History and Biographical Record of Black Hawk County, Iowa - 1886 - L

Black Hawk County >> 1886 Index

Historical and Biographical Record of Black Hawk County, Iowa
Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886


Clemance Leeper, farmer, section 26, Mount Vernon Township, is a son of Jacob W. and Matilda (Ford) Leeper. He was born in Mt. Vernon Township on section 25, August 28, 1855, and was here reared and educated in the common schools. December 27, 1880, he was married to Emma S. Bailey, born in Sugar Grove, near Kaneville, Illinois, in 1858, a daughter of Hiram M. and Mary E. (Williams) Bailey. To this union has been born on child--Freddie Ansel, born September 29, 1881. In his political views Mr. Leeper affiliates with the Greenback party. Mr. Leeper is one of the substantial farmers of this township, where he owns a fine farm containing 120 acres.

J. W. Leeper came to Black Hawk County, Iowa, October 11, 1853, from Wyandot County, Ohio, by way of Southern Illinois. He was first employed in husking corn for a man at Cedar Falls, and in May, 1854, he bought his first land from the Government. In the winter of 1853-'54 he was engaged in splitting rails along the Cedar River. In the spring of 1854 he settled on his land and commenced to improve the place, and there make a home. He now owns 160 acres on section 27 and 160 acres on section 34, all well improved. He has one of the best farm houses in the county, and his fine barn, built in 1874, and his other farm buildings are as good as any in the township. His residence, which is of brick, was built in 1880, and is heated almost entirely by a furnace. Mr. Leeper was born in Crawford, now Wyandot County, Ohio, December 11, 1831, a son of Thomas and Catherine (Baum) Leeper, the father born in Ireland in 1771, and the mother a native of Pennsylvania. His father was but twelve years of age when he came with his parents to America. He was shipwrecked three times, and was three years on the voyage. Our subject's father was an early settler of Ross County, Ohio, and there built the first saw and grist mills about forty miles from Sandusky City. He died at the age of sixty years, May 28, 1831. His wife died November 23, 1860, at the age of sixty-eight years. J. W. Leeper was married May 21, 1854, to Milta Ford, who was born December 4, 1833, in Wyandot County, Ohio, a daughter of David and Catherine (Van Gundy) Ford, both natives of Ross County, Ohio. Her mother died in Washington Township, this county, in February, 1879, at the age of sixty-six years, and her father is living in this county with one of his sons. Her parents came to the this county with their family of ten children, of whom Mrs. Leeper was the eldest, and settled in Washington Township in the fall of 1853. Their children are - Mrs. Leeper; Sarah M., wife of James Caughey; Mary A., wife of Warren Sherman; Ellen, wife of William Deming; Eliza, wife of A. V. Sprague; Curlis, of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Niram, living in Washington Township; Lydia, wife of G. W. Gochenour, of Washington Township; Reuben, living in Washington Township; Nancy, the youngest child, is deceased. To Mr. And Mrs. Leeper have been born ten children - Clemens, born August 28, 1855; Thomas E., born June 14, 1857, dealing in stock in Waterloo Township, this county; Lydia J., born February 8, 1860, wife of J. P. Albert, stock-dealer, living in Waterloo; Catherine, born April 5, 1862, wife of D. G. Wert, living on Mr. Leeper's farm; James William, born May 1, 1864, died of diphtheria, September 8, 1880; Eliza E., born November 14, 1866, living at home; Sissy, born January 25, 1869, died aged fourteen months; Rosa, born March 29, 1871, died November 8, 1880, of diphtheria; Charles, born May 20, 1874, living at home; David, born December 7, 1877, died of diphtheria November 8, 1880. In politics Mr. Leeper is a Republican. He has never sought for public office, his time being wholly devoted to his agricultural pursuits. He sowed the first timothy seed in his township, bringing the seed with him from Ohio. He was extensively engaged in stock-raising for many years, and at present keeps about seventy-five head of cattle on his farm, and is making a specialty of Holstein cattle. He also raises from seventy-five to one hundred hogs per year. Mr. Leeper has in his possession a writing desk over 100 years old, made by Mr. Wiley, a blind man, who was stepfather to our subject's father. Mr. Leeper's daughter Lydia has two children - Rosy, born February 22, 1883, and Harry, born November 6, 1884. His son Clemens was the second white child born in the township. He married Emma Bailey and has one child - Freddie, born September 29, 1881. He is living in Mount Vernon Township where he has 120 acres of land.

Thomas Loonan, one of the leading agriculturists of Black Hawk County , resided on section 25, Black Hawk Township , was born in King County , Ireland , April 4, 1833 , a son of Hugh and Mary Loonan, both of whom died in Ireland . Mr. Loonan immigrated to America at the age of nineteen years, landing at New York City , May 15, 1852 . He proceeded at once to Chester County , Pennsylvania , where he was engaged in farm labor about three years. He then located in Winnebago County , Illinois , and was married in that county July 17, 1858, to Miss Catherine Glenny. She was born in County Sligo , Ireland , February 1, 1839 , a daughter of James and Maria (Armstrong) Glenny. Her father died in Ireland in May, 1885, aged seventy years, and her mother still lives in Ireland . Mr. and Mrs. Loonan have seven children- Frank, married Emma Neiher, and resides on part of his father's farm; James was married February 3, 1886, to Lizzie Vaughn; Hubert and Mae Bell, students at Tillford Academy at Vinton; Thomas E., Harry G. and Nellie V., at home. Mr. Noonan [sp] continued farming on rented land in Winnebago County till September, 1864, when he settled on his present farm, owning at that time 160 acres. He was very successful in his farming pursuits and rapidly acquiring property, and now ranks among the prosperous farmers of the county. He now owns 965 acres of choice land in one body, where he resides, and an eighty-acre farm in another part of the township. In the early years of his residence here he raised large quantities of grain, but at present is extensively engaged in raising cattle, horses and hogs. He also buys largely, fitting stock for market. Mr. and Mrs. Loonan are classed among the best citizens of their township, and none have had more to do with the development and building up of this county themselves. In politics Mr. Loonan is identified with the Democratic party.