History of Black Hawk County, Iowa - 1878 - A

Black Hawk County >> 1878 Index

History of Black Hawk County, Iowa
Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1878. 


Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

ABBOTT, JOHN B., grain; residence cor. Washington and Seventh sts; born Sept. 14, 1834, in Rensselaer Co., N. Y.; in 1838, came to Wyoming Co., N. Y.; in 1858, came to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, and in 1865, removed to Cedar Falls. Married Vine H. Day in 1858; she was born in 1837, in Wyoming Co., N. Y. Enlisted in 1861, in the 21st Ohio V. I.; was detailed as Camp Instructor, by Gen. Buel, of a regiment of Alabama troops, then organizing at Huntsville, Ala.; the regiment elected him Major of their command; he resigned his position in 1863; he was appointed in 1866, Superintendent of the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home; held his position about eighteen months. Mrs. A. was Matron of the institution during this time. He, in connection with G. B. Van Saun, is running a line of seven elevators on the B., C. R. & N. R. R.


First Permanent Settlement

The next visitors at this point were destined to make a more permanent location. In March, 1845, William Sturgis, a farmer from Michigan, and his wife, and Erasmus D. Adams, a cabinet maker from Ohio, then living in Johnson County, made a trip up the valley of the Red Cedar, in search of homes and a desirable water-power. Arrived at the point where Chambers had lived the previous year, they were charmed by the romantic beauty of the spot, and, with an eye to business, appreciating its adaptability for a town site in the future, they determined to remain and make claims. Mr. Sturgis claimed the north part of the present town of Cedar Falls, including the mill site, and Adams selected his claim farther south, near what is now called Dry Run.

Sturgis built a double log cabin on the bank of the river, and broke five acres of prairie. Adams built a cabin on his claim, about two miles from Mr. Hanna's, and also broke about five acres. This breaking by Sturgis and Adams was the first breaking done in Black Hawk County. " Adams soon returned to Iowa City," says George W. Hanna, the only settler of 1845 now living in the county. "Sturgis had some hands, and commenced getting out timber for a mill, but his family got sick, and he and his family went back to Iowa City again, leaving a Dutchman to work his claim, and not intending to return until other settlers came in. The man he left had a claim where Hon. Jeremiah Gay now lives (on Miller's Creek), and the creek took its name from him." To Mrs. Sturgis must be accorded the credit of being the pioneer white woman of Black Hawk County. "In the Fall," says Mr. Hanna, "Sturgis and his wife, and Adams, and his wife and his little boy John, came back and occupied the cabins they had built in the Spring previous."

The Chambers' cabin was yet standing as he had left it, but soon after Sturgis and Adams moved to their claims in the Fall, it singularly enough tumbled into the river. By what mysterious agency this result was produced is not known, but it is said that Sturgis had a theory upon which the phenomenon was to be explained; but he never, so far as is known, made the explanation.

When the mill was built and the town of Cedar Falls was laid out, Sturgis' cabin proved to be near the upper end of the race, at the foot of Washington street, where it remained until, a few years ago, it was removed to give place to a more permanent and graceful building.

AKERMEANT, GEO., farmer, Sec. 23; born in England in 1849, and came to this country in 1863, and settled in this county the same year. Married Annie Roler in 1868; she was born in New Jersey in 1850; have three children - Mary J., born June 9, 1869; Joseph, born May 10, 1872; Sarah E., born Sept. 25, 1875. Settled on his present place in 1875, where he has since made it his home.

ALBERT, JACOB, farmer, Sec. 2; born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1818. Married Florence Beptine in 1854; she was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1830; they have five children - John P., Augusta A., Viola L., George H. and Ella M. Came to this country in 1849, and first settled in Rensselaer Co., N. Y., and in 1857 emigrated to this county, first settling in Mt. Vernon Tp.; and in April, 1865, settled on his present farm of sixty-six acres, valued at $40 per acre. Are members of the First Baptist Church.

ALDRICH, RELIEF C., farming, Sec. 20; widow of Truman Aldrich, who was born in Utica, N. Y., in November, 1829; they were married in July 1873, and he died in September, 1877; her maiden name was Relief C. Hills, and she was born in Chautauqua Co. N. Y., in 1838; came to this county in 1872, and settled in the city of Waterloo, where they resided until 1876, when they moved on their present estate, consisting of 120 acres, valued at $35 per acre; also owns a market in the city, and four dwellings. He was also engaged in the purchase of tax titles, in which he carried on an extensive business. Have one child - Truman, Jr.

ALLEN, A. A., farmer and nurseryman, Sec. 13; P. O. Waterloo; born in Lewis Co., N. Y., Aug. 16, 1841. Married Elizabeth Carpenter Nov. 9, 1869; she was born in Pittsburgh, Penn., May 27, 1848; came to this county Jan. 13, 1867; owns 160 acres of land, valued at $35 per acre. Mrs. A. is a member of the M. E. Church. Their children are Albert C., born Sept. 30, 1870; Nettie M., born May 5, 1872.

ALLEN, HENRY B., President First National Bank in Waterloo; was born in Lewis Co., N. Y., May 8, 1833; moved to Watertown, N. Y., with parents, where he was educated, and then went to Lowville, Lewis Co., N. Y., and studied law with Judge Brown; came to Dubuque in the Fall of 1855, and on March 1, 1857, came to this city, where he married Mary C. Nowlin on August 11, 1857; she was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1836; Hattie M., born Nov. 17, 1858, and Mary D., May 8, 1863, are their children.

ALLEN, ROBERT, farmer, Sec. 13; P. O. Blakeville; born in Scotland in 1826; emigrated to this country and Scott Co., Ill., in 1850; made a trip to California in 1852; settled on his present farm in 1857. He was married in 1863 to Miss Roxie A. Siples, from Canada; they have six children - Edwin G., George W., Jessie A., Ada May, James A., Lewis A. He has 180 acres of land, valued at $3,600. He built a large barn in 1875, and a new house in 1877. Mr. Allen was among the earliest settlers in this county; he did his trading at Independence for some time after he came to the county; his neighbors were few and far between. In politics, Republican.

AMFAHR, WILLIAM, far., S. S.; P. O. Waterloo born in La Salle Co., Ill., in 1857, and came to this county in 1866 and settled on his present farm. Married Ann Reuter in 1877; she was born in Germany in 1854. Are members of the Catholic Church.

ANDERSON, WILLIAM B., groceries and provisions, Main st.; residence cor. Eleventh and Washington sts.; born June 4, 1834, in Scotland; in 1836, came to Quebec; in 1841, removed to Lockport, Ill.; on May 4, 1854, came to Cedar Falls; engaged in farming till 1877, when he commenced his present business. Married Lavenia Brown Oct. 10, 1865; she was born in 1844, in England; have four children - Basiel, Barton, Ina and Rosamond. Has been Justice of the Peace and Town Clerk.

COX & ANDREWS, dealers in groceries, crockery, boots and shoes, etc., Main st....

EDWARD L. ANDREWS was born Jan. 28, 1845, in Hartford, Conn.; in 1854, came to Whitewater, Wis.; in 1866, came to Manchester, Iowa, and in 1872, removed to Cedar Falls; engaged in the printing business till 1876, when he commenced his present business. Married Annie L. Hunt Sept. 1, 1872; she was born Oct. 25, 1849, in Rolling Prairie, Ind.; have one child - Irving H., born Aug. 20, 1874. Enlisted in Co. I, 40th Wis. V. I.; served 100 days.

ARMSTRONG, JAMES, far., S. 34; P. O. Miller's Creek; born in Stark Co., Ohio, in 1811. Married Catharine Shoup in 1834; she was born in Pennsylvania in 1819, and died in 1869; Elizabeth, Amanda, Nancy, Caroline, John, William, Sanford and Isaac are their children; they lost two children - Catharine and George. Came to this county in 1869 and settled on his present farm of eighty acres, valued at $30 per acre.

ARQUITT, ADOLPHUS, saloon and billiards, cor. First and Washington sts.; resides on First st.; born March 8, 1841, in Syracuse, N. Y.; in 1855, came to Dubuque, Iowa, and in 1863, removed to Cedar Falls, and first engaged in the clothing business. Married Ella G. Phinney in 1865; she was born in 1851 in Syracuse, N. Y.; have four children - Edward, Cora, Ella and Charles. Are members of the Universalist Church.

ARTHUR, GEORGE W., far., S. 31; P. O. Gilbertville; owns 125 acres,, probable value $3,750; he was born Oct. 4, 1828, in Knox Co., Tenn.; when but 7 years old, he moved with his parents, William and Lydia Arthur, to Vigo Co., Ind.; when 13 years old, he went to Clark Co., Ill., and lived with his uncle, Jacob Long, until he was 23 years old, engaged in farming; in 1851, he came from Indiana to Dubuque, Iowa, by team, and pushed on to Linn Co., near Marion, but because of constant rains and swollen streams, went back to Muscatine Co., and lived there for a year or more. He was married Aug. 21, 1851, to Nancy Peery, of Jackson Co., Ind.; she was born Oct. 27, 1831, in Clark Co., Ill.; they have seven children - John, born June 12, 1852; William A., July 27, 1854; David, Aug. 25, 1856; James E., July 15, 1860; George E., May 26, 1865; Mary E., July 23, 1867; and Sylvester, Oct. 27, 1868. In 1852, Mr. Arthur came to Black Hawk Co., and in the Spring of 1853, he came to Fox Tp., and settled here. In politics he is a Republican, and was School Director for seven or eight years, and Road Master for several years. He and his wife are members of the M. E. Church.

ASQUITH, CHARLES, farmer, Sec. 16; P. O. Cedar Falls; born in Yorkshire, England, May 16, 1823; he emigrated to this country, and Johnstown, Penn., in 1853; to Ohio in 1859; he returned to Pennsylvania in 1861. He enlisted in the Spring of 1863 in the 78th Penn. V. I., Co. C; mustered out in 1865; he was in four severe engagements. He was married in 1847 to Miss Mary Stead, from Yorkshire, England; they had three children, one living - Mrs. Mary a. Shaw, of Waterloo. His wife died in 1851. He was married in 1852 to Miss Mary Sutcliff, from England; they have one child - Robert C. He has 120 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre. Mr. A. has held the offices of Township Trustee two years, Road Supervisor four years and School Director five years. He was ordained as preacher for the German Baptist Church in 1876; he has preached for the church located on Sec. 22 for the past two years; they have a membership of eighty.

ASQUITH, JOHN, farmer, Sec. 16; P. O. Cedar Falls; born in Yorkshire, England, June 19, 1835; emigrated to this country and Johnstown, Penn., in 1857; to Braceville, Ill., in 1862. He was married in 1859 to Miss Rebecca Sutcliff, from Johnstown, Penn.; they have has ten children, five living - Miriam A., Stead A., Frank R., Anna J. and Jessie M. Mr. A. enlisted in the U. S. Navy Nov., 1864, in the Mississippi Squadron; mustered out Aug. 9, 1865. Came to Iowa, and on his present farm, in the Fall of 1865. He has held the offices of Township Trustee four years, Road Supervisor three years and Secretary of the School Board one year. They are members of the German Baptist Church. Mr. A. was engaged as Overseer of worsted spinning in England for thirteen years; he was also engaged as miner in Pennsylvania five years.

ATCHESON, CHARLES, farmer, Sec. 7; born in Somerset Co., Penn., in 1821. Married Mary A. Shoemaker in 1844; she was born in same county in 1823; came to this county July 4, 1867, and settled in Waterloo village and has since made this county his home; moved on the present farm he now occupies, of 192 acres, in 1877; Catherine, Norman and Benjamin are the living children; lost two children - John H., who enlisted in March, 1864, in Indiana, and contracted diseases from which he died at Dallas, Ga., Feb. 6, 1865; last child died in infancy.