History of Marion County, Iowa
George W. Fee still oversees the operation of his farm in Knoxville township, three and one-half miles from the city of Knoxville, but for a number of years has made his home in town. He also owns three acres and two lots in Knoxville. He has resided in the township of that name since 1849 and practically his entire life has been spent here. He was born on the 11th of October, 1844. His birthplace was Crawford county, Indiana, and his parents were Christopher and Susan (Means) Fee. The father was born on the 5th of July, 1805, in Virginia, of English descent, and went to Indiana as a young man and there married. He devoted the greater part of his time to farming and after coming to Iowa in 1849 became the owner of three hundred acres of land in this county. His death occurred here in June, 1885. His political belief was that of the democratic party and his religious faith was shown by his adherence to the Baptist church. His wife was born in North Carolina but accompanied her parents to Indiana when quite young and was the only one of her family to come to Iowa. Her death occurred when she was more than seventy years old. There were six children in the family when the removal was made to Iowa, the subject of this review being the youngest, and seven were born in Marion county, making thirteen in all. Ten survive and seven reside in this county.
George W. Fee grew to manhood here and has resided here during his entire adult life. He was reared upon the home farm and quite naturally followed agricultural pursuits when starting out in life for himself. He became the owner of three hundred and thirty-seven acres of fine land three and one-half miles from Knoxville and gained financial independence through its cultivation. He followed general farming and was progressive in the methods that he used. For a number of years he has resided in Knoxville and has merely given general supervision to the operation of his farm, the work being done by his two sons.
In 1867 Mr. Fee married Miss May E. Warfel, a native of the Old Dominion, born on the 24th of October, 1847. She came to Iowa in 1850 with her father, J. B. Warfel, who located in Warren county, but subsequently removed to Marion county. He was a carpenter and stationary engineer and for a number of years ran a grist mill at Knoxville which was owned by John M. Jones. He passed away in Texas about 1890 at an advanced age. His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Lucinda M. Lundy, a native of Grayson county, Virginia, where their marriage occurred. She died in 1876. She joined the Methodist Episcopal church in childhood and remained throughout her life a consistent member thereof. Mr. Warfel in his later years belonged to the United Brethren church. They were the parents of six children, four of whom survive, two living in Iowa, one in Arkansas and one in Colorado. Mrs. Fee grew to womanhood in this county and was here married. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Fee are four in number and all are natives of Marion county. Charles Leonard, who is operating part of his father’s farm, married Miss Luella Hayes and they have two children, Glenn and Lena. George Archibald, who is also cultivating his father’s farm, married Miss Jessie Stoops, who died within a year after her marriage. Lillie Belle married A. D. Graves, also living upon the homestead, and they have two children, Beulah May and Delmar Harold. Jesse Harold resides in Raymond, Washington, within a few miles of the Pacific ocean, and is a bookkeeper in the employ of the Raymond Lumber Company. He married Alta Foidel, of Knoxville, Iowa, and they are the parents of a daughter, Mary Elizabeth.
Mr. Fee is a democrat and has always manifested a praiseworthy interest in the proper conduct of public affairs. The family has displayed a disinterested desire for the general good and two of the older brothers of our subject served in the Union army during the Civil war. During his active life Mr. Fee was a representative agriculturist of the county and the leisure which he now enjoys is richly deserved. Those who have had dealings with him know him to be strictly upright and honest and these qualities of character have gained him the respect of his fellow citizens.
John F. Fee, a farmer and stock-raiser of Knoxville township, has resided in this county since 1849 and is a brother of George W. Fee, whose record is given elsewhere in this work. He was born in Crawford county, Indiana, August 11, 1841, a son of Christopher and Susan (Means) Fee, who in 1846 removed to Van Buren county, Iowa, and three years later to Marion county. The father was a native of Virginia.
John F. Fee was eight years of age when he accompanied his parents to this county and has resided here continuously since. As a boy he attended subscription schools, in which his entire education was acquired, as he never went to a free school. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Fortieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Western Army and participated in the siege of Vicksburg. He was then sent west to the Yazoo river, to Arkansas and to the Indian country and was mustered out at Gibson, in the territory belonging to the Cherokee Nation. He was in the army something over three years and when discharged held the rank of color bearer of his company. He was never injured but suffered from disease, though he never drew a pension until his age entitled him to one. After returning from the front he remained upon his father’s farm for two years but after his marriage, which occurred in 1867, he located upon the James Gamble farm near Knoxville, where he remained until the fall of 1879, when he removed to his present farm, which is situated in Knoxville township, near White Breast creek, and comprises one hundred and eighty acres. It is rich and productive, lying mostly in the bottoms. He has made most of the improvements thereon and has one of the valuable farming properties of his locality. He carries on general farming and stock-raising and as he is energetic and progressive his labors yield him a gratifying annual income.
On the 22d of March, 1867, Mr. Fee was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Octavia Clark, who was born in Dade county, Georgia, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1844. Her parents were James and Minerva (McKaig) Clark, the former a native of Tennessee. They were married on the 18th of April, 1841, and in the spring of 1849 came to Marion county, locating in the northwestern part of Knoxville township, where the father entered land which he owned and operated until his death on the 19th of April, 1901, when he was eighty-three years, six months and sixteen days of age. The mother died on the 4th of September, 1853, leaving seven small children, four sons and three daughters. On the 24th of December of the following year Mr. Clark married Mrs. Marinda Miller, by whom he had seven children, three sons and four daughters. She has also been previously married and had two children by her first union. She passed away on the 11th of June, 1896. Five of the children of the first marriage are still living. Of the second family of children two died young, another daughter died after her marriage and four are still living. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Fee was an Old-School Baptist preacher. She has resided in this county since 1849 and is widely known and highly respected. Mr. and Mrs. Fee have four children, as follows: James, born in 1867, is a farmer of Knoxville township. He married Miss Cora Workman and they have three daughters, Grace B., Letha Verna and Ione Octavia. Walter F., born April 8, 1880, is at home. He married Emma Alberta Fisher, who passed away June 20, 1914, leaving one son, Wilbur J. Annabel, who was born January 6, 1870, passed away on the 11th of August, 1873. Alonzo Everett, whose birth occurred on the 18th of February, 1875, died November 2d of the year following.
Mr. Fee is a democrat and has served in some school and district offices. He enjoys his association with his old army comrades through his membership in Knoxville Post, No. 49, G. A. R., and his wife is a member of the Presbyterian church of Knoxville. They have both resided in the county since 1849 and their reminiscences serve to make real for many of the younger generation the earlier days in the history of this section, when pioneer conditions still prevailed. Throughout their long lives they have devoted their energies to useful activities, have conformed their conduct to high moral standards, and in the evening of their lives they are rich in friends and honor as well as in years.
Clinton Fergus, one of the venerable citizens and retired agriculturists of Marion county, still resides on his farm of three hundred and forty acres on section 13, Liberty township. He has now passed the eightieth milestone on life’s journey and the period of his residence in this county covers more than four decades.
His birth occurred in Indiana on the 4th of January, 1834, his parents being S. B. and Julia (McFaden) Fergus, who were natives of England and Ireland respectively. They emigrated to the United States in an early day and were married in Ohio. Subsequently they took up their abode in Indiana and in that state spent the remainder of their lives. They settled on a farm and experienced all the privations and hardships of frontier life, for the community was still but sparsely settled and largely undeveloped. The father built a log cabin with a clapboard roof, puncheon floor and stick chimney and the door of the little dwelling had a latchstring. This primitive abode remained the home of the family for a number of years. To Mr. and Mrs. Fergus were born thirteen children, seven of whom still survive.
Clinton Fergus received a common-school education in his youth, the little “temple of learning” in which he conned his lessons being constructed of logs. He spent the period of his minority under the parental roof and subsequently worked as a common laborer until the time of his marriage. Following that important event in his life he rented a farm in Indiana, which he operated for three years. On the expiration of that period, in 1864, he came to Iowa and purchased a farm in Mahaska county, where he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for seven years. In 1871 he disposed of the property and came to Marion county, purchasing the farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 13, Liberty township, whereon he has resided continuously since. He later purchased two hundred and forty acres, but twenty acres were given to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and Wabash Railroads for right of ways. He erected substantial and commodious buildings on his place and in connection with the cultivation of cereals devoted considerable attention to stock-raising, meeting with gratifying success in both branches of his business. When his well directed activity had brought him a comfortable competence he put aside the active work of the fields and is now living retired, spending his declining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
In 1861 Mr. Fergus was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Litler, who was born in a log cabin in Indiana, her parents being Thomas and Susan M. (Fry) Litler, natives of Virginia. They established their home in Indiana in pioneer times but subsequently came to Marion county, Iowa, and purchased the farm which is now in possession of our subject. The remainder of their lives was here spent, and of their twelve children four are yet living. Mr. and Mrs. Fergus became the parents of five children, as follows: Thomas B., who is living on a farm in this county; John R., a resident of Wisconsin; C. W., who makes his home in Marion county, Iowa; James Q., deceased; and one who died in infancy.
Mr. Fergus has always been a democrat in his political views and since 1872 has held the office of school director, the cause of education ever finding in him a stalwart champion. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Protestant church, to which is wife also belongs. He has passed the eightieth milestone on life’s journey and enjoys the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded one who has traveled thus far on this earthly pilgrimage and whose career has been at all times upright and honorable.
Dr. Joseph W. Finarty has been a prominent general practitioner of medicine in Knoxville for many years and holds the confidence of the public and of his professional colleagues. He was born in Mason county, Virginia, on the 16th of January, 1848, a son of Joseph and Emily (Day) Finarty, both likewise natives of the Old Dominion. As his father died on the 17th of January, 1849, he was reared by his parental grandfather, who was also named Joseph and was born in Maryland of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He served in the War of 1812, taking part in the battle of Lundys Lane, and during the Civil war enlisted in Company G, Forty-seventh Iowa Volunteers, serving for two years. He came to Pella in 1850 and passed away there in 1871. By occupation he was a farmer. The mother of Dr. Finarty married Allen Lester after the death of her first husband.
Dr. Finarty was given a public-school education in his boyhood and at the time of the Civil war enlisted in Company D, Sixty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, remaining with his command until the close of the struggle. He then entered the Central University of Iowa, at Pella, and while pursuing his course there read medicine. He subsequently entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons, at Keokuk, from which he was graduated in 1871. He has never considered his professional education complete and in 1883 took a post-graduate course in the Polyclinic of Chicago and in 1901 studied at the Polyclinic in New York. He began practice at Dallas, this state, in 1871, but thirteen years later came to Knoxville, where he has since resided. In the thirty years that he has lived here he has built up a large and lucrative practice and has won a reputation for the successful treatment of disease. He is thoroughly progressive and up-to-date and is a valued member of the state and county medical societies and the American Medical Association.
In 1867 Dr. Finarty married Miss Mary E. Auld, of Knoxville, a daughter of James Auld, who removed to this state from Ohio in pioneer times. To Dr. Finarty and his wife have been born four children, but James Carl and Walter R. are deceased. Arthur C. was graduated from the Barnes Medical College of St. Louis in 1889 and also pursued a course in the Polyclinic of Chicago, but is now engaged in farming in this county. Harry is also an agriculturist in this county.
Dr. Finarty is a communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church and is well known in fraternal circles, belonging to Oriental Lodge, No. 61, A. F. & A. M.; Tadmor Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M.; Milites Commandery, K. T., all of Knoxville; and to the consistory and the Mystic Shrine at Des Moines. For six years he has been high priest of the chapter. He also holds membership in the Knights of Pythias. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has served as chairman of the republican central committee of this county. For many years he has been active in the Iowa National Guard and was made captain of Company D, Fifty-fifth Regiment, on the 8th of January, 1912. In 1914 he retired, having reached the age limit. His life has been a busy one and he has contributed to the welfare and progress of his community in a number of ways. His name is held in high honor in Knoxville and he has a host of personal friends.
One of the well known residents of Pella is H. M. Fisk, who has built up a large business as a ditch contractor. He was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1844, the third of a family of six children, whose parents were Henry C. and Julia A. (Stites) Fisk. The father was born in England in 1809 and the mother in Ohio in 1814. They were married in the Buckeye state and in 1840 removed to Jefferson county, Iowa, where they remained until 1859, in which year they established their home in Marion county. Mr. Fisk died in Pella in 1893 and his widow passed away in that city in 1895.
H. M. Fisk became a student in the district schools of Marion county and at the same time received valuable training under his father’s instructions, learning the methods of practical agriculture. In 1861, when but a youth of seventeen years, he enlisted in Company I, Tenth Iowa Infantry, and was at the front for three years and two months. He was wounded in the battle of Champion’s Hill and took part in numerous other engagements. When peace had been made he returned to this county and farmed for a few years, after which he turned his attention to other lines of work. He built the first tile factory in this state and conducted it successfully for several years. After selling out he went into the tile ditch contracting business and has since concentrated his energies upon that line of endeavor. He invariably fulfils his contract and the work is well done and completed in good time.
In 1865 Mr. Fisk married Mrs. Mahala Grover, the widow of James W. Grover. She was born in White county, Indiana, in 1844 and when a girl of twelve accompanied her parents to this state. Mr. and Mrs. Fisk have three daughters: Mrs. Caroline Bell Haven, of Sheridan, Wyoming; Mrs. Emma Clutter, who lives in Pukwana, South Dakota; and Mrs. Edith Amburn, of Lenox, Iowa.
Mr. Fisk purchased his present residence in 1906 and has since much improved the place, remodeling the house and building barns. The property includes thirteen acres of fine land, which he cultivates and which adds quite a little to his annual income. He is a democrat in politics and his religious faith is indicated in his membership in the American Secular Union and Freethought Federation. He is a director in the Citizens National Bank of Pella and his business ability commands the respect of his fellow citizens.
On the list of those who have passed away but who during active life were numbered among the most worthy citizens in Marion county, taking part in its pioneer development and in its later progress, was J. H. Fitzgerald, who was born in Clinton county, Ohio, September 29, 1828. His parents were Jesse and Sarah (Taggart) Fitzgerald. The family became residents of Black Hawk county, Iowa, about 1845 and some years later removed to Marion county, where the parents spent their remaining days. At length, called to their final rest, their remains were interred in one of the cemeteries of this county.
J. H. Fitzgerald spent his boyhood and youth in his parents’ home and his training was that of the energetic farm lad who is taught the value of industry and perseverance. In his youthful days much of the farm work that is now done by machinery was accomplished by hand and his youth was a period of earnest and unremitting toil. He always followed the occupation to which he was reared and at one time was the owner of one hundred and fifteen acres of rich and productive land, which he carefully cultivated and improved, making it a valuable farm.
On the 1st of August, 1858, Mr. Fitzgerald was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Lemmon, a daughter of Elias and Catherine Lemmon, who were pioneers of this county, coming here in 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald became the parents of eight children, J. D., Elias, Charles, John, Jane, Henry, Sarah and Alice. Of this number four are still living, Elias, John, Sarah and Henry having passed away.
Mr. Fitzgerald was a republican in his political views and kept informed concerning the questions and issues of the day but did not seek nor desire office, his entire being given to his farm work. He was, however, interested in public affairs that pertained to the improvement and upbuilding of the community and was recognized as a public-spirited citizen. He served as a school director and the cause of education found in him a stalwart friend. He guided his life by the teachings of the Methodist Episcopal church and was honored wherever known. His widow, who was born November 1, 1834, and has therefore reached the eightieth milestone on life’s journey, still survives and since the death of her husband, which occurred on the 12th of September, 1902, she has removed to Attica, where she is now living.
In the years of an active life William P. Flanagan followed farming and stock-raising in Washington township, his home being on section 26. He became a resident of the county in pioneer times and was a young man of but twenty-one or twenty-two years of age at the time of his arrival. His birth occurred in Virginia on the 15th of April, 1831, his parents being Reuben and Sarah (Bybee) Flanagan, who were natives of Virginia and of Irish descent. In the Old Dominion they were reared and married and to them were born six children, of whom but one is now living. On leaving the Old Dominion the parents went to Ohio and afterward to Indiana, where their remaining days were passed and there, when death called them, their remains were interred.
William P. Flanagan was but a young lad when the family went to Ohio and in the schools of that state he pursued his education. He first came to Iowa in 1853, making his way to Marion county, and from that time forward he was identified with its farming interests. On the 11th of September, 1859, he was joined in wedlock to Miss Margaret Mathew, a daughter of John and Lucy (Mormon) Mathew. The Mathew family lived for a time in Indiana and in 1849 came to Marion county, Iowa, establishing their home here in pioneer times and bearing an active and helpful part in the work of early development and improvement. John Mathew passed away on the 8th of October, 1887, while his wife was called to her final rest on the 25th of December, 1870. They were well thought of and had many friends. The record of their children is as follows: Julia Ann, who is deceased; Mary C. and Lewis, twins, the latter being deceased; Rebecca Jane, who has also passed away; Margaret and Rachel, twins, the latter deceased; and Martha and Emma, who have passed away.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Flanagan was blessed with nine children: Frances A, who is the wife of J. N. Cochran, of Plainville, Kansas; Dulcena, deceased; John S.; one who died unnamed; Archie W., who has passed away; Lua, who is at home with her mother; Edmond; Mary, who is deceased; and Keely.
It was in the year 1877 that Mr. Flanagan and his family took up their abode upon the farm where his widow now resides – a tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres, to which he afterward added forty acres. Early experience taught him practical methods of developing and improving the fields and as time passed on he kept in touch with the trend of modern progress along that line. When machinery was invented and placed upon the market, he secured it to facilitate the work of the fields and when science brought forth knowledge concerning the soil conditions and the needs of plant life, he utilized this knowledge in the work of the fields. He was ever busy and met the demands that were made upon him faithfully and capably.
In May, 1900, Mr. Flanagan was called from this life, his remains being interred in the Olive Chapel cemetery. In early manhood he gave his allegiance to the republican party but later, on account of a change in his political opinions, he supported the democratic party. He never held office but was always ready to further any plan or project for the public good. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church and to its teachings he was faithful. He was ever conscientious in what he did and no one ever questioned his integrity or the honesty of his motives.
W. H. Fowler has done as much as any other man to advance the business and commercial interests of Pella and in many other ways has left his impress upon the life of the city. He is the owner and manager of the Fowler Telephone Company and for a number of years owned the electric light plant which supplies the city with light and power, and is the president of the Pella Commercial Club, which he organized in 1908 and which has since been a leading factor in the development of the city. Mr. Fowler was born in England in 1874, a son of Frederick and Ann (Ayers) Fowler, who in 1884 took their family to Canada.
Mr. Fowler of this review remained in that country until he was a youth of eighteen years and then, in 1892, came to Pella, Iowa. For seven years he attended the Central University of Iowa, which is located here. Shortly after leaving school, or in 1900, he organized the Fowler Telephone Company. While still a boy in his teens he had mechanical experience in Montreal in connection with fire alarms and in the employ of railroads, and this had given him an insight into that line of work and also proved that he possessed considerable mechanical skill and ingenuity. His undoubted executive ability, however, has been the determining factor in his marked success as a promoter. The Fowler Telephone Company was the first telephone company in Pella and started with twenty telephones. Mr. Fowler himself installed the equipment and for a time did practically all of the work of the company. In 1900 the first rural line was put up and extended fourteen miles, serving six telephones. The first farmer who subscribed for a telephone was seven miles from the city and considerable difficulty was experienced in securing the other five. At the end of the first year there were sixty telephones installed altogether, but six of these were in the country. For the first five years the growth was slow but at the end of that time the value of the system was apparent to all and the number of telephones in use increased rapidly. At present there are nine hundred subscribers, over half of whom are farmers. The company has one hundred miles of line, thirty of which is toll line. In the past three years all of the wires serving business telephones have been put under ground, thus lessening the danger from live wires and increasing the beauty of the city streets. The company now has a force of eight regular employees besides those whose services it requires at especially busy times. In 1914 the company was incorporated by Mr. Fowler. The first office was at the corner of Main and Franklin streets, but in 1909 the headquarters were removed to a fine brick building at No. 713 Main street.
For four years Mr. Fowler owned the local electric light plant, but abandoned that enterprise when the city opened a municipal plant. In 1911 he organized the Pella Commercial Club and has since served as its president. In the past three years the club has raised over ten thousand dollars for the advancement of the city’s interests and conducted a vigorous campaign of advertising, doing all in its power to secure new industries for the city and to stimulate the growth of those already here. It originated the “White Way” picnic, held in 1913, which brought fifteen thousand people to Pella and which presented the attractions of the city in a most effective manner. Many of the visitors came in automobiles and it was estimated that there were one thousand cars in the city from outside. The organization has sixty members, comprising the majority of the up-to-date and progressive business men of the city, and its achievements since its reorganization are but a small factor of the things it hopes to accomplish for Pella.
On the 20th of January, 1914, Mr. Fowler was united in marriage with Miss Otha W. Stephenson, of Des Moines, a daughter of Dr. H. M. Stephenson, of Perry, Iowa. Mr. Fowler is a republican in his political belief and shares that new civic conscience which makes for a general interest in the affairs of government and the securing of efficiency in the management of public affairs. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic order, in which he has taken the thirty-second degree. He holds membership in Pella Lodge, No. 55, A. F. & A. M.; Des Moines Consistory, No. 3; and Za-Ga-Zig Temple, Order of Mystic Shrine. Mr. Fowler is widely known not only in the city of Pella, but throughout the entire county and his ability as an orator, executive and financier is universally conceded, while his splendid qualities of character have won him many sincere and loyal friends.
John W. Free was a respected and representative citizen of Indiana township for many years and when death called him in 1906 his demise was deeply regretted by many friends as well as by his immediate family. He was born in Ross county, Ohio, September 16, 1829, and was therefore about seventy-seven years of age when called to his final rest. His parents, Frederick and Susan (Mark) Free, were also natives of the Buckeye state, where they lived until 1853 and then started westward by wagon with Marion county as their destination. By the slow stages of that method of travel they proceeded until they at length reached Iowa and took up their abode upon a farm in this part of the state. For one year their home was a log cabin and at the end of that time they built a frame house, which they occupied until they were called to their final rest. In their family were five children but all have now passed away.
John W. Free spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native state and was a young man of about twenty-four years when the family came to Iowa. In the fall of 1860 he was married in this county to Miss Mary Walker, who was also a native of Ross county, Ohio, her parents being John and Juda (Benson) Walker, who were likewise natives of Ohio and were of Scotch descent. In the fall of 1850 they removed westward to this county, taking up their abode upon a farm, and for five years they lived in a log house. At the end of that time the father had won a substantial measure of prosperity, so that he was enabled to erect good buildings. Other improvements were added to the farm and the land was brought under a high state of cultivation, so that the place became one of the attractive and valuable farming properties of the county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Walker continued to reside upon that place until called to their final rest. In their family were five children, of whom three are living.
After their marriage Mr. Free began the cultivation of the farm upon which he and his wife resides almost five decades. His work was soon manifest in highly cultivated fields which were yielding good harvests. As science and investigation brought changes in methods of farming he eagerly embraced these and purchased the latest improved machinery in order to facilitate the work of the fields. He was energetic and determined and as the result of his labors gained a handsome competence. Those who knew him recognized in him sterling traits of character and thus it was that his death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret when in 1906 he was called from this life. In politics he had always been a stanch republican but not an office seeker.
Mrs. Free survives and is the owner of an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Indiana township and also of a fine residence in Attica, which she now occupies. She is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, widely known as an earnest Christian woman. For many years she has been numbered among the pioneer settlers of the county and a witness of its many changes. The logs that were used in building the first courthouse of Marion county were cut from the farm which she now owns. She can relate many interesting incidents of the early days and her reminiscences constitute a delightful tale, giving a vivid picture of conditions which existed a half century ago, of the methods of life at that time and of the hospitality and good-will which was everywhere prevalent among the early settlers.
Although Dr. Jedidiah Tingle French passed away in Hutchinson, Kansas, while on a visit there, the greater part of his active life was passed in this county and he was known as one of the best and most prominent physicians of the early days. The life of the pioneer doctor was by no means an easy one and Dr. French never spared himself. His reward was a warm place in the hearts of the people whom he served and the knowledge that he aided in making the conditions of pioneer life endurable. He was the owner of a drug store in Knoxville during his later years.
Dr. French was born on the 23d of April, 1823, at the old homestead one mile from Lebanon, Ohio. His father was Daniel French, who was born on the 9th of August, 1791, in New Jersey and married Amy Tingle, who was born on the 10th of May, 1798, at Lebanon, Ohio. Daniel French was a son of Joseph French, whose birth occurred on Christmas day, 1767, in New Jersey, and who married Miss Anna Robertson, who was born on the 25th of February, 1768. Amy (Tingle) French, the wife of Daniel French, was a daughter of Jedidiah and Elizabeth (Reeder) Tingle, the former born May 8, 1766, in Delaware, and the latter June 4, 1776, in Loudoun county, Virginia. Jedidiah Tingle passed away in Warren county, Ohio. His parents were Jedidiah and Amy (Waite) Tingle, natives respectively of England and Delaware. His wife, Elizabeth (Reeder) Tingle, was a daughter of David and Mary (Adams) Reeder, the former of whom was born March 14, 1769, in New Jersey, and was killed by a horse near Lebanon, Ohio. David Reeder was a son of Joseph Reeder III, who was born April 24, 1716, at Newtown, Long Island, and who married Susana Gano. Joseph Reeder II was the father of Joseph Reeder III and was in turn a son of Joseph Reeder I, of England. His father was, according to tradition, Wilhelm Leser Reeder of Germany. Eleanor (Leverich) Reeder, the wife of Joseph Reeder II, was a daughter of Caleb and Martha (Lavaine) Leverich, the former of whom was born in 1638 at Duxbury, Massachusetts, and died in 1717 at Newtown, Long Island. His father was William Leverich, who graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree at Cambridge University, England, in 1625 and received the Master of Arts degree from that institution in 1629. He emigrated on the ship James to Salem, Massachusetts, October 10, 1633, and died in 1677. Susana Gano, previously mentioned as the wife of Joseph Reeder III, was a daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Britton or Bretin) Gano, residents of Staten Island, New York. Daniel Gano was a son of Stephen and Ann (Walton) Gano, and a grandson of Francis Gano or Ganeaux, as the original spelling was, a Huguenot who came to New Rochelle, New York, in 1686. He was a native of the Isle of Guernsey and lived to the remarkable age of one hundred and three years.
When three months old Dr. French accompanied the family on their removal to Shelby county, Indiana, and settled upon one hundred and sixty acres of heavily timbered land, the nearest neighbor being eight miles distant. There amid frontier conditions Dr. French grew to manhood. He did all kinds of farm work, cleared timber land, made brick and worked at the stone-mason’s trade. His father, who was a master mechanic, gave his son expert instruction in the various lines of work of which it was necessary for the pioneer farmer to know something. The Doctor acquired a limited general education by attending the subscription schools of the period for four weeks to two months each winter. There were no holidays in his early life, as his time was spent in hard work upon the farm when not in school or incapacitated by sickness. At the age of nineteen years and four months he began the study of medicine, thus carrying out a desire that had never left him since his fourteenth year. Without advising with father or mother he consulted Dr. G. C. Paramore at St. Omar, Decatur county, Indiana, and arranged for the use of the Doctor’s medical library and for private instruction in medicine. For three months he borrowed books and carried them home, going three miles and back each week to recite his lessons. He then taught school for three months, receiving ten dollars per month and his board, in the meantime continuing his medical study. In April, 1843, when recovering from measles his father was stricken with a disease called the black tongue, from which he died. A number of others in that region succumbed to the disease, including an uncle and aunt of the Doctor. The latter himself contracted the malady but recovered and was subsequently placed in charge of thirteen patients by Dr. Paramore, and of these twelve recovered. These cases were the first that Dr. French had. In the fall of 1843 he again taught school, receiving two dollars per pupil and “boarded round.”
On the 19th of December, 1843, Dr. French married Miss Mary Ann Crisler, and after a week resumed his teaching, but after finishing the term he abandoned pedagogical work. He and his wife began housekeeping on a farm of fifty-seven acres which he had purchased. He cleared the standing timber and built a comfortable, though small, residence and there the family resided for five years. He labored unremittingly, making and laying brick in addition to his farm work. On the 5th of May, 1849, the family started for Iowa and on the 28th of that month arrived at Bellefontaine on the Des Moines river. There were three children in the family when the removal was made to this county. Their first residence here was a log cabin near Bellefontaine which Dr. French repaired. He and his entire family were taken sick soon after coming here and they would have actually suffered from want of food if Colonel Doud, one of the first settlers of the county, had not visited them and given them provisions. Dr. French never forgot this kindness and was a warm friend of Colonel Doud during the latter’s lifetime as well as his family physician. There was a great deal of sickness in the early days and it was no unusual thing for a whole family to be stricken at once. Malarial fever especially was prevalent until January, 1850. While living upon the farm Dr. French cultivated his land, cut wood, split rails and did all manner of work as well as practiced his profession. However, his services as a physician were called for more and more frequently and after two years he was compelled to leave the farm and devote his entire time to his professional duties. He rode over a territory thirty miles in extent east and west and twenty-five miles north and south. In October, 1851, he removed to Hamilton, Marion county, and practiced there for six years, having nearly the exclusive practice in that region. His first typhoid cases occurred in 1856 and out of fifty-three patients treated he lost but one, which is a remarkable record, especially when we consider that at that time the profession knew practically nothing of the disease. Some idea of the demands made upon the pioneer physician may be gathered from the fact that he traveled almost continuously for fifty days on horseback, snatching such sleep as he could. There were no buggies then nor were there any good roads or bridges.
On the 21st of June, 1857, Dr. French removed to Knoxville and on the 1st of August of that year opened a drug store on the east side of the town square, which he conducted successfully for twenty-seven years and also practiced his profession. In 1860 he discovered a remedy for diphtheria, which was the means of saving many cases that would undoubtedly otherwise have been lost. For over fifty-three years he was in active practice and his record was one of unusual success. His death occurred in Hutchinson, Kansas, on the 24th of September, 1903, when he was eighty years of age. His demise was much regretted in this county and his memory is still held in honor and esteem.
To Dr. and Mrs. French were born nine children, namely: Elizabeth D., born November 15, 1844, is now the wife of W. E. Burns, of Denver, Colorado; Caroline A., who died on the 11th of November, 1867, was the wife of Lieutenant Melvin Stone of Knoxville; Parthena J. passed away on the 2d of September, 1849, when ten months and sixteen days of age; James Allen, born on the 5th of August, 1851, resides in Knoxville; George A., born on the 3d of July, 1854, passed to his reward on the 28th of July, 1905; William A., born December 16, 1856, died October 16, 1858; Mary Alice, whose birth occurred on the 9th of February, 1859, is now the wife of J. S. Bellamy, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Amy May, born August 13, 1861, is now the wife of C. H. Sweetser, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and an infant, born April 16, 1865, died nine days later on the 25th of April.
Mrs. Mary Ann (Crisler) French, the mother of these children, was born on the 22d of January, 1822, in Boone county, Kentucky, and died June 4, 1900, at Knoxville, Iowa. Her father was Lewis Crisler, whose birth occurred June 1, 1773, in Madison county, Virginia, and who on the 18th of August, 1806, was married in Boone county, Kentucky, to Miss Mary Zimmerman. She was born on the 4th of April, 1778, a daughter of Christopher and Mary (Tanner) Zimmerman, whose marriage occurred in Culpeper county, Virginia. Lewis Crisler, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Bellamy, was a son of Leonard and Margaret (Clore) Crisler, the latter a daughter of John and --- (Cafer) Clore. Leonard Crisler was a son of Fawatt and Rosina (Garr) Crisler, natives of Virginia and Bavaria respectively. His mother was born of the union of Andreas and Eve (Seidelman) Garr, natives of Bavaria, who emigrated to America in 1732. The parents of Andreas Garr were John and Elizabeth Garr.
For twenty years M. D. Fry was a successful and energetic farmer of Marion county, but for fourteen years he has lived retired in Knoxville, residing at No. 1620 Pleasant street. He owns two hundred and forty-three acres of land in Knoxville and Polk townships and is one of the well-to-do citizens of the county. He is a son of John and Hannah (Davis) Fry, the former of whom was born in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, in 1819 and died in 1904. In 1854 he removed to this county, first locating in Red Rock township, but he subsequently purchased forty acres in Union township and continued to buy land until at the time of his death he owned eight hundred acres located in Union, Knoxville and Polk townships. For twenty-six years he was actively engaged in farming and during part of that time also owned a dry-goods store in Knoxville. He was married in Indiana in 1842 to Miss Hannah Davis, who was born in Ohio in 1821 and died in 1906. When a girl she accompanied her parents to Indiana and there grew to womanhood. There were eight children in the family of John and Hannah Fry, the record being as follows: Melinda, the wife of J. McClain of Knoxville; Mary E., the wife of J. O. Burch of Knoxville township; W. M., a resident of Polk township; D. F., living in Knoxville; Julia A., the wife of J. O. West of Colorado; Eliza, who married F. M. Kerr; also a resident of Colorado; Allie, deceased, and M. D., the youngest.
The last mentioned was educated in the rural schools of Polk township and lived at home until his marriage to Miss Eva P. McLain, which occurred in 1887 at Knoxville. She is a daughter of J. B. and Lucy (Nichols) McLain, the former born on the 3d of July, 1833, at Shady Gap, Pennsylvania. His marriage occurred on the 23d of November, 1853, and in the late ‘50s he brought his family to Iowa. Five years later, however, he removed to Ohio, but in 1876 again came to this state and settled at Hampton, where he conducted a dry-goods store until 1880, when he removed with his family to Knoxville, where he passed away on the 18th of June, 1914. He was a veteran of the Civil war and a member of the Knoxville Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. His wife died on the 4th of March, 1901. To their union were born four children: Emily, the wife of W. L. Dickerson, of Knoxville; Fred D., deceased; Newton, also deceased; and Eva P., the wife of the subject of this review. She was born in Fredonia, Ohio, in 1867 and was brought to Iowa when nine years of age. Her education was acquired at Hampton and Iowa Falls. She later lived in Knoxville, where her marriage occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Fry have two children: Gail M., born on the 2d of February, 1889, graduated from the Knoxville high school in 1908 and subsequently married Frank Walter, who died in January, 1914. Since his death she has been attending business college in Des Moines. Erema S. was born on the 16th of November, 1892, and graduated from the local high school in 1909. She subsequently took a two years’ course in music at Simpson College in Indianola, this state, and is now at home.
Mr. Fry began farming upon his own account subsequent to his marriage and for twenty years was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He owns a finely developed farm of two hundred and forty-three acres in Knoxville and Polk townships and has made many improvements thereon. For the past fourteen years he has lived retired in Knoxville, as his former labors gained him more than a competence. He is a democrat in his political belief and has been quite active in local affairs. He has been delegate to a number of county conventions and for three terms served as alderman from the third ward. He is well known in the city and has many friends, as to come into contact with him means to honor and respect him.
Dr. Thomas Glenn Fultz, a successful and progressive veterinary physician residing in Pella, was born in Story county, Iowa, near the town of Nevada, on the 13th of October, 1887, a son of T. D. and Julia (Maxwell) Fultz. His father, a carpenter by trade, is now employed at the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts at Ames. The subject of this review is the elder of two sons, his brother being Frank M. Fultz, now assistant manager of the Citizens Lumber Company of Fort Dodge, this state.
Dr. Fultz entered the public schools at the usual age and upon completing the course therein became a student in the high school and subsequently took a veterinary course at Ames, receiving the degree of D. V. M. in 1910. In September of that year he located at Pella and has since practiced his profession here. He has been successful in his treatment of the diseases of animals and his services are often called into requisition by the farmers of the county.
Dr. Fultz was married in March, 1911, to Miss Nora Meyer, a daughter of George Meyer, a farmer living near Ames, in Story county. The Doctor is a democrat but has not taken an active part in political affairs. Fraternally he belongs to Pella Lodge, No. 55, A. F. & A. M., and to the Red Men at Ames, Iowa. Dr. Fultz was for six years a member of the Iowa National Guard, in which he enlisted as a private, but he was mustered out as first lieutenant. He has just erected a fine home in the city and his interests are thoroughly identified with those of Pella. He is popular personally and those who know him speak well of him.