Homer Howard Field.

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

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sentative. He was born in Holstein, Germany, September 1, 1841, and bis
parents, George and Anna Moeller, were natives of the same country but
both are now deceased. Two of their three children are yet living, the
younger being Hans, still a resident of Germany.

The educational advantages which Claus Moeller received were those
afforded by the public schools. He remained in Germany until twenty-
two years of age, when, in 1866, he sailed for the new world hoping to enjoy
better business opportunities on this side of the Atlantic. He arrived in
Clinton county, Iowa, with twenty-five cents in his pocket. His financial
condition rendered it imperative that he secure immediate employment and
he sought and obtained a position as a farm hand, working in that way
for six years. When he came to Pottawattamie county in 1872 he bought
eighty acres of land with the proceeds of his former toil and to his new
home he removed with a team and wagon. With resolute purpose he took
up the work of the farm and has carried forward its improvement and de-
velopment. Later he purchased an additional tract of eighty acres and
afterward sold his first farm, buying then three hundred and twenty acres
in Lincoln township. His place is a valuable one, well improved with


modern equipments, everything, about the farm indicating his careful super-
vision and practical methods. He feeds stock in addition to raising grain
and both branches of his business are returning to him a good income.

Since becoming a naturalized American citizen Mr. Moeller has given
bis political support to the democratic party and is interested in its success
but does not desire office as a reward for party fealty. His public service
has been confined to ten years as school treasurer.

On the 2d of March, 1881, Mr. Moeller was married to Miss Johanna
Maria Hellmann, who was born in Schleswig-HoLstein, Germany, of which
country her parents were also natives and there spent their entire lives.
They had a family of six children of whom three are living : Johann Lud-
wick Hellmann, of Kiel, Germany; Andrew, who is living in Walnut; and
Mrs. Moeller. Unto the marriage of our subject and his wife have been
born four children, three of whom survive: Frances Mary, the wife of
Henry J. Hansen, of Platte, South Dakota; Edmund, at home; and Anna.
The son Edmund is a graduate of the German schools and also of the high
school of Walnut. The parents are members of the German Lutheran
church and are much esteemed in the community where they reside. In
addition to his farm, Mr. Moeller owns ten acres of land adjoining the cor-
poration limits of Walnut, and his property interests are the visible evidence
of his life of thrift, energy and industry.


In the history of the business houses of Council Bluffs, Mr. Schoening
stands prominently forward as a representative business man, being a mem-
ber of the firm of Petersen & Schoening. who conduct the largest store not
only in Council Bluffs but in Iowa, as dealers in hardware, furniture and
carpets. Germany, which has furnished so many of America's most enter-
prising business men, was the birth place of Henry E. Schoening. He was
born October 28. ISMs, and received his early educational training in the
fatherland. Ambitious to push out into larger fields, he sought the object
of his hopes in America and at the age of nineteen years landed in New
York, making his way at once to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he secured
employment on a farm. He was connected with agricultural pursuits until
1905, but it was evident that the business world held more that was attractive
for him. In 1890 the present firm, of which he is a prominent member,
■was organized with a small stock of hardware and a small capital. Mr.
Schoening's fine business ability, superior executive talent and Christian
character were at once recognized and during the seventeen years which have
passed since its organization the firm of Petersen & Schoening has risen to a
prominent place in commercial circles in Iowa, its present immense propor-
tions being due in large measure to the wise guidance of the subject of this


In 1885, Mr. Schoening was married, at Council Bluffs, to Trina Brock-
man, and their union has been blessed with seven children: Emma N.,
the wife of William Shwensen; August W. ; Charles N.; Martha O, deceased,
who was the wife of Otto Geise; Nellie, deceased; Martha C. ; and Minnie C.

Mr. Schoening belongs to the Elks lodge and because of his religious
beliefs has become a member of the Lutheran church. He is active in the
affairs of the democratic party in Iowa and though he has never sought its
honors has been interested in promoting the cause of its candidates. Both
as a man and a citizen he is among the ablest representatives of the business
world, whose merit alone has won him his success. He enjoys the confidence
of all with whom he comes in contact and the doors of his home arc ever
open for the reception of a large circle of friends, who hold him in the
highest esteem.


J. H. Schultz is a self-made man who started out in business life in
the United States by working in the harvest iields at ten dollars per month.
Today he is the owner of a valuable farming property comprising two hun-
dred acres of rich and productive land on section 15, Lewis township, and
the place is equipped with all of the accessories and conveniences of a model
farm property.

Mr. Schultz is a native of Schleswig, Germany, born January 13, 1838,
and his parents, J. F. and Annie Schultz, were likewise natives of the same
country. Educated in the schools of the fatherland, J. H. Schultz remained
a resident of Germany until 1858, when at the age of twenty years he crossed
the briny deep to the new world and made his way to Scott county, Iowa.
About eight years later, in 1866, his parents also came to the United States,
making their home with him until they were called to their final rest, the
father passing away in 1878 and the mother in 1874.

As stated, J. H. Schultz first earned money in the new world by work-
ing in the harvest fields at ten dollars per month. He has experienced
times of adversity and times of prosperity but altogether has made substantial
progress. For two years he worked at the carpenter's trade in Scott county,
Iowa, and then began farming on his own account on rented land, thus
carrying on agricultural pursuits for ten years. On the expiration of that
period, with the capital he had saved from his earnings, he purchased one
hundred and ninety acres of land in Scott county, which was improved.
In 1870, however, he sold that farm and removed to Chariton county, Mis-
souri, where he invested in one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie land.
Upon that place he erected buildings and cultivated his fields, making his
home there until 1880, when he disposed of that property in order to become
a resident of Mills county, Iowa. There he cultivated a rented farm for
two years and in 1882 he bought two hundred acres where he now lives
on section 15, Lewis township, Pottawattamie county. There was a house


upon the place at the time of the purchase. He has since built two fine
barns and other good outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and
has carried forward the work of development and improvement along lines
of progressive agriculture. He raises Hereford cattle, keeping a large num-
ber on hand, and he also raises many hogs, his live-stock interests being
an important source of income to him.

On the 13th of January, 1859, Mr. Schultz was united in marriage to
Miss Mary Hansen, a daughter of Dick and Sophia (Nachtijal) Hansen, of
Germany. Her father died in that country and the mother afterward came
to the United States but lived for only two years after her arrival here, pass-
ing away in Scott county, Iowa, in 1868. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schultz have
been born seven children, namely: John. Julia, George, Emma, Edwin,
Mary and Henry.

In politics Mr. Schultz is independent. He belongs to the German
Lutheran church and its principles have prompted his honorable relations
with his fellowmen through all business and social connections. At times
in his business career he has met with difficulties and obstacles but as the
year's have gone by his labors have brought to him a fair measure of pros-
perity. He has never allowed himself to become di-heartened by ill luck,
but with persistent energy has worked his way upward.


Pottawattamie county has been signally favored in the class of men who
have filled her public offices, and in this connection William C. Cheyne is
deserving of more than passing mention. lie is now auditor of the county,
and in office has made an excellent record, leading to his election for a second
term in 1906. He was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1853, and lived in and
near that city, until 1880, the greater part of his education being acquired
in the public schools.

Hoping to benefit by a change of location, he came to Pottawattamie
county in 1880, settling at Avoca, where he secured a position in the office
of a grain firm as general office man. He acted in that capacity until
August, 1882, when he was sent to Oakland. Pottawattamie county, to take
charge of an elevator for his firm and there lie continued until March, 1890.
He then went to Carson, where he was given charge of the business of the
South Branch Elevator Company, continuing as manager at that point until
November, 1894. A more advantageous offer then came to him in the p
tion of deputy in the county clerk'- office, Id which he was appointed, there
remaining for ten years under one administration, a fact which is indicative
of the care and diligence he displayed in the discharge of his duties. In
January. 1905. he entered upon the duties of the office of county auditor.
to which he had been elected, and in 1906 he was re-elected so thai he is
now serving his second term.


Mr. Cheyne was married in November, 1888, in Oakland, Iowa, to Miss
Clara B. Bate?, a daughter of J. A. T. Bates, and they have seven children,
William W., Sue, Phoebe, Joe D., Katharine C, Charles T. and Allison B.

Mr. Cheyne belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is
in hearty sympathy with the spirit of benevolence and helpfulness upon
which the organization is based., He has always given his political allegiance
to the republican party and it has been upon this ticket that he has been
elected to public office. He has made a worthy record, commending him
to the confidence, regard and further support of the public and winning
for him classification with the representative men of this part of the state.


Peter Eggers, now living a retired life on his farm in Knox township,
w r as for many years closely associated with agricultural interests and so
developed his property that it has become one of the best farms of the locality.
Throughout his life he has manifested many of the sterling traits of the
German race. His birth occurred in Holstein, Germany, on the 20th of
February, 1834, his parents being Peter and Wiebke Eggers, who were also
natives of Germany, the father there following the occupation of farming
until his life's labors were ended in death. The mother has also passed
away and of their six children only two are yet living, the sister being still
a resident of Germany.

Peter Eggers, after acquiring his education in the public schools, was
employed as a farm hand in the fatherland until 1870, when he determined
to seek a home and fortune in America. Accordingly he bade adieu to
friends and native country and crossed the Atlantic, making his way into
the interior of the country until he reached Avoca, Pottawattamie county,
Iowa. There he worked on the section for the Rook Island Railroad Com-
pany for three years. He afterward bought a farm of one hundred acres
on section 18, Knox township, Pottawattamie county, and in 1874 he took
up his abode upon that place, now known as the Walnut Grove farm. He
has further improved it by the erection of a fine country residence, a large
and substantial barn and other necessary buildings for the shelter of grain
and stock. He made his farm a model property and carried on the work
that generally occupies the time and attention of the agriculturist until 1894,
when he retired from business cares but still lives upon the farm. He,
however, leaves its active management to others, while he is enjoying a well
merited rest.

In 1862 Mr. Eggers w T as united in marriage in Germany to Miss Maria
Johannsen, who was born in Germany, April 15, 1843, a daughter of Peter
and Lottie (Schleeter) Johannsen, both of whom died in Germany. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Eggers have been born six children: Ida, whose birth occurred
in Germany and who is now the wife of William Niemann, of Avoca; Wil-
helm, who was born in Germany and is living in Omaha, Nebraska; John and


Otto, who conduct a jewelry store at Atlantic, Iowa; Mary, the wife of Wil-
liam Franc, of Pleasant township; and Adele, at home.

The parents are members of the Lutheran church of Avoca, are inter-
ested in its work and contribute generously to its support. Mr. Eggers votes
with the republican party, his study of the political issues of the day lead-
ing him to the belief that its platform contains the best elements of good
government. For several years he served as road supervisor and did much
to improve the condition of public highways during his incumbency. He
is a self-made man to whom advancement has come because he has made good
use of his opportunities. When he came to realize that America offered
better chances than a land hampered by caste and class he resolved to seek
his fortune on this side of the Atlantic and has not been disappointed in
the conditions which he here found. Working earnestly and persistently, he
has achieved a goodly measure of prosperity and is now one of the substantial
residents of Knox township.


Richard Eckel, an enterprising agriculturist and stock-raiser of
Pleasant township, Pottawattamie county, also conducts a dairy in connec-
tion with his farming interests. He was born in New York city on the
20th of August, 1860, his parents being Charles R. and Catherine (Miley)
Eckel, the former also a native of New York city and the latter of Boston,

Mr. Eckel is the second of the four survivors in his father's family of
six children, and when but ten years of age accompanied his mother on a
visit to La Salle county, Illinois. Mrs. Eckel passed away at that place
and our subject accordingly made his home with his aunt until he had
attained his majority, acquiring hi< education in the common schools of
Illinois. When he had reached man's estate he rented a farm, which he
operated for three years. In 1885, however, he came to Pottawattamie
county, Iowa, and was here connected with agricultural pursuits as a renter
until 1904. He then purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty-seven
acres on section 6, Pleasant township, where he has since successfully carried
on agricultural interests. In connection with the cultivation of his land
he is also engaged in stock-raising and dairying, these various branches of
his business having proved profitable by reason of his untiring labor and
excellent management.

In 1896 Mr. Eckel was united in marriage to Miss Elma Smith, who
was born in Iowa county, Iowa, February 7. 1ST."), a daughter of Galen and
'Frances Smith, whose family numbered -ix children. Mr. Smith makes
his home in Shelby, Iowa, but his wife has passed away. Unto our subject
and his wife have been born four children: Clyde A., Thornton S., Florence
A. and Stanley R.





Mr. Eckel is a stalwart republican in his political views, and both he
and his wife support the Methodist Episcopal church. They are widely
known in the community as people of genuine personal worth and excellent
qualities of heart and mind. Mr. Eckel has gained his prosperity entirely
through his own labor and untiring perseverance, and therefore well deserves
representation in this volume as one of the self-made and successful busi-
ness men of his section of the county.


Dr. Henry Watte Hart was a practicing physician for more than forty
years, most of this time in the state of Iowa. He went into the profession
from the love of it and pursued it with great diligence, made constant pro-
gress in the healing art, and stood among the foremost men in the medical
fraternity in western Iowa. He was a native of Chenango county, New York,
dating his birth at Sherburne, on the 14th of October, 1818. His grand-
father, Thomas Hart, was a Connecticut man and a Revolutionary soldier.
His father, Thomas Hart, Jr., was a farmer, and in that employment reared
his son Henry. About 1833 the family removed to Ontario county, in the
western part of the state, and in 1838 to Belvidere, Illinois, the son being
engaged in agricultural pursuits until he became of age. At this period,
having received only a common-school education and quite unsatisfied with
his literary attainments, Dr. Hart returned to New York in 1840, and at-
tended the Franklin Academy at Pratteburg, Steuben county. While pur-
suing his literary education he commenced reading medicine with Dr. Addi-
son Niles, attended lectures at Geneva, New York, and graduated in 1846.

After practicing a year or more in his native state, Dr. Hart moved to
Johnston, Rock county, Wisconsin, remaining there until 1853, when he
removed to West Union, Fayette county, Iowa. There he built up a large
practice and was doing finely when, in 1861, civil war burst upon the land.
In September of that year, in response to the country's need, he went to
the south as surgeon of the Ninth Iowa Infantry, Hon. William Vandever
as colonel. At the end of about a year he was transferred to the Thirty-
eighth Iowa Regiment, and continued as its surgeon until the regiment was
mustered out after the close of hostilities in the summer of 1865. He did
an important work for his country in ministering to the needs of the sick
and wounded. At Vicksburg he was placed in charge of the general hospi-
tal and devoted himself so untiringly to the work connected therewith that
his health became impaired and for three months he was ill. This was
the only period when he was off duty during his military service, covering
three years and ten months. He went through all the experiences of camp
life for an army surgeon and many a brave soldier has reason to bless his
memory for the kindly and timely assistance rendered. He was a man of
warm heart, of generous impulses and kindly feelings, and these traits as


well as his judgment and his conscience prompted him to be very attentive
to the sick and wounded.

On the 1st of May, 1845, Dr. Hart was joined in wedlock to Miss Sarah
Way, of Bath, New York, and while he was in the army his family resided
in Dubuque. When the war was over he rejoined them in that city, where
he remained in practice and in prospecting for a short period. In 1868
he settled in Council Bluffs, where he won distinction in his profession. His
long experience • in the army gave him superior advantages in surgery and
though he engaged in general practice, in his later years he made a specialty
of surgical work. His skill in this direction was widely recognized and
brought him a large patronage. His standing in every respect was excellent.
He lived to benefit the well and never neglected the sick.

Of the three children of Dr. and Mrs. Hart, Frank H., who became a
banker of Beloit, Kansas, died in 1884. Their daughter, Mrs. Jennie W.
Edmundson, founder of the Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital at Coun-
cil Bluffs, died in 1890, leaving the only surviving son Ernest E. Hart, now
president of the First National Bank of Council Bluffs. The death of Dr.
Hart occurred February 12, 1891, and his widow, Mrs. Sarah H. Hart, passed
away April 25, 1906. He preferred to devote his time and energies to his
professional duties, yet was never remiss in the duties of citizenship. In
early life his political support was given to the whig party and in later
years he became a republican, who manifested his political faith at the ballot
box but had time to do little more in that direction. After his return from
the war he became a member of the Congregational church, served as one
of the trustees of the Council Bluffs society and was deeply interested in the
progress of the Christian religion. His life in its various phases was actuated
by high principles and worthy motives and the community in which he
lived was benefitted by his presence.


Algernon Sidney Bonham was born in Fleming county, Kentucky,
February 20, 1816, and during the ninety-one years of an active life has so
lived as to win and merit the veneration and esteem of all with whom he
has come in contact. His father, Amariah Bonham, was born in Canada
in 1773 and died from yellow fever on a flat boat en route for New Orleans,
July 10, 1820. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Rebecca
Wiley, was born in Canada. September 14, 1775, and died November 10,
1858, at Macomb, Illinois. They were married September 10, 1795. They
removed to Kentucky, where most of their children were born, and later
went to Illinois at an early day, which made them pioneer settlers of Macomb.

Algernon Sidney Bonham was reared under the parental roof and hav-
ing arrived at years of maturity, wedded Rachel Hay den, a daughter of
Barnabus and Sarah Hayden. the wedding being celebrated in Fleming
county. Kentucky. September 17, 1835. Mrs. Bonham was born Novem-


ber 22, 1815. They lived for some time in Macomb, Illinois, where for
many years Mr. Bonham engaged in the nursery and milling business. In
1864 he removed with his family to Council Bluffs, where he established
and conducted a nursery business, and he also owned a fine farm in Kane
township adjacent to the city, which he managed for about twenty years.
During the time he has resided in Council Bluffs and up to a few years ago
he also dealt in bee supplies. In all of his business relations he has ever
been found upright and honorable, never taking advantage of the necessities
of his fellowmen in any trade transaction.

Mr. and Mrs. Bonham have reared a large family. Their eldest son,
Barnabus A., was born August 30, 1836, in Fleming county, Kentucky, and
was married at Tecumseh, Kansas, October 11, 1865, to Rebecca A. Crom-
well, whose birth occurred April 12, 1849. He is a member of the Grand
Army of the Republic and of the Union Veterans Legion, being entitled to
membership in these orders by reason of the fact that he was a valiant soldier
of the Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry. In politics he is a republican., Unto
him and his wife was born a daughter, Carrie, the wife of William Stephen-
son of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by whom she has two children, Russell and
Shirley. Maud Bonham, the second member of the family of Barnabus
Bonham, became the wife of William Jeffries, of Pottawattamie county, and
their children are Marguerite, Joseph Sidney, Marie, Gladys, Oscar, Beatrice,
Harry, and Rachel, who died in infancy. The third child of Barnabus
Bonham is Alice, who is living with her parents. The fourth child was
Jessie, a daughter, who died in infancy. Ethel, the next member of the
family, became the wife of Arthur Warner, of Council Bluffs, and they have
two children, Gertrude and Alice. Oscar, the fifth child of Barnabus Bon-
ham, married Hat-tie Moon and lives in Council Bluffs. Wilbur, the next
member of the family, i- at home, as is Mary Fay Bonham. Alonzo Mc-
Clelland Bonham, the second son of Algernon Sidney Bonham, was born
October 17, 1838, married Martha Hamilton and is living in Council Bluffs.
He is mentioned on another page of this work. Trinvilla, the next member
of the family, born December, 18, 1840, is the wife of 0. J. Smith, of this
city, and their children are Addie, Marian, Stanton, Frank, Ernest, Grace
and Claud. Malville Bonham, born February 14, 1843, and Montaville, born
February 27, 1846, both died in infancy. Anna Eliza, born April 8, 1848,
became the wife of D. J. Smith, of Council Bluffs, and their children are

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 56 of 59)