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Homer Howard Field.

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

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a newspaper man. He carried on this paper for ten years in a most pleas-
ing way and so built up the patronage of the Walnut Bureau that it was a
leader in the community. His language was always clear, simple and grace-
ful and he led his readers along through an argumentative path decked with
literary allusions gained from his wide reading. He was offered so good a
price for the paper on which he had spent so much time that he felt it was
to his advantage to sell. In consequence he removed to Harlan, Iowa, where
he bought the Harlan American, a weekly paper, which he put upon the



548 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

same high basis that the Walnut Bureau had enjoyed. He was editor two
years when he saw his opportunity of buying the Avoca Herald at Avoca,
Iowa. He consequently sold out at Harlan and continued for three years
at Avoca.

Mr. Battey's political affiliations and work had brought him into prom-
inence and his talent had been recognized, so that he was appointed deputy
clerk of the district court in November, 1899 — a position in which he served
until January, 1905, when he assumed the office of clerk of the district court
of Pottawattamie county, to which he had been chosen at the preceding
election and to which he was re-elected in the following year. He has
always taken an active interest in political measures and in movements
which have made for the improvement of the towns in which he has lived.
For two terms he served as mayor of Walnut, Iowa, and for two years as
town recorder. Education has always found in him a warm friend and
he was an active and efficient secretary of the school board of Walnut for
seven years. The republican party has honored him many times by mak-
ing him a delegate to the county conventions and to the ninth district
congressional convention, as well a.-? several state conventions.

In 1884, at Portsmouth, Shelby county, Iowa, Mr. Battey was married
to Lena Betterman, a daughter of Carl H. Betterman, deceased. This union
has been blessed with six children: Carl V., George Earl, Percy B., Lena,
Bessie and Herbert. The family are all members of the Episcopal church at
Council Bluffs, Iowa, and are active in its support.

Mr. Battey is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of
the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, and belongs to the follow-
ing Masonic orders: Mount Nebo lodge, No. 297, A. F. & A. M., of Avoca,
Iowa; Rabboni chapter. No. 85, R. A. M.. of Avoca; Joppa council, No. 15,
of Council Bluffs; Ivanhoe commandery, No. 17, K. T., of Council Bluffs; and
Harmony chapter of the Eastern Star of the same city. He is past master
of his lodge and past high priest of his chapter. His efficiency in his
present position as clerk of the district court has been recognized by his
election in 1907 to the presidency of the Association of Clerks of the Dis-
trict Courts of Iowa. His life has always been honorable and useful, act-
uated by unselfish motives, prompted by patriotism and guided by truth
and justice. He may rest assured that the people of this county are not
unmindful of his labors and his devotion to their interests.



JOHN H. ANDERSEN.

John H. Andersen is one of the large landowners of York township,
deriving his income from valuable farming property comprising seven hun-
dred and sixty-five acres. His home is on section 32, where he has lived
continuously for twenty-two years or since 1885. He had settled in Mills
county in 1883 and has continuously made his home in Iowa since that
time. He was born in Holstein, Germany, January 16, 1854, and was reared



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 549

in his native land, acquiring a public-school education there. His knowl-
edge of English, however, has all been acquired since coming to the - new
world. He is a brother of William P. Andersen, who is mentioned else-
where in this work. In Germany he was reared to the occupation of farm-
ing and followed that pursuit in the fatherland until his emigration to
America. Thinking to enjoy better business opportunities in the new world,
he bade adieu to home and friends and sailed for the United States with his
family.

Mr. Andersen was married in Germany to Miss Katherine Miller, and
in 1883 they crossed the Atlantic, making their way at once to Mills county,
Iowa. There Mr. Andersen rented a tract of land for two years and on the
expiration of that period he removed to Pottawattamie county, where he
made his first investment in property, purchasing eighty acres of land. This
constituted the nucleus of his present extensive possessions. With charac-
teristic energy he began the development and improvement of that tract
and as his labors resulted in the production of crops which found a ready
sale on the market, he added to his original holdings another eighty-acre
tract. His next purchase brought him one hundred and twenty acres in
York township, followed by one hundred and sixty acres in Harrison town-
ship. At different times the purchase-; have been made until he now has
seven hundred and sixty-five acres of valuable land, of which three hundred
and twenty acres lie in Gray county, Texas, and four hundred and forty-
five acres in this part of Iowa. He has placed his capital in the safest of
all investments — real estate — and as the years have passed has brought his
lands under a high state of cultivation, thus greatly enhancing their value.
Upon the home farm he has erected a good residence, two barns and out-
buildings, and in fact has made the farm what it is today. He also put out
an orchard and shade trees, broke the prairie, fenced the fields and carried
forward the work of improvement along the line of progressive agriculture
until his farming interests are unsurpassed by those of any resident of
the community. He raises shorthorn cattle, feeding from two to three car-
loads per year and also raises and feeds about two carloads of Duroc Jersey
hogs. While he has broad fields devoted to grain production his stock-
raising interests are so extensive that he feeds all of his grain.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Andersen have been born five children, three sons
and two daughters: William, a real-estate agent in Des Moines; Mary, the
wife of Hugo Stuhr, a farmer of Minden, by whom she has three children,
Lydia Daisy, Arno and Hugo; Hannah, the wife of Ernest Burmeister, a
farmer of Washington township, by whom she has one son, Harry; and John
and Herman, who are upon the home farm and assist their father in its
operation.

Mr. Andersen has served as school director for several years and the
cause of education finds in him a warm friend, who has done effective service
in its behalf. He has never sought or desired political office, however, and
is independent in his voting. His religious faith is indicated by his mem-
bership in the Lutheran church of Washington township. He started out
in life empty-handed and has made all that he possesses, working diligently



550 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

and persistently to achieve success. He has never had occasion to regret his
determination to seek a home in America, for here he has found good busi-
ness opportunities and through their utilization has steadily advanced toward
the plane of affluence.



FRANK BLANK.



Among the younger business men of Council Bluffs who have gained a
creditable name and place for themselves in financial circles is numbered
Frank Blank, cashier of the E. E. Hart private bank. He is one of the native
sons of the city, having been born here in 1880. At the usual age he entered
the public schools and passed through successive grades until he was gradu-
ated from the high school in the class of 1898. Immediately afterward he
entered the employ of E. E. Hart in the latter's private bank, being first
employed in the capacity of stenographer and later becoming bookkeeper,
while in 1903 he was made cashier. His connection with this institution
now covers ten years — a fact which is indicative of his ability and fidelity.
He has gained a thorough and systematic knowledge of the banking busi-
ness and his work is carried on along most systematic and progressive lines.
He is likewise secretary of the Iowa Lumber & Box Company, and is recog-
nized as a forceful factor in commercial circles.

Mr. Blank votes with the republican party and is more or less active in
its ranks. He is well known in fraternal circles as a member of the Elks
lodge and also of the Modern Woodmen camp and his religious faith is in-
dicated by his membership in the First Congregational church. Having
always lived in this city he has had a wide acquaintance from his early
school days to the present time and many of his friends are those who have
known him from his boyhood days.



JAMES W. MITCHELL.

James W. Mitchell, in whom Pottawattamie county finds a capable and
trustworthy official as manifest in his discharge of the duties of the position
of treasurer, to which he was elected in 1903, for a two years' terra, has been
a resident of Council Bluffs since 1S92. He was born in Bellevue, Nebraska,
on the 5th of April. 1859, and is a »on of Francis L. and Elizabeth (Rob-
erts) Mitchell, the former a native of New York and the latter of Kentucky.
In 1855 the father removed to Nebraska and the Roberts family were also
pioneers of that state.

.Tames W. Mitchell was reared to manhood in Bellevue. Nebraska, the
public schools affording him his educational privileges. After putting aside
his text-books he spent three or four years in clerking in a store there, and
in the spring of 18R0 removed to Omaha, Nebraska, where he continued to



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 551

clerk for two years. On the expiration of that period he went to Leadville,
Colorado, where he was employed as a salesman for two years and subse-
quently he removed to Rawlins, Wyoming, where he had charge of a post
trading store for one year. He afterward went to Pratt county, Kansas, and
"pcned a drug store at Iuka, carrying on the business for a year, after which
he was appointed deputy sheriff of Pratt county, Kansas, and served for two
years. He also filled the position of deputy clerk of the district court for a
similar period and in all the offices he has filled, whether in Council Bluffs
or elsewhere, he has made a most creditable record by reason of his fidelity
and trustworthiness. In 1889 he returned to Omaha, where he accepted a
clerkship in a store, filling the position until 1892, when he removed to
Council Bluffs and entered the employ of Stewart Brothers, wholesale groc-
ers, as city salesman, continuing with that house as a most efficient and
trusted employe for twelve years.

In the meantime Mr. Mitchell was recognized as one whose efforts in
public life were effective and far-reaching. Deeply interested in political
questions his position as such is never an equivocal one. In fact he is rec-
ognized as one of the leaders of the republican party and has been sent as a
delegate to various county conventions. In 1906 he was elected treasurer
of Pottawattamie county, Iowa, for two years and is now the incumbent in
the office.

Pleasantly situated in his home life, Mr. Mitchell was married in 1883,
in Buena Vista, Colorado, to Miss Delia S. Sheldon, a daughter of John N.
Sheldon, of Omaha, and they have one daughter, Georgie. His fraternal rela-
tions embrace membership with the United Commercial Travelers, No. 146, the
Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Tribe of Ben Hur, the Benevolent &
Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows.



G. A. MILLER.



G. A. Miller, who for twenty-two years has been a resident of Potta-
wattamie county, now owns and cultivates one hundred and sixy acres of
land on section 16, James township. He was born in LaSalle county, Illi-
nois, August 5, 1859, his parents being Nicholas and Kate Miller, the former
born in Germany and the latter in Boston, Massachusetts. The father came
with his parents to the United States in 1840, the family home being estab-
lished in the state of New York, where he remained until he attained his ma-
jority. He then made his way westward to LaSalle county, Illinois, where he
resided until 1875, when he established his home in Livingston county,
Illinois, near D wight. Both he and his wife are now deceased. They became the
parents of ten children, of whom eight yet survive: Magdaline, the wife of
H. C. Brandes, of James township, Pottawattamie county; Carrie, of Chi-
cago, Illinois; G. A., of this review; Katie, of Pottawattamie county; Emma,
the wife of Frank Wilkinson, of Chicago; Louise and Rose, also of Chicago;



552 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

and Hattie, who is living in the same city. Those deceased were Nicholas
and Sophia.

In the common schools G. A. Miller obtained his education while spend-
ing his boyhood days under the parental roof. He remained a resident of
Illinois until 1885, when he came to Iowa, settling in James township, Potta-
wattamie county, where he rented a farm for three years. He then pur-
chased eighty acres of land and has since extended its boundaries by the
purchase of an additional tract of eighty acres, so that he now owns one
hundred and sixty acres on section 16, James township. He has brought
his fields under a state of rich fertility, and he uses the latest improved
machinery to carry on the work of the farm. Everything about the place
indicates his careful supervision and practical methods, and his labors have
brought to him a desirable measure of success.

In 1884 Mr. Miller was married to Miss Carrie Deffenbaugh, who was
born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, and was one of six children. Her
parents were of German descent, Unto Mr. and Mrs. Miller have been born
eight children: Maud, Harry, Roy, Alta. Ada. Howard, Merle and Glenn.
The parents attend and support the Evangelical church in James township,
and Mr. Miller gives his political allegiance to the democracy. For three
years he has served as township trustee, his election being proof of his fidelity
and trustworthiness in office. Mrs. Miller was reared in Illinois, among
pleasant surroundings, and developed a genial disposition and sunny nature
which contribute much to the happiness of their home and make a visit at
the Miller household a thing of delight to the many friends of the family.
In his business career Mr. Miller is determined and energetic, and at all times
thoroughly reliable. In this way he has won the success that he is now
enjoying.



WILLIAM CLARK, SR.

William Clark. Sr., for many year- closely associated with important
agricultural and stock-raising interests in Pottawattamie county and now
living in Oakland, from which town In 1 -uperintends his investment-, was
born in Pennsylvania, March 1,.1837. Eis father. Charles Clark, was also
a native of the Keystone state and was of Irish lineage. He was a farmer In-
occupation and continued to live in Pennsylvania until 1850, when lie re-
moved with his family to Illinois, locating in Mercer county, where he pur-
chased land and engaged in its operation until the spring of 1860. He then
went to Kansas by teams, but this being the year of the great drought every-
thing was burned up, and after living in their covered wagons throughout
the summer the family came to Pottawattamie county, Iowa, in the fall.
Here the father purchased eighty acre- of land from the original seltler and
moved into a log cabin of one room built by the Mormons, making that his
home for a few years. This house was the only improvement upon the
place, but as time passed he broke the land, erectod buildings and continued



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 555

the cultivation of his land throughout the remainder of his active life. For
a few years before his death, however, he lived retired at the home of our
subject, where he died on the 12th of September, 1884, at the age of eighty-
four years. He possessed good business ability and keen discrimination and
prospered in his undertakings. For long years he was connected with the
Presbyterian church but at a later date became a member of the Baptist
church and at all times was interested in Christian and charitable work.
His political views accorded with the principles of the republican party.
His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah McCreary, was born in Penn-
sylvania and died February 26, 1905, at the age of ninety-two years. She,
too, was a member of the Presbyterian church.

In their family were twelve children, all of whom reached mature years,
namely: Elizabeth, now deceased; Margaret E., the wife of Andrew Laugh-
lin, a farmer of Nebraska; Uriah, a retired farmer and a veteran of the Civil
war, living at Woodbine, Iowa; William, of this review; Samuel, who died
on the 13th of July, 1907; Mrs. Martha White, of Oakland; John Calvin,
who served as a soldier of the Union army and has now passed away; Kath-
erine, who is the widow of William Huff and lives in Nebraska; James, Har-
riet, Frank and Mary, all now deceased.

William Clark, Sr., was reared on the old homestead farm and early
became familiar with the tasks of plowing, planting and harvesting. He at-
tended the country schools as opportunity offered and throughout his entire
life has been connected with agricultural interests. In 1860 he came to
Iowa, settling about two and a half miles south of Oakland in Pottawat-
tamie county, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land,
giving in exchange for this tract one horse, two cows, two yearling steers,
one hog and a wagon box. Only fifteen acres of the land had been broken
and upon the place he erected a log cabin of one room, sixteen by eighteen
feet. The year after his arrival here he returned to Illinois and was married,
bringing his bride to her new home in a covered wagon and driving a cow
the entire distance. Money was very scarce in those days and for six months
she was unable to write home as she could not buy a stamp for the letter.
Game was very plentiful and Indians often visited the locality on their
hunting trips. Mr. Clark had to do his trading in Council Bluffs, which
was then the nearest market, and he has sold dressed hogs for two dollars and
a quarter per hundred and wheat for twenty-five cents a bushel. He used
oxen in breaking his land. In 1873 he removed from his first farm to one
in Valley township, where he remained until 1901, and then took up his
abode in Oakland, where he is now occupying an attractive modern resi-
dence that constitutes one of the best homes of the town. He has been very
successful in his business affairs, is the owner of four hundred acres of valu-
able land in Valley township and twelve and a half acres where he now
resides. He has raised cattle for the market and in all his business ventures
has manifested an aptitude for successful management that has made him
one of the substantial residents of his adopted county.

On the 1st of October, 1861, Mr. Clark was married to Miss Martha
Humbert, who was born in Indiana, November 16. 1842. Thev became the



556 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

parents of eight children, of whom four are living: Sarah, the wife of George
Huff, a plumber of Oakland; Carrie, the wife of Pardin White, a farmer of
Valley township; William, living on the old homestead; and Ruby, the wife
of Robert Anderson, a farmer of Center township. Those deceased are Fred,
Emanuel, Mattie and Lula.

The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr.
Clark has served as an officer. He has been a life-long republican and has
held a number of township offices, to which he has been called by his fellow
townsmen who recognize his worth and ability. He has made his home in
this county for forty-seven years and has therefore largely witnessed its
growth and development, noting the changes that have occurred and aiding
in the work that has been done to transform the district from a wild prairie
region into fertile farms.



RAY O. WILLIAMS, D. D. S.

Dr. Ray 0. Williams, who is successfully engaged in the practice of
dentistry in Council Bluffs, has spent his entire life in Iowa and has ever
been actuated by a spirit of enterprise and progress which has done so much
for the development of the state. He was born upon a farm in Montgomery
county, Iowa, in 1874, and was there reared to the age of fourteen years,
working in the fields as opportunity offered and also attending the country
schools. In 1888 the family removed to Oakland, Iowa, where he continued
his studies until graduated from the high school, with the class of 1892.
Through preparation for life's practical duties he entered the Iowa Business
College, at Des Moines, of which he is a graduate of the class of 1893. Thus
well trained for the business world he spent eight months in the employ
of the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, at Omaha, Nebraska, after
which he returned to Oakland, Iowa, where he acted as telegraph operator
for eighteen months. He afterward engaged in keeping books there for
eighteen months and then took a dental course in the Iowa University,
from which he was graduated in 1899. Locating for practice in Council
Bluffs, he has since remained in this city and has gained a liberal support.
He has thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the most modern methods
of practice, keeps in touch with the advancement that is continually being
made by the profession and as the years have gone by has shown that he is
equally efficient in the mechanical work of the operating room. His service?
have given general satisfaction and thus his practice ha= continually grown.

Dr. Williams, on the 18th of June, 1902, was married in Council
Bluffs to Miss Emma E. Crcwdson, a daughter of the Rev. W. B. Crewdson,
and they are well known socially here. They hold membership in the
Christian church and Dr. Williams is also a member of the Knights of
Pythias fraternity and the Knights of the Maccabees. He likewise has a
military record, for he offered his services to the government at the time of
the Spanish-American war, enlisting on the 28th of April, 1898, as a member



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 557

of Company I, Fiftieth Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. This com-
mand was stationed at Jacksonville, Florida, and he was honorably dis-
charged on the 3d of November, 1898.



GEORGE MAIER.



On the roll of Pottawattamie county's dead appears the name of George
Maier, who was one of the pioneer business men of Avoca and one of its
most prominent citizens during the years of his residence here. The life
record of a man that is honorable and successful is a source of stimulation in
the lives of others, pointing out a course which may be profitably followed.
Many lessons may be drawn from the life record of George Maier — a man
who stood four square to every wind that blows. His purposes and plans
would bear closest investigation and his methods were never such as sought
or required disguise. On the contrary he was as straightforward as he was
energetic and his name ever stood as a synonym for integrity in the town
where he made his home.

Mr. Maier was born in Schwenningen, Wurtemberg, Germany, on the
21st of February, 1841, and at the age of twelve years became a student in
the Polytechnic School for Watchmakers in the Black Forest. For seven
years he studied under the best masters of the watchmaker's art and during
that time he also attended the gymnasium, which is equivalent to a high
school of this country. There he mastered a thorough course and after fin-
ishing his education he traveled through the Black Forest for a watch manu-
facturing concern for two years, making sales and collections as well. At
times he carried large sums of money, having the complete confidence and
trust of the firm by which he was employed and under whom he had mas-
tered the watchmaker's trade. The house in which he served his apprentice-
ship is still in existence and is one of the largest in Europe.

Following his two years' experience as a commercial salesman Mr. Maier
came to the United States, locating in Buffalo, New York, where he remained
for a short time. He then proceeded westward to Ann Arbor, Michigan,
where lived his maternal uncle, George Haller, who was proprietor of one
of the leading jewelry establishments of that state and president and owner
of the Horological Institute, which is still conducted by his son and name-
sake. Subsequently Mr. Maier located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he
remained for two or three years as master workman for Preuser Brothers and
George Logeman.

In 1870 he came west to Council Bluffs, looking for a location which



Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 58 of 59)