Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa - 1896 - G

1896 Index

A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Ira Kilbourne Gardner, M. D.

The prosperous town of New Hampton, Iowa, has within its borders many able representatives of the various professions - men of brains, push and enterprise - and among its medical ranks is found the subject of this review, Dr. I. K. Gardner, whose identity with the place dates back to 1877. As regards years of practice, he is now one of the oldest physicians in Chickasaw county.

Dr. Gardner is a native of Canada, born in London, Ontario, February 8, 1846, son of Abel Sweet and Mary M. (Parker) Gardner, natives respectively of Canada and Switzerland. The Gardners are of English origin, and the first representatives of the family that came to America settled in Rhode Island, in Colonial days. Grandfather Abel Sweet Gardner was born near Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of a Revolutionary soldier, and when a man, about 1820, emigrated to Canada, where the rest of his life was passed. He was a surveyor, millwright, mill owner, and while erecting a mill at Kilworth, Canada, was accidentally killed. His son, the father of our subject, was born in 1823, was in early life a miller and later settled down to farming. In 1865 he came to Iowa, located in Chickasaw county, and here became toe owner of a fine farm, upon which he made his home until the fall of 1892. At that time he removed to St. Paul, Minnesota, and before the dawn of another year had passed to his last home. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was an ardent Christian worker.

The maternal grandparents of Dr. Gardner were John and Mary Parker, natives of Switzerland, from which place they emigrated with their family to America and made settlement in Canada. Their grandmother Parker died, leaving a family of five children: John, Henry, William Abraham, Mary M. and Elizabeth. Grandfather Parker afterward moved to Michigan and still later to Kansas, and in the latter State he died. He had married a second wife, but by her had no children. The Doctor's mother was born in 1827 and was about three years old at the time of their coming to America. She died in New Hampton, Iowa, in the spring of 1868. Of her children, three in number, we record that Ira K. is the eldest; Henry, a resident of Sioux City, Iowa, is an engineer on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; and Alice is the wife of Eugene Bowen, an engineer on the same road.

The subject of our sketch was reared and educated in Michigan and is a graduate of the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, with the class of 1866. In 1866-7 he was principal of the schools at New Hampton. But he had chosen the medical profession for his life work, and about the time he attained his majority entered upon his medical studies with Dr. H. M. Mixer as his preceptor. In 1870 he graduated in the medical department of the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor and that same year opened an office and commenced the practice of his profession at Lawler, Chickasaw county, Iowa, where he remained until 1877, the time of his coming to New Hampton. In 1890 he took a post-graduate course in the Chicago Polyclinic. Professionally, as otherwise, Dr. Gardner keeps fully abreast with the times, is a member of numerous medical associations, was a member of the ninth International Medical Congress, held at Washington, District of Columbia, in 1887, and is not only a close reader of the best medical and scientific journals but also is a frequent contributor to the same. Among the medical societies with which he is identified, we name the following: American Medical Association, North Iowa Medical Society, Austin Flint Medical Association, National Association of Railway Surgeons, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Surgical Association. He is also local surgeon for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company.

Politically, the Doctor casts his vote and influence with the Republican party, and on various occasions has been honored with official preferment. While in Lawler he was Mayor of the town. He has served as Coroner of Chickasaw county, twelve years, has been on the Board of Education here and also in the City Council, and has figured as delegate in the State conventions of his party. Public-spirited and generous, the Doctor takes a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his town and county and may be depended upon to give his support to any worthy cause.

Believing that an education in the best capital a young man can have when he starts out in life, the Doctor's father spared no pains in giving him good advantages in this line; but from the time his college course was completed he had to depend upon his own resources. That he has attained a success for above the average none can deny. He now owns valuable property in New Hampton, among which is his own handsome residence, the finest in the city, erected at a cost of over $10,000, modern in all its appointments and furnished in elegance throughout. We note also his fine library, composed both of professional and miscellaneous works. Personally, the Doctor is of a genial, social nature, and in his home and abroad he ever has a word of cheer for those about him. Besides the fraternal organizations above mentioned, he is a member of the K. of P., Lancelot Lodge, No. 183.

Dr. Gardner was married in 1871 to Miss Maggie Gardner, daughter of James Gardner, of St. Clair county, Michigan. They have an only child, Miss Nellie E. His wife and daughter are members of the Congregational Church.

Prof. CHARLES F. GOLTRY, principal of the Chariton Academy and one of the leading educators of the State, is numbered among the native sons of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Lucas county, on the 19th of February, 1863. Tradition says that the Goltry family was founded in America by ancestors who came to this country with William Penn. The parents of our subject, John and Barbara Goltry, were both natives of Indiana, in which State they were married in 1855, coming to Iowa the following year. In Lucas county the father entered 160 acres of land from the Government, located in Cedar township and at once began its development, transforming it into a good farm, to which he had added from time to time until within its boundaries were comprised 360 acres of valuable land. The family numbered twelve children, all of whom are yet living. The family is one of prominence in the community and hold an enviable position in social circles where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports into good society.

Professor Goltry, whose name introduces this review, acquired his preliminary education in the district schools of the neighborhood, but wishing to advance farther on the road of knowledge he became a student in Drake University of Des Moines, Iowa, in 1885, and after completing the four years' classical course was graduated at that institution in the class of 1889, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Previous to entering college he had attended the preparatory school in Shenandoah, Iowa, and also taught for two years. He was principal of the Russell ( Iowa ) public schools for three years following his graduation, and then took a special course in chemistry and chemical analysis at a summer term of the Indiana State University. Professor Goltry was next chosen professor of ancient languages in Central Christian College, of Albany, Missouri, where he remained one year, and then accepted a position in the Humeston Normal College, where he also remained for a year.

Professor Goltry was married in Des Moines, Iowa, December 28, 1892, to Miss Clara E. Crim, a native of Indiana and a daughter of J. S. and Harriet Crim. The family are of German lineage and was established in the United States near Salem, Massachusetts. Mrs. Goltry and her mother are the only survivors of a family of nine, there being four brothers and three sisters. During her childhood her parents removed to Chariton, and she acquired a liberal education, in the high school of this city, in Stuart's Academy and Drake University. The academy, which was then conducted by Mrs. R. A. Stuart and was an excellent school, has since been discontinued. For several years Mrs. Goltry has successfully engaged in teaching.. She taught for three years in the country schools of Lucas county, then for three years in the city schools of Chariton, after which she was elected to the principalship of the Hedrick school in Ottumwa, Iowa, a position which she acceptability filled for three years. Two years' work was given to the schools of Humeston, as principal, and she then aided her husband in the establishment of the Chariton Academy. She is a lady of fine educational attainments and rich in practical experience, cultured and refined in manner and possessed of that genuine worth which commands recognition everywhere, no matter in what society. She has been nominated by the Republican party for County Superintendent of Schools, for which office she is ably qualified. She has the support of many friends, and should she win that position the schools of Lucas county will prosper and advance under her able management.

In November, 1894, Professor Goltry and his estimable wife established the Chariton Academy, a school for students desiring to fit themselves for teaching or for special business. The school opened with eleven students; and the first term closed with thirty-two, the second term opened with fifty-four, and closed with sixty-two. The prospects for the school are certainly bright and encouraging, and the Academy will doubtless become one of the leading schools of its character in the State, for with the able instructors at its head its merits must commend it to the consideration and patronage of the public.

In his political views Mr. Goltry is a Republican and is a prominent member of Chariton Lodge, No. 64, I. O. O. F., while his wife belongs to the P. E. O., an organization for the social and literary entertainment of ladies. Both the Professor and his wife are members of the Christian Church, and all who know them esteem them highly, and their circle of friends is extensive. Professor Goltry was endowed by nature for the work he has chosen, and his abilities have been strengthened by thorough preparation and the power that comes through use. He devotes himself untiringly to his work, and is one of the able representatives of educational interests in the State.

Hon. CHARLES TRUMBULL GRANGER, one of the most eminent jurists of Iowa, now serving as Judge f the Supreme Court of the State, has risen to his exalted position solely through his own merit. Cultivating the abilities with which nature endowed him and adding to these by deep and earnest study, he is the possessor of an analytical mind, keen perception and sound judgment which well fit him for the position which he is now so acceptably filling.

Judge Granger was born in Monroe county, New York, not far from the city of Rochester, October 9, 1835, being a son of Trumbull and Sallie (Dibble) Granger, both of whom were natives of Connecticut and early residents of the Empire State. Their family numbered eight children, five sons and three daughters, but the Judge - the youngest of the family - is the only one now living. He lost his mother when he was quite young. She was a member of the Methodist Church, and was unselfishly devoted to the interest and welfare of her family. Trumbull Granger served as Captain of the State militia at an early day, and by occupation was a farmer. He removed to Ohio, thence to Illinois, and in 1854 came to Iowa, locating in Allamakee county, where he carried on agricultural pursuits. He died while visiting a daughter in Ohio, in 1869, at the age of sixty-nine years. He was trice married, his second union being with Mrs. Mary Young, by whom he had nine children, five yet living, namely: Elizabeth, widow of Asa Bradway; Charlotte, wife of Stephen Meriau; Thoeodore, Maurice and Wallace. The Granger family is of English origin and the grandfather of the Judge, Pearce Granger, was a native of Connecticut. By occupation he was a farmer and also engaged in the work of the ministry as a preacher of the Methodist Church. He lived to an advanced age and reared a large family. The maternal grandfather died in New York.

Although an Eastern man by birth, Judge Granger has spent the greater part of his life in the West. He was reared in Ohio and Illinois, and acquired his education in the public schools of those States, completing his literary course in the seminary of Waukegan, Illinois. Like many men who have become prominent in professional circles, his childhood and youth were passed on the farm amid quiet and uneventful scenes, but that early training undoubtedly did much to develop his stability of character and self-reliance. He came to Iowa in 1854, but the following year returned to Illinois and subsequently finished his education as before stated. Attracted toward the legal profession, he began reading law while on the farm near Antioch. In the spring of 1860 he again came to the Hawkeye State, continuing his legal studies, which were only interrupted by a season of school-teaching in the winter in order that he might have the funds necessary for his expenses.

In October, 1860, Mr. Granger was admitted to the bar and then went to Mitchell county, Iowa, where he engaged in teaching until 1862. The Civil war was now in progress, and not content to remain quietly at home while his country needed the service of all her loyal sons, he joined Company K, of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, and was commissioned its Captain. Going to the front he entered into active duty, and during the next three years participated in the many important engagements, including the capture of Little Rock, the campaign under Sherman to Meridian, the Red river campaign under General Banks, and the battles of Yellow Bayou, Tupelo, Nashville and Mobile. His courage and fearlessness on the field of battle did much to inspire his men, and commander and company made a creditable military record. Upon the close of the war Captain Granger returned to Waukon, Iowa, which has since been his home, and at once entered upon the practice of law.

In 1855 was celebrated the marriage of Judge Granger and Miss Sarah J. Warner, daughter of Samuel Warner. She died in 1862, just before he entered the army, and in 1868 he married Miss Anna Maxwell, whose death occurred in 1890. They had two children - Ula A., who died in 1891, at the age of twenty-one, and Rollo S., who is living with his father.

The Judge has for several years been prominently identified with the Masonic order. He is a member of Waukon Lodge, No. 154, A. F. & A. M., of Waukon, in which he held the office of Worshipful Master for a number of years. He is also a member of Markavell Chapter, R. A. M., of Waukon, and Beausent Commandery, K. T., of Decorah, Iowa. In 1880 he entered the Grand Lodge of the State of Iowa, and in the years 1884 and 1885 served as Grand Master f that honorable body, and is now serving his second term, of six years, as one of the three custodians of the order in the State of Iowa.

He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to John J. Stillman Post, of Waukon. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, having supported that party since its organization, and frequently ha has been honored with el3ection to public office. For four years he served as District Attorney, was on the circuit bench f the State for fourteen years, or until the office was abolished, and then he was elected District Judge and served two years. In 1888 he was elected to the office of Supreme Judge of the State, and has now entered upon the first year of his second term, each term covering a period of six years. He has been continuously upon the bench since January 1, 1873, and no higher testimonial of his efficient public service could be given than his long continuance in office. His fine legal mind and thorough knowledge of the law well fit him for the position. The language of his decisions is always plain, simple and clear, vigorous and decided. The decisions themselves are models of perspicuity and judicial soundness. He started out to make his own way in the world with no capital, and with a laudable ambition he has grasped eagerly every opportunity of raising himself to the high standard which he set up, and, by his resolute purpose and commendable diligence he has attained the goal of his hopes.

Hon. BENJAMIN F. GUE, ex-Lieutenant Governor and now secretary of the Historical Society of Iowa, has been a resident of this State since 1852. He was born in Greene county, New York, December 25, 1828, and is a son of John and Catherine (Gurney) Gue. His father was born in Westchester county, New York, and his mother was a native of Dutchess county, of the same State. The first known ancestor of our subject that came to America was an exile from France who settled in Ulster county, New York, about the year 1761. On the mother's side the family was of English origin, Mrs. Gue being a lineal descendant of the Hon. Joseph John Gurney, who was a member of the English parliament.

The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood on a farm and educated in the Canandaigua Academy, and at East Bloomfield. In the spring of 1851 he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Scott county, where he was engaged in farming. He was married in Davenport on the 12th of November, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Parker, who was born in Allegany county, New York, and was the daughter of Francis Parker, who descended from an old Vermont family that settled in Allegany county in an early day. She came to Iowa with her parents in 1840, and taking up her residence in Scott county engaged in teaching school for several years before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Gue are the parents of four children - two sons and two daughters, - Horace G., Alice, Gurney and Katherine.

Mr. Gue continued to reside in Scott county until 1864, when he removed to Fort Dodge and purchased the Fort Dodge Republican, changing its name to The Northwest, which paper he edited and conducted for nine years. He entered upon his political career in the autumn of 1857, when at the age of twenty-nine years he was elected to the Iowa Legislature from Scott county, and served four years. He was then called to the office of State Senator and served four years in the Upper House, after which he was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State for a period of two years. In 1866 he was elected president of the Board of Trustees of the State Agricultural College, and was most actively engaged in the management, construction and organization of the college for six years. He was the leading spirit in the establishment of that important institution, and in connection with R. A. Richardson was the author of the bill providing for the founding of the college, which they succeeded in having passed at the session of 1858. In 1864, while a member of the Senate, he assisted Mr. Clarkson, Sr., in drafting a bill which provided for the sale of the lands of the Agricultural College land grant. The lands were sold in accordance with the provisions of that bill and the college has since then received an annual income of from forty to sixty thousand dollars from that source. He was chairman of the commission to visit the various agricultural colleges of the United States and examine into their plans of organization, their success or failure, for the benefit of the new Iowa college. For two years he gave most of his time to this important work. In 1867 he made an elaborate report to the board of trustees, recommending a plan of organization which was adopted and upon which the college has for twenty-seven years been successfully conducted. He selected the first faculty, at the head of which was that distinguished educator, President A. S. Welsh, who for eighteen years filled the executive chair with marked ability.

Mr. Gue continued to reside in Fort Dodge until 1872, when he sold The Northwest and the same year came to Des Moines, where he has since made his home. During his residence in the former place he also held the office of Postmaster for two years. On coming to this city he took editorial charge of the Iowa Homestead, the State agricultural paper, and continued his connection with that journal until December of that year, when he sold his interest and accepted the appointment of United States Pension Agent, which he received at the hands of President Grant. he held that position for eight consecutive years, during which time he discharged the duties of the office with fidelity and promptness. At the close of his term in 1880, in company with his eldest son, Mr. Gue repurchased the Iowa homestead, which they published four years, greatly increasing its circulation during that time and making of it a valuable property. They sold out in the fall of 1883, and from that time until the present Mr. Gue has devoted much of his attention to gathering the material for an elaborate history of Iowa. He and his wife are members of the Unitarian Church, with which they became connected in 1878. He owns a fruit farm, which is situated about five miles east of Des Moines, and in fact has never been without a farm since reaching man's estate.

Mr. Gue is one of the prominent public men of Iowa, and enjoys an extended acquaintance among its citizens. His connection with the Agricultural College from its inception to its completion and successful operation has been distinguished by earnest and wise fore-thought, while the results of his influence, in connection with the legislation relating to that institution, will long be felt. In manner, Mr. Gue is unassuming but earnest where duty demands an aggressive stand. His course in public as well as private life has been distinguished by a high standard of honor, and the strictest purity. He is an able writer, and as a journalist ranks as a peer of the brightest in Iowa. Correct and methodical in the dispatch of business he has proved himself possessed of good executive ability and has discharged with exactness and fidelity every public trust reposed in him. The forthcoming history of Iowa, on which he is engaged, cannot fail to prove a work of great interest, and to be a standard on the subject of the annals of the Hawkeye State, as he has given a great deal of his time to the careful and accurate compilation of his invaluable work. For a time he suspended work during the performance of his present duties as secretary of the Historical Department of Iowa, but expects to soon resume gathering material with the view to the early publication of this much needed history.