Historical and Biographical Record of Black Hawk County,
Joseph L. Hagerman, farmer and stock-raiser, section 22, Waterloo Township, was born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1827, a son of Isaiah and Rebecca Hagerman. His father was born on the same farm as our subject, and there died in 1861, aged seventy-four years, and his mother aged seventy-one years. He was of Dutch descent. They had a family of nine children, three sons and six daughters. Joseph L., whose name heads this sketch, had but 50 cents when he started out in life on his own account. He first obtained work at $120 per year, where he remained two years, at the end of which time he had saved $200. With this money he bought a Mexican soldier’s land warrant with which he entered 130 acres of land in Richland County, Wisconsin. He then returned to Pennsylvania where he worked on shares on the same farm for ten years. During this time he had sold his land in Wisconsin for $400. He loaned the money on interest to William McKing, who failed, and Mr. Hagerman sued him and got a judgment for the whole amount, which he gave in part payment for fifty-five acres of land. Five years later he sold this farm for $100 per acre, and in March, 1875, came to Black Hawk County, Iowa, and purchased 125 acres where he now resides, on section 22. Mr. Hagerman now owns 400 acres of land located in Black Hawk County, Iowa, and 444 in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, all of which he has acquired by his own persevering energy and economy, together with his good business management. Mr. Hagerman was first married in Pennsylvania, March 20, 1851, to Mary Haffer, a native of that State, and daughter of Daniel and Mary Haffer who were both natives of Pennsylvania. To this union were born six children – Frank L. and Asher M., farmers, of Nobles County, Minnesota; George, farming in Dakota; Daniel and Ellen, in Black Hawk County; James, at home attending school. Mr. Hagerman was again married in Pennsylvania, February 20, 1871, taking for his second wife Charlotte Haffer, a sister of his first wife. This union has been blessed with five children – Aleda, Edgar and Edna (Twins), Maud and Rusy. In his political views Mr. Hagerman is a Democrat. He has held the office of supervisor three terms, and has been a member of the school board ever since he has been in the county. During the late Rebellion he contributed $1,000 toward the carrying on of the war.
ARAD HALL, deceased, was born in Colerain, Franklin County, Massachusetts, September 8, 1818 , the youngest son of Arad and Hannah (Bailey) Hall, natives of New Hampshire , the father a minister of the Baptist denomination. His parents had a family of eight children, three sons and five daughters, of whom only two now survive, the eldest and youngest daughters. The boyhood of our subject was passed on a farm, his winters being spent in the workshop making hand-rakes, he and his brother carrying on quite a business. He attended the public and high schools of his native county, completing his education at the Shelburne Falls Academy of that county, after which he taught school one term. He was then married in 1842 to Charlotte Fisk, daughter of William and Dolly Fisk. She was a native of the same county as her husband, born in the year 1818. To this union were born eight children-Ellen M., wife of J.W. Pierpont; Augusta J., wife of William Hunt; Arthur W., now living in North Amherst, Massachusetts; J. Boardman; Charlene F., deceased wife of George Hamilton; Frank F., of Waterloo, this county; Cyrus E., at home, and Frederick, a graduate of the State University of Iowa City, at present teaching in the Central University at Pella, Iowa. After his marriage Mr. Hall removed to Rowe, Franklin County , where he engaged in farming with his brother, Samuel Hall, and also continued making rakes. While residing in Rowe he was president of the Board of Selectmen, and while in his native county he served in the Legislature one term. He resided at Rowe about twelve years, when he returned to his old home, remaining there till the spring of 1866. He then removed to Black Hawk County , Iowa , and settled on the farm which is now occupied by his widow and her son. This farm, which at that time was raw prairie land, was improved by him, and on it he built a good residence, barns and out buildings, and carried on general farming till his death, which occurred January 2, 1885 . He was an active member of the Baptist church, and was a man widely known and highly respected for his many manly qualities. He gave liberally of his means to the support of his church, and served in the capacity of deacon. Mrs. Hall and son Cyrus are members of the same church.
Samuel Hallman, farmer and stock-raiser, section 13, Barclay Township, is a native of the State of Pennsylvania, born October 14, 1833, a son of Henry and Hannah Hallman, natives of Pennsylvania, of German descent. His father died in December, 1863, aged fifty-five years, and the mother is living in Pennsylvania, aged seventy-five years. Our subject was reared in his native State. When fourteen years of age he began working for his own maintenance, and worked for wages till twenty years old. He had been prudent and saved his earnings, and at the age of twenty years was able to begin work for himself. He remained in his native State till 1865, when he came West and lived in Naperville, Illinois, a year. In 1866 he came to Iowa, and bought 160 acres of land in Black Hawk County, for which he paid $19 an acre. He has added to his first purchase till he now owns 450 acres of choice land, all under cultivation. A poor boy when he commenced life, Mr. Hallman has be perseverance, industry and frugality accumulated a large property, and is now one of the wealthiest men in Barclay Township. He is a prominent and influential citizen, and has been instrumental in advancing many projects of material interest to his township. He has held the office of supervisor of Barclay Township. He was married in Pennsylvania, September 23, 1856, to Catherine Hauser, also a native of that State, born April 24, 1829. They have a family of four children - Elamanda O., wife of Frank Lauer; Victor, Milton, and Elanora O., wife of John Walker. Victor graduated in February, 1886, from the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College. He married Ida Bickert. In politics Mr. Hallman is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the German Lutheran church.
Alonzo Helm was born in the state of Michigan, July 5, 1835. He was reared by his grandfather, who was a farmer, and on reaching manhood he chose that vocation for his lifework. He accompanied his grandfather to Illinois, and thence to Iowa, living first in Benton and then in Tama County. When twenty-one years old he commenced life for himself, his grandfather giving him forty acres of land, and to this he afterward added forty acres of land, and to this he afterward added forty acres. He was married September 7, 1857, to Emily Rexstrew, a native of Auglaise County. Ohio, born September 7, 1837, a daughter of Joshua and Delilah (Starlen) Rexstrew, natives of New Jersey, who dies when she was a child. She grew to womanhood in her native county, and in 1855, came to Iowa and located in Tama County. In 1862 Mr. Helm enlisted in Company D, Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry, and was mustered into the State. While in camp and Iowa City, before being mustered into the service of the United States, he was taken with the measles, and was discharged from the service. He was sick eighteen months, when, in November, 1862, he started overland to California for his health. The party reached Walla Walla Valley, Washington Territory in September, 1864, and he remained there till August, 1865, when, his health being fully recovered, he started for home. He was variously employed while in the West, sometimes on a ranch and sometimes in the mines. While en route for home the company he was with were robbed and their horses were stampeded, all but thirty-five however, being recovered. Of the five owned by Mr. Helm but one was lost. He tells of many amusing and thrilling experiences while in the West, which space forbids us to repeat. While away his family moved to Bremer County, Iowa, and in the spring of 1865 he exchanged his place there, in part payment, for his present farm. He has improved his farm and now has 144 of the best land in Washington Township, sixty-four acres being on section 10 and eighty on section 11. He is one of the prominent and progressive farmers of Washington Township, doing all in his power to advance its material and social interests. Mr. and Mrs. Helm have eleven children- Mary A., born February 19, 1859, is the wife of Daniel Hanner, of Fonda, Iowa ; William E., born December 17, 1860; Sarah K., born December 7, 1862; Lucretia J., born December 27, 1864, is the wife of James Mapes; Lille E., born August 8, 1867, is the wife of Hiram H. Hargrove; Nettie C., born December 6, 1869; Charles F., born February 9. 1872; Alonzo R., born April 17, 1874 ; Frank V., born January 23, 1876 ; Clarence T., born June 14, 1878, and Nina R., born January 12, 1881. In politics Mr. Helm affiliates with the Republican party.
William Helm, deceased, was born May 4, 1815, in Frederick County, Virginia, a son of Benjamin and Lavina Helm, both natives of Virginia. When quite young he was taken by his parents to Ohio, and there he was reared to manhood. He received a good education at Antrim, and for many years was a successful teacher in the public schools of Ohio. He was marries in Ohio in July, 1841, to Mandana Gillet, daughter of Jedediah and Martha Gillet, of Guernsey County, that State, he parents being natives of Vermont, Of nine children born to this union eight are living-Emmeroy, wife of R. V. S. Caley; Martha L., wife of Calvin Jones; Maria J., wife of Stephen Johnson; William O.; Erasmus C.; Ophelia M., wife of J. V. Hummel; Oliver P., and Eva, wife of O. H. Kelley. Mr. Helm came with his family to Iowa in 1854, and located in Benton County, living near Vinton until 1861 when he came to Black Hawk County, and for a time resided on a farm. He subsequently removed to La Porte City, living there until his death, which occurred October 30, 1885, leaving his widow and a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. He was a justice of the peace for many years, and in the discharge of his duties showed much wisdom, rendering to everyone his due, serving in this capacity of Ohio, and Benton and Black Hawk Counties, Iowa. In his political views he affiliated with the Republican party. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Helm is still a resident of La Porte City, and is an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal church.
D. C. HENRY, son of James and Hannah ( Clark ) Henry, came with his parents to this county in October, 1858. His father was born April 7, 1807, near Colchester, Massachussetts, and was of Irish and English descent. The father was reared and educated in Madison County, New York, and was there married, his wife being a native of Connecticut, born May 6, 1806. He removed with his family to Illinois in 1856, and as before stated, came to Black Hawk County, Iowa, in 1858, living in Mount Vernon Township till his death. His wife also died in this township. They were the parents of the following children—Albert Henry, born in September, 1835, farming in Washington Territory; Alpheus, born in July, 1837, living in Mt. Vernon Township; D. C., born August 14, 1840, in Madison County, New York; Frederick, born June 2, 1850, died in August, 1882, all the children being born in Madison County, New York. Our subject was reared in his native county till sixteen years of age, and there received a limited education in the common schools. January 1, 1868, he was married to Maria E. Thurston, born in St. Joseph County, Michigan, December 22, 1842, a daughter of Ira and Amanda (Fletcher) Thurston, residents of Bremer County, Iowa. To this union have been born five children, of whom three are living-H. Mabel, born February 2, 1870; Bertha M., born June 2, 1872; Frank C., born September 14, 1876, all in Mount Vernon Township. Charles C. was born in July 1875, and died August 23, 1875, and George A., born January 24, 1879, died January 10, 1880. Mrs. Henry is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his religious views Mr. Henry is liberal. In politics he is a Greenbacker. He has served twelve years as justice of the peace, and has also served as assessor, being elected such in the fall of 1884. Mr. Henry has made farming his principal occupation through life, and has met with fair success. He now owns 240 acres on section 33, Mount Vernon Township. Mrs. Henry's father was born in Lyle, Brown County, New York, February 24, 1810, and when he was ten years of age his parents moved to St. Joseph County, Michigan, where he was married, living there till about sixty years of age. In May, 1854, he came to Iowas, and settled in Bremer County, where he has since resided. His wife was born in Mentor, Geauga County, August 16, 1817.
Richard T. Hitt was born December 26, 1816, in Delaware County, New York, a son of Oliver and Catherine Hitt, his paternal ancestors coming from England to America prior to the war of the Revolution, and his maternal ancestors coming from Germany. Of his father’s family eight children still survive – Almeda, Richard T., James R., Rensselaer, Elizabeth, Catherine, Charles and Sylvanus B. Our subject received a common-school education, and was reared to the tanner’s trade, his father being proprietor of a tannery at Colchester, New York. He went to Ohio in his twenty-second year, and for many years ran a tannery and boot and shoe manufactory at Willoughby, Lake County, and for several years was interested in a tannery at Ashtabula, Ohio. He was married in September, 1843, to Henrietta Covert, daughter of Luke and Dianna Covert, who were natives of New York State. They have three sons – Harrison L., Townsend R. and Frank W. Mr. Hitt engaged in the boot and shoe business, in connection with the leather trade, at Waterloo, this county, in 1859, being associated with W. S. Robinson, continuing under the firm name of Hitt & Robinson for several years. Although being in business in Black Hawk County since 1859, Mr. Hitt did not bring his family here till the fall of 1880, since which they have been residents of La Porte City. In 1879 Mr. Hitt disposed of his large business interests in Ohio. For several years he has had an interest in a carriage manufactory at Waterloo, and also has a valuable farm in Big Creek Township. In June, 1880, the Mound Creamery and La Porte City Cheese Factory was established at this city, with Hayslett & Wasson as proprietors, Mr. Hitt holding the position of manager and superintendent. In 1882 he bought the interest of his employers, and the business has since been conducted under the firm name of the Hitt Company, with R. T. Hitt as president, and his son T. R. Hitt as vice-president, they being sole proprietors of the Mound Creamery. Ninety-two thousand pounds of butter were manufactured in 1885, which was sent principally to the New York and Philadelphia markets. The creamery is one of the best in the county, and is of no small financial interest to the farmers of this vicinity. Mr. Hitt may be called a self-made man, having been thrown on his own resources at the early age of fifteen years, and has by his own untiring industry and excellent business management become one of the prosperous citizens of Black Hawk County.
Frank R. Hollis was born in Rensselaer County, New York, April 9, 1842, a son of Harlin S. and Jane Hollis, the father born in Covington, Massachusetts, February 15, 1819, and the mother a native of Rensselaer County, born April 6, 1819. They were married in Rensselaer County, the father having lived there from his thirteenth year, and in that county their five children were born--Caroline Saxsby, still living in Rensselaer County; Frank R., our subject; George, of Black Hawk Township; Stephen in Rensselaer County, and Mrs. Lavantia Wait, in Colorado. Frank R. Hollis and his father both enlisted in the cause of the Union, in Company E., One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth New York Infantry, at Troy, the date of their enlistment being August 27, 1862. They were in the engagement at Bolivar Heights, September 14, 1862, at Harper's Ferry, and the next day were treacherously surrendered by General Miles to the rebel General Jackson. The two months following, they were in the parole camp at Chicago. November 25, an exchange having been effected, they joined General Hancock's corps, when the father was placed on detached duty as division wagon-master. Our subject participated in the battle of Gettysburg, and other fiercely contested battles of his corps, and was in the campaign against Lee's army which culminated in the surrender at Appomattox. Both father and son received an honorable discharge in June, 1865, and returned to their peaceful farm life in Rennselaer County. September 26, 1865, Frank R. Hollis went to Monroe County, New York, and the day following was married to Miss Nellie S. Bly, who was born in Rensselaer County, April 23, 1845. Nine children have been born to them, all living at home--Charles, Harlin, Iola, Edward, John, Rienzi, Lettie, Arthur and Jennie. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Hollis went to La Salle, Illinois, remaining there till January, 1866, when he came to Black Hawk County, Iowa where he farmed rented land for three years. He then bought eighty acres on section 16, Black Hawk Township, where he lived till 1881, since which he has resided on his present farm, on section 22. Mr. Hollis has prospered through life, owing to his persevering industry and good management, and now owns a fine farm of 560 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Hollis are members of the Free-Will Baptist church. The parents of Mr. Hollis left their old home in New York in August, 1882 and now make their home with him. Both father and son are identified with the Republican party.
Thomas J. Humphrey, section 16, Eagle Township, was born in Licking County, Ohio, October 23, 1846. His parents, Thomas J. and Mary (Williams) Humphrey, were natives of Wales and came to the United States at the ages respectively of nineteen and sixteen years. They were married in Utica, New York, in 1828, and for fifteen years made Oneida County their home, and in 1843 removed to Licking County, Ohio. They family consisted of ten children, eight born in New York and two in Ohio, viz.: Evan, who died in Waterloo in March, 1874; Jacob, now of Waterloo; Hugh, who died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1878; Isaac, late of Dakota, died in Eagle Township, February 22, 1885, while here on a visit; Mrs. Margaret Gardner and Mrs. Mary Brunson, of Eagle Township; Mrs. Elizabeth Davis and Mrs. Charlotte Wagar, of Geneseo, Tama County; Mrs. Winnifred Wagar, of Eagle Township, and Thomas J., who is the youngest of the family. In 1856 the family moved to La Salle County, Illinois, and there the father died in 1857. In 1863 the mother and her son Evan removed to Black Hawk County, Iowa, and located on section 16, Eagle Township, where she died in 1867. The widow and family of Evan now live on section 10, Eagle Township. In 1864 Thomas J. Humphrey left La Salle County, Illinois, and March 7 reached Black Hawk County, Iowa. In 1866 he bought forty acres of land, to which in 1867 he added another forty acres and immediately began its improvement. He has increased his possessions till his farm contains 160 acres of valuable land, and the thrift and good management of the owner are evident from the good building improvements and pleasant surroundings. He was married April 3, 1872, to Miss Olive Roberts, who was born in Oswego County, New York, December 18, 1853, a daughter of Tudor and Elizabeth Roberts. Their only child, Maud, was born May 1, 1875. Mrs. Humphrey is a lady of culture and refinement, and has been of inestimable assistance to her husband in the building and beautifying of their home. Her parents are both natives of Wales, her father coming to America when twenty-eight and her mother when sixteen years of age. They were married in Oneida County, New York, October 20, 1835, and came to Iowa in March, 1860, the father dying July 31 of the same year. The mother now makes her home with Mrs. Humphrey. Her children are six in number, viz.: Humphrey, of Waterloo; Elizabeth, deceased; Thomas, of Buena Vista County, Iowa; Mrs. Susan Parish, also of Buena Vista County; Mrs. Mary Ravlin, deceased, and Mrs. Humphrey. Mrs. Humphrey is a member of the Baptist church. Although a member of no religious organization, Mr. Humphrey is a firm believer in Christianity. He in politics affiliates with the Republican party, and is an ardent supporter of its principles. He has served his township in several official relations, among others those of assessor, trustee and school director.
George Washington Humphreys, deceased, was born at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, June 10, 1814. He was the son of wealthy parents and was liberally educated, intending to take a college course, which ill health alone prevented, and for several years he devoted his time to teaching. In 1836 he became a resident of Muscatine, Iowa, where he was one of the pioneers and became a leading citizen. He was there married to Miss Martha Jane Turner, who died leaving one child, Irene, who also died, aged twenty-four years. He was again married in 1859, in Chicago, Illinois, to Miss Lucy A. Kenney, a native of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, born in 1832. In 1865, they moved from Muscatine to Black Hawk County and location on section 14, Lincoln Township, improving a farm of 120 acres from a state of nature. In the war for the Union Mr. Humphreys took a great interest in the side of the Government; although a Virginian, was a devoted adherent to the cause of the Union. He was past the age for military duty, but used his means liberally to encourage enlistment and for the support of the families of volunteers. While living in Muscatine he served several terms as sheriff, many years as justice of the peace, and as secretary of the school board. He was appointed postmaster of Muscatine, under President Lincoln, but resigned and was en route to Black Hawk County when Lincoln was killed. After coming to Black Hawk County he was less active in public affairs. He was the third settler of his neighborhood and taught its first school. His first residence was not entirely completed when it was destroyed by a cyclone and a second residence with its contents was burned in 1872, and subsequently the present residence of the family was built. Mr. Humphreys died January 31, 1882, leaving a widow and three daughters. The eldest, Georgiana, is the wife of Alfred Ingamells, of Grundy County; Lutie and Eugenia are with their mother. The daughters, by the will of the uncle, Robert Harper Humphreys, will each come into possession of $4,000. He was a wealthy manufacturer, late of Baltimore, Maryland.
Henry C. Hunt was born in Montpelier, Vermont, February 22, 1832, the youngest son of eleven children of Caleb and Rebecca Hunt, who were both natives of New England, his paternal ancestors being originally from England. His maternal grandfather served as a surgeon during the Revolutionary war. Henry C. lived at his birthplace till ten years of age when he went with his parents to Harverhill, New Hampshire, where he remained several years. He received a good education, preparing himself for Dartmouth College, but when a young man he was offered his choice between a college education and a position in the general ticket office of the Michigan Central Railroad at Detroit, and accepted the latter. He attended satisfactorily to the duties of the office about two years, when his health failed him. He then spent one and a half years in the pineries west of Port Huron, Michigan, after which he returned to Detroit, and for three years engaged in the wholesale and retail mercantile trade. He came to Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the spring of 1857 where he was engaged in the mercantile business with G. B. Van Sawn until 1862. For many years he has handled agricultural machinery, and for the past several years has been general agent for Northern Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota for William Deering, the extensive manufacturer of agricultural implements. Mr. Hunt was married in 1855 to Helen M. Garrison, of Detroit, Michigan, and of the six children born to them five are living--William P., Harriet L., Henry E., Harry N. and Percy G. Mr. Hunt is a man of excellent business ability, and in his various enterprises has been uniformly successful. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party. He has served satisfactorily as city councilman, and also as Deputy United States Collector under President Lincoln's administration. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for nearly twenty years.