A Memorial and Biographical Record of
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896
Unless otherwise noted biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
Probably none of Chariton's leading citizens are more
closely identified with the growth and progress of Lucas county than
the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He is pre-eminently a self-made
man, and entirely through his own efforts has gained a fortune which
he generously shares with his adopted county in its upbuilding and development
and in the establishment of business enterprises which add to the material
welfare and promote the prosperity of the community.
Mr. Mallory was born in Yates county, New York, December
2, 1835, and is the eldest son of Hon. Smith L. Mallory, a prominent
citizen of Yates county and the grandson of Meridith Mallory. The family
is of English origin; but the mother of our subject, who bore the maiden
name of Jane Henderson, was a representative of a Scotch-Irish family.
Her father was born in the north of Ireland, of Scotch-Irish parentage,
and coming to America served as a teamster in the Revolutionary war.
In 1850 Mr. Mallory of this sketch removed from the
county of his nativity to Batavia, Illinois, and soon after to St. Charles,
that State, where he secured a position as clerk. In 1851 he joined
an engineer corps on the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad, which
was being built west from Elgin, Illinois, serving first as axman and
soon afterward becoming rodman in the survey of the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy Railroad west of Aurora. Soon after the completion of that
road to Burlington, Iowa, he was appointed its engineer, which position
he held until 1857, when he resigned and went to Fairfield, Iowa, where
he engaged in the real-estate business for one year. He was then appointed
division engineer of that part of the Burlington & Missouri road
between Rome and Ottumwa, and a little later was made roadmaster of
the line, and removed to Burlington. In 1861 he was engineer on the
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy from Chicago to Aurora, having his
headquarters in Chicago. In the fall of 1865 he contracted to build
the bridges from Ottumwa to Chariton, and afterward all the bridges
on the main line to Plattsmouth, and also on the Nebraska City branch
for the same road. Upon the completion of the road to Plattsmouth Mr.
Mallory was appointed assistant superintendent and afterward chief engineer
of the road, which position he resigned in 1873 to engage in railroad
contracting, in which business he was phenomenally successful. He has
steadily worked his way upward, his ability, skill and fidelity to his
employers' interest winning him constant promotion.
In 1867 Mr. Mallory came to Chariton and has since been
actively interested in the upbuilding of the city. Whatever tends to
benefit the community never seeks his aid in vain, and his support is
ever given to worthy enterprises that promote public progress. He owns
extensive landed interests in Lucas county and some valuable city property
in Chariton, including the opera-house which bears his name, a steam
elevator and several business houses. The financial interests of the
place have been greatly promoted by him, and he is a worthy representative
of the financial world. He is president of the First National Bank,
one of the solid moneyed institutions of the State. It was organized
in 1870, and the first charter, expiring in 1890, was renewed for twenty
years. The history of this bank is very closely connected with the best
interests of Lucas county, of which it has been the financial agent
for a quarter of a century. It has been lenient in extending aid to
public enterprises and private industries, and though millions of dollars
have passed over its counters in the transaction of business, no individual
has ever lost a dollar through the institution. Its deposits are heavier
than those of any other bank in the State in a city of similar size.
Its high standing is due largely to its president, whose personal worth
and integrity, which is above question, is a sufficient guarantee of
straight-forward, honorable dealing in the First National. Mr. Mallory
is also extensively interested in banking in Creston, and has large
monetary interests at other points along the line of the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy Railroad and its branches.
Mr. Mallory married Miss Annie L. Ogden, daughter of
Hon. Mordecai Ogden, of Elmira, New York. They have but one child, Jessie
0., who is now the wife of D. J. Thayer. She and her husband still reside
at her parents' home. Mr. Thayer is a civil engineer by profession and
associated with Mr. Mallory in his railroading interests. The home of
this family is a palatial country residence called the Ilion, and is
the finest in Lucas county, and few in the State are more commodious
and beautiful. Built in a style of modern architecture, with a view
to convenience and comfort as well as beauty, it is certainly an ideal
home. The furnishing and surroundings are in keeping with the exterior,
and indicate a refined and cultured taste which has secured all the
advantages which can be obtained through wealth. Ilion is pleasantly
situated adjoining the city limits of Chariton, and, retired from the
hurry and rush of the city, Mr. Mallory spends many hours there. He
finds one of his chief sources of pleasure in his farming, for he personally
superintends the cultivation of his land and also is engaged in the
breeding of fine standard-bred horses. He is a lover of the noble steed
and therefore has many fine specimens on his farm.
Mr. Mallory has always been a stanch Democrat in his
political views, and is deeply interested in the growth and success
of his party, but his many business cares have prevented him from taking
a prominent part in politics had he so desired. In 1877, however, he
was elected to the Legislature and served for one term, where he indicated
his loyalty as an American citizen by faithfully laboring for those
measures which he believed best calculated to benefit the greatest number.
He has served for some time as a director of the State Agricultural
Society and was president of the Iowa Board of Centennial Managers.
When the court-house of Lucas county was completed he generously donated
a splendid tower clock, manufactured by the Seth Thomas Clock Company.
It stands as a lasting monument to his beneficence and public spirit,
and as the hours pass by tells the tale of his interest in public affairs.
The clock is enclosed in a dust-proof case, seven by ten feet, made
of heavy plate glass, and the engraved plate upon it hears the inscription,
"Presented to Lucas county by S. H. Mallory, January 1, 1894. Started
running May 27, 1894." Mr. Mallory was chairman of the executive
committee of the Iowa Commission of the World's Fair, in which capacity
he served for about a year, devoting his entire time to the work of
securing for Iowa a creditable exhibit, and his efforts were certainly
very successful; for the fine building and its contents were equal to
any State building on the grounds. In order to perform his work in a
satisfactory manner Mr. Mallory rented a house in Chicago and removing
his family to that city spent his entire time there for more than six
months. The slight remuneration which he received did not pay his expenses,
but he gave his time, energies and money freely in the interest of the
State, which well numbers him among its most valued citizens and honored
In manner Mr. Mallory is pleasant and genial, courteous
and agreeable. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having taken
the Knights Templar degree, and also belongs to the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows. His daughter is connected with the order known as Daughters
of the Revolution, and the family are members of the Episcopal Church.
Although his life has been a very busy one Mr. Mallory has taken time
for pleasure and recreation through travel, and accompanied by his family
has visited many points of beauty and interest in this country and abroad.
They spent an entire year in Europe among the capitals of the old world,
its places of historic interest, and among the mountains and vales which
make its scenery so famous.
JOSEPH D. McGARRAUGH, who is creditably and acceptably filling the responsible position of Sheriff of Polk county, Iowa , was born in Highland county, Ohio , on the 28th of November, 1845, and is a son of Alexander and Hannah C. ( Hull ) McGarraugh, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Highland county, Ohio.
The paternal grandfather was Joseph McGarraugh, who reared a large family and died in middle life. The maternal grandfather, John Hull, came of Pennsylvania stock and lived to be fifty-six years of age. In the early days of Ohio he removed to that State, where he carried on agricultural pursuits and stock-dealing. The father of our subject was a wagon-maker and came to Polk county, Iowa , in 1849, locating in LaFayette . He helped to lay out that town and made it his home until after the breaking out of the war, when he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting in Company I, Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, for three years' service. When hostilities had ceased and the South had laid down its arms, he returned to his home in Polk county and engaged in farming for some time, but is now living retired. His wife died December 15, 1893 , at the age of seventy-one years. Both were members of the Methodist Church . Their family numbered four sons: John T., Joseph D., Millard F. (deceased) and William A.
The gentleman whose name begins this sketch was reared on his father's farm in Polk county, whither he accompanied his parents when a child of four years. His educational privileges were those afforded in the old- time log school-house; but though his advantages in this direction were meager, he received ample training at farm work. When the war broke out he and his brother, John T., responded to the country's call for troops to aid in crushing out the rebellion, and he enlisted in 1861 as a member of Company E, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, in which he served for three years. He was wounded by a deserter from the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry, in southern Illinois , known as Egypt in war times; and he was taken prisoner at the battle of Shiloh , being incarcerated in Cahawba , Alabama , and in Macon , Georgia . He served for three years as a private, ably defending the old flag and the cause it represented, and to-day he is numbered among the honored veterans who preserved the Union in its hour of peril. He participated in the battles of Fort Donelson , Shiloh , Pleasant Hill , Yellow Bayou, Marksville Prairie, Tupelo , Old Town Creek, Pilot Knob and in many skirmishes.
On the 8th of November, 1868 , occurred another important event in the life of Mr. McGarraugh, - his marriage to Miss Clara E. Young, a daughter of Valerius W. and Sarah A. (Eastridge) Young. Five children were born to them, - two sons and three daughters, - namely: Aleck R., Minnie, Hannah E., Herbert Blaine and Helen. The member is a member of the Friends' Church and the father belongs to the Christian Church.
Socially, Mr. McGarraugh is connected with Kinsman Post, No. 7, G. A. R., of Des Moines , Iowa , and is also a Royal Arch Mason and an Odd Fellow. In his political views he is a stalwart Republican and has been honored with a number of offices. He was elected to the position of Road Supervisor of his township, then was chosen Justice of the Peace for three successive terms, and in 1881 he removed to Des Moines , where he was selected as night watchman at the old Iowa capitol. In 1885 he was chosen as mail carrier for the new Iowa State capitol, and in 1890 was nominated for the office of Sheriff, but lost the election by seventy-three votes. In 1892 he was again put on the Republican ticket for that office, and this time carried the day by 800 majority. So acceptably did he discharge the duties of the position that his fidelity and ability were at once recognized, and in 1894 he was elected by 3,000 majority. As a citizen he displays the same loyalty that he manifested when on Southern battle-fields he aided in the cause of the Union . He is prompt and fearless in the discharge of his duties and is recognized as one of the representative citizens of Des Moines .
JACOB LOHR McKLVEEN
JACOB LOHR McKLVEEN, of the firm of McKlveen Brothers, extensive dealers in lumber, coal, etc., at Chariton , Iowa , was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania , on the l2th of May, 1837, and is the second son and child in the family of Henry and Catherine (Lohr) McKlveen, a full family history of whom is given in connection with the sketch of Dr. McKlveen on another page of this work.
Our subject remained in his native county until a young man of twenty, acquiring his education in the public schools and aiding in the labors of the farm. At the age of twenty-three he left home to try his fortune in the West with its broader and more unlimited opportunities, and took up his residence in La Porte , Indiana , where he engaged in carpenter and joiner work, having previously learned the trade in the neighborhood of his boyhood's home. As a contractor and builder he carried on business or twenty-seven years and was decidedly successful in his undertakings, his excellent workmanship insuring him a liberal patronage.
On leaving Indiana Mr. McKlveen took up his residence in Iowa , establishing himself in Chariton in the spring of 1866 and at once beginning operations as a contractor and builder, to which business he devoted his time and attention until 1884. Here again he worked up a good trade and on all sides stand evidences of his thrift and enterprise in the shape of substantial buildings. In 1884 he embarked in his present line of business. His experience in handling building materials enabled him to proceed intelligently in the selection of stock from the very first, and he has therefore been very successful, for his fair and honorable dealings and his earnest desire to please his patrons have secured him a good trade. For sixteen years his brother Samuel was associated with him as a contractor and builder, and together they began operations in the new undertaking, under the firm name of McKlveen Brothers. They handle all kinds of building materials, coal, tiling, fencing, etc., having a well selected stock valued at $8,000, and take rank among the leading merchants in their line in this part of the State.
Jacob L. McKlveen was married in La Porte , Indiana , February 12, 1863 , to Miss Helen Friedel, a native of Saxe-Weimar , Germany . She came to America with her parents when a maiden of sixteen years; and her father, Dr. Robert Friedel, located for the practice of his profession in La Porte, Indiana, where he died thirty-five years ago. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sophia Leberl, also died in La Porte , about twenty years ago. Mr. and Mrs. McKlveen had five children, but only two are now living. Henry died at the age of five months; Bertha is now the wife of William Schreiber, a well-known resident of Chariton ; Catherine is now a student in Des Moines College , where she has spent four years. She completed the high-school course of Chariton and was a teacher in the grammar department of the schools of this city for some time; Margaret died at the age of twelve years; and Robert died at the age of four.
Mr. and Mrs. McKlveen, likewise their children, are members of the First Baptist Church , of Chariton , and he takes quite an active interest in social affairs. He is a member of the Odd Fellows Society, in which he has attained to the encampment degree, is a Past Grand and a Past Grand Patriarch. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias. He is a life-long Democrat, and is a recognized leader in the councils of his party. For two terms he served as Alderman of Chariton and labored industriously for the best interests of the city. He has led a busy life, and his genuine worth, his honorable dealing and his fidelity to duty have won him the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
JOHN ALEXANDER McKLVEEN, M. D.
JOHN ALEXANDER McKLVEEN, M. D., is one of the oldest physicians of Chariton , Iowa , in years of continuous practice, having located at this p1ace in the spring of 1866. He was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania , November 28, 1835 . His parents were Henry and Catherine (Lohr) McKlveen. His great-grandfather, Henry McKlveen, was a native of Ireland , who emigrated to Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century, his death occurring in Westmoreland county, in 1839 or '40, at the very advanced age of 102 years. His son John, the grand-father of our subject, was also born in Ireland , and during his early youth accompanied his parents to America . He was married just before or soon after coming to America , to Isabella Scott, who also was a native of the Emerald Isle. He died May 13, 1856 , in his seventy- fourth year, and his wife died February 28, 1852 , at the age of sixty- five. He was a soldier in the war of 1812.
The Doctor's father, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania , November 19, 1809 . He was a farmer and teacher, his death occurring in the county in which he was born, November 21 1867 . His wife, who was of German lineage, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania , December 13, 1814 , and died in Westmoreland county, February 20, 1855 .
The members of their family were John A., Jacob L., James Tisdale, William H., Mary, Robison, Isabella, Samuel, Sarah Agnes and Jesse Cramer, of whom James T., Robison and Sarah A. are now deceased, the first and last dying when about two years of age, while Robison died in the Union army during the Civil war, December 6, 1864 , and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery , Virginia . He was a member of Company C, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry. The surviving members of the family are J. L. and Samuel, who are the active members of the lumber and coal firm of McKlveen Brothers, in Chariton , Iowa ; Wm. H., who served three years in the Union army, in an Indiana regiment, and is now a minister of the gospel located at Pittsburg , Pennsylvania ; Mary, wife of George Kells, a resident of Youngstown , Pennsylvania ; Isabella, widow of Andrew Cook, now married to a Mr. Bitner, a resident of Donegal , Pennsylvania ; Jesse C., a mine inspector at Greensburg , Pennsylvania .
For his second wife the father of this family married Mrs. Elizabeth Cummings, who still survives, and now resides in Donegal , Pennsylvania . Four children were born of the second marriage, two of whom are now living, viz.: Kate, wife of Thomas Kelley, a resident of West Newton , Pennsylvania ; and Sallie, wife of Isaac Henderson, of Scottdale , Pennsylvania . The other two died in childhood.
Doctor McKlveen, our subject, was educated in the public schools of his native county and at Sewickley Academy . In early manhood he engaged in teaching, following this profession for several years in Pennsylvania and Ohio . He began the study of medicine in the office and under the tutorship of Doctor James Loar, of Mount Pleasant , Pennsylvania , in 1858, and continued there until the fall of 1860, when he took his first course of lectures at the Physio-Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio. He then engaged in the practice of his profession in Pleasant Unity, Pennsylvania , where he remained for two years. In 1863 he located in Centerville , Ohio , where he remained a few months, when he settled in La Porte county, Indiana , remaining there for one year. The winter of 1864-5 he spent in Illinois , and, not finding a location to his liking, came to Iowa , in June, 1865, where he spent some time in the search of a satisfactory location, finally choosing Chariton .
He has never had reason to regret his choice, as in the long years of his residence here he has always had an excellent practice and ranks with the leading physicians of southern Iowa . In 1872 he took a course of lectures in Bennett Medical College , of Chicago , receiving his degree from this institution. He was entirely self-dependent from the age of fifteen, paying his own way through college. He was railway surgeon for the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company for about four years, and was president of the Board of Examining Surgeons for Pensions during Preident Harrison's administration. He served as President of the Iowa State Eclectic Medical Society in 1875-6, and was re-elected to the same position in 1894 and again in 1895. He is a member of the National Association of Railway Surgeons, also of the National Eclectic Medical Association. In connection with his other business interests, the Doctor, on the organization of the State Savings Bank, of Chariton , was chosen its president and has since remained in that office.
On the 10th of November, 1868 , in Freeport , Pennsylvania , Dr. McKlveen was united in marriage with Miss Kate M. Kennedy, whose acquaintance he formed while she was teaching in Lucas county. She was a daughter of Dr. John Kennedy and a native of Armstrong county, Pennsylvania , was educated in her native State and taught school for several years in Pennsylvania and Iowa . By this union three children were born. Henry Bennett, the eldest, is a practicing physician of Coin, Page county, Iowa . He was educated at the State University of Iowa and the Notre Dame University , of South Bend , Indiana . He obtained his medical education under his father's instructions and in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Chicago , graduating in 1890. He first engaged in practice in Chariton , and in the fall of 1894 removed to Coin. He married Miss Lillian De Kalb, of De Kalb , Decatur county, Iowa , December 26, 1894 . The second child, Mary Elizabeth, is a graduate of Parsons' College, of Fairfield , Iowa , completing the classical course in 1893, since which time she has been employed as a teacher in the high school of Chariton . Jessie is now a student in Parsons' College and will finish the classical course and graduate in the class of 1896. This family was called upon to mourn the death of the wife and mother September 22, 1882 . She was a most estimable lady, and her loss was most sincerely and deeply mourned by her many friends.
The life work of Dr. McKlveen has been a success, and he has accumulated a fine property, having a beautiful home and well appointed office, with a good library and all appliances necessary for the intelligent and successful practice of his profession. His time is now largely taken up with his office practice, though he attends calls under all reasonable circumstances.
Socially, the Doctor is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has served as Past Grand and is a member of the Grand Lodge of Iowa . In politics he is a Republican. In his religious views he is liberal. Prominent in his profession, he is also one of the best known and most highly esteemed of Chariton 's leading citizens.
SAMUEL McKLVEEN, a member of the firm of McKlveen Brothers, lumber dealers of Chariton , is a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania , born January 30, 1849 , and is a son of Henry and Catherine (Lohr) McKlveen. He acquired his education in the public schools of his native county and in Ligonier Academy , and his early life was spent upon his father's farm, he thus receiving physical as well as mental training.
Seeking a broader field of labor in the West, at the age of nineteen Mr. McKlveen came to Iowa , joining his brother, Jacob L., with whom he learned the carpenter and joiner's trade. He then engaged in contracting and building for sixteen years, with good success, and on the expiration of that period formed a partnership with his brother, which still exists, and under the firm name of McKlveen Brothers they are doing a good business in lumber and fuel. For twenty-seven years they have been constantly associated together in business, and the relations existing between them have always been of a most pleasant character and they have gained the confidence and esteem of all with whom they have been brought in contact.
In Lucas county, Ohio , Mr. McKlveen was united in marriage with Miss Flora Murray, a daughter of John and Patience (Burkhead) Murray, who were early settlers of Lucas county, and have long been prominently identified with its best interests. The father followed farming for a number of years, but is now living a retired life in Chariton . The Murray family has long been established in America and is probably of Scotch ancestry. Mrs. McKlveen acquired her education in the country schools and in Chariton , and for a short time prior to her marriage successfully engaged in teaching. She is a cultured and refined lady and her friends throughout the community are many. Her father was a soldier in the Civil war, valiantly aiding the Federal army in the struggle to preserve the Union .
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McKlveen, - Olive, Edna and John Henry, - all of whom are still at their parental home. The daughters are graduates of the city high school; Miss Olive also attended the State Normal School at Cedar Falls , and both are now engaged in teaching. The family are members of the First Baptist Church in Chariton , and hold an enviable position in social circles. Mr. McKlveen is a member of the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias societies, is Past Grand of Chariton Lodge, No. 64, and Past Chancellor of Chariton Lodge, No. 25, K. of P. He also holds membership in the society of the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served for two terms as an Alderman of Chariton, working for the best interests of the city, and proving an efficient and trustworthy officer. He was also the Democratic candidate for Sheriff of Lucas county, and succeeded in reducing the usual Republican majority of five hundred down to thirty-seven, a fact which indicates his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. His life has been a successful one, crowned with a prosperity that has come entirely through his own efforts, and his career, both public and private, is above reproach.
R. C. McNAIR, who is now living retired in the pretty city of Milo , Warren county, Iowa , was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania , June 14, 1830 . His father, Andrew McNair, was a native of the same State, and throughout life followed the occupation of farming. He married Catherine Clister, and to them were born six sons and six daughters, nine of whom are yet living, R. C. being the eldest. The others are Nancy Ann, wife of R. R. McNair, a retired farmer now living in Milo; Peter, who is engaged in farming in Clark county, Iowa; Eleanor, wife of Samuel McNair, of Somerset county, Pennsylvania; Andrew, who is engaged in farming in Fayette county, Pennsylvania; Sarah, wife of Nathaniel Silbaugh, of Fayette county; Daniel, of the same county; Lavina, widow of H. H. Hull, and a resident of southeastern Kansas; Charlotte, wife of Jackson Close, an agriculturist of Fayette county; Elizabeth, deceased wife of Levi Show, of Norfolk, Nebraska; Samuel and Catherine, both of whom died in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. Since 1885 the mother of this family has made her home in Milo .
The subject of this review left the Keystone State on the 14th of April, 1855 , for Winnebago county, Illinois , where during the succeeding five years he was mostly engaged in farm labor. He then emigrated to Putnam county, Missouri , where he purchased forty acres of land. Three years later he came to Iowa , and in Dallas township, Marion county, farmed the Miller place. In the spring of 1865 he arrived in Warren county, and purchasing forty acres of land in Belmont township, on which stood a small frame house, yet unplastered, he began life in earnest. He purchased sixty acres on section 35, to which he afterward added forty- five acres; later bought 120 acres on section 36, subsequently 123 acres on section 1, White Breast township; eighty acres on section 25, Belmont township; eighty acres in Liberty township; and to this added 120 acres on sections 14 and 15, Belmont township. In the fall of 1892 he came to Milo and purchased the homestead of Charles Hill on Second street , then comprising an acre and a half of ground. He has since purchased seven acres adjoining on the north and now has one of the valuable properties of the city. His various purchases indicate his success. He is a wide- awake, energetic and enterprising business man, and his well directed efforts have made him a substantial citizen.
On the 26th of October, 1851 , Mr. McNair wedded Miss Clara J. McNair, a native of Preston county, West Virginia , and a daughter of Alexander and Catherine (Syfolt) McNair. Ten children have been born of this marriage: John R., who was born April 14, 1853, and follows farming in Belmont township, Warren county; Cordelia C., who was born November 7, 1855, and died January 12, 1862; George and Ellis, twins, born April 6, 1858, both following farming in White Breast township, Warren county; Osbin, who was born April 12, 1860, and is an agriculturist of Liberty township, Warren county; Martha J., who was born January 1, 1863, and is the wife of Harrison K. Fortney, a farmer of Clark county, Iowa; William Franklin, who was born April 22, 1865, and is living in Belmont township, Warren county; Charles, who was born December 25, 1867, and is operating land on section 15, Belmont township; Manuel and Marion, twins, born April 3, 1870, now farming on section 35, Belmont township.
Mr. McNair cast his first presidential vote for James Buchanan and is a stalwart advocate of the principles of Democracy, but with him politics have always been subordinate to business interests. He is truly a self- made man, for he started out in life without a dollar and by hard labor, good management and tireless energy has acquired a fortune that now enables him to lay aside business cares and enjoy the fruits of his former toil. Though he has passed sixty-five milestones on life's journey he is still a vigorous and energetic man. In all his labors he has had the assistance and encouragement of his estimable wife, who has shared with him in the joys and sorrows, the adversity and prosperity, which checker the life of man. They are both members of Rosemont Catholic Church in Belmont township, and contribute liberally to its support and to all other interests that are calculated to advance the general welfare. As the record of one of the most valued and honored citizens of Warren county we present this sketch to our readers, knowing that it will prove of interest to many, for he has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
R. R. McNAIR, one of the honored citizens of Warren county, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania , in a rude log cabin two miles from Somerfield, on the 14th of March, 1828 . When not yet ten years of age his father was called away by death, leaving a family of six children and the afflicted widow, her youngest child being scarcely two years old. Our subject found a home with his grandfather, Robert McNair. The kind parent who departed this life so young was a native of Pennsylvania , his father having been an early pioneer of Fayette county, that State. The mother of our subject was native of Somerset county, Pennsylvania . She struggled along with that kindly Christian fortitude, sad in the remembrance of her divided family circle, until 1888, when she joined her husband. One is laid at rest in Virginia and the other in Pennsylvania . Our subject was the third of their six children, viz.: Charlotte, wife of William Michaels, of West Virginia; Isaiah, a cabinet-maker of Fredericktown, Ohio; R. R., the subject of this sketch; Catherine, now Mrs. Glass, of Ohio; Jane, widow of Abe Hophein, and a resident of Pennsylvania; and Andrew, engaged in agricultural pursuits in West Virginia.
After attaining his fourteenth year Mr. McNair, the subject of this sketch, began work on his grandfather's farm. As soon as he was able to handle a team of horses he began to earn his own living among the neighbors. Being of a cheerful disposition, he always maintained an abundance of good courage, and by honest toil won his way into the hearts of his neighbors and employers. In 1861 Mr. McNair began his Westward journey, eventually locating four miles from Columbus, Bartholomew county, Indiana, where he secured work. Two years afterward he journeyed on to LaSalle county, Illinois , where he rented land, and again gave his attention to agricultural pursuits,, remaining there about six years. In February, 1870, Mr. McNair started with a wagon- team for Iowa , crossing the father of waters at Burlington , and located on sections 26 and 35, Belmont township, Warren county. He has added to his original purchase of 160 acres, until he now owns 240 acres. He began the battle of life here in true pioneer style, possessing that courage characteristic of his race, being descended from Scotch ancestry. September 1, 1892 , Mr. McNair moved to Milo , the pretty and growing city of his adopted county, purchasing the home of Lon Davis. In this pleasant home, in company with his good Christian wife, who has always been a great helpmeet and comfort to him, and in the companionship of his wife's mother, he chooses to pass his declining years, at rest from the more active toil of every-day life.
October 10, 1852 , Mr. McNair married Miss Nancy McNeer, a native of Fayette county, and a daughter of Andrew and Catherine (Clester) McNeer. The mother has resided with Mrs. McNair since 1885, and she is now eighty-five years of age, in possession of comparatively good health and all her mental faculties. Always childless, Mr. and Mrs. McNair took to their home William McNair when five years of age. They educated and started him on the high road of life, and he now resides in Belmont township, where he owns a fine farm of 120 acres. William knows no other filial love than that for his kind Christian parents by adoption, and is happy in their love. Alice, who also came into Mr. and Mrs. McNair's care at the age of two years, has never known other parents, and she enjoyed the kindly guardianship of this worthy couple until her marriage to E. J. Monfore, of Otter township, Warren county.
Politically Mr. McNair affiliates with the Democratic party, and cast his first presidential vote for James Buchanan. Mrs. McNair worships in Rosemont Catholic church. Our worthy subject has always borne his part in the maintenance of this church,, as he has also done in any honest enterprise for public good. The life of this good man has been an eventful one in many ways. Not born in the lap of luxury, he was early inured to toil, and without the aid or possession of a single dollar has won a place of affluence among the honored men of this county.
Alfred Henry McVey, lawyer
and author, has attained an eminence at the bar that has brought him not only a
local and State reputation, but has also made him known far beyond the
boundaries of Iowa as a legal practitioner of superior ability.
He is undoubtedly one of the ablest and best insurance lawyers in the
West, and his extensive practice along the line of this specialty comes in
recognition of his merit; and while he has attained marked success in this
specialty, it has not been at the expense of the other branches of the law, in
all of which he is highly proficient and successful.
It is interesting to analyze the character of such a man, and to note
those principles which have enabled him to pass many on life's highway.
The secret of his success is a superior education, close application, the
development of natural and acquired abilities, energy and his willingness to
McVey is a native of the State of Ohio, and on the paternal side has descended
from an old well-to-do family of Scotch origin, that was founded in America in
1654, by ancestors who at that early day braved the dangers incident to ocean
voyages to secure homes in the New World.
The name was originally spelled MacVeagh.
His grandfather, James McVey, removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio about the
beginning of the present century.
On the maternal side the subject of this review has descended from an old
English family; and the grandfather, Marmaduke Eastlake, a native of England,
located in New Jersey, at the beginning of the present century.
McVey acquired his preliminary education in the common schools of his native
State, and was prepared for college, in the Southwestern Normal School at
Lebanon, that State.
While but a youth he was noted for his studious habits, and before
leaving the public school had acquired a wide range of English literature.
When the country was engaged in civil war and needed the support of all
her loyal sons, he offered his services, though only a mere boy, to the
Government and became a member of the Seventy-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
McVey entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, that State, from which
institution he was graduated in the classical course in 1868.
He was thorough and proficient in all his studies, but was especially
noted for his marked literary attainments, and was considered the best debater
in the university.
His excellent scholarship was shown by the fact that upon his graduation
the faculty elected him a teacher in the institution; but this position he
resigned in order to enter upon the practice of law.
He pursued his legal studies in the law department of the Cincinnati
College, the oldest law school west of the Alleghenies, where he was graduated
with high honors.
first opened a law office in Wilmington, Ohio, where he immediately took rank
among those who have been long in practice, and evinced unusual ability both in
presenting his cause to the jury, and in arguments addressed to the bench.
In February, 1872, he opened an office in Toledo, Ohio, and in addition
to a good practice in the local courts he more particularly devoted himself to
professional duties in the United States courts, and was for some years general
counsel for the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad Company.
McVey resides in Des Moines.
He has a very extensive practice in the courts of Iowa, Minnesota,
Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska, and he has met with marked success; and his
reputation as an insurance lawyer is second to none in the West.
He now represents perhaps seventy-five per cent of the fire insurance
companies doing business in Iowa, and also does a large business in other
He is considered authority in all matters pertaining to insurance law, as
well as in other branches of the law, in which he has become proficient, both in
theory and in practice.
He is an able pleader, forcible, earnest, logical and clear.
He has one of the best law libraries
in the State, is an extensive reader and thorough scholar and a man of
broad, general information.
The hours which are usually called leisure, he has devoted to study, to
books, and the best literature, of which he has a knowledge second perhaps to no
other man in the State.
He is a fluent and forcible writer, and his written works, mostly on the
subject of law, partake of the high merit of his legal work.
He has never been a candidate for any office, either elective or
appointive, although he takes a lively interest in public affairs.
person he is tall and well proportioned, while his countenance indicates a man
His dignified, courteous demeanor and his hospitality and genial manner
have won him a host of warm friends.
January, 1869, he was married to Miss Anna Holmes, a lady of fine scholarship
and strong character.
She is a daughter of the Rev. William Holmes, and a direct descendant of
the Rev. Obadiah Holmes, who was born in England in 1606 and came to this
country in the year 1639, settling in Salem, Massachusetts.
In connection with Roger Williams, he was one of the founders of the
Baptist Church in America.
Mr. and Mrs. McVey have five children, and the family remains yet
unbroken by the hand of death.
Frank L. was graduated at the Ohio Wesleyan University in 1893, and at
Yale University in 1895, with the degree of Ph. D.
Edmund H. is also a graduate of Yale, where he took high honors, and is
now a member of his father's law firm.
William P. is a graduate of Des Moines College, and of Drew Theological
Seminary, at Madison, New Jersey, where he took first honors, and is now
studying for his Ph. D. degree in the University of Leipsic, Germany.
Kate is a student in the Woman's College at Baltimore; and Charles H. is
pursuing his studies in the preparatory department of Des Moines College.
family have a beautiful home in Des Moines, where they have resided for twelve
There the works of art and literature add their attractions, there being
among many other things a very extensive miscellaneous library, abounding in
James R. Mortimer
Among the prosperous farmers and self-made men of Boone township, Dallas
county, Iowa, is found the gentleman with whose name we are pleased to introduce this sketch.
Mr. Mortimer is a native of the Old Dominion and is a descendant of
English ancestors. He was born August 25, 1844, on his father's farm in Virginia, the ninth in the family of the ten children of Walter and Mary
(Bladen) Mortimer. Walter Mortimer was a native of Virginia, the son of English parents, and was reared to farm life. He gave the most of his
children a liberal education; but schooling in those days had to be paid for in Virginia, and by the time James R., who was next to the
youngest of the large family, was old enough to send to school, Mr. Mortimer felt too poor to defray his expenses; and thus it happened
that when the subject of our sketch should have been in school he was at home engaged in farm work. At the age of nineteen he left the old home
and went to Pennsylvania. Near Pittsburg he obtained employment as a farm hand, remained there thus occupied two years, and then came out to
Iowa, locating first in Madison county, where he rented land and farmed the same one year. Then he came to Dallas county, where he purchased
forty acres of choice land on section 3, of Boone township, to which he has added by subsequent purchase until his farm now comprises 133 acres,
all well improved and under a high state of cultivation. His comfortable and attractive residence is located on the original forty.
Waukee is the nearest town and his post-office address. He is located convenient to school and church, and on the whole his place is indeed a
Mr. Mortimer was married March 5, 1868, to Miss Catherine Hattle, a
native of Pennsylvania, as also was her mother. Her father was born in France and reared in Germany, and when a young man came to the United
States, locating in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer are the parents of seven children, all of whom are living, namely: Mary Rosalia, born
April 1,1869; Margaret Elma, born November 2, 1870, is the wife of Ira Huston; Clifford Edgar, born September 10, 1872; Lilian Novena,
January 28, 1877; Erma Maria, November 9, 1879; Myrtle Lena, August 21, 1881; and James Raymond, June 21, 1891.
Politically, Mr. Mortimer is an intelligent and well-posted Republican,
but has never had official aspirations nor has he ever held office, his whole time and attention being given to the cultivation and management
of his farm. He was reared a Methodist; his wife, Mrs. Mortimer, was reared a Catholic, but after her conversion became a Methodist, and in
this faith they have brought up their family, all of whom are member of the church and among its active workers.