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The United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume online

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the adjoining counties of Decatur, Lucas and Appa-
noose, in this state, and into Putnam county, Mis-
souri, the line of which state is twelve miles from
Corydon. His acquaintance is very extensive, and
he is much respected both as a professional man and
private citizen.

Dr. Everett has been on the local school board at
different times — the only civil office which he would
accept, he giving his time exclusively to the study
and practice of medicine and surgery. The secret
of his success lies in his untiring industry. He is
as diligent in his studies as was Dr. Richard Rush.

Politically, the doctor is a democrat ; religiously,
a Baptist. He is a deacon of the Corydon church,
and the purity of his life has never been questioned.

He venerates the christian as well as the medical

He is a Master Mason, but devotes very little time
to the order.

On the 2ist of October, 1861, Miss Fidelia C. Bar-
low, of Wayne county, Iowa, was joined in wedlock
with Dr. Everett, and they have had five children,
four of them yet living, and all are. being educated
in the Corydon graded school.

Dr. Everett has quite a taste for agriculture and
horticulture, and has a pleasant homestead of one
hundred and fifty acres adjoining the town on the
south, with a fine orchard. He has a competency,
and while comfortable himself likes to make other
people so.



J from Clayton county, is a native of Chautauqua
county. New York, and was born in the town of
Ellery, on the 24th of February, 1831, his parents be-
ing George and Catherine Cheney Stoneman. The
Stoneraans are of English pedigree, and were among
the early settlers in Chenango county, New York.
The Cheneys were an early Rhode Island family.
George Stoneman moved with his family to Busti
when the son was in his infancy, and there, on a farm
four miles from Jamestown, the subject of this sketch
lived until sixteen years of age. He was the fourth
child in a family of eight children, four sons and four
daughters, of whom General George Stoneman, the
gallant cavalry officer in the late civil war, was the
eldest child.

John T. prepared for college at the Jamestown
Academy, devoting his summers at this period to la-
bor on the farm ; at twenty, went to Covington, Ken-
tucky, and taught school one year; he then entered
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and
graduated in 1856.

While in Kentucky Mr. Stoneman commenced
reading law with Judge R. B. Carpenter, now of
Charleston, South Carolina ; and during his college
course he spent his vacations at the Albany (New
York) Law School. He was there admitted to the
bar in January, 1855, and on graduating from college
came to the west, settling in McGregor in October,
1856. Here he has been in the steady practice of

his profession since that date, part of the time alone
and part in connection with other parties. He is
now of the firm of Stoneman and Chapin, his part-
ner being Asahel Chapin, junior, who has recently
married his partner's adopted daughter. As a lawyer,
Mr. Stoneman has devoted his talents and energies
to his profession with unwearied industry. Dignified
before the court, and respectful to the jury, he com-
mands respect and wins the confidence of his hear-
ers. He is an easy, fluent speaker, a man of strong
sympathy and deep convictions, and disdains to stoop
to any of the shallow artifices of the profession.
Powerful and courteous in argument, resolute in the
defense of what he believes is right, he has won among
his associates a high and honorable place, and has
fair promise of a long life of public usefulness in his
profession. He practices in all the courts, state and

Mr. Stoneman was the first recorder of the town
of McGregor, he being elected in 1857. He was
mayor of the city in 1863, and was elected to the
state senate in 1875, ^is term of office expiring on
the 31st of December, 1879. He is on the judiciary
committee, and three or four others, and one of the
ablest men on the democratic side.

Mr. Stoneman was originally a whig, and for the
last seventeen or eighteen years has acted with the
democrats, he being one of the leading members of
his party in northern Iowa. He has been a candi-
date for different offices, but being on the minority



side in politics, has usually been defeated. He was
the democratic nominee for congress once ; two years
later the democratic and liberal candidate, and when
Mr. Harlan was reelected the second time for the
United States senate, and Hon. J. B. Howell was
elected, Mr. Stoneman received, on both occasions,

the votes of the democratic members of the general
assembly. He has abilities to fill any position in
which his party, if in the majority, could place him.
In March, 1858, Miss Caroline Southland, of Busti,
New York, became his wife, and they have one child,
Carrie, who is attending the high school in McGregor.



CASTANUS BLAKE PARK, son of Castanus
B. Park, senior, deceased in 1869, and Elzina
Tenney, was born in Grafton, Windham county, Ver-
mont, on the 14th of December, 1834. The branch
of the Park family from which he descended early
settled in Connecticut, his grandfather moving thence
to Vermont when its forests were but slightly denud-
ed. His great-grandfather was in the continental
army. Castanus B. Park, senior, was a merchant and
farmer, but the son in early life showed no taste for
either pursuit. Having a strong desire for knowl-
edge, he spent most of his youth in school, finishing
his literary education at Chester Academy, in his
native state. He prepared for college, but abandoned
the notion of entering. Commencing to read medi-
cine with Dr. L. G. Whiting, of Chester, Vermont,
he finished with Professor James H. Armsby, of Al-
bany ; attended three courses of lectures there and
one course in the University of New York, and grad-
uated in the spring of 1856.

Dr. Park commenced practice without much delay
in Darlington, La Fayette county, Wisconsin ; the
next year crossed the Mississippi river ; invested in
real estate in Mitchell county, Iowa; practiced a little
at Saint Ansgar, in that county ; returned to Grafton,
Vermont, in 1859, and there followed his profession
until after the civil war had commenced.

In the summer of 1862 Dr. Park entered the ser-
vice as surgeon of the i6th Vermont Infantry, a nine-
months regiment ; returned to Brattleboro at the
expiration of that period, and at the solicitation of
Governor Holbrook accepted the position of surgeon
of the nth regiment. Before returning to the south
he became the recipient of a splendid token of the
esteem in which he was held by the i6th regiment.
He received a complete silver service, sixteen pieces
in all, accompanied by the following letter from the
pen of Captain L. E. Knapp, of company I of that
regiment :

TowNSHEND, Vermont, September 24, 1863.

Dr. C. B. Park,^ — Dear Sir: Your visible connection
with our regiment as its surgeon has ceased, but the remem-
brance of your fidelity, energy and unceasing care will lin-
ger long in the hearts of its individual members. In the
first place you won our confidence by manifesting a skill in
the art of healing which few possess ; then, by untiring dili-
gence and continued watchfulness, you almost robbed dis-
ease of its terrors and death of its victims. But this is not
all ; your whole intercourse with us was characterized by
gentlemanly deportment and kindly consideration. Neither
the annoyaiices of dealing with unpleasant subjects nor the
necessary inconveniences of camp life induced neglect or

In order to manifest our appreciation of your services the
accompanying silverware has been selected, and I have the
honor of presenting it to you in behalf of the "enlisted men"
of the i6th Vermont regiment. Accept it, not for its intrin-
sic worth, but for the memories which cluster around it.
Receive it as an expression of grateful remembrances from
hearts that have been quickened to nobler emotions by de-
votion to the principles of freedom and humanity.

I am, yours respectfully, Lyman E. Knapp.


To this graceful letter Dr. Park made a feeling

and appropriate reply, and went forward to further

duties in his country's service, remaining in the field

until the rebellion had ended, the latter part of the

time as a brigade surgeon. The character of his

services during the last two years in the army is well

presented in a work entitled " The Vermont Brigade

in the Shenandoah Valley," by Aldace F. Walker,

lieutenant-colonel of the nth. On pages 165 and

166 he says :

Among all the faithful soldiers of the brigade the one
who will be longest remembered with affection b^ the great-
est number, and with the greatest reason, is Castanus B.
Park, of the nth regiment, the brigade surgeon. As a
worker, Dr. Park was indefatigable, and his skill was equal
to the requirements of his position. Of all its medical
staff the brigade were justly proud, the assistant surgeons
as well as the surgeons being always found at their posts,
and shrinking from no labor that might benefit their men
on the march, in the camp or in battle. Their duties
were often extremely arduous, for in case of an engagement
the work of the surgeons was but just begun when ours was
over. At and after the battle of Cedar creek Dr. Park was
at his table for forty-eight hours consecutively, and during
this campaign it was his duty to perform all the capital
operations required in the brigade. The number of ampu-
tations which he performed was exceedingly large, but he
traced with care the after history of each patient, and in no



instance did one fail of recovery. This fact speaks equally
well for the physique of the men and for the science of the

After the war was ended he returned to Grafton ;
practiced until the spring of 1867, when he returned
to Iowa; made investments at Grinnell; did some
surgery and less general practice, intending to go
out altogether, and in 1869 located where the village
of Grand Junction now stands, at the crossing of the
Chicago and Northwestern and the Keokuk and Des
Moines Valley railroads. There was then no house
within two miles of this point, but as the latter road
was to cross the former at that place he knew a town
must rise. He purchased the best lands for farming
purposes, built a warehouse, the first here, and has
since been engaged in farming, merchandising in
hardware and agricultural implements, lumber and
grain dealing and stock and fruit raising. He has
twenty or thirty head of thoroughbred shorthorns
and other cattle, the best breeds of hogs, an orchard
of twenty acres, a vineyard and all kinds of small
fruit which will grow in this latitude. He has laid

out his grounds with much taste, and has the most
delightful homestead of four hundred and forty acres
in this part of the state.

The doctor still practices a little when necessary,
having all the difficult cases of surgery in this section.

He was appointed county commissioner several
years ago, and is now serving his fourth term, having
been reelected three times.

In politics, he is a republican, with whig antece-
dents. He is a third-degree Mason.

In 1876 he was appointed by the State Medical
Society a delegate to the American Medical Associ-
ation, but could not attend.

He is a member of no church, but a generous con-
tributor to the funds of church building, church sup-
port and benevolent operations generally. There is
nothing contracted in his composition.

The wife of Dr. Park was Miss Nancy D. Carlton,
of Andover, Vermont ; married on the 3d of July,
1856. They have had three children, two of them,
Willie L. and Jennie May, yet living. They are
being well educated.



THE oldest medical practitioner in Indianola,
and a man of brilliant parts and great success,
is Charles W. Davis, twenty-two years a resident of
Warren county. His father, Ephraim P. Davis, was
a merchant, a descendant of an old Welsh family,
and died in Indianola on the 31st of August, 1867.
The maiden name of his mother was Nancy Cotting-
ham. The family moved to LaFayette, Indiana, when
the son was about twelve years old. He was educat-
ed at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana; was
graduated in 1848, with the expectation at one time
of studying for the ministry, but turned his attention
to medicine, read with Dr. E. Deming, of La Porte,
Indiana, and graduated at Rush Medical College,
Chicago, in 1853.

After practicing three years at Lebanon and Car-
lisle, Indiana, Dr. Davis came to Indianola, in the
pring of 1856, and has here been in constant prac-
tice, excepting when absent in his country's service.
In 1862 he was commissioned surgeon of the 34th
Iowa Infantry, and in 1864 was promoted to surgeon
of United States Volunteers, serving in the latter ca-
pacity until nearly the close of the war. Prior to

going into the service, he was examining surgeon for
volunteers, and after its close was offered the position
of United States examiner for pensions, but declined.
While surgery is Dr. Davis' specialty, the business in
Warren county is limited, and he does a general prac-
tice, standing at the head of the profession in this lo-

The doctor is a good writer on medical science,
and years ago contributed to western periodicals,
published in the interest of his profession, several
valuable papers.

Dr. Davis was reared in the whig school of poli-
tics, with anti-slavery proclivities, and naturally unit-
ed with the great party whose rallying cry, as early as
1848, was, "Free soil, free speech, free men."

Religiously, he was reared in the Presbyterian
faith, and worships with that body of people, but is
not a member of the church.

His wife was Miss Sallie A. Pursel, of Greencastle,
Indiana; married on the 19th of October, 1854.
They have one child, William C. Davis, who is just
completing his medical studies with his father. He
is a young man of much promise.



Years ago the doctor was a prominent medical ex-
aminer for life insurance, and wrote some essays
which were included in the literature published by
one of the oldest and best New York companies. He
is a strong thinker, and embodies his thoughts in clear
and graceful language.

The doctor is six feet tall, broad shouldered, well-
developed and muscular, and weighs two hundred
and thirty-five pounds. He has an unusually large
head, dark brown eyes, light complexion and nervo-
sanguine temperament. His conversational powers
and his social qualities are excellent.



RUTLEDGE LEA, son of Claiborne and Sarah
H. (Roads) Lea, is a native of Greenfield,
Highland county, Ohio, dating his birth on the 4th
of November, 1843. He was the sixth child in a
family of seven children, five of them yet living. His
maternal grandfather, Jacob Roads, was in the war
of 1812-15, having command of a company. At
twelve years of age Rutledge moved with the family
to Iowa, remaining one year at Fairfield, Jefferson
county, and then settling in Keosauqua, Van Buren
county. Here, after receiving a good English educa-
tion, young Lea, at the age of seventeen, commenced
reading law with J. C. Knapp, now judge of the dis-
trict court of the second judicial district of Iowa,
and Hon. George F. Wright, now of Council Bluffs,
Iowa; subsequently with Noble and Strong, of Keo-
kuk, being admitted to the bar at Keosauqua in
1864. He commenced practice at Keosauqua, but
at the end of a year, his health failing, he relin-
quished his practice and began to travel and resort
to manual labor for its improvement, running a saw-
mill one season near Keosauqua.

He was deputy collector of internal revenue in
the first congressional district in 1864 and 1865, and
deputy treasurer of Van Buren county from 1866 to
1872. For the last ten years he has been in the
constant practice of his profession, being now of the

firm of Lea and Beaman, his partner being D. C. Bea-
man. They have an extensive and growing practice,
and have a very honorable standing at the bar. Mr.
Lea excels both as court and jury lawyer, having a
thorough legal education and being a clear reasoner
and an earnest, impressive speaker. He is very tena-
cious for the rights of his client, and rarely fails in
his case. Few minds at the bar of the second judi-
cial district are more systematic and logical than his.
He is a very high-minded man, an honor to the pro-

In politics, Mr. Lea is republican, and was an
elector in the first congressional district in 1876,
doing excellent work as a canvasser.

He is a firm believer in the general doctrines of
Christianity and a regular church-goer, but a member
of no religious body.

He is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order;
was worshipful master of the Keosauqua lodge five
years ; is past junior steward of the grand lodge of
the state ; has been chairman of the standing com-
mittee on finance for the last three years ; has been
high priest of Moore Chapter, No. 23, and senior
warden of Elchanan Commandery, No. 28.

Miss Victoria Henry, of Keosauqua, was married
to Mr. Lea in April, 1868. They have three children
and have lost two.

SMITH Mcpherson,


SMITH Mcpherson was bom near Indianap-
olis, Indiana, on the 14th of February, 1848. His
father was a farmer, and of Scotch descent. Smith
worked on his father's farm in the summer time, at-
tending school in the winter months — an institution
under the control of the Society of Friends. At the

age of twenty-one he left home to attend the Iowa
State University, from which he graduated in June,
1870, receiving the degree of LL.B. From the uni-
versity he entered the law office of his uncle, M. L.
McPherson, of Council Bluffs, and read law the re-
mainder of that year; then removed to Red Oak,



continued the study of law, and was admitted to the
bar in 1870, since which time he has steadily prac-
ticed law. In July, 1874, he was appointed by Gov-
ernor Carpenter district attorney for the third ju-
dicial district, comprising eight counties in south-
ern Iowa; and at the general election the same year
was elected to the same office for four years, and is
now in the enjoyment of said position.

He has taken ten degrees in Masonry, and is a
member of the encampment of the Independent Or-
der of Odd-Fellows. Mr. McPherson is a medium-
sized, light-complexioned man, with large, pensive
eyes. He is a great lover of books, and possesses
a choice collection of the standard literature of the
day, together with a fine law library. It rarely hap-
pens that one so fond of books is at the same time so
active*, man in the affairs of life. His social qualities
are of the highest order. He compasses his friends
with "hoops of steel." His forensic abilities are of
the first order of excellence. He is keen to observe
the weak points in a defense at trial, and is a strong
and persistent advocate. His pleadings are ever
marked with a full knowledge of the law, and all the
sophistries of the bar are to him but so many cob-
webs to be thrust aside in the clearer light of law
and evidence. With all this he is a great favorite
with both bench and bar.

He is a staunch republican, and is frequently be-
fore the public in defense of the principles of his
party. His political speeches are marked with a thor-
ough knowledge of the topic under discussion, which
he handles without ever descending to vulgarity,
though his irony ofttimes cuts very deep.

It is only in these comparatively new countries of
the west that such prodigies are to be found. Here
is a young man of only twenty-nine years of age wor-
thily wielding an influence never attained in the met-
ropolitan circles of the east short of fifty years of
life. The golden opportunities that present them-
selves to a young and gifted brain find apt solution
amid the ever utilitarian spirits which make up the
communities of the newer states of the Union. Mr.
McPherson possessed the ability, young as he was,
to wield the business of his high office ; the govern-
or of his state observed these innate qualities, and
appointed him to fill an unexpired term of office,
and when he came before the people for their ap-
proval they indorsed the governor's judgment and
elected him to continue in the same office.

Mr. McPherson is yet a bachelor, and whether he
ever becomes wedded to anything other than litera-
ture and law or not, he certainly has a long and bril-
liant future before him, coequal with the rising pros-
pects of his young and giant state.



JOHN MAHIN, postmaster, was born in Nobles-
ville, Indiana, on the 8th of December, 1833, and
is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Hare) Mahin.
The ancestors on the male side came from Ireland
and settled in Rhode Island previous to the revolu-
tion; from thence they removed to Kentucky, where
a colony of the descendants still reside, and about
the beginning of the present century the grandpar-
ents of our subject removed to Ohio, where there
is another settlement of the family. On the mother's
side our subject is descended from German ances-
tors of Pennsylvania stock.

The parents of John Mahin spent their early life
in one of the "log cabins" so common in the pio-
neer history of Ohio. His father was a Methodist
local preacher.

John received less than a year's schooling alto-
gether, being placed in a printing office at an early

age, in which, as he expresses it, he received his
education, graduating at the " case " before reach-
ing the age of eighteen. He inherited a strong de-
sire for knowledge, had a passion for reading, and
before the age of twelve had read the Bible through,
and every other book he could lay his hands on, in-
cluding novels, newspapers and missionary biogra-
phies. For years he was accustomed to walk a dis-
tance of two miles each week to borrow the weekly
newspaper, which, after being read by the family,
was passed to some other neighbor, or returned to
the owner.

From his earliest childhood he was possessed by a
strong desire to learn the art of printing; this was
the acme of his ambition. Moving to Bloomington,
now Muscatine, Iowa, in 1847, he found an opening
in the " Herald " office, since changed to the "Jour-
nal," where for five years he was a diligent and in-



dustrious journeyman, pursuing his study of books
and men as circumstances permitted.

In his nineteenth year (July, 1852,) he com-
menced publishing and editing the Muscatine "Jour-
nal " on his own account. This he continued for
two years with very satisfactory pecuniary results,
having succeeded where others failed, when he sold
his interest, intending to pursue a classical course of
study ; with which end in view^^e entered the Ohio
Wesleyan University at Delaware, in that state, but
was obliged to abandon this cherished scheme after a
few months, on account of a serious attack of illness,
which for a time threatened his life. In 1856 he re-
purchased his interest in the Muscatine " Journal "
and resumed editorial control of the paper, which
he has since retained, having been sole editor about
half that time.

In April, 1861, he was appointed postmaster of
Muscatine by President Lincoln, on the recom-
mendation of a large majority of republican electors
of the city, and retained the position for eight years.
In October, 1869, he was elected to the house of
representatives of Iowa for a period of two years,
and served with distinction ; taking a lead in the
house on the question, then for the first time agitated,
of taxing railroads, he favoring the taxation of rail-
roads the same as other property. In June, 1873, he
was reappointed postmaster, and still retains that

During the war he was one of the most vigorous
defenders of the administration; threw his whole
power into the Union cause ; was instrumental in
raising a large number of volunteers, and in silenc-
ing the opposition of "copperheads," so-called at
home, his tongue, his pen and his purse being freely
employed in the cause of loyalty. He was likewise
secretary and actual manager of the Soldiers' Monu-
ment Association, of Muscatine county, which erect-

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 104 of 125)