A Memorial and Biographical Record of
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
JESSE CLARK BAKER
This gentleman dates his identity with Lucas county, Iowa, from October, 1853, has for a number of years figured as one of the leading business men of the county, and for the past ten years has been engaged in banking in Lucas. He is therefore entitled to rank with the pioneers of this part of Iowa, and we here take pleasure in presenting a sketch of his life, believing that it will be read with interest by many.
Mr. Baker is a native of the "Hoosier" State, born in Nashville, Brown county, Indiana, December 29, 1843, a son of early settlers of that State. Jesse Baker, his grandfather, was born in North Carolina, in the year 1774, a descendant of German ancestors. From North Carolina he removed to Kentucky, and settled in Henry county soon after Daniel Boone had made it possible for the white man to establish his home in Kentucky. Some years later he continued his way north into Indiana, and in Boone county, of this State, he died, at the advanced age of ninety years. He also had a brother who lived to the age of ninety years, and who died in that same county. Jesse Baker was twice married, and had one child by his first wife and six by the second. His son, Walker William Baker, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky, June 29, 1814, was quite small when the family removed to Indiana, and was reared in Johnson and Brown counties, early in life being inured to hard work on the farm, and a portion of the winter months attending the common schools of his district. His early training in the district school was supplemented by home study. In political matters he took an active interest. He was a Democrat, a zealous worker for his party and friends, and on a number of occasions was officially honored. He served as Sheriff of his county, and for six years filled the office of Collector and Treasurer, and while thus employed studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Indiana. He was married in Johnson county, Indiana, to Miss Eliza Musselman, a native of Jennings county, that State. Her father, Daniel Musselman, was a native of Kentucky, and a soldier in the war of 1812, being a participant in the battle in which the noted Tecumseh was killed; was one of the pioneers of Lucas county, Iowa, and has last resting place is in the old cemetery in White Breast township, this county.
In 1853 W. W. Baker emigrated with his family to Iowa and settled in Lucas county, on a farm near Chariton. Here for some time he dealt in lands and also did a loan business, and in 1865, in company with his son, J. C., he engaged in the mercantile business, carrying on the same successfully. In 1886 he moved out to California and took up his abode in a pretty home in Santa Ana, Orange county, where he is spending the evening of his active and useful life, now being eighty-one years of age. For fifty-seven years he and his good wife have journeyed along life's pathway together. She was born October 1, 1822, and is now seventy-three years of age. Fifteen children were born by this union, their names being as follows: Hon. D. M., for years one of Lucas county's prominent men, and the only Democrat ever elected to the State Legislature from this county, has been a resident of California since 1884 and is now proprietor of the Santa Ana Standard; J. Clark, the subject of this article; Mary, wife of M. V. Lovering, Fullerton, Orange county, California; M. P., engaged in the real-estate business in Chicago, Illinois; Eliza, widow of L. D. Rankin, Santa Ana, California; E. S., Lacona, Iowa; Clara, residing in California with her parents; Charles W., Westminister, California; the rest are deceased, namely: Naaman, at the age of eleven years; Flora, at the age of eighteen months; Sarah J., wife of T. J. Allen, died in Lucas, Iowa, at the age of twenty-six years, leaving three children, Carrie L., W. E. and W. W.; Tobitha, wife of H. N. Chamberlain, died at the age of twenty-six; Louisa, at the age of eighteen years; W. L., for many years a prominent man of Lucas county, died recently in California, at the age fifty; and V. G., a real estate-dealer of Los Angeles, California, died at the age of thirty-two years.
We come now to the immediate subject of this sketch, J. C. Baker. He was ten years old at the time of the removal of the family to Iowa. Until he was sixteen he attended the public schools, making the best of his opportunities, and then accepting a position as clerk for William Boyd, whose store was located on the northeast corner of the public square in Chariton. Later he clerked for Mr. W. A. Brown. After the death of Mr. Brown, W. W. Baker purchased his stock of goods and put his son, J. C., in the store as manager, the latter also being a partner. After ten years of successful business in Chariton, they sold out and J. C. Baker came to Lucas. Here for twenty years he has been a leading business man. He has done much in various ways to promote the material growth and development of the town. In 1886 he established the Farmers' and Miners' Bank, of Lucas, of which he is still the proprietor, this being one of the most substantial banking institutions in the county. It is now under the efficient management of Mr. Baker's son, Norman F., one of the bright and promising young business men of the town. Mr. Baker has also for years been extensively engaged in farming and stock- raising, owning no less than 700 acres of fine land in Liberty and White Breast townships, located about four miles distant from Lucas. About 500 acres of this land are under cultivation. In 1891 he built his commodious and attractive residence in Lucas, it being erected at a cost of $3,000 and having all the modern conveniences. It is, indeed, a model home.
August 19, 1869, Mr. Baker was married in Clarke county, Iowa, to Miss Mattie Steffy, a member of one of the best families of that county and a lady who has proved herself a worthy helpmate. She was born in Burlington, Iowa, daughter of William and Hannah (Ream) Steffy, natives of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and of German descent. Her father was one of the early settlers of Burlington, Iowa, where he died leaving a widow and four children, namely: Matilda Keeves, Arkansas City, Kansas; Ellen Keeves, deceased; Samuel, who died at the age of ten years; and Mrs. Baker. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Baker, we record that their names are N. F., who has charge of the bank above referred to; Albert L., a merchant of Lucas; Lora G., who recently completed her education at Highland Park; J. C., Jr., at Ames College; and Blanche.
Mr. Baker was initiated into the mysteries of Masonry about the time he attained his majority and maintains a membership in both the chapter and the commandery; and he is also a member of the I. O. O. F. and K. of P. His son, N. F., is Master of Good Shepherd Lodge, No. 414, a. F. & A. M., and is Keeper of Seals of the K. of P., both in Lucas. The subject of our sketch is one of the largest men in the county, his weight being 300 pounds. He is a man of frank and genial nature, has a wide acquaintance throughout this part of Iowa, and is as popular as he is well known.
JOHN LEROY BANDY, one of the wealthiest and most widely known merchants of Redfield, Iowa, conducting a large confectionery establishment, restaurant and grocery store, was born on the 17th of March, 1856, on his father's farm near Bewleyville, Breckinridge county, Kentucky, and is the fifth in a family of ten children, whose parents were Byron and Caroline (Jordan) Bandy. The father was born January 6, 1824, the mother in January, 1830, and both are still living on the old home farm where they located soon after their marriage and where our subject was born. It is also within six miles of the birthplace of the father. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bandy were reared in Kentucky, but were descended from old Virginian families, their parents having lived in that State. The paternal grandfather of our subject enlisted for service in the war of 1812, when but sixteen years of age. It was also the intention of the maternal grandfather to enter the army at that time, but a neighbor, who disliked to see him leave his young wife and children alone persuaded him to remain at home, while the neighbor, taking Mr. Jordan 's horse, clothing and supplies, went to the war in his place, Prior to the Civil war Byron Bandy had three slaves given him, one of whom is still in his service, but these are all the negroes that he ever owned. He lived in a neutral section of the country and having a large family depending on him he joined neither the Northern or Southern armies during the Civil war. In his family were ten children, but four of the number died before reaching maturity, namely: Benjamin Franklin, Charles, Rachel and James. Those still living are Richard, Elizabeth, Silas, William, John L. and Lottie.
Mr. Bandy of this sketch spent the first twenty years of his life on the old farm, giving his father the benefit of his services. Wishing to see more of the world than came within the line of his vision at the home of his boyhood, he then bade adieu to friends and family and for twelve years traveled extensively over the United States. He had no capital but worked as he found opportunity, and living an industrious and frugal life he accumulated a small capital, which enabled him to begin business in his own interest. About 1882 he began work on a farm near Redfield, Iowa, where he remained during the greater part of the six succeeding years.
In July, 1888, Mr. Bandy opened a small confectionery store in Redfield, his stock and fixtures representing but $92.50. He was successful, however, in his new undertaking, and as his trade increased he enlarged his facilities and, being careful not to get into debt and adding to his stock from time to time, he is now considered one of the wealthiest merchants in Redfield. He has long since removed to more commodious and desirable quarters, and in addition to his fine and well appointed confectionery store he conducts a first-class restaurant and carries a large stock of groceries. In 1890 he purchased one of the best business corners in the town and erected a good two-story building, the upper floor of which is occupied by the Clipper, a newspaper, and the first floor by a general store, in which Mr. Bandy owns a half interest. He is also half owner of a tract of sixteen acres of valuable land, of which eight acres has been divided into town lots. He carries on business as a dealer in grain, poultry and produce, and his extensive business operations yield to him a handsome income. He was instrumental in establishing the Redfield Co-operative Creamery, which has proved of great benefit to the surrounding country, and of the company he is now treasurer. He was vice-president of the Northwestern Oil, Gas & Mineral Company during 1893 and 1894, and is now one of the directors. He is a man of broad and superior capabilities, sagacious and far-sighted, and his laudable ambition and enterprise have been the integral factors in his success.
On the 30th of July, 1890, Mr. Bandy was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Chance, who a was born and reared in Dallas county, Iowa, In politics he is a Democrat on questions of State and national importance, but at local elections, where no issue is involved, votes independently of party affiliations. Entirely without his solicitation and without his knowledge he was nominated by the Democracy in July, 1895, for the office of County Treasurer. He is a public-spirited citizen devoted to the national welfare and all that pertains to the upbuilding of his resident community. His kindliness and benevolence are manifest in his liberal contributions to many charities.
The career of this gentleman illustrates most forcibly
that success is the outcome of indefatigable energy, ambition, steadfastness
of purpose and integrity. These qualities have enabled him to work his
way upward unaided by others, and to-day he is recognized as one of
the foremost agriculturists in Dallas county. His home is pleasantly
located four miles northeast of Redfield, and comprises 240 acres. It
is a very fine farm, under a high state of cultivation, and improved
with good buildings and all the accessories and conveniences found upon
a model farm of the nineteenth century.
Mr. Bandy is a Western man by birth, training and interest,
and his life typifies the progressive spirit of the age. He was born
in Tazewell county, Illinois, on the 14th of March, 1833, and is a son
of Reuben and Sibby (Adkisson) Bandy. His father was born in Virginia,
in December, 1785, and descended from German ancestry. In the year 1810,
in his native State, he married Miss Adkisson, who was born in the Old
Dominion in September, 1788. In the year of their marriage they removed
to Kentucky, where they resided for twelve years, going to Indiana in
1822. Ten years later they left the hoosier State for Tazewell county,
Illinois, where they resided from 1832 until 1835, when they became
residents of Knox county, that State, there spending their remaining
days. They were people of the highest respectability, esteemed by many
friends. The father passed away in Galesburg, in January, 1861, and
on the 6th of April, 1876, his wife died in the same city.
Mr. Bandy of this review accompanied his parents on
their removal to Knox county, and was there reared to manhood, working
on his father's farm and attending the public schools, where he acquired
a good practical English education. As a companion and helpmeet on life's
journey he chose Miss Lucinda Nelson, a native of Indiana, born in Jackson
county, on the 1st of May, 1834. The wedding was celebrated in Henry
county, Illinois, but they began their domestic life in Knox county,
where they resided for twenty-four years, coming thence to Dallas county,
Iowa, in 1881. Four children were born of their union: George Nelson,
born March 9, 1859; Mrs. Emma Hodges, born December 1, 1861; Mrs. Nettie
Simcoke, born February 20, 1864; and Frank Richard, born July 6, 1869.
During his entire life Mr. Bandy has carried on agricultural
pursuits as a means of livelihood, and his well directed efforts, perseverance
and diligence have brought to him a handsome competence. To him is due
the credit of making the Dallas county fairs the grand success which
they have undoubtedly been for several years past. For the past decade
he has been an earnest worker for this much desired result, and such
fairs are certainly important factors in promoting the agricultural
and stock- raising interests of his locality, awakening a desire to
secure the best products and finest stock. All this stimulates progress.
For ten years Mr. Bandy has been president of the Dallas County Agricultural
Society. He has served as Township Trustee, and has held other offices,
although he has never sought political preferment. His public duties
are ever faithfully performed, and he is a recognized leader in the
councils of the Republican party. No man is more widely known in all
Dallas county than Mr. Bandy. He possesses a genial, pleasant manner,
is courteous in his treatment of all, and has the high regard of young
and old, rich and poor. His life has not been filled with exciting adventure,
but has been quietly and unostentatiously devoted to duty, public and
private. He is a man of much force of character, of steadfast purpose,
and many a worthy cause has found in him a worthy champion.
SOLOMON G. BARTON
Some time before the Revolutionary war three brothers of this name came over from England, one settling in Rhode Island, one in Vermont and one in Dutchess county, New York. Colonel Barton, of Rhode Island, assisted in the capture of a British general on Long Island. He was taken from his bed at night, carried over to the main land and delivered over to the Rebel authorities.
Caleb Barton, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a resident of Dutchess county, New York, and was a miller and manufacturer of paper. He married Damaris Hull, of that county, reared a family of eight children, viz.; Solomon C., Hull, Stephen Caleb, Phebe, Sarah, John H. and Henry. Solomon C., the eldest son grew up to manhood and married Amy Greene, of Greene county, New York, and a daughter of Zopher Greene, who was a lineal descendant of General Nathaniel Greene, of Revolutionary fame, - all members of the Society of Friends. Soon after his marriage Solomon engaged in milling at Valatie, Columbia county, New York. In 1832 he removed to Claverack, same county, and purchased the mills and lands which became his permanent residence until his death, in 1862, at the age of seventy-one years. His widow survived his death two years, dying in 1863, at the age of seventy-three years. They were the parents of Edwin C., Phebe G., Elizabeth, Ann, Stephen K., Owen, Thomas J., Frances W. and Solomon G. Of these all are living except Owen, and all are married except Thomas J.
Solomon C. Barton was a man of very marked characteristics, an unflinching friend of the downtrodden and oppressed, and a fearless advocate of right against might. Many anecdotes and stories are related of his sacrifices and trials in the cause of temperance and the abolition of slavery. At one time, for his outspoken efforts in behalf of temperance, he was burned in effigy by an excited mob of citizens; but it must be remembered that this was before the days of Washingtonians, Good Templars and Red Ribbon societies. In the old days of slavery many a poor runaway from the South found a refuge and protection in Solomon Barton, who would spare no sacrifice or risk to assist the fugitive on to liberty.
Solomon G. Barton, the subject of this sketch, was born October 30, 1834, and grew up to manhood on the homestead at Claverack, attending the common schools and working in mills and on the farm. He was married in 1870 to Tammisin R. Johns, also a native of Columbia county, New York, where also her parents, Peter and Laura Ette (Stowe) Johns, were born. Her paternal grandparents were Silas and Mary (Morehouse) Johns, the former a native of Massachusetts, the latter of New York. They both died in Columbia county, New York. The grandmother was a daughter of Joseph and Ellen (Bigsby) Morehouse, natives of Connecticut, from which State they removed to New York directly after their marriage. Mrs. Barton's mother was a daughter of Homer and Lucy (Bennet) Stowe, natives of the Empire State, where the former died, at the age of thirty years. Mr. Stowe died at the age of seventy-six years. Mrs. Barton's people were quite prominent in professional, mercantile and agricultural circles of the Empire State, and among their number was one very noted judge. By her marriage she has become the mother of four children - Amy L., Henry J., Albert L. and Owen S.
In 1874 Mr. Barton left the East, coming to Iowa and locating on the beautiful farm on which he now resides. In politics he has always been a stalwart Republican since casting his first vote for Fremont, and has by his business integrity and honorable character won the esteem and confidence of all his acquaintances, and well sustains the characteristic traits of the Friends or Quakers, under whose teaching he grew up to manhood and whose ancestors for several generations belonged to that society.
The UNITED STATES FILLER MACHINE COMPANY
JAMES H. BATCHELDER
The United States Filler Machine Company is one of the leading enterprises of Tama county. In years agone Tama City boasted of a paper mill. It still has such an enterprise, but that of to-day excels in appointments and equipment the one of former years, even as the civilization and improvements of the present do those of the past age. The institution was duly incorporated under the laws of Iowa , in December, 1894, as the United States Filler Machine Company, and capitalized for $100,000. In addition to the manufacture of twelve tons of straw-board daily, ten tons of the product is used daily on the ground in the manufacture of egg-case fillers. The plant is valued at $75,000 and employment in the various departments is furnished to 150 people. The aggregate output of the factories will net $600 a day. A large portion of the raw material used is purchased of farmers in the vicinity of Tama, thus affording ready sale at good prices for all superfluous straw on the farms. The industry, however, is not confined to this source of supply. Hundreds of tons of Iowa coal are used in the plant and the weekly distribution of wages to the employes puts into ready circulation among the business men a large amount of money. Such an industry is of incalculable benefit to a community, for the upbuilding and prosperity of a community is due to its commercial activity, and the enterprise would be a credit to a much larger city than Tama.
Some two years ago James H. Batchelder, of Chicago, became interested in the business and came to Tama with the view of organizing a company. He had been interested in similar business enterprises in Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City, and brought with him broad experience and varied resources, but it was not until December, 1894, that he succeeded in effecting the organization, with an authorized capital of $100,000. Such machinery as was available in the old paper-mill plant was utilized and throughout the year 1895 buildings were in process of erection, while new and improved machinery has been constantly added. At the meeting of stockholders, following the organization, Mr. Batchelder was chosen president of the company, C. C. Mitchell, vice president and A. Batchelder was elected secretary and treasurer, - these three forming the executive board.
In connection with this leading industry of Tama it is interesting to note something of the man whose brain conceived and whose will executed the plans for this undertaking. James H. Batchelder was born in Plainfield , Vermont , June 21, 1844 , and acquired an academic education in Barre, that State, which place was his home during the greater part of his childhood. He is a man of much ingenuity and mechanical genius, and his thorough study of mechanism has resulted in a very useful invention. In 1866 he went to Chicago , where in 1880 he engaged in the manufacture of egg-case fillers. This business proved very successful, and later establishments were opened in St. Louis and Kansas City , Missouri . Subsequently Mr. Batchelder became interested in the establishment of a box factory in Helena , Arkansas .
In the early '70s he returned top the parental home in Barre , Vermont , continuing in the East about ten years, during which time he was elected to the State Legislature, serving in 1875-6. He was one of the youngest members of the House. The enterprising and progressive spirit of the West attracted him, and he returned to Chicago , where he engaged in his present line of business. From that time until 1893 he continued his residence in Chicago and St. Louis , spending ten years in the latter city, looking after his various business enterprises.
Probably the crowning event of Mr. Batchelder's life in a financial way was his invention of the egg-case-filler machine. For many years past experiments had been made, but all attempts to make a machine which would do its work successfully failed of perfection. Much time and study Mr. Batchelder gave to the work, and as the result of his persistent and earnest efforts he placed upon the market the first complete and successful machine of its kind in the world. He at once put it into operation in the shops in Tama, and it has been thoroughly tested. It will take strawboard from the roll, cut, slot and put together forty racks per minute, using from six to eight tons of strawboard daily, with a single machine. His machine has been in operation since September, 1895, and was constructed at a cost of $10,000. Its work is much more uniform and satisfactory than the old processes, while the output of finished racks is bounded only by the capacity for caring for them after they are made. This wonderful piece of mechanism is the product of Mr. Batchelder's brain. It is a wonderful labor-saving device and letters patent have been awarded on every essential part, so that the future manufacture of the machine is fully protected. Unlike many inventors, Mr. Batchelder is a man of excellent business and executive ability, of keen perceptive powers and indefatigable energy, and well deserves the success that has already come to him and all the prosperity that he may gain in the future. In politics he is a Republican and socially he is a Royal Arch Mason. His manner is that of a courteous, unassuming gentleman, affable and companionable.
JOHN ANDREW JACKSON BENTLEY submitted by Richard Kinkead
Since 1855 the merry ring of the blacksmith's anvil has been heard in Chariton, and though the "village smithy stands" not "beneath the spreading chestnut tree," the honored blacksmith of this city has all the noble characteristics which the poet Longfellow attributes to the one in his stanzas.
Mr. Bentley was born in Henderson County, Kentucky, on St. Valentine's day of 1829, and is a sone of William and Annie (Barr) Bentley, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, where the mother died. The father was lost on a steamer on the Mississippi in 1832. He not only lost his life, but all the real money was on his person at that time, and was never recovered. The boat was burned, and having just disposed of his cargo, it is very probable that Mr. Bentley had considerable money with him. The widow was thus left without any means of support and with seven children dependent upon her. In early life our subject became separated from his family and has since seen none of them save two sisters who are living in Kentucky.
John A.J. Bentley grew to manhood in his native county, and there learned the trade which he has followed throughout his entire life, serving an apprenticeship of seven and a half years, during which time he thoroughly mastered the business in all its details and became so proficient that he has ever since been enable to command a large business, whereby he has become a prosperous man. In 1850 he went to Pettis County, Missouri, where he remained working at his trade until 1855, - the year of his arrival in Chariton. Here he established the shop which he still conducts. During the gold excitement at Pike's Peak he decided that the long days of hard labor in the smithy with the meager returns he received for his work were not enough, if he could improve his condition in the El Dorado of the West, and accordingly he went to the mountains; but after a few days' journeying he found that all was not as had been reported and he again came to his forge in Chariton. Here he has since enjoyed a liberal patronage. He had soon built up a fine business, which has continued up to the present and made him one of the substantial men of the city.
In the dark days of the Rebellion Mr. Bentley responded to his country's call for troops and became a member of Company E, Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry, serving until disabled by disease, when he was discharged for disability. Since his return he has devoted himself exclusively to the general superintendence of his shop and to the cultivation of his extensive garden, though he does not now do much work in the smithy unless there is a rush, when he again takes his place before the forge.
Mr. Bentley was married, December 24, 1857, to Miss Annie Scott, who came to Chariton with her parents in March, 1850. She was born in Jackson County, Indiana, December 26, 1828, and is a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Sutfin) Scott, the former a native of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father died in Jackson County, Indiana, and the mother afterward married John Howard, with whom she came to Iowa in 1849, and hers was the first burial in Chariton Cemetery. Mrs. Bentley's family were among the very first settlers in Lucas County, there being but one house in Chariton at the time of their arrival. Mr. And Mrs. Bentley were married in Chariton, and to them have been born five children,- two of whom died in infancy. Those who lived to mature years are Mary Ann, John E. And Carrie May. The eldest is the wife of Dr. T. M. Throckmorton and resides in Chariton; John E. Married Theodocia Larimer; and Carrie May is still living with her parents. The son is a first-class mechanic, and as the years have passed has gradually assumed the management of the smithy, relieving his father of the responsibility and care of the business. The old shop, with its weatherbeaten walls and the painted sign almost obliterated by the action of the elements, stands on valuable grounds opposite the Bates House, where it has stood for about thirty years.
Mr. Bentley, Sr., has been a member of the Masonic order for many years and takes great interest in the principles of that time-honored institution, with which he has been connected since 1857. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religious belief he and his family are Baptists. His life has been well and worthily passed and his enterprise and energy have brought to him a handsome competence. He owns a valuable farm in Lucas County and the valuable property where his house and shop stand, and some other city real estate.
John E. Bentley, the only son, is an expert mechanic, and his entire life has been given to blacksmithing. He has studied horseshoeing from the scientific standpoint. His large collection of hand-forged shoes, constructed with a view to correcting the various ailments of foot, knee and stifle action, is a genuine curiosity, and at once evinces the superior skill and mechanical genius of Mr. Bentley. This collection has won the highest reward for such exhibits at four different fairs in Iowa. Much damage is often done to high-spirited animals in shoeing. To avert this Mr. Bentley has constructed an appliance for holding refractory animals in shoeing without the possibility of injury to themselves or the operator. It is needless to say that he has nearly or quite all the "track" work in the vicinity of Chariton, and often gets very liberal pay from that class of men, who readily appreciate good work and are willing to pay liberally for it.
Mr. J.E. Bentley is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows societies and is a young man with bright prospects for future success in his chosen work. In the shop of which he has charge there are regularly employed two men besides himself, and a large business yields a good income. Mr. Bentley is a social and companionable young man, who wins friends wherever he goes, and his fine physique displays an excellent physical development.
The city of Burlington, Iowa, has many able representatives
of the legal profession, and prominent among the leading members of the bar at
that place is found the gentleman whose name forms the heading of this
sketch. He is a member of the
popular firm of Blake & Blake.
For his birth-place we turn to the
"Buckeye state," and there, in the town of Morning Sun, June 27,
1844, he was born, his parents being Henry Clay Blake and Mary A., nee Wilson,
both natives of Ohio. He is the
eldest of their family of five children, the others being as follows: Wilson W., of the city of Mexico,
editor of the Two Republics; and Melville E., of the firm of Blake &
Blake. The other two died in
infancy. Henry Clay Blake, the
father, was a farmer and merchant. He came to Iowa in the year 1845 and settled in Louisa county, where he was engaged in both merchandising and
farming. During the late war he
served three years as a member of Company C, First Iowa cavalry, and his father
was at the same time a member of Company b, Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry. The latter was a veteran of the war of
1812. At the close of the
Rebellion Henry C. Blake returned to his home in Iowa, Morning Sun, which he
had named after his old Ohio home, and here he spent the residue of his life,
dying in 1876, at the age of fifty-seven years. His widow still maintains her
residence at that place. She is a
member of the United Presbyterian Church, with which he also was identified. For years he figured as one of the
leading citizens of his community. He served as a member of the Board of Supervisors of the county, was a
public-spirited and useful man, and for his many excellent traits of character
was esteemed by all who knew him. Having thus referred to the parents of Mr. Blake, we now turn for some
history of his grandparents.
The Blakes originally came to this
country from England, and Nehemiah Blake, the grandfather of our subject, was a
New Englander, Maine his native State. He was a man of fine physique, and, as already stated, served in both
the war of 1812 and the Civil war. He had a large family and lived to a good old age, being ninety at the
time of his death, which occurred at the home of his son, Henry C., and ten
days before his son's death. Daniel Wilson, the maternal grandfather of William E. Blake, was a
native of South Carolina, and was a farmer. He was drowned in Ohio in 1844, while in the prime of life.
At the time of his father's removal to Iowa, William E.
Blake was a little over a year old, and here he has since lived, having passed
half a century in the Hawkeye State. He grew up in Louisa county. At Monmouth College, Monmouth,
Illinois, he spent some time as a student, and then, having selected the law
for his profession, entered the law department of the State University of Iowa,
at Iowa City, where, in due time, he completed his course, and in June, 1869,
was admitted to the bar. Since
August of that year he has been engaged in the practice of his profession at
Burlington, where he has won distinction. Also he has been interested in banking. He is a director in both the Merchant's National Bank, of
Burlington, and the National state Bank, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Mr. Blake has a beautiful home in this city, No. 902 College avenue, and, when not engrossed with business, is
usually found there, happy in the society of his family. He was married July 4,
1867, to Miss Sarah Lucretia Hurd,
daughter of James L. and Nancy (Green) Hurd. They have two daughters, Mrs. Eva B.
Swan, wife of W. B. Swan, of Burlington, and Miss Lucretia Barnes Blake.
His political views are in harmony with the principles
advanced by the Republican party, to which party he
has given his support ever since he was a voter. He and his family worship at the Presbyterian Church, in
which he is an Elder, and of which he is a liberal supporter.
Colonel MARTIN THOMAS V. BOWMAN, one of the well known citizens of Des Moines, and manager of the Washington Life Insurance Company, for Iowa, was born in Waterville, Maine, July 6, 1838, and is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Cottle) Bowman. On his father's side he is of English origin, the first American ancestor having emigrated from England and settled at Martha's Vineyard in the early days of the American colonies. The maternal ancestors of the Colonel came from Scotland long prior to the Revolution and also settled at Martha's Vineyard. For several generations the Bowman family were seafaring people, but finally abandoned that mode of life, settled in Kennebec county, Maine, and devoted their attention to other pursuits.
Thomas Bowman, father of our subject, was a wheelwright by trade, but owned a large farm, which was operated by hired help while he pursued his trade. He removed with his family during the infancy of our subject to Sidney, Maine, but he died a few years later, leaving the mother with eight children, five sons and three daughters. Soon after the death of her husband Mrs. Bowman returned with her family to Waterville, Maine. She kept her children together until they were able to provide for themselves and afforded them excellent educational advantages. Several have become eminent in professional life and do honor to their parents. The eldest son, Dr. Jeremiah Bowman, was a physician of much ability. He practiced for a number of years in Ohio and Virginia and finally settled in Flora, Illinois, where he died a number of years ago. Rev. Agustus Bowman was a Baptist clergyman and spent his entire life in Maine, dying in Hartland some years ago. Rev. C. C., the next younger, is a Freewill Baptist clergyman, residing in Manchester, Maine. Joseph J., a farmer by occupation, resides in Hallowell, Maine, and the Colonel is the youngest of the brothers. The oldest daughter, Julia Ann, is now the widow of Nelson Bowman and resides at Waterville, Maine. Ada Ann, twin sister of Julia, died at the age of eighteen years. Mrs. Christiana Marshall, now a widow, is residing at Marlborough, Massachusetts. Colonel Bowman received his education in the Waterville and Hallowell Academies, and in his seventeenth year left his home and native State, going to Sistersville, Virginia, where his eldest brother was then engaged in the practice of medicine. Having taught two terms of school he was called to Sardis, Ohio, where he pursued the same profession until he decided to further extend his knowledge by entering Granville College, now Dennison University, where he remained for a year. At the expiration of that time he returned to Maine and continued his studies in the Maine State Seminary for a short period. Having received a favorable proposition from his former field of labor in Virginia, he decided to return, and in 1859, accompanied by his mother and sisters, who desired to visit friends in that State, he again located in the Old Dominion and resumed the profession of teaching, his school being of a private academic character and attended by the sons and daughters of Virginia planters.
But the war of the Rebellion was at hand and the mutterings that presaged the coming storm could already be heard. The celebrated raid of John Brown at Harper's Ferry, which occurred soon after Mr. Bowman had returned to Virginia, served to intensify the feelings of hatred toward the North, and he decided to again seek a home in his native State; and when the war broke out he was engaged in teaching the grammar school at Hallowell, Maine. Mr. Bowman promptly offered his services in the defense of the Government, and entered the army as a Corporal in the First Maine Cavalry, but was soon detached as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, and on the first of May, 1862, was appointed Regimental Commissary Sergeant. In December, 1863, he re-enlisted and was commissioned first as Lieutenant and Regimental Commissary, on the 9th of February, 1864; was mustered into the United States service on the 22d of same month. He was detailed as Commissary of the Third Brigade, Second Division, of General Sheridan's Cavalry Corps, October 9, 1864, and on March 26, 1865, was ordered to take charge of the reserve supply train, which position he occupied until General Lee's surrender to General Grant at Appomattox. By order of Brevet-General C. H. Smith he took charge of the Commissary department of the sub-district of the Appomattox, relieving Captain M. A. Richardson, C. S., June 15, 1865. He remained in that capacity issuing rations to the soldiers and destitute citizens, until he was mustered out, on the 1st of August, 1865, in Petersburg, Virginia. Colonel Bowman was engaged in active duty during the entire time that he was enrolled in the service, and though connected with the commissary department his duties were both arduous and dangerous, and his position a most responsible one. His first important service was at the battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862. This was followed by an engagement at Cedar Mountain; the second battle of Bull Run on August 29 and 30, 1862; Fredericksburg, December 12, 1862; Rappahannock Station, April 14, 1863; Brandy Station, June 9; Aldie, June 17; Middleburg, June 19; Gettysburg, July 1, 2 and 3; Shepherdstown, July 16, 1863, and in the fortifications before Richmond, March 1, 1864. On the 7th and 8th of may, 1864, an engagement occurred at Todd's Tavern, which was followed by the battle of Cold Harbor on the 2d of June; Reams' station, August 23, 1864; Farmers' Cross Roads, April 5, 1865, and many others, down to Appomattox Court House and the surrender of General Lee on the 9th of April, 1865. With his command Colonel Bowman was then ordered to re-enforce Sherman and went to North Carolina with that object in view, but Johnston had surrendered to General Sherman and the war was over.
As stated, Colonel Bowman's service was an important and hazardous one. He was frequently appointed by the General in command to take part in scouting enterprises, and never shrank from duty however responsible or perilous. It would be impossible in a biographical sketch of this character to enter fully into all the details of his army experience, but the following account from the published history of the First Maine Cavalry illustrates his gallantry and coolness in the hour of danger. This is but one of the many thrilling experiences that he underwent during his army life, and is recorded in General Polk's campaign in 1862:
"On the night of August 22, 1862, Sergeant Bowman, then Commissary Sergeant and subsequently Lieutenant and Commissary, was at Catlett's station, where he was in consultation with the brigade commissary and quartermaster, with reference to taking rations to the front on the following morning when suddenly, to the surprise of every one - for there was no apprehension of danger - the train was attacked by General Stuart's cavalry, which had swung round the Union army and was making a rapid raid at this point, a raid well remembered by General Polk's forces. The attack was so furious and so well followed up that there was no time to harness the teams, and barely time for these officers and a third one to secure their horses and mount, which they did though surrounded and amid a shower of bullets. They escaped capture by plunging into the woods with the bullets whistling around them in a lively manner. Then came a wild ride through the woods in the darkness, dodging among the branches of trees and going they knew not whither. Finally, thinking it best to know what had taken place before they went farther, Sergeant Bowman consented to return and ascertain,, the other officers to wait for him four hours. He had but started when a terrific thunder storm began, but this proved to be to his advantage as the flashes of lightning helped him on his way. Riding until he heard the sound of the enemy he left his horse and advanced on foot until he could see the foe busily breaking open boxes, for whatever they could find. Soon he heard a movement in his rear and the same instant was ordered to halt; but, not choosing to obey, a bullet was sent after him to enforce the order. He eluded his foe, found his horse and was up and away, hastily pursued by the enemy. He reached his waiting friends, but the enemy was close behind. He and his friends were forced to flee, and finally escaped unharmed, remaining concealed until daylight, and then finding their way to the Union forces."
The Colonel was a gallant soldier and served his country faithfully and well until the end of the struggle.
At the close of the war Colonel Bowman returned with his regiment to Maine, and was mustered out in Augusta, going thence to Boston, Massachusetts, where he conducted a market until the spring of 1866, when he came to Iowa, locating in Newton, Jasper county. For a time he engaged in the hardware business, and in the spring of 1867 was appointed a special agent for the Washington Life Insurance Company, which position he held until the spring of 1870, when he resigned and accepted the general agency of the Brooklyn Life Insurance Company of New York, for Iowa. After working for that company eleven months, and sending them a large amount of new business, he accepted the general agency of his former company and removed to Des Moines, in June, 1870, opening an office, and has held that position for the State of Iowa continuously since. After his arrival in Iowa, he was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel on the staff of Governors Gear and Sherman.
On the 1st of January, 1864, Colonel Bowman was married in Charlestown (now part of Boston ), Massachusetts, to Miss Josephine Webber, a very estimable young woman, a native of Maine, who died in November, 1884. She was lovely in her life, and her death left a great sorrow to husband and family. Of the eight children born of their marriage, three died in infancy. Those still living are Leona, DeForrest, Harold M., Herman T., and Josephine Beatrice. The Colonel was the second time married in Chicago, January 13, 1886, his second union being with Miss Hattie L. Stanard, and on their fourth wedding anniversary he was again bereft by death of a beloved wife. Two children were born of this marriage, - Dean Cottle and Hattie Corinne. From a biographical sketch published soon after the death of the wife and mother, the following facts were taken:
"Mrs. Hattie L. Bowman, wife of Colonel M. T. V. Bowman, was born in Clarion, Bureau county, Illinois, April 24, 1852. She received most excellent moral and religious training from her parents and united with the Baptist Church at the age of twelve years. When fourteen years of age she entered the State School at Normal, Illinois, where for two years she was preparing for the work of teaching, and at the age of sixteen years began her labors in that direction in Charleston, Illinois. During her second year at Charleston she was tendered and accepted a situation in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she remained nearly three years, when she came to Des Moines, where she taught for one year. The greater part of her work as a teacher, however, was in Omaha, Nebraska, where she taught for ten years, and during the last seven years of that time was principal of the South Side schools. The summer of 1873 she spent in traveling in Europe, going abroad as a representative of the School Journal. She visited England and Scotland and also spent some time on the continent. She possessed fine executive ability, was enthusiastic and conscientious and consequently was most successful in her work. Severe labor tending to impair her health she resigned her position in Omaha, and in company with her brother, H. A. Stanard, spent about two years on a farm which she had previously bought, near Madison, Nebraska. She brought to the home of her husband the graces of a cultured mind, refined tastes and a devoted Christian character. Her death was an irreparable loss to her husband and family and to all who knew her a source of sincere sorrow."
Colonel Bowman was married to his present wife at Columbus, Ohio, July 9, 1891. She was the widow of Colonel J. W. Halliday, of Steubenville, Ohio, whom she married there in 1865, and who died in 1881. She is the daughter of David B. and Elizabeth Patton, of Sardis, Ohio, her grandfather being one of the first settlers of Wheeling, Virginia. She received her education at Blairsville Ladies' Seminary, Pennsylvania, graduating at that institution in 1861. Mrs. Bowman is an active worker in the Woman's Relief Corps, having been elected president of the E. M. Stanton W. R. C. in 1884, and the same year was elected to the Vice Presidency of the department of Ohio, and was afterward appointed Assistant National Inspector for Western Virginia on the staff of Mrs. Charity Rusk Craig.
Colonel Bowman has been very successful as a business man, having been connected with numerous important business enterprises of Des Moines. During 1881 and 1882, he held the first Vice-Presidency of the Iowa Baptist State Convention, and during 1883 and 1884 was the President of that organization, was re-elected in 1885, but resigned, when J. W. Burdette, of Burlington, Iowa, was chosen in his stead. He has been a director of the Iowa National Bank since its organization, and for eleven years was a member of the committee on loans and discounts. He is the first-vice-president of the Des Moines Ice Company, treasurer of the Iowa Coal-Land Company, also director of the first electric railroad of Des Moines, and has been prominently connected with other business enterprises. He is a charter member of Crocker Post, served as its second Commander, and is a member of the Iowa Commandery of the Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. He has been a member of the order of Masonry for many years and is a prominent Knight Templar. In educational matters the Colonel has always taken a lively interest, having been a member of the Executive Board of Des Moines University (now Des Moines College ) for eleven years, and was President of the general board one year when he resigned.
Colonel Bowman has made his way in life unaided, and has won the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens, by whom he is esteemed for integrity and uprightness of character. Politically he is a Republican, and religiously is a member of the First Baptist Church of Des Moines.
THOMAS BRANDON submitted by Richard Kinkead
THOMAS BRANDON, one of the most extensive land owners in Monroe County, who is equally successful in the banking business, which he follows in Melrose, belongs to that class of typical American citizens who with determined purpose force aside all the barriers that obstruct their path and work their way upward from an humble position to one of prominence in the business world. A laudable ambition, tempered by sound judgment and enterprise and executive ability, have been the important factors in his success.
On the 27th of August, 1826, near Greeneville, in Greene County, Tennessee, Mr. Brandon was born, and is the eldest in a family of eleven children, whose parents were James Brandon and Rebecca (Fowler) Brandon, also natives of Tennessee. The father was a framer by occupation, following that pursuit until his death, which occurred in February, 1852, in Scotland County, Missouri. His remains were then brought back to Iowa and interred in the cemetery on our subject’s farm. The children of the family were Thomas; Audley, deceased; Amanda; Dicy; John, deceased; George; Eunice; Alexander; Rebecca; Rhoda and an infant, – all deceased.
Mr. Brandon spent his boyhood days on the old home farm in Tennessee until sixteen years of age, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to what is now Monroe County, Iowa. It was then a wild and undeveloped region, and he aided in the arduous task of transforming the wild prairie into a good farm. The experience and hardships of a frontier life were familiar to him, and he was thoroughly conversant with the county’s history for more than a half century.
On the 13th of September, 1849, Mr. Brandon was united in marriage with Miss Ruth Barker, a native of Wayne County, Iowa. They became the parents of two children: Samuel, who married Miss Lucinda Johnson, and is a farmer of Appanoose County, Iowa; Elisabeth, who became the wife of Norton Allison, and died near Florence, Kansas, leaving six children. The mother of this family was a member of the Quaker Church, and died in that faith on the 4th of March, 1855. Mr. Brandon was again married, September11, 1856, his second union being with Miss Mary J. Stephens, a native of Virginia, who came to Louisa County, Iowa, in her girlhood days, and thence to Monroe County. Seven children were born of this union: Ruth J., wife of C.B. Riggs, a farmer of Chase County, Kansas; Thomas T. Who married Miss Lucy Chadwick and operates a tract of land in Monroe County; Sarah, wife of D.J. Martin, also an agriculturist of Monroe County; Laura, wife of Benjamin Ullem, who follows the same pursuit in Monroe County, and Josephine, at home.
Mr. Brandon is indeed a self-made man. When he was married his entire possessions consisted of a yoke of cattle and a cart, of which he made good use while peddling through the country; but with characteristic energy he entered upon business, which he prosecuted industriously until it yielded to him a good income. As his financial resources have increased he has made judicious investments in land, adding more and more to his real estate until he has now accumulated 1,450 acres, besides a ten-acre lot with good residence and a banking house in Melrose. He also owns 640 acres of good farm land in Texas, about thirty miles from Galveston and about twenty-three from Houston. Mr. Brandon, being about blind, took his daughter with him to help him select this land. In 1881 he embarked in the banking business in Melrose, with his daughter Sarah as cashier, who was then eighteen years of age, she having inherited her father’s business talent, and she remained with him until the 4th of March, 1885, when she was married, leaving the office to her younger sister, Clara, who remained with him the following two years, when she, too, was married, leaving his daughter Alice as cashier too for a short time, when his daughter Sarah again took the office; and she and her husband remained with him the following eight years, when they quit the banking business to take charge of their farm. Mr. Brandon then employed Mr. John Luttrell as cashier. The bank has the reputation as being second to none in the State. Mr. Brandon has gradually risen from the role of peddler to that of one of the most conservative bankers in the State.
In politics he is a Jackson Democrat, but never aspires to public office, preferring to give his entire time and attention to his business interests, in which he has met with such signal success.