Historical and Biographical Record of Black Hawk County,
WESLEY MEARS came to Black Hawk County, Iowa, in November, 1854, and first settled in Waterloo, where he lived till 1867, when he removed to the farm on section 13, this township, which is still owned by his family, his farm containing sixty acres of good land. Mr. Mears was born September 5, 1838, a son of William and Sarah (Newell) Mears, the father born in Pennsylvania, August 25, 1799, and the mother a native of Brown County, Ohio, born March 3, 1804. William Mears was reared in Bourbon County, Kentucky, where his parents settled when he was quite young. He began learning the blacksmith's trade of his brother Samuel, but not liking the trade he abandoned it and went to Brown County, Ohio, where he bound himself out to a hatter till he was twenty-one, but did not serve his entire apprenticeship. He subsequently engaged in farming, remaining in Brown County till 1830, when he moved with his family to Warren County, Indiana, and there entered eighty acres of Government land, where he lived several years, coming to Waterloo, this county, in 1854, and bought eighty acres of land where the Illinois Central depot now stands. William Mears built a saw-mill above the Union Mills, which he afterward converted into a grist-mill, where he carried on a profitable trade. After selling his mill he engaged in farming, and in 1867 he exchanged his farm in Waterloo for his place in this township, occupied by his family. He was married March 11, 1819, to Sarah Newell, daughter of William and Martha (Hall) Newell, and to them were born the following children — Ephraim, Mahala, Caroline, Wesley (our subject), R. Alien, living, and William, George, Eveline, Miranda and Gary, deceased. William and George served in the late war, the former dying in hospital while returning from the army. George died in 1873. Both father and mother were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The father served as supervisor while living in Waterloo. Wesley Mears, whose name heads this sketch, was married July 7, 1867, to Mary Collins, a native of Portsmouth, England, born in February, 1846, and to this union has been born one child—Ella Gertrude, born April 8, 1872. Mrs. Mears lost her father at the age of six months, and her mother married again. She was reared from infancy by a maternal uncle, with whom she came to New York at the age of twelve years, living there till she was twenty-three years of age, and married in Waterloo.
BERTEL P. MILLER, deceased, was born in Schleswig, Denmark, in October, 1845, and was a son of Peter and Annie Miller. He was reared and educated in his native country, and when a young man learned the tailor's trade which he followed till a short time prior to his death. He was united in marriage November 10, 1871, to Augusta Krumlinde, who was also a native of Schleswig, Denmark, and daughter of August and Elizabeth Krumlinde, of whom her mother is now deceased. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, of whom only four are now living--August B., Louis H., Amanda B. and Bertel P. Mr. Miller immigrated to America in 1873, settling in Chicago, Illinois, where for several years he carried on an extensive tailoring establishment, when failing health compelled him to give up his business and find out-door employment. After leaving Chicago he settled with his family on a farm in Cedar Falls Township, Black Hawk County, Iowa, where his death occurred on October, 1884. He was an affectionate father and kind husband, and a consistent member of the Danish Lutheran church. His widow is also a member of the same church. She is still a resident of Cedar Falls Township, where she owns a well-improved farm containing 170 acres of land.
CHARLES MILLER, an old set-tier of Black Hawk County, is a native of Prussia, where he was born February 24, 1824. He came with his parents, Henry and Mary Miller, to America in 1848, and for several years lived in Indiana. He removed to Iowa City, Iowa, in 1852, and in 1855 came to Cedar Falls, where he followed blacksmithing for fifteen years, he being among the first blacksmiths of that village. March 28, 1858, he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Steemblock, who was born in Germany, in July, 1834, a daughter of Vertea and Tubka Steemblock, with whom she came to America when a child, they being among the early settlers of Hardin County, Iowa. Of nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller eight are living -- Mary T., Delia E., Anna E., Charles W., George A., August, Cora H., and Nettie M. Mr. Miller is one of the self-made men of this county, he having begun life without means, but by his industry, frugality and untiring perseverance he has accumulated property, and is surrounded with all that makes a comfortable and pleasant home. His home farm in Cedar Falls Township contains 200 acres of choice land, under excellent cultivation. He is at present serving as school director. He is a member of the German Evangelical Association.
REV. DAVID S. MORGAN, deceased, was born in Johnson, Vermont, January 24, 1835, the second son of a family of five children, three boys and two girls. When twelve years old age he was bereft of the care of a mother, but her early training and counsels were not forgotten, and in his youth he decided to devote his life to the ministry. His father, David Morgan, was a righteous, godly man, earnestly devoted to the spiritual welfare of his children. The noble traits of character and many virtues of the father were transmitted to the son, and at a tender age bore fruits which ripened into a useful life, devoted to the Master. His parents being in moderate circumstances, it became necessary for David to depend on his own exertions for an education. He attended the common schools and then entered the academy of his native town. When he was sixteen years of age his father sold his farm in Vermont, and bought one near Andover, Massachusetts, and he at once entered Phillips Academy, and after taking a regular course entered Amherst College. In the meantime, however, he taught in the common schools of New England, and acted as colporteur for the American Bible Society, thus obtaining the money to enable him to pursue his studies. After attending Amherst two years he went to Union College, at Schenectady, New York, from which he graduated in 1860. In the fall of this year he entered Union Theological Seminary, New York City, remaining there until 1862, when he returned to Massachusetts and soon after enlisted in the First Battalion, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and was stationed at Maryland Heights. In the spring of 1864 he was at the battle of Spottsylvania Court-House, where General Grant sent the now famous dispatch, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." While in the army he was wounded in the shoulder, incapacitating him for a time for active duty, and it is to this wound, which effected his lung, that may be traced the origin of the disease which caused his death. This injury, however, did not permanently separate him from his company. He continued in the service for some time after, and was finally discharged July 23, 1864. Having acquired some knowledge of medicine while in college, he acted as Hospital Steward at Maryland Heights, and while there one of his company, William H. Wardwell, was run over by a gun carriage and almost instantly killed. It became his painful duty to announce this sad news to the family, and thus opened a correspondence with Miss Charlotte B., eldest daughter of Henry and Angeline Wardwell, which ended in their marriage May 24, 1867. He had before this completed his theological studies at " Union," and in April, 1866, had been licensed to preach by the Third Presbyterian Church, of New York City. In June, 1867, he was ordained and installed pastor of the Congregational church at Worthington, Massachusetts. In the fall of 1869 he came West and was installed pastor of the Presbyterian church at Montello, Wisconsin, and also of the church at Buffalo, at the same time supplying two out stations. In 1872 he was advised, on account of his health, to change his location, and in October located in La Porte City, Iowa, where he was elected pastor of the Presbyterian church, although never regularly installed. He remained pastor-elect until March 2, 1875, when a severe hemorrhage of the lungs incapacitated him for active work. From this time he was unable to perform the labors of a pastor, preaching subsequently only on rare occasions. Although not anticipating complete recovery he indulged in the hope that he might again be able to preach and assume the duties of the ministry. In December, 1878, he became more seriously ill, and on January 10, 1879, his spirit took its flight from its earthly tenement to its mansion above. His final illness was marked by great suffering, which continued until a short time before his death, when he became free from pain, and quietly fell asleep. He bore his afflictions with that fortitude and patience characteristic of a true Christian. The last half day of his life he was almost unconscious, but consciousness returned before his death, and he uttered words of trust in Christ, and a longing for the rest, and home prepared for him. He left a wife and four children — Henry H., Alice C., Ellen L. and David W. — to mourn the loss of a kind husband and father. Thus passed to the better life a noble man, whose record as a Christian minister and honored citizen is a lasting inheritance to his children. The wife with her family are residents of La Porte City, where they have many friends, who in their hour of need and trial gave them the assistance which comes only from sympathising hearts and true Christian friendship.
JESSE MORGAN, one of the oldest pioneers living in Cedar Falls Township; was born on Staten Island, New York, September 1, 1811, a son of Joseph and Fannie Morgan. According to tradition his paternal great-grandfather and his two brothers emigrated from Wales to America prior to the Revolutionary war, in which war his paternal grandfather served as a soldier. At the age of thirteen years Jesse Morgan went with his parents to Sullivan County, New York, remaining there but a short time. He subsequently was engaged as a sailor, and for years followed the sea, visiting various parts of the world. He came to Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1851, and for several years worked at the carpenter's trade, he having built the first house which had a claim to modern pretensions in Cedar Falls. He also entered 400 acres of land after coming here, which is located in Black Hawk County. Mr. Morgan was married December 7, 1851, to Lucinda Bozarth, who was born February 27, 1832, a daughter of Valentine and Rebecca (Hall) Bozarth, who came from Virginia to Muscatine County, Iowa, about the year 1837, where they lived till their death. To Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have been born nine children, of whom eight survive—George C., Henry, William, Ida, Fannie, Nellie G., Mary and Kate. Mr. Morgan is always interested in educational matters and has served very satisfactorily as school director. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party. He was formerly a member of both the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders.
NOAH MORGAN, one of the most prosperous farmers of Washington Township, came to Black Hawk County in September, 1854, and entered two forty -acre tracts of Government land. He remained one month, and then returned to Mexico, Wyandot County, Ohio, but in March, 1857, came again to this county, and until the fall of 1858 worked by the month for farmers. He then again returned to Ohio, and was there married, December 22, 1859, to Ellen N. Bell. In August, 1861, they came to Iowa and first settled a mile south of where they now live, and lived there during the winter; then rented a farm two miles north, where they lived till the fall of 1863, when they moved to their present residence, which Mr. Morgan had built the previous summer. His original eighty acres he has sold, but now owns 463 acres of land in Washington Township, 120 acres being on section 24, 120 acres on section 23, fifteen acres on section 22, ninety-eight acres on section 27, ten acres on section 16, and 100 acres on section 15, the greater part being under cultivation. His residence, located on section 24, is a large frame building, neatly and comfortably finished. His barn, the only stone building of the kind in the county, is 30 x 51 feet in size, with an addition 13 x 26 feet. He is a thoroughly practical farmer, and also makes a specialty of stock-raising, his farm being well adapted to the latter industry. Mr. Morgan was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, near Lancaster, November 21, 1831, but in his infancy his father moved to Wyandot County, Ohio, and there he grew to manhood. His parents, Jesse and Christena (Brentz) Morgan, were natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania, the former born August 9, 1803, and the latter June 19, 1808. They were married in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 18, 1829, and in September, 1832, moved to Wyandot County, Iowa, and bought eighty acres of land. This they sold in 1864, and moved to Black Hawk County, and bought 160 acres of prairie and sixty-five acres of timber land of John and Samuel Knapp, all but twenty acres of which is now owned by their children. The mother died March 16, 1872, and the father April 5, following, and both are buried in Washington Chapel Cemetery, located on the southeast quarter of section 15, town 90, range 14, Black Hawk County. They were members of the United Brethren church, and the father had voted with the Republican party since the nomination of James Buchanan to the presidency. Their family of five children were—Noah; Susanna, born July 25, 1833, widow of Ed. Reynolds, who was born May 16, 1834, and died December 30, 1883; Mary A., born February 21, 1837, married H. Reynolds November 25, 1860. He was born July 13, 1832, and was killed at the battle of New Market, Virginia, May 15, 1864, leaving one daughter—Ida Ellen, born August 23, 1861, died May 22, 1880. She is now the wife of Henry Watrous. Conrad B., born January 26, 1839, resides at Fort Worth, Texas. Mrs. Morgan was born near Allamuchy, New Jersey, January 10, 1837, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah ( Wilson ) Bell. She is the third of four children. One sister, Mary J., is the wife of George Repp, of Dallas County, Iowa; another, Catherine, is the wife of J. Riker, of Wright County, Iowa, and a brother lives in Michigan. Her mother died in New Jersey, and when she was about fifteen years of age her father and family moved to Wyandot County, Ohio, and in 1866 he came to Black Hawk County, Iowa, and now makes his home with Mrs. Morgan. He was born in New Jersey, October 16, 1798, and is now in the eighty-eighth year of his age. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have a family of four children—Jesse S., born November 36, 1861; William H., May 29, 1864; Ida M., April 12, 1870; David C., March 17, 1875. In politics Mr. Morgan is a Republican and Prohibitionist.