losing her first husband she became the wife of George
Allen, who is now deceased. They were the parents of six children.

When Benjamin Ross Purdy was five year- of age his parents removed
to the vicinity of St. Charles, Minnesota, where they located on a claim but



before improvements could be made on the property the father died. After
ten years there passed Mr. Purdy of this review returned to Indiana and was
employed in various ways there for nine years, when be began work by the
month as a farm hand. In 1869 he came to Tabor, Iowa, and in [882 lie bought
his present farm, upon which he has since resided, making his home here
for a quarter of a century. This was the first property he ever owned — a tract
of land of two hundred and forty acre- on seel ion 21, Center township. When
lie came into possession of this place only about forty acres had been broken
and there was a small house upon it. Today the place is well improved. He
has brought the land under a high state of cultivation and rich fields return
to him good crops. His home is one of the tine dwellings of this part of the
county and there is also a large barn and other substantial outbuildings, lie
has every reason to he proud of the home which he has made. Grain and
stock raising are the principal features of his farm and everything about his
place is kept in first class condition.

Mr. Purdy was married in Sidney, [owa, October 11, 1874, ti> Miss Laura
Isabelle Henderson, who was horn in Indianola, Iowa, October 26, 1855, and
has always lived in this state, her parents being Hubbard C. and Eliza (Moore)
Henderson, natives of Indiana and Illinois respectively. Mrs. Henderson
went to Indianola. Iowa, with her parents in 1851 and Mr. Henderson
arrived in 1852. His death occurred in Council Bluffs, July 17, 1888, when
he was fifty-four years of age, and his widow now resides with her daughter,
Mrs. Purdy.

Unto our subject and his wife have been born eight children. Arthur
Leon, born at Tabor, Iowa, July 9, 1875, is married and resides with his
father. Lulu Ann, born at Tabor, July 17, 1S77. is the wife of W. P.
Walker, of Center township. Lillian, born at Tabor, January 5, 1880, is
the wife of Victor Borcherdt, of Denver, Colorado. Orland K., born on the
home farm in Center township, March 23, 1882, is now in Council Bluffs.
Inez Isabelle, born September 24, 1884, is at home. Ethel May died at the
age of five months. Milton Ross, born April .">, 1888. and Hubbard Rudolph.
born August 2, 1890, are both at home.

Mr. Purdy is a stanch democrat, having given his support to the party
throughout his entire life, yet he has never been a. politician in the sense
of office seeking. He is an agriculturist of prominence, owing his success
entirely to his own labors, and in his capable management and energy he
has secured a sure foundation upon which to build his success.


Elmer E. Minnick, a substantial business man engaged in the livery busi-
ness at Council Bluffs, was born in Falls City. Nebraska, October 12, 1866.
He received his early education in that city, lint from a boy he had been a lover
of horses and when he decided to start out in the world for himself it was the
liverv business which most attracted his attention. With the exception of two


years in western Kansas he lived in Falls City until 1891, being engaged in the
livery business in that city. In 1891 he removed to Washington and for three
years was connected with the civil engineering department on the Northern
Pacific Railroad. He then returned to Falls City and subsequently removed to
Omaha, where for two years he was bailiff of the United States district court.
He became very much interested at this time in ophthalmology and took up a
course in this line, practicing it for four or five years in Nebraska. But he
had never found anything that quite took the place of his first business enter-
prise and in 1902 he joined his brother, J. W. Minnick, in the livery business
in Council Bluffs under the firm name of J. W. Minnick & Company.

Elmer E. Minnick was married December 13, 1893, in Falls City, Ne-
braska, to Myra L. Burnworth, a daughter of the Rev. J. H. Burnworth. They
are the parents of an only son, Elmer Burnworth Minnick.

In his political relations Mr. Minnick has always been affiliated with the
republican party and was a delegate to the state convention in 1906. He is a
member of the Knights of Pythias, the Eagles, Elks and Royal Highlanders.
He is a man of kindly disposition and upright business integrity. His horses
are always well kept and well fed and it is a pleasure to make use of the livery
he sends out. The real character of a man always displays itself in his treat-
ment of his horses and Mr. Minnick never abuses those which belong to him,
nor will he allow any of his patrons to do so. His business has grown and has
thrived because the community can always depend upon his word. He has
many friends in this city, who hold him in the highest esteem.


In a history of the representative citizens of Pottawattamie county men-
tion should be made of Francis I low, who has been actively associated with
business interests in Avoca but is now living retired save for the supervision
which he gives to his property interests. He was born in London, England,
on the 24th of June, 1839, his parents being Jeremiah and Eliza (Phillips)
How, who were likewise natives of England and spent their entire lives in
that country.

Francis How remained a resident of his native land during his boyhood
and youth and is indebted to its public schools for his educational privileges.
In 1802, attracted by the broader opportunities of the new w r orld, he crossed
the Atlantic and first located in Canada. In 1863 he went to Buffalo, New
York, where he enlisted for sen-ice in the Civil war in the fall of 1863 as a
member of Company L, Thirteenth New York Heavy Artillery. He served
for two years and seven months and participated in a number of engage-
ments, including the battle of Fort Fisher. He was discharged in 1865 after
having rendered valiant and valuable sen-ice to his adopted country for almost
three years. When mustered out of the service he took a trip to England, where
he remained for three months, and then returned to New York, where he
spent three months. On the expiration of that period he came to Council


Bluffs in 1867, making his home in the city for three years. He then bought
a farm in this county of eighty acres and located thereon, making it his home
for two years. In 1872 he removed to Avoca, where he established a restaurant,
and when two years had passed he and his wife opened a millinery and notion
store called The Fair, continuing in business until 1902 with excellent suc-
cess. They then sold out and took a trip to England, spending a year in his
native country.

Mr. How was married in 1865 to Miss Caroline Thomas, also a native
of England and a daughter of Francis and Caroline (Johnson) Thomas,
whose family numbered fourteen children. Mr. and Mrs. How have four
children: Francis R., of Council Bluffs; Henry A., of Nebraska; Sidney S.,
of Council Bluffs; and Edith, an adopted daughter, living at home.

Mr. How belongs to the Masonic lodge, No. 292, and to the chapter No.
85 at Avoca, being made a Mason in England in 1862. His wife and daugh-
ter are connected with the Eastern Star. Mr. and Mrs. How own twelve resi-
dences and store buildings in the village of Avoca, from which they derive a
good income, supplying them with all of the comforts and many Of the luxu-
ries of life. For many years they were prominent in business circles here and
through that means were enabled to invest quite largely in property. In his
political views Mr. How is a democrat but has never been an office seeker,
preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests, which, be-
ing capably managed, have brought to him a very gratifying success.


Paul C. De Vol, the president of the P. C. De Vol Hardware Company
of Council Bluffs, was born in this city in 1873 and is a son of P. C. De Vol,
one of the oldest business men of Council Bluffs, of whom extended mention
is made elsewhere in this volume. Our subject was educated in the public
schools of this city and studied for two years at Ames College, Ames, Iowa.
He early displayed marked business characteristics and even as a boy was al-

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 54 of 59)