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Biographies P

 Following are some biographies of families who at one time or another lived in Henry Co. Illinois. In some cases it is the grandparent, parents, siblings,  spouse or child who was a Henry Co. resident so please read carefully!


Paddock, Charles H., first saw the hills of his native county of Steuben, New York, March 18, 1846. The same year of his advent in life he moved with his parents to Henry county, Illinois, where he remained until 1861, when he went out with the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, as orderly for his father, who was captain of company F.

Returning home in the fall of that year, he remained until 1863, when he enlisted in Company I, of the Ninety-fifth Illinois infantry, with which he remained until the autumn of 1865, when he was transferred to company K, of the Forty-seventh Illinois infantry, with which he was mustered out in the spring of 1866, at Springfield. He was at the battle of Durassey, also in most of the engagements on the Red river expedition. He was in the battle of Guntown, and was one of the seven who were left of the company; the rest of it being either killed or taken prisoners. He was also in the raid which pursued Gen. Rice through Missouri; also in the battle of Nashville, Tennessee; Spanish Fort, Fort Blakely and the capture of Mobile. January 4, 1874, Miss Minnie McBride, of Malvern, took Mr. Paddock "for better or for worse," and thus barring the "Mc," she became his bride. Little Sarah is the seal, the only seal, of that marital bond which makes it stronger and more sacred.  Mr. Paddock was the second male settler in the town. He was educated in the common school. He, with his brother, John D., opened the first store in Malvern, and are both still engaged in the same pursuit.

Source: History of Mills Co IA, 1881 p. 639 Malvern Township


Abel Palmer has resided in Douglas township, Adams county, for a score of years, and is well and favorably known in this vicinity.

Born in Somersetshire, England, April 30, 1828, of poor but honored and respected parents, he was reared on a farm and early taught lessons of industry and economy which have been of great value to him in after life. His parents, William and Johana (Young) Palmer, were both natives of Somersetshire, and their family was composed of four sons and three daughters. In early life they were members of the Church of England, and later united with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

April 4, 1857, Mr. Palmer wedded Miss Jane Coles, who was born in Somersetshire, October 1, 1834, oldest child of Richard and Ann (Hawkins) Coles. Her parents lived and died in England. Immediately after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Palmer bade adieu to their native land, embarked at Bristol in the Osprey, and after a voyage of six weeks landed at Castle Garden. Coming West, they located in Henry county, Illinois, where Mr. Palmer was engaged in farm work for a time. He was subsequently employed in a mill, where he remained until 1870. That year he came to Adams county, Iowa, and bought a farm of eighty acres, the one on which he now resides. It was then wild land, and he paid $6.60 per acre for it. The early pioneers of this county settled along the creeks and in the woods, and Mr. Palmer was one of the first to take up his abode on the prairie. A neatly trimmed osage hedge now surrounds his farm; beautiful trees of maple and cottonwood with their lofty branches cast a friendly shade; an attractive cottage home, with pleasing surroundings, orchard, etc., all these combine to make the Palmer farm a model one.

Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have nine children, namely: Charlotte V., wife of Joel Cole, of Douglas township, this county, has eight children; Ella C., wife of George Mohler, Carbon, Iowa, has four children; Susan I., wife of Charles Penton, Omaha, Nebraska, has two children; Rev. G. W. Palmer, a promising young minister who has charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Persia, Iowa, married Esther I. Wood, a successful teacher and a lady of culture and refinement, and by her has one child; and Ida I., Elmer H., Frank A., Estella May and Charley, at home. Mrs. Mohler and Mrs. Penton were popular and efficient teachers before their marriage. Mr. Palmer and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church, of which he has served as steward. Their daughters Ida I. is secretary and organist of the Sunday-school.

Source: Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892 (Adams Co)


L.B. Palmer,  undertaker and dealer in furniture, was born at Iowa City, Iowa, May 17, 1845, and when five years of age removed, with his parents, to Sabula, Iowa; three years later, to Knox County, Ill.; and some time afterward to Monmouth, Ill. On February 1, 1862, he enlisted in the Sixty-second Illinois Infantry, and served four years and two months. Subsequently he was employed as a clerk in mercantile business at Kewanee, Ill., for three and a half years.

Afterward farmed in Poweshiek County, Iowa, until he came to Nebraska in October, 1872. Locating in West  Blue Precinct, Adams County, he engaged in farming 160 acres of land which he had  homesteaded. In the spring of 1877, he came to Hastings, and engaged, in company with A. L. Wigton, in publishing the Hastings, Journal for one year, and also conducted a real estate office. He was appointed, about that time, Land Agent for the U. P. R. R. Co., which position he still holds.  On February 26, 1881, he purchased his present business from A. Veith. Mr. Palmer is also a Notary Public, having been appointed in 1878.

He was married, at Malcolm, Iowa, in 1870, to Lucinda M. Spooner, a native of Delaware County, Ohio. They have two living children (Elsie and Grove) and two deceased.

Source: Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska, Adams Co.


Every community points with pride to one or more of its citizens whose records they regard with honor. The city of Kewanee is known as the home of George Randall Parrish, and every resident in the place is proud of the fact. It is there that he started upon life's journey and in the old home he is continuing the literary labors which have made him known as one of the foremost novelists of the present age. He is the only son of Rufus Parker and Frances Adeline (Hollis) Parrish and was born in "Rose Cottage" on the present site of the Methodist Episcopal church, Kewanee, June 10, 1858. He is of Revolutionary stock on both sides, his maternal grandfather being an officer of the Concord Minutemen and his paternal great-grandfather a New Hampshire soldier at Bunker Hill and Bennington. His paternal grandfather was a major in the war of 1812. The old family home was at Gilmanton, New Hampshire, but the parents removed to Kewanee from Boston, where Rufus Parker Parrish had been engaged in business and was prominently associated with William Lloyd Garrison and others in the anti-slavery cause. Both parents had a wide acquaintance with the famous Boston citizens of that era, including Longfellow, Holmes, Whittier, Wendell Phillips and Emerson. They came to Kewanee, then the merest excuse of a village, in April, 1855, the husband becoming connected with the pioneer store of Morse & Willard, then situated at the corner of Main and Fourth streets. A little later the firm became Parrish & Faulkner, the business finally being sold to Elias Lyman, being thus the nucleus for the present large department store of Lyman-Lay Company. From the time of arrival until his death in 1903 Mr. Parrish was ranked among the most prominent citizens of this community, where he conducted a book store and held many offices of trust. St John's Episcopal church was established and maintained largely through his efforts and for twenty-five years he was president of the public library board.

George Randall Parrish was educated in the Kewanee public schools, graduating from the old academy building in the second class, that of 1875, being on that occasion the class prophet. In addition he attended Allen's Academy at Lake Forest, Illinois, and Griswold College, Davenport, Iowa. Deciding upon law as a profession, he took one year at the Union College of Law, Chicago, completing his course at the Iowa State University, where he won the state bar prize for the best essay on a legal topic. He was admitted before the supreme court of Iowa in May, 1879, but his certificate was withheld until he became of age. Mr. Parrish went immediately to Wichita, Kansas, and became an assistant in the law office of William C. Little, a year later forming a partnership with E. S. Martin, at one time principal of the Kewanee high school. Devoting much time to politics and having achieved a reputation as a public speaker, he was elected city attorney, besides being a delegate to county and state conventions. His health breaking down from close confinement, he crossed the plains in 1882 with a cattle party, walking most of the way to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Arriving there he discovered conditions had arisen in Wichita which left him practically moneyless and compelled him to labor at anything. possible. During the next few months he worked at track-laying, engine wiping and firing between Las Vegas and Albuquerque, on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, finally going as a sheep driver to Fort Sumner. He was camped on the outskirts of that place when Billy the Kid was killed by the sheriff of Lincoln county, and saw the desperado both before and after death. Joining a party of prospectors, the next few months were passed in the wildest regions of Arizona. Gold was found, but within the limits of an Apache reservation, and the party was driven out by United States soldiers. After suffering many hardships en route, Mr. Parrish reached Greeley, Colorado, and secured work on the Greeley-Loveland canal, a little later making his way to Denver. Here he became connected as a reporter with the Rocky Mountain News and began a newspaper career, extending over a number of years, serving. for various periods with metropolitan and country publications and in every branch of the work. He has done work on the Grafton (Nebraska) Leader, Kewanee (Illinois) Courier and Independent, Sioux City (Iowa) Times, Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald and the Chicago Times.

In i886, while managing editor of the Grafton (Nebraska) Leader, Mr. Parrish was persuaded to enter the Congregational ministry, being licensed by the Elkhorn Association and given charge of churches at Leigh and Howells, Nebraska. He was later ordained by the Blue Valley Association and held pastorates at Harvard, Nebraska, Mattoon, Illinois, Constantine, Michigan, and Marshalltown, Iowa. He was chairman of the Home Missionary Committee for Southern Illinois and one of the founders of Southern Collegiate Institute at Albion. In 1888 he stumped the entire state of Nebraska under the republican state committee, accompanied by a double quartette of ladies, and later lectured extensively throughout many northern states.

In 1887 Mr. Parrish was married to Miss Mary A. Hammon, of Clarkson, Nebraska, and four children were born unto this union, two of whom survive, namely: Robert Arthur, a cadet at St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wisconsin; and Philip Hammon, of Lynch, Nebraska. He was divorced in 1899.

During the winter of 1902 Mr. Parrish resumed newspaper work in Chicago, being first connected with the Associated Press, and later engaged in commercial journalism. August 6th of that. year he was married to Miss Rose I. Tyrell, of Kewanee, and the following spring published his first work of fiction-When Wilderness Was King-through A. C. McClurg & Company, Chicago, who have ever since been his publishers. This manuscript was submitted and accepted when but half completed and for a first book met with remarkable sale. All of his previous experience, the atmosphere of culture and refinement of his boyhood home, his literary and legal education, the hardships and privations which he endured upon the plains of the west, his campaign experiences and his labors in the ministry, all constituted a preparation and equipment for the work which he is now doing in the literary world, and which has made him one of the most successful of the modern writers. Since the publication of his first book he has devoted his entire time to literary work, having published the following books of fiction and history: My Lady of the North, (1904); A Sword of the Old Frontier, (1905); Bob Hampton of Placer, (1906); Historic Illinois, (1906); Beth Norvell, (1907); The Great Plains, (1907); Prisoners of Chance, (1908); The Last Voyage of the Donna Isabel, (1908); My Lady of the South, (1909). Many of these have been credited among the "six best sellers," and have received high praise both at home and abroad. . Mr. Parrish's publishers in Great Britain are G. P. Putnam & Sons.

Since 1904 Mr. Parrish has made his home at Kewanee, in the old family house at 235 South Chestnut street, which was built in 1859, and has identified himself with the best interests of the city, serving as one of the directors of the Commercial Club. He is leading knight of the local Elks Lodge and a frequent speaker at public meetings, not only in Kewanee but throughout the state. He holds membership in the State Historical Society, Sons of the American Revolution, National Geographical Society and American Association for the Advancemen of Science.

SOURCE: Henry L. Kiner, History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910


Ephraim Parsons, M. D., of Kewanee, Ill., was born May 8th, 1827, in Girard, Erie county, Pa., to which place his parents had moved from Bennington, Vt., several years previous. His father was killed while felling timber, when Ephraim was but two years of age ; the family then returned to Vermont, and he lived with his grandfather until fifteen, working on the farms in the neighborhood during the summer, and attending school through the winter. He then went to live with Wm. A. Burnham, Principal of the English department of the Barr Seminary at Manchester, Vt., and while with him obtained a good English education and some knowledge of the languages ; and, when qualified, taught school during the winter months.

Over anxious to pursue his studies, he attended to them so assiduously that his health failed, and he was compelled to abandon his purpose of securing a collegiate education for a few years, therefore, he worked at the trade of a carpenter and joiner, but as soon as he was able, commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Ziegler, a "liberal" practitioner, in Pennsylvania ; he remained with him, until being offered what he then considered a great inducement, he went to Aspinwall, to work upon the Panama Railroad. He was taken sick on the voyage, continued seriously ill while there, and at the end of a month gave up the enterprise and returned. On arriving in New York city he was obliged to go to a hospital, where he remained several days, until able to return to his friends in Vermont. When fully recovered, he again went to work at his trade, meanwhile continuing his studies. Not having the means wherewith to defray the expense of attending lectures, in the fall of 1852 he determined to start out and try his luck at healing the sick; and opened an office in Elyria, O., but not meeting with the pecuniary success he had hoped for, he soon departed for a little town sixteen miles from Toledo, in the heart of the "Black Swamp." Here he found plenty of sickness, but little money; and he was soon involved in debt, to defray which he resorted to teaching, and taught school for one dollar a day, and practiced medicine for what he could get until he had paid his  debts, and got something ahead. In the fall of 1855 he went to Iowa, but the next season located in Altona, Ills. There, he succeeded in establishing a very good practice; but, about five years after his arrival there, the Pike's Peak fever became very prevalent in that region, and after it had carried off several of the doctor's best paying patients, he also was attacked by the disease, and with a party of others who were alike delirious, he started for the Peak. They were so fortunate, however, as to regain consciousness by the time they arrived at Fort Kearney, and, greatly exhausted, pecuniarily as well as physically, they sorrowfully returned.

Dr. Parsons then entered partnership with Dr. Thorpe, a homœopathic physician, in Wataga. Dr. Parsons had tested the system sufficiently to be satisfied of its value, and now determined to adopt it. After two years, Dr. Thorpe's health became so impaired that the entire practice fell to Dr. Parsons, who then felt that he was able, and that it was quite time he finished his studies and fully qualified himself for the duties which were devolving upon him ; he therefore attended lectures, and graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College at Chicago, in the class of 1866. He then settled in Kewanee, where he is now located.

In 1858, he married Miss L. A. Wilcox, of Altona.

He is a member of the American Institute of Homœopathy, and of the Illinois State Society.

Source: Cleave's Biographical Cyclopædia of Homœopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Cleave, Egbert, Galaxy Publishing Company, Philadelphia, 1873


The Patzer family is highly honored and well known in the locality of which this history treats, and they are well worth a careful consideration by the readers of this work. One of the best known and most highly respected of the younger members of this worthy family is Herman F. Patzer, who was born in Prussia, Germany, August 19, 1870. He is the son of Louis and Mary (Kison) Patzer, in whose family there were six children, two dying in Germany; Emil came to America and died in Grant township; this county, June 5, 1902; Herman F., of this review; Annie, wife of Henry B. Gogerty, whose sketch appears elsewhere; Gustav A. lives at Madison, Minnesota; Carrie married Frank Danger, of Grant township.

About 1874 the father, Louis Patzer, came to America and went to Nebraska, where he worked out by the day; then went to Illinois, later coming to Hardin county, Iowa, about 1882.  In 1875 he brought his family to the new world, making his home at Geneseo, Illinois. In that city his wife died about 1878 and he later married Eveline Rahbien, a native of Prussia. To this union two children were born, William F. and one that died in infancy. The living son makes his home in Hubbard, Iowa, and teaches school in Grant township.

After reaching Hubbard, Louis Patzer worked on the section gang until 1886, when he bought an eighty-acre farm in Concord township, where he lived until about 1904, then moved to Hubbard. His second wife died about 1908. He made a success of farming, and, having laid by a competency, sold his farm and is now living in Hubbard.

Herman F. Patzer has hustled for himself ever since he was eight years of age. He worked out at different places until his father bought a farm, with whom he worked on that place a short time.  In 1893 he began farming for himself, renting a farm in the southwestern part of Grant township and there began farming for himself. Later he worked the farm of a neighbor. In 1902 he bought eighty acres in section 29, where he has farmed ever since. In 1898 he was united in marriage with Alma G. Hardy, daughter of William and Mary (Fansey) Hardy. To this union six children have been born, Edna F., Leslie M., Elsie F., Emma M., Ernest W. and Herman F.

Mr. Patzer is a Republican and he is now serving his fifth term as township assessor of Grant township, and he discharges his duties very acceptably. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He and his wife belong to the Christian church at Grant Center.

Source: Past and Present of Hardin County, Iowa, ed. William J. Moir. Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911 p 695-696


Payne, C.H.W., farmer, Sec. 11; P.O. Adel; was born in Clinton county, Indiana, September 20, 1844; came to this county in the spring of 1856, with his parents, remained one year, then removed to Henry county, Illinois, where they remained until 1866, and then returned to this county; farm 80 acres; he married Mary E., daughter of Henry Mills, May 9, 1868; she was born in Madison county, Indiana; he served about 3 years in the late rebellion, in Co. D, 112th Illinois Infantry; enlisted August 9, 1862; mustered out June 20, 1865.

Source: History of Dallas Co IA, 1879 Des Moines IA


PERKINS, GEORGE W., farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Farragut; born October 23, 1832, in Derry, Rockingham county, New Hampshire, and remained with his parents until he became of age. He then went to Massachusetts and taught school in Peabody for two years. He emigrated from there to Illinois, locating in Keewonee (sic), Henry county, where he entered the dry-goods and grocery house of Lytle & Terry. He remained with this firm for two years, when he embarked in business for himself, forming a partnership with C. J. T. and C.F. Lytle, under the name of Lytle, Perkins & Co., which partnership continued for about two years, when Mr. Perkins withdrew and again went to clerking, this time for James L.Platt, and remained with him for seven years, at the expiration of which time he engaged in farming and raising hedge plants. In this business he formed a partnership with G. N. Palmer under the firm name of Palmer & Perkins, the firm existing four years. On the 1st of May, 1871, Mr. Perkins emigrated to Fremont county, Iowa, locating where he now resides. He now owns one section of land, which is finely improved. He is also a large stockfeeder, and raises a great amount of corn for that purpose. Was married July 13, 1857, to Miss Ellen E. Lytle, a native of Wethersfield, Henry county, Illinois. He is the father of four children: Fred., Charles F., George W., and Mary E. Mr. Perkins has been a member of the board of supervisors one term.

Source: History of Fremont Co IA, 1881


PETERSON, Henry, farmer, section 5, P. O. Red Oak; born in Sweden, December 10, 1844. His father, one brother and himself came to this country in 1854. His mother and sister followed in 1858. He lived a short time in Geneseo, Illinois, then went to Galesburg, where he remained until the summer of 1858, when they moved to Kossuth County, Iowa. His father's family moved back to Andover, Henry County, Illinois, in 1859, and in the spring of 1860 moved to Genesco, where he remained until the spring of 1872. He then came to Montgomery County, Iowa, where he now resides. He owns an excellent farm of 450 acres of well improved land, with good buildings, young orchard, five good wells and a number of living springs, and about three miles of hedge fence. Mr. Peterson is now engaged in raising and feeding cattle. He is wintering about two hundred head. He was married in October, 1865 to Miss Hannah Peterson, a native of Sweden. They have five children living, three sons and two daughters: Ellen, Carrie J., Albert, Charles E., and Burnett.

Source: History of Montgomery County Iowa, 1881 Red Oak Twp


M.P. Peterson, b. Sweden, June 13, 1841, the only son and one of the 4 children of Peter and Hannah (Hawkins) Peterson. He attended school until he was 13 years old, then worked at farming for a time. When he ws 18 he attended college one year. Having received a good education in his native language, he again turned attention to farming, at which he worked until age 22. Then he bade good-by to home and friends and started for America. Leaving Malmo he sailed for Copenhagen, thence to Hull, England, thence to Liverpool, and from there across the ocean to Quebec, Canada.

He came by rail and steamer to Chicago, then to Henry Co, Illinois, arriving at the latter place in 1865. In October of that year, he enlisted in Company I, 8th Illinois Infantry, and joined his regiment at Memphis, Tennessee, from which place they marched to White River Landing. He was taken sick and confined in hospital for some time. The latter part of February 1865, he was removed from New Orleans by hospital boat to New York and from there was sent West. Again he was taken sick and remained in hospital at Columbus, Ohio for a time.

After an honorable discharge he returned to Henry Co, Illinois, from whence, in 1867 he came to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here he was variously employed until the spring 1874 when he obtained a position on the CB&Q Railroad, as a laborer and derrick hand. In 1880 he bought his farm of 160 acres, which was then partly improved.

March 7, 1882, he married Nellis Anderson, daughter of Andrew and Blanda (Rombeck) Anderson. Five children have been born to them: Hannah Pauline; Robert Henry; Harry Martinus; Lilly Ann; and Clara Amelia. Mr Peterson and his wife were reared Lutherans and to this faith they still cling.

Politically he is a Republican. In connection with Mr Peterson's family history, it should be stated that he and his sister, who still resides at the old home in Sweden, are the only surviving members of the family, his father and mother having passed their lives and died in their native land.

Source: 1891 "Biographical History of Pottawattamie Co, Iowa"

Submitted by Mona Sarratt Knight


PETERSON, P. J., section 25, P. O., Red Oak; was born in Sweden, October 3, 1836. Married Miss Matilda C. Carson. They are the parents of nine children, six living: Hilda C., Emily, Amelia, Oscar, Louisa, Otelia. They emigrated to Henry County, Illinois, in 1868, and from there to Grant township, Montgomery County, Iowa, in 1876, where he now owns 40 acres of good land.

Source: History of Montgomery County Iowa, 1881 Grant Twp


PETERSON, Peter G., farmer, section 31, P. O. Stanton; born in Sweden, May 22, 1833; came to America in 1871; first located in Burlington, Iowa, then moved to Riverside, Illinois; then moved to Henry County, Illinois, and remained for four years; then came to Red Oak in 1876, and finally located on the farm where he now lives on section 31, in Washington township. Was married to Miss Annie C. Johnson in 1861, in Sweden. They have three children: Charles H., born February 9, 1862; Hilma, May 25, 1864; Gusta L., 1866. Mrs. Peterson died June 6, 1876, and was buried at Stanton. He owns 250 acres of land, with running water, with good out-buildings, and good residence.

Source: 1881 History of Montgomery County, Iowa, Washington Township


Swan P. Peterson was born in Christianstad, Skone, Sweden, in July, 1850. Both parents were natives of Sweden, where the father, a farmer by occupation, died when our subject was but a small boy.

Our subject was reared and educated in his native land, attending an agricultural school, where he acquired thorough training as to farm methods and scientific and practical farming. This knowledge has been an important factor in his success in the western country. Mr. Peterson remained in Sweden until 1880, when he came to America, landing in New York city. From thence he want to Princeton, Illinois, where he worked at farming for three years during the hard times. He then found employment in the iron mills at Kewanee, Illinois, for ten years and then for about five years worked in the machine shops at the same city. May 15, 1884, he came west to see Keith county, Nebraska, and bought railroad land eleven miles southeast of Ogallala, paying six dollars per acre, but he returned to Illinois and did not come again to the county until 1894.

He settled on his farm southeast of Ogallala and commenced building up a home. He had a good start--a team and wagon, household goods and about fifteen hundred dollars in money. This was sufficient to keep his family in good circumstances if the crops had been good. But for several years nothing was harvested and the family managed to get through the hard times by turning their attention to dairying and stock raising. But even with that, when the bad years were passed, our subject found his money all gone and nothing but his farm and a little stock left. In 1901 he moved to his present homestead in section 14, township 13, range 41, and later added a Kincaid claim, in 1907, in section 22. He has a fine farm of nine hundred and sixty acres, a quarter section of which lies south of the Platte river and is all under irrigation. Mr. Peterson gives most of his attention to stock raising and dairying and cultivates only about sixty acres.

Our subject was married in Kewanee, Illinoise (sic), in May, 1892 to Mrs. Nellie Lundin (nee Johnson), a native of Skone, Sweden, who came to America with a girl friend in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have had five children, four of whom are living: Ebba, Lawrence, Emmert, and Hazel; one son, Otto, is dead.

Mr. Peterson is one of the old settlers of that part of the state and is well and favorably known over a wide territory. He is a member of the Republican party, and he is influential in promulgating the principles of the party to which he belongs. He is a conscientious and public-spirited citizen, and has come to occupy a high place in the regard of his fellows. He is a member of the Ogallala Camp, Modern Woodmen of America, and a Lutheran in religious faith.

Source: Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska, p872-873


Robert Pettitt, farmer, Section 1, Township 18, Range 3, P. O. Schuyler, was born in Sussex, England, March 17, 1817. He there married, in 1842, Miss Elizabeth Kenward. They have eight children--Fred, Caleb, Albert, Frank, Walter, Lucy, Sarah Jane and Isabel. He emigrated to America in 1850, locating in Saratoga, County, N. Y., residing there two years. He then moved to Henry County Ill, where he resided about nine years, after which he moved to Ford County, Ill, where he remained till 1876. In that year he removed to Nebraska, and soon after his arrival settled in Colfax County. Mr. P. has been engaged in farming since he came to America, and now has a fine stock farm of 260 acres, of which sixty-five acres are in cultivation, the rest grass land, a portion being under fence. He devotes much attention to raising fine stock, chiefly sheep, keeping about seven hundred head on hand.

Source: Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1883, Colfax County, Town of Schuyler


A resident of Merrick county, Nebraska, for the past twenty-six years, the gentleman herein named has gained the esteem and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact by his industrious habits and honesty of dealing with his fellow men.

William Phelps was born in Henry county, Illinois, May 8, 1851, and was second of four children in the family of Bela and Henrietta (Cherry) Phelps who had two sons and two daughters. Both of Mr. Phelps, parents had been married previous to their marriage - the father to Henrietta Sivley, who died and who was the mother of four children. Our subject's mother at the time of her marriage to Bela Phelps was the widow of William Maxwell by whom she had one child.

Mr. Phelps was born on the farm where he grew up to his young manhood and received such advantages in schooling, etc., as Henry county afforded; and December 12, 1872, Mr. Phelps was married to Miss Mary A. Sidebottom, a native of Illinois, the Sidebottom family being of the pioneers of Henry county, and at their home the daughter was married.

In 1873 Mr. Phelps purchased a farm in Fremont county, Iowa, where he lived until coming to Merrick county, Nebraska, with his wife and four children. He purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres two miles west of Central City which is well equipped, and where he still resides. Mr. Phelps has a good orchard on this farm and raises a fine variety of apples.

Joseph Phelps, a half-brother, had come to Merrick county in 1869, and Father Phelps and wife came to visit him in 1883; and after the son William and family came to Merrick county, Father and Mother Phelps made their home on the farm of their son James and family. James Phelps came to Merrick county in 1884 and moved to Seward county, Nebraska, in 1888.

Father Phelps died February 20, 1899, in his ninety-first year. Mother Phelps died September 7, 1907, in her eighty-fourth year.

Our subject and wife have had five children born to them, four born in Iowa, and one in Merrick county, Nebraska: Lily, Samuel, Claudie, who reside under the parental roof; Walter, who died in Merrick county in 1884; and Effie, who lives at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Phelps, whilst not of the very first settlers in Merrick county, have assisted in making this portion of Nebraska a prosperous and successful community, using their best efforts for the betterment of their home and county, and they have the respect and esteem of many friends.

Source: Compendium of History Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, Alden Publishing Co, Chicago 1912 p523-524


John H. Pierce occupied a central place on the stage of public activities. He is regarded as having been one of the most prominent industrial characters of the middle west during his day and generation, and Kewanee acknowledges her indebtedness to him as one of her foremost builders. He lived his life to noble purposes and it was crowned with successful activities and characterized by the development of high ideals.

Mr. Pierce was a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred a few miles west of Aurora on the 11th of January, 1843. He was a son of Thomas and Ruth (Powell) Pierce. The father was a native of Wales and in his youthful days came to America, settling first in the state of New York, where he made his home from 1817 to 1835 and where he learned the carpenter's and joiner's trade, following contracting and building until 1835. He then came to Illinois and established his home near Aurora in Kane county, turning his attention to general farming until 1854, when he removed to Aurora and lived retired until his death in 1872. His wife passed away twenty years later, dying in 1892. At his death John H. Pierce was survived by two members of his father's family-Thomas P. Pierce, a resident of Kewanee, and Mrs. Howard, of Aurora.

In the county of his nativity John H. Pierce spent the days of his boyhood and youth and his education was acquired in the schools of Ottawa county. His first position was in the postoffice at Aurora, and in early manhood he crossed the plains in a prairie schooner to California, attracted by the gold discoveries on the Pacific coast. While he did not accumulate a princely fortune in his westward venture, he returned with several thousand dollars, thus gaining the capital to enable him to make a substantial start in business life. While in the west he worked as a freighter for a considerable time, driving a six-horse team over the steep passes of the Sierras. Arriving in Kewanee in the '60s, he continued his residence here during the greater part of the time until his demise, and was one of the most important factors in the upbuilding and progress of the city, not only through the development of a splendid business enterprise but also through active participation in measures which were direct factors in the material improvement of Kewanee. At his arrival here he found a village which his efforts were largely instrumental in developing into a city of considerable industrial importance. With his brother, T. P. Pierce, he engaged in the hardware business, and before this time and even while he was engaged therein, he traveled throughout this section of the state, calling upon farmers and others, buying produce and scrap iron. Many of his most cherished friendships dated back to those days when he came into intimate association with the people of the farming sections. At length he concentrated his energies solely upon the hardware business and at length withdrew from that line to give his attention to manufacturing when he entered the services of the old Anderson Steam Heating Company, from which ultimately developed the Haxtun Steam Heating Company and then the Western Tube Company. He was connected with the Western. Tube Company and its operations from 1870, at which time there were only ten or twelve men employed, while one building sheltered the whole plant. The growth of the industry is indicated in the fact that today the factory and mill buildings cover almost thirty acres, and the en4re equipment of the plant is of a most modern character. Under the guidance of Mr. Pierce the business developed along substantial lines until employment was furnished to more than four thousand workmen. He continued in charge of the Kewanee business until i890, when, following the amalgamation of interests of this character in America he went to Pittsburg to become manager of the Tube Rolling Mills of the National Tube Company, but after a few years returned to this city to continue the development of the business of the Western Tube Company. The great plant at this place is a monument to his enterprise, business ability and commercial integrity. The character of his relations to his employes is indicated in the fact that there was never a strike in the plant during all the years in which he continued in its control. He appreciated good service on the part of his employes and manifested that appreciation in promotions as opportunity offered, thus giving substantial token of his trust in and regard for those who represented him in a business way. He was always keenly interested in his employes and before the factory became so large that he could not personally oversee the work of all departments, he knew almost every man by name and with many he was on familiar terms. They regarded him as a friend and he was ever deeply interested in their welfare. He was not only fair and just in his treatment but often manifested the higher attribute of mercy, and gave substantial token of his friendly regard when assistance was needed. In recent years he gave most of his attention to the affairs of the Big Creek Coal Company, of which he was one of the organizers and a member of its board of directors. He was also a representative of the directorate of the Union National Bank of Kewanee, and his sound business judgment proved a potent force in the successful management of the various interests with which he was closely associated. His opinions upon any vital business proposition were seldom if ever at fault and his keen and discriminating sagacity was manifested in the successful outcome which followed the adoption of his ideas. His position in business circles was indicated in his election to the presidency of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association.

His was a beautiful home life, for unfaltering devotion to his family was one of his marked characteristics. In early manhood he married Miss Sarah Ingalls, and unto them were born three children: Charles I. Pierce, now president of the Big Creek Coal Company; Frank E. Pierce, a practicing physician of Chicago; and Mrs. Lillian Rice, the wife of Robert Rice, one of the superintendents of the Burlington railroad in Missouri.

In Masonry Mr. Pierce was deeply interested, taking various degrees in the order, and in Kewanee was a member of the Masonic building association which constructed the Masonic Temple here His religious faith was indicated in his attendance on the services of the Congregational church and he belonged to the Union League Club and other Chicago organizations.

Aside from business Mr. Pierce was probably best known to the public in his political relations. He was one of Illinois' most prominent republicans in his advocacy and support of party principles and yet he was by no means what is popularly termed a politician. He advocated an issue or political position because of a firm belief in the justice and the value of the cause, and it was because of this that he was called by popular suffrage to the office of state senator, representing his district, composed of Rock Island and Henry counties, in the upper house of the state legislature for two sessions, or in the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth general assemblies. His position upon any vital question was never an equivocal one. He stood firmly for what he believed to be right, and exhibited those qualities of strength which have been so conspicuous throughout his business career-ability, unswerving sagacity and continuity of purpose. His associates in the senate, spoke of him in terms of praise and kindliness and he won many strong friendships during his legislative career. His services in the senate familiarized him with legislative methods and procedure and when Governor Tanner was elected in 1896 he urged Mr. Pierce to accept the position of state penitentiary commissioner. At length he agreed to become chairman of the board of trustees of Joliet Penitentiary if he could be assured that business principles and not political methods should hold sway under the new regime. To secure this he announced that Major McClaughry should be appointed warden and this was done with the result that the affairs of the great penal institution were placed upon a business basis. Mr. Pierce did not seek public office and frequently declined positions of prominence and honor. Each succeeding year, however, found him occupying a higher position in the estimation of the people of his home place and of this part of the state, and there was a strong desire that the state should recognize the great ability of Mr. Pierce by making him its governor. He received the strongest endorsement of various counties in his part of Illinois. He was made a member of the Illinois Commission to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and at different times other honors were conferred upon him. In his home city he was loved and honored as few men are loved. He always maintained the deepest interest in this city and its welfare and did everything in his power to promote the interests of the community. He passed away after an operation in Mercy Hospital in Chicago, July 22, 1908, and was laid to rest in the Kewanee cemetery by his brethren of the Masonic fraternity.

In the funeral sermon Dr. Nelson said: "I speak as one who has enjoyed knowing the rare qualities of him who was a true friend. The greatest gifts are not always material riches. God's greatest gift is noble, true manhood; honest men ~f integrity who have not the base element of duplicity; who have a sterling ring; who believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. In the gift of Mr. Pierce God conferred on Kewanee and the state of Illinois such a man. In building the great plant of the Western Tube Company, which grew from an insignificant institution employing but a few men, to the present great factory, largely through Mr. Pierce's successful management and hard work, he has left a monument which will endure. I have talked with the toilers and men of other stations in life of Mr. Pierce and have yet to hear from a single one any disparaging remarks concerning him. He was an approachable, kindhearted man, and his friendship was true. Whatever tributes are paid this day and succeeding days to John H. Pierce will be inadequate to those who knew him best and who were familiar with the work in behalf of Kewanee which is to his credit. The spoken word and the written word will fail to convey the strength of that intangible hold which Mr. Pierce's life had upon the affection and upon the respect of his associates. The deepest and the most sincere emotions will remain unexpressed. Mr. Pierce was a creator; a constructor; one who, undismayed and undaunted by obstacles and by handicaps, forged successfully the links of success. There are many John Smiths in this world--men who go their routine way not animated by ideals or by ambitions, who leave their community no greater at the end than at the beginning of their career. There are, unfortunately, few John Pierces, men with initiative and with strength of purpose. who find in difficulties and in embarrassments only inspirations to greater effort. Kewanee has been fortunate in having as one of her citizens a man of this type.

The city today owes more of its material prosperity of the last quarter century to this man, whose passing is recorded today, than to any other. Mr. Pierce was too well known in Kewanee to call for comment on those qualities that marked his life. He was a man who mingled with the people and his personality was not kept in a secret closet. He passed to and fro among us and all knew him well. There will be as much sorrow in the humble cottage of many a man who labored in the shops under Mr. Pierce's direction as there will be in the home of the wealthy neighbors, who were his social companions. Mr. Pierce had engaging qualities that attracted men; he knew how to appeal to them and how to win them; he was a man of infinite tact, of surpassing judgment of men and of clearest vision. These things not less than his acknowledged executive and business ability drew men to him."

Source: Henry L. Kiner, History of Henry County Illinois, Volume II, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co, 1910


C. B. Platt, one of the prominent citizens of Van Meter, Dallas county, displaying excellent executive force and keen discrimination in his supervision of important industrial interests, was born January 26, 1864, at Kewanee, Illinois, a son of J. L. Platt. He took the civil engineering course at Iowa State University in the class of 1886. After completing his education he was associated with his father in business until the latter's death, since which time he has aided in the management of the estate, which includes the tile works at Van Meter. He readily solves intricate business problems with an ease and facility that show a thorough understanding of all the elements that go to make up business success and of all the details and principles of immediate interests under his care.

On Christmas day of 1894, Mr. Platt was married to Miss Mary C. Stevens, of Kewanee, Illinois, and unto them has been born a son, Allen S., born May 26, 1896. In his political views Mr. Platt is an independent republican. He has served on the town board and has been president of the school board for two terms. His religious faith is that of the Christian Science church, while his wife is a member of the Congregational church.  Socially he is connected with the Masonic lodge of Van Meter, of which he is now treasurer and both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star lodge.

Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa; Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907


J. L. Platt, deceased, was a native of Angelica, New York, born in 1826, and descended from English ancestry.  In early manhood he engaged in merchandising in Pike county, New York.  He had very limited capital but gradually worked his way upward and met with prosperity.  Afterward he established and conducted a foundry in the state of New York.  In 1854 he went to Chicago, where he engaged in the dry goods business and was very successful at that place. In 1858 he removed to Kewanee, Illinois, where he established what is now known as the Western Tube Company and a branch of the original company, the Kewanee Boiler Company, also the Kewanee Bank. He was a man of excellent business capacity, sound judgment and rare adaptability. His vision was never bounded by the exigencies of the moment for he recognized all the opportunities and possibilities of the future. While conducting industrial and financial interests in Kewanee he also became connected with the operation of coal mines at that place as well as at Fort Dodge and Van Meter, Iowa, the Fort Dodge mines alone employing four hundred men. In 1887 he went to the present site of the city of Red Lodge, Montana, and became the founder of that town.  He developed the coal mines of that place until the output was about one thousand tons per day, after which he sold to the Northern Pacific Railroad.  While developing the mining industries of Red Lodge he built forty-seven miles of railroad across the Crow reservation. When he had disposed of his interests in the northwest he gave his entire attention to the management of the brick and tile works and mining interests at Van Meter. The mines were closed down in 1903 and havenot been put in operation since. The tile plant at present has a floor space of eleven thousand two hundred and twenty square feet. There are several kilns with a daily capacity of sixty-five tons of clay ware.

In early manhood Mr. Platt was married to Frances Barker, a resident of Fredonia, New York. She was born in 1826, was liberally educated and is now living in Des Moines. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Platt were born six children: Sarah, deceased; Hessie, wife of F. A. White, a brick manufacturer of Marseille; Missouri; Francis and Flora, both deceased; James L. and Chauncy B., who are associated in the management of the tile works at Van Meter and in the supervision of the Platt estate.

Mr. Platt was indeed a prominent and enterprising business man. To him there came the attainment of a distinguished position in connection with the great material industries of three cities and his efforts were so discerningly directed along well defined lines that he seemed to have realized at any one point of progress the full, measure of his possibilities for accomplishment at that point. A man of distinctive and forceful individuality, of broad mentality and most mature judgment, he left his impress upon the industrial world. For years he was an important factor in business circles and aided largely in the promotion of enterprises which added not alone to his individual prosperity but also advanced the general welfare in the localities in which his business interests were conducted. He died February 1, 1893, having accumulated through his intense and well directed efforts an estate estimated at three hundred thousand dollars.

Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907


One of the most enterprising and progressive business men of Stanton is Alfred Pont, editor of the Stanton Register. Although a comparatively young man, Mr. Pont has been a resident of the state for nearly four decades, and has watched it develop from an open prairie, where deer and antelope were occasionally to be found, into a thickly-settled country, with every quarter-section fenced, with groves, orchards and dwellings thickly dotting the landscape to tell of man's victory over the wilderness; a country that is still in its infancy, notwitstanding the wonderful development of the last thirty years.

Mr. Pont's parents, Samuel and Mary (Tredgett) Pont, were natives of England, the father coming to America in 1853 on a sailing vessel, the voyage extending over six weeks. He found work at Lockport, New York, and his wife joined him in the following year.

The family then moved to Henry county; Illinois, and in 1872, went to Dodge county, Nebraska. Here Mr. Pont leased a quarter-section of school land near Scribner, and then filed on a homestead in the northeast corner of Colfax county, on which he lived until his death in 1897,when he had attained the ripe age of seventy-three. The mother still lives at Howells, and the heirs own the old homestead.

Alfred Pont was the youngest of five children, and was only about six years old when the family came to Nebraska, and he has, therefore, grown up with the state, being a true son of the west.

Although Alfred Pont was but a child at the time, he remembers the scourge of grasshoppers in the seventies, the prairie fires and the blizzards, as well as the severe hail storm which visited a near-by town, all of which events conspired to keep the lives of the early settlers from becoming monotonous. He was elected mayor of the city of Stanton in 1911.

Schools were far apart, the terms short, and teachers untrained, but at the age of twenty-three, Mr. Pont had only attended school about fifteen months, and still was able to take the teachers' course in the Fremont Normal School. He then started teaching, and for four years continued in that work, closing his last school on June 14, 1894. On the next day, he purchased the Howell Journal, and since that time has given all of his time to his editorial labors.

In February, 1897, he leased his own paper and took charge of the Stanton Register, which he purchased the next year. He issues a clean, wholesome weekly paper, and, under his management, the circulation has much increased, and the paper has become one of the powers to be reckoned with in political circles.

Mr. Pont has always been faithful to democratic principles, but has independence enough to refuse to support unworthy candidates whom political trickery has forced upon the party.

On October 20, 1895, Mr. Pont was married to Miss Kittie J. Mitchell, a native of Cass county, Iowa. Her parents, however, were both English, her father having come to America in 1851, a boy of twelve. Her mother did not come to the new world until 1870. Three children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Pont, two of whom, Franklin Dewey and Edith Myrtle, are still living.

Mr. Pont is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is also prominent in Independent Order of Odd Fellows circles.

Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, Alden Publishing Co, Chicago IL 1912


Old England, the birthplace of most of the first settlers of the United States, has been giving her sturdy sons year after year since the earliest Colonial settlers began peopling the eastern coast. Nebraska has received a goodly share of English and Canadian settlers, and among the colony of the former who settled in Stanton and Cuming counties, the Pont families were prominent members.

Benjamin Pont was born April 2, 1850, in Haddanham, Cambridgeshire, England, about seven miles from Cambridge, the seat of one of the oldest universities in existence. He lived here until he attained his sixteenth year, and then, with a brother, Martin, started for the states to join an uncle, Robert Pont, who had been living for a number of years at Anawan, Henry county, Illinois, and had accumulated quite a snug little fortune.

The boys sailed from Liverpool on October 20, 1866, on the "St. Marks" an American sailing ship, which, being a freighter, carried a cargo of chinaware. Its fifty passengers were carried at the rate of three pounds, ten shillings, or about $17.00 each. Rations were issued to them each week, which they were obliged to cook for themselves. The voyage lasted until December 7, when they reached New York. Here the two boys were compelled to wait at Castle Garden eleven days, until their uncle could communicate with them and send their railroad fare, Their sole capital was eleven English shillings. They soon learned that their silver could be exchanged for "shinplasters" (paper money), at an advance of thirty-three and one-third per cent. They reached their uncle's home at Annawan about Christmas day, and remained there about five years.

In the spring of 1872, with Samuel Pont, an uncle who had come to America a few years before, they chartered a car to Fremont, by way of Omaha, bringing their horses, cattle and farming implements. From Fremont, they drove to Dodge county, where they spent a year "squatting" on school land, renting some farming land near. In the spring of the following year, they sold their improvements on the school land and moved to Colfax county, settling on a homestead about twenty miles north of Schuyler.

Mr. Pont filed on an eighty-acre homestead, and also took a claim on the adjoining eighty, under the Timber Act. After the death of his stepfather, who had filed on a homestead near, he added that to his timber claim and took his aged mother to make a home for him, he being still a bachelor. The timber claims were not proved up until some years after his homestead patent was issued. President Cleveland signed the papers for the first eighty, and President Harrison for the second.

Mr. Pont was married at Annawan, Illinois, on January 11, 1877, to Miss Emma Bristol, a daughter of David and Julia (Mumford) Bristol, and a native of Oneida county, New York. They have had seven children, as follows: Grace, (Mrs E. C. Mechling, Chicago, Illinois); Homer, Myrtle, (Mrs. E. A. Anderson); Carrie, May, (deceased); Ervine, Mable, and Nathan B.

Mr. Pont is giving his children the advantages of the best schools, knowing how he longed for such opportunities when he was a boy. At the time when he came to Nebraska, the prairies were open, and one might ride in any direction without meeting an obstructing fence. His first house was of upright boards and cost but one hundred and fifty dollars, but at one time he would have taken that amount for house, lands and all, just to get away. In common with other settlers, he suffered many hardships and misfortunes at first. Prairie fires and blizzards became mere incidents. For a long time, the only coffee they used was parched wheat and toasted bread grounds. "Indian flour," the whole unbolted wheat, was in general use in those days, being cheaper and more nourishing than the white flour.

One of the first tasks Mr. Pont undertook on his land was to plant trees and orchards. He sometimes gathers now in a single season, three hundred and fifty bushels of apples, besides a great amount of plums, apricots, pears and small fruit.

Mr. Pont is an independent democrat in politics, and was formerly a Knight of Pythias. For seven years he was postmaster of a station established at his house, known as Midland. He is one of the most respected citizens in Stanton county, and now, after the years of hardship and privation incident to a pioneer's life he is enjoying his well-earned ease with the satisfaction of seeing his children all well established or preparing themselves for the higher walks of life. On an other page will be found portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Pont together with a view of their home.

Source: Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, Alden Publishing Company, Chicago IL 1912


The firm of Pool & Cooper are well known as the enterprising publishers and proprietors of the Johnson County Journal, located at Tecumseh. Mr. Pool, besides being interested in city matters, has a fine tract of land in Western Precinct, embracing 160 acres, and which is devoted mainly to stock-raising. Besides the property above mentioned, Mr. Pool owns eighty acres in Center Precinct, and the Commercial Hotel at Crab Orchard. He and his wife are owners of city property in Tecumseh, aside from the interest of Mr. Pool in the business of the Journal.

The father of the subject of this sketch was born in the city of Columbus, Ohio, and when a little lad four years of age went with his parents to Marshall County, Ill. They settled in the pioneer days near what afterward became the town of Henry, where the father operated as a tiller of the soil until about 1836. He then crossed the Mississippi into Grundy County, Iowa, and finally, in October, 1865, made his way to Nebraska, locating in Pawnee City, where his death took place in June, 1867. The mother, Mrs. Ann (Shinn) Pool, was a native of Virginia, and at the time of her marriage a resident of Fulton County, Ill. The household circle was completed by the birth of seven children, and, with the exception of one girl, who died at the age of sixteen years, all lived to maturity. The survivors are residents of Nebraska and Kansas. Mrs. Pool, fourteen years after the death of her first husband, became the wife of Mr. David Sheppard, and is now a resident of Kansas. The father of our subject was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in his later years a supporter of the Republican party. The paternal grandfather, Simeon Pool, was of New England ancestry, and during the later years of his life carried on merchandising in Henry, Ill., where he accumulated a competence, and spent his declining days in ease and retirement. His death took place in the fall of 1863, when he was a very old man.

Charles W. Pool, our subject, was born Nov. 20, 1856, near Kewanee, Henry Co., Ill. He was seven years of age when his parents removed to Iowa. He came with them to this State, and completed his education in the schools of Pawnee City. He commenced his business career as clerk in a store of general merchandise, and began learning the printer's trade in the office of the Hennepin (Ill.) Record. He remained there three years, then located in Peotone, and established the Eagle. Six months later he returned to his old haunts in Hennepin, and the year following crossed the Mississippi.

This was in the fall of 1878. Mr. Pool purchased the Sterling News, of Johnson County, but three months later changed the scene of his operations to Tecumseh, and in company with Mr. Barnhart, established the Johnson County Journal, with which he has since been successfully connected. He purchased the interest of his first partner in  February, 1881, and conducted the paper alone until March, 1887, when he became associated with Mr. H. L. Cooper. Both are men of enterprise, and the Journal is having a decided influence in the county, as the leading Democratic paper.

Mr. Pool's home is presided over by a very estimable lady, Mrs. Frank L. (Foster) Pool, to whom he was married in Tecumseh, April 25, 1883. Mrs. Pool was born in Greencastle, Putnam Co., Ind., April 1, 1857, and is the daughter of William L. Foster, a millwright by trade. From Indiana they came to this county, in June of 1880, and are now residents of Tecumseh. Mrs. Pool was Deputy County Clerk of Benton County, Ind., for a period of four years. Mrs. Pool received a good education, and taught a district school in Indiana, while at the same time giving instruction in music. She has distinguished herself as a very capable and enterprising lady, and after coming to Tecumseh established a millinery store, which she conducted until her marriage. The maiden name of her mother was Addle Chittenden, and the parents household included three daughters, who are all living.

Source: Biographical Album of Johnson & Pawnee Counties, Nebraska; Johnson Co, p 318-319


Horace E. Potter, M.D., has been located at Clifton for over thirty years, and besides his successful associations with the profession is a man of high standing and wide repute for his active relations with community affairs.

Doctor Potter came to Kansas on his graduation from medical college. He was born in Henry County, Illinois, December 25, 1858. His ancestry is Scotch and his forefathers came from Scotland to Connecticut in colonial times. His father, Loren E. Potter, was also a physician. He was born at Potter's Corners near Buffalo in Erie County, New York, in 1822. When he was twelve years of age his parents moved from Erie County to the Ohio Western Reserve and he grew up and married in Northeastern Ohio. Three of his children were born near Ashtabula. While in Ohio he studied medicine with Dr. Horace Eton, beginning practice in that state, moving from there to Henry County, Illinois, and soon after the Civil war moving to Marshall County, Iowa, where he practiced thirty years. During part of this time he had his home on a farm, but the last fifteen years of his life were spent at Algona, Iowa, where he died in December, 1897. As was true of most of the good Americans living in the Western Reserve, he was strongly identified with the abolitionist cause before the war and subsequently was an equally ardent republican. His church was the Presbyterian. Dr. L. E. Potter married Thankful Rickard. She was born near Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1822 and died at Algona, Iowa, in 1902. Of their four living children Horace E. is the youngest. Orange A., the oldest, was a soldier in    the Union army during the Civil war and is now a farmer in North Dakota. Albert C. is also a physician and surgeon and lives at Hutchinson, Kansas. Laurens E. is a farmer at Algona, Iowa, and has served as county auditor of Kossuth County in that state.

Dr. Horace E. Potter was six or seven years of age when his parents moved to Iowa, and he spent part of his youth on a farm in Marshall County. He attended the rural schools, the public schools at Gilman, graduating from high school there in 1879. The next four years he spent as a teacher in Marshall County and while teaching he took up the study of medicine. Doctor Potter graduated from the St. Louis Medical College in 1885 with the degree M. D. and subsequently specialized in diseases of the eye in the Chicago Homeopathic College. Doctor Potter located at Clifton, Kansas, in 1885 and through the subsequent [p.1567] years has borne with credit and efficiency the increasing burdens of a large general and aurgieal practice. Doctor Potter has his offices on Parallel Street and his residence is on Bartlett Avenue. He also owns a farm of 108 acres in Clay County.

Doctor Potter has voted the republican ticket since 1880, when he supported Garfield and Arthur. He has served as coroner of Clay County and when the Clay County High School Board was organized he was appointed one of its first directors and served the second year by election. He is a member in good standing of the County and State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association.

Doctor Potter has long been an enthusiastic fraternity man. He is past master of Clifton Lodge No. 122, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and also belongs to Topeka Consistory No. 1 of the Scottish Rite. He is past noble grand of Clifton Lodge No. 81, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and for over twenty years has sat in the Grand Lodge and is now chairman of the Committee on Legislation. He is past master workman and past grand representative of Clifton Lodge No. 40, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is also a member of Clifton Council No. 70 of the Knights and Ladies of Security.

In 1887, at Greenleaf, Kansas, Doctor Potter married Miss Iza E. Ware, daughter of I. C. and Mary [Gallion] Ware, the latter now deceased. Her father served in the Union army, and is a civil engineer and retired farmer now living at Clifton. Doctor and Mrs. Potter have one son and one daughter. Rayburn, the older, is a graduate of the Clifton High School, spent one year in Washburn College and one year in the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, and is now in the Engineering Corps of the United States Army at a camp in Texas. The daughter Mary is a graduate of the Clifton High School, continued her studies in the State Agricultural College and is now preparing for work as a nurse in St. Francis Hospital at Topeka.

Source: "A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans", William E. Connelley; Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago, 1918 Vol. 3.


ALMET POWELL, of the firm of A. Powell & Co., leading merchants of Gilman, was born in the town of New Baltimore, Albany County, N. Y., March 20, 1846, and is a son of Leander and Esther C. (Smith) Powell. The Powell family springs from Welsh ancestors who settled in New York. The family has mainly followed agricultural pursuits. Both his father and mother were natives of Albany County. In 1855, they came to Illinois and settled in Peoria County, where the father followed farming until the breaking out of the war, when he moved across the line into Lawn Ridge, Marshall County, where he engaged in merchandising, and there spent his last years. Politically he was first a Whig, then a Republican until Greeley's race for the Presidency, and afterwards a Democrat. He was reared as a member of the Society of Friends, but at the time of his death was a member of the Congregational Church, as is his wife. He passed away January 3, 1892, at the age of seventy-one years and five months, and his wife still survives him, living in Peoria, and having attained the age of sixty-nine years. Unto them were born five children, the eldest being out subject; Marsden, who is engaged in the milling business at Montgomery, Minn.; Miss Anna A., a well-known teacher of elocution in the Chautauqua Circles; Mina, wife of O. C. Slame, a hardware merchant of Peoria; and Cassius N., who resides on the old homestead in Marshall County.

Mr. Powell, whose name heads this sketch, lived on his father's farm until fifteen years of age, following the usual pursuits of farmer lads, and receiving a district-school education. Having merchandised with his father in Marshall County for a time, they then established a store in Gilman, March 20, 1871, carrying a general line of merchandise. Soon after Mr. H. C. Mosher and John O. Dent purchased his father's interest, and later Mr. Dent purchased Mr. Mosher's interest, and thus the business was continued until 1874, at which time Mr. Mosher purchased Mr. Dent's interest. The business was first carried on under the title of H. C. Mosher & Co., then Dent & Powell, and since 1880 has been done under the firm name of A. Powell & Company, the firm consisting of A. Powell, H. C. Frank and Guy Mosher. They carry the largest stock in the county. In 1883 they built their fine brick store, which is a model of convenience and a credit to Gilman. Mr. Powell owns three hundred and twenty acres of improved land in Nobles County, Minim., beside a half-interest in four hundred and eighty acres in Iroquois County.

In Kewanee, Ill., he was united in marriage with Jennie E. Smith, who lived about nine years after their marriage. To them was born one daughter, Estella, who died when about two years old. In Gilman, he was married to Mrs. Cordelia E. Peale, nee Borthwick, on the 18th of October, 1881. She was born in the Empire State, in Albany County, and is a lady of Scotch descent. She has a son by her former marriage, who now bears the name of Bruce B. Powell, and is at present a student of the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Ill.

Politically, Mr. Powell is a Republican, though not an office-seeker preferring to devote his entire attention to his business interests, though careful to never neglect the duties of citizenship. He has been a member of the Masonic order since twenty-one Years of age. He is a successful business man, well and favorably known throughout the community. He started in life a poor boy, but by industry and good business methods has become financially one of the substantial citizens of Gilman. From the lowest round of the ladder of life, he has mounted step by step until he has reached his present position of affluence and success.

Source: History of Iroquois County Illinois


ST. CLAIR POWELL, one of the enterprising and prosperous farmers of Liberty township, residing on section 35, was born in Marion County, Indiana, January 31, 1842, a son of Lewis B. and Jane (Smith) Powell. His parents were born and reared in the State of Virginia, living there till after their marriage.

They were early settlers of Marion County, Indiana, where they made a home out of the dense forest, both dying at their pioneer home. Their family consisted of four sons and four daughters, of whom our subject was the seventh child. Only two besides our subject are now living: Mrs. Frances Morein, living in Hiawatha, Kansas, and John B., the youngest of the family, living in Grundy County, Iowa.

St.Clair Powell was united in marriage in June, 1862, to Miss Savilla Shinn, in Henry County, Illinois, and to this union were born two children--Merrick, who died at the age of thirteen years and Adella. In August, 1862, Mr. Powell enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Second Illinois Infantry, and in November, 1862, was broken down by a forced march of his regiment, going to the relief of Frankfort, Kentucky. After an attack of bilious fever he rejoined his regiment, but failing health necessitated his discharge at Gallatin, Tennessee, in March, 1863.

Mr. Powell located in Grundy County, Iowa, in 1865, buying property there with the intention of improving and making a home, but his wife’s health failing made a change necessary. He then sold the property and went to Coffey County, Kansas, where his wife died in October, 186?. Mr. Powell then returned to Grundy County, Iowa, with his two children, where he remained until coming to Clarke County, Iowa, in March, 1871.

He has brought his land from a wild state to a well cultivated farm, and has made all the improvements on his place. Not a tree had been planted nor a furrow turned. Now his buildings are sheltered by a fine maple grove, raised from seed planted twelve years before, the trees being now fully twenty feet in height. His fine farm contains 400 acres of as good land as can be found in the township, and the products of the farm are used for feeding his stock, his attention being devoted to stock-raising.

September 8, 1872, Mr. Powell married for his second wife Miss Maria J. Barnes, and to them have been born seven children--William J., Lottie M., Annie B., Charles, Frank E., Bertie and Hattie. In politics Mr. Powell is an ardent Republican. he is a member of Unity Lodge, No. 212 A.F.&A.M. of Woodburn, and is a highly-respected citizen of Liberty Township.

Source: History of Clarke County Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company Copyright 1886 page 98


Pratt, S. A., farmer and stock raiser, who was born in Cumberland county, Maine, in February, 1834, is a most exemplary citizen and an example of what merit and strict integrity will accomplish for men. The first seventeen years of his life were passed in the state of his nativity, when he became a resident of Lawrence, Massachusetts. He then learned the trade of a bricklayer and plasterer.

In 1855 he went to Kewanee, Illinois, and in 1866 came to this county. In 1861 he enlisted in the 57th Illinois Infantry, and was in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth and others. For a year and a half he was a member of the Signal corps, under Captain Howard. He was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky.

In December of 1867 he was married to Miss Nancy McCoy, of this county. His farm contains one hundred and sixty acres.

Source: History of Mills Co IA, 1881 p. 600 Center Township


S. H. Pratt, farmer, P. O. Concordia, was born in Riley County, Ind., March 16, 1841. In 1848, he removed to Peoria County, Ill.; thence to Marshall County in 1851, and to Henry County in 1855. He enlisted in the United States army August 19, 1861, in Company A Forty-Second Illinois Infantry; returned to Henry County January, 1866, and engaged in farming.

In March 1871, he came to Cloud County Kan., and engaged in the livery business. He was one of the first settlers in Concordia, Kan.; has been coroner of the county, township trustee and assessor; was appointed superintendent of the construction of the Republiean(sic) River bridge at Concordia. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.; is the owner of a farm of 320 acres; was married in Henry Co., Ill., December 24, 1867, to Miss M. E. Adams. They have two children--C. L., born January 18, 1873; S. C., born January 18, 1876.

Source: Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, 1883


V. T. Price, of the Columbus, Neb., Lumber and Grain Company. Mr. Price came to Columbus in 1878, and first worked for parties in the grain business one year. He then engaged in the insurance business in company with another party, which was continued until January, 1881. Hulst & Price bought out the firm of Hunneman & Tolman, January 1, 1881, who were then dealing in grain, etc.

Mr. P. was born in Utica, N. Y., September 29, 1852; was married in Columbus, Neb., September, 1880, to Miss Josie M. Goodale, who was born in Geneseo, Ill. Mr. P. is a member of Lebanon Lodge, No. 58, of the A., F. & A. M.

Source: Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1883, Platte Co, City of Columbus


As one of the most progressive and energetic agriculturists of Henry county, Illinois, this gentleman is now successfully following his chosen calling on section 14, Geneseo township, where he owns and operates a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He and his brother, Robert L., are also proprietors of the Sharon Stock farm, a valuable farm of three hundred and seventy-three acres in Loraine township. Throughout his active business career he has engaged in general farming and stock raising, and is today one of the most prosperous citizens of his community.

Mr. Pritchard’s early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he was born in county Down, Ireland, October 6, 1852, and was a little over twelve years of age in 1865 when brought to America by his parents, Henry and Mary (Boyd) Pritchard, who located in Alba township, this county, where the father purchased a farm. Success attended his well-directed efforts in securing a home for himself and family, and he became the owner of nine hundred and twenty acres of as fine farming land as is to be found in the county. Most of this was wild and unimproved when it came into his possession, but he transformed it into a highly cultivated tract. He was also born in county Down, Ireland, in 1816, and in that country was married, June 16, 1836, to Miss Mary Warnock, who died April 14, 1845, leaving four sons, namely: William, born September 26, 1837, died in Mitchellville, Iowa, December 29, 1899. He followed farming successfully for many years, and was also engaged in the banking business for some years before his death, and was the owner of nine hundred and twenty-six acres of valuable land. He was a man of prominence in his community and held many public offices of trust. James, born March 5, 1839, is a retired farmer of Clarinda, Iowa. Samuel, born February 18, 1841, is a wealthy farmer and stock raiser of Alba township, this county, where he owns one thousand acres of land. He is a veteran of the Civil war. Henry, born March 21, 1843, is also an extensive farmer and stock raiser, his specialty being cattle, and is the owner of nine hundred and twenty acres of land in Alba township. In September, 1845, the father wedded Miss Mary Boyd, by whom he had seven children, as follows: Alexander, born October 15, 1846, is a very prominent and successful farmer and stock dealer of Harlan, Shelby county, Iowa, owning a number of highly improved farms aggregating several hundred acres of land. He is one of the leading Republicans of his community, and has served as county treasurer two terms. Alice, born June 3, 1848, never came to this country. She is now the widow of John Pritchard and resides on a farm in county Down, Ireland. Robert L., born December 11, 1849, is a retired farmer of Geneseo, who owns one hundred and fifteen acres of land on section 22, Geneseo township, and a half interest in the Sharon Stock farm with our subject. Hugh W. is next in order of birth. Mary J., born July 1, 1853, is the wife of Jesse L. Lamont, a farmer and stock raiser of Prophetstown, Whiteside county, Illinois, who raises a high grade of hogs and cattle. Sarah, born July 7, 1856, is the wife of Samuel McCullough, a prosperous farmer and stock dealer of Marne, Iowa. The father of this family died March 4, 1885, the mother, April 14, 1881, honored and respected by all who knew them.

During his boyhood and youth Hugh W. Pritchard attended the district schools near his home and assisted his father in the labors of the farm. He remained on the old homestead farm until his father’s death in 1892, when he purchased the farm in Geneseo township which he now occupies. He has since remodeled the residence, making it a pleasant and substantial home, has built barns and other outbuildings, and has also tiled the land and placed it under cultivation.

At Thornburg, Iowa, February 7, 1883, Mr. Pritchard was united in marriage with Miss Augusta McCracken, a native of Rock Island county, Illinois, and a daughter of James and Eliza (McCormick) McCracken, who were born in county Down, Ireland, and were married there in 1831. Her father, who was a farmer by occupation, was born in 1808, and died in 1884, but her mother is still living at the old home near Thornburg, at the age of eighty-six years. In their family were five children, one son and four daughters, all residents of Keokuk county, Iowa, with the exception of Mrs. Pritchard, who is the youngest of the family. Our subject and his wife have two children: Maud I., who is now attending the Geneseo high school; and Paul C., who is a student in the home school.

By his ballot Mr. Pritchard supports the men and measures of the Republican party and, as a public-spirited and enterprising citizen, he gives his support to all worthy measures calculated to advance the moral educational or material welfare of his township and county. For some years he has been an efficient school director, and at present is serving his fourth year as a member of the district board. For some years he has been an active and prominent member of the First Congregational Church of Geneseo, and now holds the office of deacon in the same.

Source: The Biographical Record of Henry County, Illinois; The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago; 1901; Pages 449-451

Submitted by Suzanne Franck