Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa.
Unless otherwise noted, the following biographies were submitted by Dick Barton.
Madison, another one of the pioneers of Adams county, took up his abode in Carl
township in 1870. He is well known here, and mention of him is appropriate in
Madison was born in Hamilton county, Indiana, April 11, 1839, a son of John F.
Madison, now in Pennsylvania in 1816. His mother, whose maiden name was Jane
Roberts, died about twenty years ago. Young Madison was reared on a
"Hoosier" farm and was early inured to hard work, learning to chop
wood, plow and grub. At the age of sixteen he entered upon a three years'
apprenticeship to the blacksmith trade at Whitestown, Boone county, Indiana, and
at nineteen, having completed his term, he came west and located in Polk county,
Iowa, where he lived one year. He then moved to Madison county, this state, and
made his home near Winterset till 1870. That year he came to Adams county and
bought forty acres of land from James Blackwell. Later he purchased eighty acres
of wild land, which he brought under good cultivation, now having a fine farm of
120 acres. For twenty years he has worked at his trade and is a number one
4, 1857, he was married in Boone county, Indiana, to Susan E. Good, a native of
that place and a daughter of Isaac and Polly (Kenser) Good, the former born in
Pennsylvania and the latter in Virginia. Isaac Good died in Bloomington,
Illinois, at the age of seventy, and his wife passed away in Boone county,
Indiana, aged forty years. To Mr. and Mrs. Madison nine children have been born,
six of whom are living. Their names are as follows: Missouri Jane, Charles W.,
Samuel Jesse, Vincent Henry, and Arthur and Luther, twins. Their daughter, Mary
McGinnes, who died at the age of thirty-one years, was a woman of high
intellectual attainments and was before her marriage a successful teacher, loved
and respected by all who knew her. She was a member of the Christian Church. She
left one son, Charles Guy. David Francis, their second child, died at the age of
two and a half years. An infant daughter lived only three days. Isaac Malvern,
their fourth born, died when two years old.
Madison, his wife, daughter and son Charles are members of the Christian Church,
and he is clerk of the church. Politically he is a Republican, however, holding
Madison, a successful and enterprising farmer of Adams county, resides on 120
acres of land in section 18, Carl township. He came here in 1871, and has since
made this place his home.
Madison was born in henry county, Indiana, in 1840, son of John F. and Jane
(Roberts) Madison. His father is a native of the South and is of Irish
extraction; has been a farmer all his life, is now seventy- eight years of age,
retired from active life, and resides at Corning, Iowa. The mother was born and
reared in Indiana, and died in Adams county, Iowa, at the age of fifty-two
years. John F. Madison is the father of twelve children.
subject of our sketch spent his youth on a farm in Indiana, and received his
education in the common schools. At the age of nineteen he came to Iowa and
spent one year in Polk county. He then went to Madison county, lived there until
1871, and from that place came to his present location. Here he settled on wild
land, which he has since improved and developed into a fine farm, with grove,
orchard, good buildings, fences, etc. The District No. 4 schoolhouse is located
on the southeast corner of his farm.
Madison was married in Madison county, Iowa, to Miss Nancy Farris, a native of
Missouri. Her father, Charles Farris, was a pioneer of Madison county. Following
is the issue from this union: Charles Wesley, who is married and lives in Colony
township, this county; Lucy, wife of W. West, resides in Carl township; John F.,
Alpheus Levi and Edith A., at home. One child, Chrissie, died at the age of
three years. Mr. and Mrs. Madison and two of the children are members of the
Evangelical Church of Mount Etna. He votes with the Republican party, and has
served as a member of the School Board. A man in the prime of life, possessing a
strong physique, frank and cordial in his intercourse with his fellow men, and
honorable in all his dealings, Mr. Madison is regarded by all who know him as a
most worthy citizen.
aged and prominent citizen of Lincoln township, Adams county, Iowa, dates his
birth in Sussex county, New Jersey, October 3, 1816. His parents, Jephtha and
Mary (Stuart) Martin, were natives respectively of New Jersey and Orange county,
New York. The father was an industrious and enterprising farmer. He was twice
married and reared sixteen children. Both he and his wife, the mother of J. S.,
were members of the Baptist Church. They were called from labor to reward, the
father at the ripe old age of ninety-four, and the mother at the age of sixty-
S. Martin engaged in farming in his native State and remained there until 1869,
when he and his family moved to Adams county, Iowa, and bought 226 acres of
Adams county's rich soil. This farm is located about two miles and a half north
of Carbon, and here he is pleasantly situated and surrounded with all the
comforts of life. His cottage home is so situated as to command a fine view of a
rich and beautiful country. Mr. Martin has given much attention to
stock-raising. His chief farm products are corn, oats and hay, and he also has
an orchard and small fruits.
a resident of New Jersey Mr. Martin served as Senator from 1861 to 1864,
discharging the duties of that important position to the entire satisfaction of
his constituents and in a manner that reflected credit of himself. After coming
West, he was in 1877 elected county Supervisor of Adams county, and served one
term. At this writing he is filling the same position, having been elected in
1888. His present term will expire in 1892. As a member of the Board of
Education he has served five years, and has ever been an important factor in
advancing all such measures as had for their object the promotion of good in the
New Jersey, in 1852, Mr. Martin married Miss Mary Casterline, daughter of
Abraham Casterline of New York. She is a lady of culture and refinement, and to
their forty years of married life has brought every sweet and noble attribute to
be found in the wife and neighbor.
Mr. Martin affiliates with the Democratic party.
A. Mason, a farmer of section 5, Nodaway township, was born May 11, 1842, in
Venango county, Pennsylvania, in which county his father, William Mason, was one
of the first settlers. He was a tailor by trade but resorted to farming as soon
as his sons were old enough to assist[.] He was a descendant of that intelligent
and sturdy race, the Scotch-Irish. Several of the ancestors of our subject
served in the wars of the Revolution and 1812. James' mother's name before
marriage was Juliette Webber. She was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, the
daughter of Andrew Webber, of German descent. Mr. William Mason, on his first
settlement in Pennsylvania, had to carry flour for his family on his back for
seventy-five miles. He had six sons and six daughters, of whom eleven are still
living. In 1856 he moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where he for a time engaged in lead
mining. He died at the age of seventy-three years, and his surviving wife
resides at Fontanelle, Adair county, Iowa. Two of his sons were in the army:
Joseph A., in the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, and John S., in the Twelfth Iowa
subject of this sketch was reared to farm work, and in 1871 he came to Adams
county, locating upon a tract of wild land. He has now a fine farm of 140 acres,
well improved, a good one-and-a-half story house, twenty-eight feet square, an
orchard of 500 trees, a vineyard, a plat of small fruits, fifteen stands of
bees, etc. Although forty-nine years of age, Mr. Mason looks ten years younger,
is an affable, jovial gentleman and highly respected. His first presidential
vote he cast for Abraham Lincoln.
was married, in Dubuque, Iowa, at the age of twenty-six years, to Miss Mary I.
Elwell, who was born in 1849, the daughter of Joseph Elwell, one of the oldest
settlers of this State, coming here in April, 1834. Mr. Mason was acquainted
with, and often talked with him after the war. He was born in Warren county.
D. McClelland, who resides on section 35, is one of the well-known early
settlers of Nodaway township, coming in 1859. He was born in Greene county,
Pennsylvania, July 29, 1823, the son of John McClelland, also a native of that
county. The great-grandfather of our subject was a native of Ireland, and the
grandfather, James McClelland, was one of the early settlers of Greene county.
On his mother's side, Mr. McClelland is of Scotch descent. His mother was Mary
Dawlin, born near Philadelphia. She was the mother of six children, and died
when her son, the subject of this sketch, was about ten years old. Later the
father re-married, and eight children were born by this union. Only three of the
first children are now living, viz.: James, a resident of Washington county,
Iowa, and Paul D., and Mrs. Sarah Ann Bishop, a resident of Knox county, Ohio.
Of the second family of children three are also living: William H., a resident
of Wymore, Nebraska; Mrs. Elizabeth Fraser, of Harrison county, Wisconsin;
Charles, in Mount Liberty, Knox county, Ohio.
McClelland lived in his native county until his fourteenth year, when he removed
with his father's family to Knox county. The mother had died in Pennsylvania,
and the father in Knox county, in September, 1862, in his sixty-sixth year. The
second wife is still living, with her youngest son, Charles, in Knox county.
Paul D. was reared to the occupation of farming. He married Miss Elizabeth
Guthrie, January 1, 1846, a daughter of James and Mary (McKibben) Guthrie. The
mother was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1824, but removed to Ohio
with her parents when but thirteen years old. The parents continued to live in
Ohio, in Muskingum county, until death. They had two sons and six daughters,
only three of whom are known to be living. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs.
McClelland continued to live in Ohio until 1856, when they emigrated to Iowa.
They came all the way by wagon to Warren county, and were about four weeks in
making the journey. Mr. McClelland has three brothers living in Warren county,
and his intention was to make a settlement there, but finally decided to come to
Adams county after a residence in Warren county of nearly three years. The time
of his settlement on his present place was in the spring of 1860. His first land
in this county consisted of 200 acres, 160 of which was prairie and forty acres
timber land, and no improvements whatever had been made on the place when he
purchased it. His first residence was a hewn log-house, located just north of
his present residence. He occupied this house until he built his present
residence in 1870. He has added 232 acres to his first purchase, and now has a
farm of 380 acres. Mr. McClelland paid $700 for 200 acres of his original
purchase, which was the extent of his financial ability. By honest industry he
made his land a beautiful farm, and is surrounded by the comforts of life.
and Mrs. McClelland have had nine children, four sons and five daughters, and
three are now deceased. The living are John, Cynthia A., Paul M., Clarinda,
Elizabeth Ellen and Rev. William C. McClelland. The three deceased were:
Margaret Jane, the second child, who died at the age of nineteen years; James
L., died at the age of twenty-seven years, and Mary M., at the age of thirteen
months. Mr. and Mrs. McClelland are numbered among the oldest and most esteemed
citizens of Adams county, where they have lived so long, and are well worthy a
place in the prominent record of the old settlers of Adams county. Politically
Mr. McClelland is a Democrat. He cast his first Presidential vote for James K.
Polk, in 1844. The family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of
Nodaway township, and their son, Rev. William C., is the present pastor of this
A. McGinnis made his arrival on this mundane sphere December 4, 1853, in Madison
county, Iowa. He is a son of the Rev. J. B. McGinnis, deceased, a minister of
the Christian Church and a prominent pioneer of Madison and Adair counties. He
was well and favorably known all over southwestern Iowa, had preached the gospel
of salvation in many a log cabin and school-house, and was instrumental in doing
much good in the cause of his Master, whom he served faithfully as long as he
lived. His death occurred at his home, twelve miles northeast of Greenfield,
Adair county, Iowa, in April, 1890. He had come to this State from Indiana, and
here he was the owner of a large and valuable tract of land. After giving
liberally to his children he had a fine farm of 200 acres left, on which he was
residing at the time of his death. He had a family of twelve children, eight
sons and four daughters, eleven of whom are now living.
A., whose name heads this biography, was the sixth born in this large family. He
was a lad of nine years when his father settled in Adair county, and there he
grew to manhood, spending his youth on a farm and receiving his education in the
pioneer schools. He purchased land in Adams county in 1877, and is now well
located on a good farm of 120 acres, eighty acres of which are in Carl township
and forty in Colony township. Here he has a comfortable cottage home, good
outbuildings, fine grove, orchard, etc., and everything about the premises wears
an air of thrift and prosperity.
Carl township, this county, in September, 1878, Mr. McGinnis married Miss Mary
E. Madison, daughter of Charles Madison, of Carl township. She was a teacher
before her marriage, was a lady of much culture and refinement, and possessed
many amiable traits of character, being loved by all who knew her. She was a
member of the Christian Church. She died January 10, 1890, leaving one son,
Charley Guy, born June 25, 1881. Her second child, a daughter, died, December
27, 1889, at the age of three days.
Mr. McGinnis is an Independent. He is a member of the Christian Church.
J. McGinnis, one of Douglas township's well known citizens, was born in
Champaign county, Ohio, August 4, 1833, son of Samuel H. and Exona (Harbour)
McGinnis, both natives of Champaign county, Ohio. His father was a son of
William McGinnis, of Scotch descent, a native of Kentucky, and a soldier of the
war of 1812, and of Jenny McGinnis, his wife. The mother was a daughter of
Elisha Harbour, a native of Virginia and a soldier in the war of 1812. The
Harbours were among the first settlers of the Old Dominion. One member of the
family was kidnapped in England and brought to America and sold. Samuel H.
McGinnis died when the subject of this sketch was a boy, and his wife died in
J. was reared of a farm in the county where he was born, receiving his education
in the common schools there. In 1854 he came to Jefferson county, Iowa, and
remained one season, after which he returned to Ohio. Two years later he came
back to Jefferson county and was married. He then settled in Monroe county,
Iowa. During the war he enlisted in Company K, Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry. He
received injury by a comrade's ax while they were at work in camp, his right
thumb being cut off, and lost the use of his index finger. He also lost another
finger from the same hand by erysipelas. For loss thus sustained he now receives
a small pension from the Government. In August, 1865, he was honorably
discharged at Davenport, Iowa, after which he returned to his home in Monroe
county. In 1866 he moved to Lucas county, this State, where he lived seven
years; thence to Texas; a year later to Jewell county, Kansas, where he took a
homestead and lived two years; spent the next year in La Salle county, Illinois,
and, returning to Jewell county, Kansas, lived there three years longer. At the
end of that time he sold out and came to Adams county, Iowa, and purchased from
Frank M. Davis the eighty-acre farm on which he now lives.
McGinnis was married in Jefferson county, Iowa, November 19, 1857, to Miss Sarah
D. Andrew, who was born in that county eight years before Iowa was brought into
the Union, her birth occurring November 8, 1838. She is a daughter of William
and Elizabeth (Gaut) Andrew. Her father was a native of North Carolina, settled
in Iowa about 1836, and died in Lucas county, this State, at the age of eighty
years. Her mother was a descendant of Irish ancestry, and she, too, lived to be
an octogenarian, her death occurring in Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis have four children, namely: Elizabeth Alfie, wife of Charles McKernon, Douglas township, this county; Mary Alice, wife of John Richeg, also of Douglas township, and was before her marriage engaged in teaching; and Ora Matella and William H., at home. Politically Mr. McGinnis is an Independent. He is a member of Llewellyn Post, G. A. R., Corning, Iowa. He and his wife and daughter Ora M. are members of the United Brethren Church, of which he is a trustee.
David McIlravy was born in Harrison county, Ohio, February 1, 1829. His father, Hugh McIlravy, was a native of county Antrim, Ireland, and a son of Hugh C., also a native of that county. The family came to America in 1812 and settled in Washington county, Pennsylvania, where the grandfather of our subject died. Hugh McIlravy learned the trade of bricklayer, which he followed for a number of years. He married Ellen Quigley, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John Quigley. In 1868 he moved to Knox county, Illinois, where he died at the age of eighty-eight years and eight days. His education had been received in the schools of Ireland, and after his arrival in this country he was in politics a Whig and later a Republican; in religion, a Presbyterian, having served as elder of the church for more than forty years. His wife had preceded him to the other world, her death having occurred in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1863. Their family consisted of six sons and one daughter, of whom two sons and the latter are now living, viz.: Robert, of Knox county, Illinois; David, our subject; and Nancy Jane Creighton, Carl township, this county.
David McIlravy was reared on a farm in Harrison county, Ohio, and educated in the public schools of the Buckeye State. He was married in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, June 27, 1865, to Miss Sarah Elizabeth True, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Masters) True. Her father was born in Delaware, a son of Thomas True, of Scotch ancestry, and her mother in Tuscarawas, Ohio, daughter of Isaac Masters. They had seven children, one son and six daughters. The mother died in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, when Mrs. McIlravy was ten years old, and her father still lives at that place, at this writing, aged seventy-five years. He is an honored citizen of Tuscarawas county, and a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. McIlravy lived in Ohio, engaged in farming until 1865, when he moved to Knox county, Illinois, and settled near Victoria. In 1880 he came to Adams county, Iowa, and bought his present farm in section 4, Carl township. By the expenditure of much time and labor he has highly improved his farm until it is ranked among the best in the township. His dwelling, a story and a half cottage, with bay windows and porches, beautifully located and surrounded with fine lawn and shade trees, is one of the attractive places to be seen in this vicinity. A three-acre orchard, grove and 100 rods of Osage hedge are among the other improvements which enhance the value of this property.
Mr. and Mrs. McIlravy
have six children, whose names are as follows: Mary E., wife of James
Arnold of this county; William Q., Isaac Homer, John D., Chauncy R.
and Olin Fremont. They lost one son, Charlie, who died in Knox county,
Illinois, at the age of sixteen months. His wife is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics he affiliates with the Republican
gentleman is one of the worthy citizens of Adams county and is justly deserving
of biographical mention on these pages.
Briefly, an outline of his life is as follows:
O. Means was born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, August 6, 1821, son of William
and Sarah (Evans) Means.
William was a son of John means, a soldier of the war of 1812.
The father of Sarah Means, Samuel Evans, dropped dead at the breakfast
table, of heart disease.
His wife died in 1851.
William Means and his wife had eleven children, namely:
William C., Samuel B., who was instantly killed in a runaway, aged about
fifty years; Robert G., who died at the age of sixty-five; John H.; Elizabeth,
Mrs. C. Hall, who died at the age of forty; James J.; Isaac O., the subject of
our sketch; Mary M., Mrs. James Steward, deceased at the age of thirty; Amanda
M., Mrs. S. Long, deceased at thirty-two; Charles B., who died at the age of
four years; and Sarah, at the age of two years.
Charles and Sarah and their father all died the same week, in August,
O. left Kentucky with his parents in 1830 and went to Jefferson county, Indiana,
where the parents and two children sleep side by side.
In that county, February 17, 1845, Mr. Means wedded Susan Snider, and
their union has been blessed with eleven children, as follows:
William F., who died at the age of two years; James S., a sketch of whom
follows this; Sarah C., who died in the bloom of young womanhood, aged sixteen
years; Mary J., Mrs. Oliver Cooper; George R., Isaac B, Daniel P., Amanda M.,
who died at the age of four years;
Thorison W., Zoa A., Mrs. Simpson Robison, and Melvin A.
1855 Mr. Means moved from Indiana to Missouri; thence a year later to Henry
county, Iowa; seven years afterward to Warren county, Illinois; thence to
Missouri again; two years later to Nebraska; in 1880 to Adams county, Iowa,
where he has since resided.
Means is a member of the State Alliance, generally votes the Democrat ticket,
and he and his wife are both worthy members of the Evangelical church.
In the Means home is found that generous hospitality which characterized
their Kentucky ancestors.
S. Means, a prominent farmer residing in section 17, Washington township, Adams
county, was born in Jefferson county, Indiana, December 11, 1848, son of Isaac
O. and Susan (Snider) Means.
He has been engaged in farming all his life.
He came to his present location in 1880.
Here he owns 160 acres of choice land, and but few farmers of his age in
the county have a more encouraging outlook than he.
His home is located on a truncated cone and commands a most magnificent
view of the surrounding country.
His land is well adapted for general farming and stock-raising, and to
the latter Mr. Means has given special attention, raising cattle and hogs.
He has a nice orchard and an abundance of small fruits.
Means was married, December 28, 1876, to Miss Caroline Bunting, daughter of John
and Mary (Waters) Bunting, of Warren county, Illinois, now honored and respected
citizens of Adams county, Iowa, living near Prescott.
Their children are eight in number:
Caroline, Mrs. Means, Orville D., Mary L. E., now Mrs. Frank McCabe;
Francis M., John Thomas, Anna E., died at the age of one year, nine months; two
died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Means have one child, Mary Bertha.
Politically Mr. Means is a Democrat.
He is also a member of the Farmers' Alliance.
W. Miller is one of the well known, early and prominent pioneers of Adams
He came here in October, 1853, and has since made this place his home.
He was born in Wabash county, Indiana, February 16, 1841.
His father, Judge Jacob Miller, one of the first judges in Adams county,
was born in Pennsylvania, a descendant of German ancestry.
His mother was also a native of Pennsylvania and of German extraction,
her maiden name, Mary Wyant.
The Judge was a miller by trade and while a resident of Pennsylvania
owned and operated mills.
About 1830 he moved to Wabash county, Indiana, and cleared away the
forest and developed a farm.
In the spring of 1849 he came with his family to Iowa, and settled near
Eddyville, where he spent the summer.
In the fall he moved to Lucas county and located near Chariton, remaining
there until August, 1853, when he came to Adams county and entered Government
land where Quincy now stands.
He subsequently gave one-half of his tract to the county on condition
that the county seat be located there, which it was.
The land was surveyed and platted by Dr. Wakeman Triplet.
A son-in-law of Judge Miller built the first house and sold the first
goods in Quincy, and the
Judge himself built the second one, a log house.
In October, 1854, judge Miller died, leaving a widow and eight children,
four sons and four daughters.
One son, Jacob Miller, Jr., died at Vicksburg with small-pox.
He was a member of the Fourth Iowa Infantry.
The other members of the family are as follows:
Martha Holbrook, a resident of Quincy township, this county; William, of
Bristol, Iowa; Sarah, also of this county; M. W., the subject of our sketch;
John, of Kansas; Mary Huntington, a resident of California; and Eliza Ellen
Reynolds, also of California.
The last was the first child born in Quincy, her birth occurring in
The mother died in September, 1886, aged seventy-four years.
Judge Miller was a man of many admirable traits of character, esteemed
and respected by all who knew him.
He was a member of the I. O. O. F.
W. Miller, whose name heads this sketch, was a lad of eight years when he came
to Iowa, and was twelve when the family located in Adams county.
Losing his father when only thirteen, he early began to do for himself
and to assist his mother in caring for the younger children.
His education was limited to the common schools, supplemented, however,
by a practical business experience and by much reading at home.
He improved a farm in Quincy township.
In 1879 he bought wild land in section 35, Douglas township, from year to
year continued to improve it, and now has one of the best farms in the township.
His comfortable residence is located on a natural building site, and is
surrounded by evergreens, orchard and grove.
His barn, outbuildings and fences are all in fine shape, and the general
appearance of the premises at once stamps the owner as a man of enterprise.
Miller was married December 3, 1865, to Miss Phebe R. Lawrence; she was born in
Morgan county, Ohio, June 10, 1847, a daughter of Thomas and Patience (Devoll)
Lawrence, mention of whom will be found on another page of this work.
Mr. and Mrs. Miller have one daughter, Maud R., born May 7, 1879.
Mr. Miller is a Republican, and he and his wife are members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Note: Photo submitted by Floyd Harlow Lawrence: "Mahlon W Miller 1841-1929, son of Judge Jacob Miller/Mary Wyant. He married my Grandfathers sister, Phoebe Roxanna Lawrence. They are buried in Walnut Grove Cem Corning, Iowa with one of the most Massive mon's I have ever seen. It must be 10 ft long, & 6 ft thick. This is the polished granite part, & dim'ns do not include the base or cap."
P. Miller, a farmer of section 13, Red Oak township, is a highly respected
citizen, having been a resident of this State ever since 1843, and of this
township since February, 1880.
He was born in Fayette county, Indiana, November 15, 1829, a son of Isaac
Miller, a Virginian by birth and of German extraction.
His mother, whose maiden name was Artemisia Richards, was also a native
Young Miller, of this sketch, was fourteen years old when his parents
removed with him to the Territory of Iowa, three years before it became a State,
settling in Des Moines county, twelve miles northwest of Burlington.
A short time before his death the father moved to New London, Henry
county, this State, where he died.
S. P. Miller, our present subject, was reared on a pioneer farm and therefore
received his education in the characteristic pioneer log schoolhouse, but
finishing at Mt. Pleasant Academy, conducted by Professor S. L. Howe, a
From the age of seventeen years Mr. Miller taught school for twenty-five
terms, with marked success.
June 15, 1854, in Des Moines county, Iowa, he was married to Samantha H.
Bingaman, an intelligent lady who has been a true companion in life to her
She was born in Warren county, Ohio, and was eight years old when she was
brought to Iowa by her parents in their emigration to this State.
Her parents were Frederick and Mary (Kynett) Bingaman, her father a
native of Maryland and her mother of Pennsylvania.
Settling in Des Moines county, they remained there until death.
1880 Mr. Miller came to this county and purchased his farm of eighty acres,
which is now magnificently
Residence, barn (46 feet square) and other outbuildings, fences, etc., as
well as the fruit and ornamental trees, are all in good condition.
In partnership with two of his sons he is engaged in manufacturing
sorghum syrup, with all the modern improvements in apparatus, making 2,000 to
5,000 gallons annually.
Mr. Miller has six children, namely:
Arthur W. and Charles M., both married and living in Red Oak township;
they have a good farm of 280 acres; Mary Alice, wife of John L. Redfern, of Des
Moines county; Eva, wife of A. M. Selser, of Pilot Grove; Frank H., married and
living in Red Oak township; and Clarence I., attending school at Red Oak.
Charles M. and Frank H. have been successful teachers.
Miller is a zealous Baptist and Prohibition Republican.
In the church he is a deacon; his wife and all of the children are also
members of the church.
He had done much for religion and morality in his neighborhood, being
broad-minded and progressive.
R. Miller, a highly esteemed citizen of Briscoe, Adams county, Iowa, was born in
Grant county, Indiana, near Marion, January 31, 1836.
He is the third in a family of ten children, six of whom are still
living, and his parents were J. M. B. and Mary (Wyant) Miller, both natives of
The father left Pennsylvania with his wife and two children, came west
and located in Grant county, Indiana, where he was one of the prominent pioneer
After clearing a farm in that county, he sold out and went to Wabash
county, same State, opening up another farm on what was called the Indian
There he lived and reared his family.
In 1850 he moved from Wabash county to Wapello county, Iowa, and settled
on a farm, renting one summer.
Then he moved to Lucas county and bought 160 acres of wild land,
remaining on it until October, 1853, when he moved to Adams county and settled
where Quincy now is.
The county commissioners had located the county seat there, and he
entered it for half of the lots.
The county seat remained there until after the railroad passed through
Corning, when by vote of the people it was moved to the latter place.
J. M. B. Miller was county Judge of Adams county, and died while serving
his second year in that capacity.
He was a man of the strictest integrity, and was highly esteemed by all
who knew him.
His home was a general stopping place for
many who were seeking homes in the then far West, and at Judge Miller's
they always received a cordial welcome. His death occurred in September, 1855,
at the age of forty-eight years.
He was a Democrat and an active politician, at all times identified with
the best elements of his party.
His wife died September 13, 1888, at the age of seventy-seven years.
Her parents were John and Malinda Wyant, Pennsylvania Germans.
Miller, a brother of the subject of this sketch, enlisted in 1861 in the Fourth
Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served with the army of the West.
He, with four others of this neighborhood, distinguished themselves at
the battle of Pea Ridge, and made a marvelous escape from the enemy.
During the siege of Vicksburg he was stricken with small-pox there, and
His remains are interred at that place.
He was never sick a day until his army life began, and when he entered
the service was in the bloom of health and weighed over 200 pounds.
In honor of him the G. A. R. Post at Briscoe was named Miller Post.
R. Miller began farming in this county at the age of twenty.
After the death of his father he farmed and teamed, hauling goods from
St. Joseph, Missouri, Burlington and Council Bluffs and other points.
He improved a farm and was largely instrumental in developing the
interests of this section of the country.
He now owns eighty acres of improved land, located a mile form Briscoe.
His building is on the section line, and his farm comprises the south
half of the west quarter of section 2.
In December, 1880, he moved to Briscoe and opened a general merchandise
store, since which time he has been driving a good business, his store being the
only one in the place.
His success has been noted, his business ability recognized, and he has
been sought to fill public places.
He was appointed assistant postmaster when the office was established in
Briscoe, and has been handling the mail ever since.
He has recently been appointed school director for the township; has also
held various other offices, always giving entire satisfaction.
Miller was married April 17, 1857, to Miss Eve Stair, daughter of John and
Elizabeth Stair, residents of Indiana.
Their three children are C.A., Addie and Nellie.
Their son married Emma Lathrop, and now resides on the home farm.
Addie is the wife of C. A. Scott, and lives on a farm in Lincoln
township, this county. Mr.
and Mrs. Scott have four children - Lillie, Maud, Flora and Mabel.
Mrs. Miller is a member of the United Brethren Church.
In his political views Mr. Miller is an Independent.
S. Mitchell, a popular and enterprising farmer of Mercer township, Adams county,
since he settled here in 1873, was born in Henderson county, Illinois, May 12,
1843, a son of Matthew Mitchell, who was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, of
Scotch-Irish extraction. Mr. Mitchell's great- grandfather was one of three
brothers, "Covenanters," who emigrated to the United States before the
Revolution. His mother, whose maiden name was Jane Stevenson, was born in Knox
county, Ohio, the daughter of John Stevenson, who was a native of Pennsylvania;
and her mother, whose name before marriage was Ann Lee, was a native of Ireland.
Matthew Mitchell moved to Illinois in 1839, and in the autumn of 1840 purchased
a piece of land. The day of which William Henry Harrison was elected President
of the United States, he arrived with his family at Monmouth, Illinois, where he
is still living, at the age of eighty-four years; and his wife is seventy-two.
They reared six sons and three daughters, one of whom is deceased.
subject of this sketch, Mr. John S. Mitchell, the second child in the above
family, was reared to farm life. In 1873 he came to Quincy township, Adams
county, where he lived three years, and in 1876 he settled on his present farm,
which was then wild land, excepting that seventy acres had been broken. He has
made this one of the best farms in the neighborhood. He has a comfortable frame
house, a barn forty- eight feet square, and all other farm appurtenances in good
order. The premises indicate that their proprietor is a man of thrift and good
Henderson county, Illinois, December 22, 1869, Mr. Mitchell married Miss Mary
Morton, a native of Ripley county, Indiana, who at the age of sixteen years
moved into Illinois. Her parents, George and Janette (Culberson) Morton, were
from Scotland. They have three children: George O., Arthur M. and Cora W.
Mitchell is a Republican in his political principles. He has served his township
as trustee, and has held minor offices. He is a member of the United
Presbyterian Church, and the superintendent of its Sunday- school, etc. Mrs.
Mitchell and the two sons are also members of the same church.
O. Mitchell, farmer and lawyer, residing at Corning, was born in Van Buren
county, Iowa, April 4, 1846. His parents, George and Sarah M. Mitchell, were
natives of Kentucky, and came to Iowa in 1840, engaging in farming. W. O., the
second of their five children, at the age of sixteen years enlisted in the war
for the Union, joining Company C, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served
three years, eight months of which time he spent in southern prisons, including
Andersonville, Salisbury and Florence, - from the last named of which he
escaped. The horrors he suffered, in common with many other "boys in
blue," are too well known to need recital. Mr. Mitchell was in the siege of
Vicksburg and in many other important engagements, escaping rebel bullets,
however, without injury. After the war he graduated at Cornell College and
immediately began the study of law in the office of Stuart Brothers, Chariton,
Iowa; was admitted to the bar in 1872. He has ever since been in active
practice. He has for some time been engaged also in farming and stock- raising.
He has an estate of some 700 acres, situated in the heart of the famous
Blue-Grass region. Probably no man in the country has done more to call
attention to the matchless resources of the eighteen counties embraced in this
tract. Knowing its agricultural and mineral resources, he enlisted with
enthusiasm in the development of an important section, and has been particularly
active as a member of the Blue-Grass League, of which he is now president.
his wife he married the daughter of A. H. Chaffee, the architect, a resident of
Corning, and now has two children. He is a member of the G. A. R., as well as of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a stalwart Republican. In 1891 he was
elected as Representative to the 24th General Assembly. Mr. Mitchell is the
first man to be elected by his party to this important office in the last
fourteen years. He only ran seventeen votes behind the Governor, although the
Democrats and People's party fused on their candidate. No higher mark of respect
and esteem could be given him by the people of Adams county than in his election
in November, 1891, when such odds were against him. As a lawyer he is prominent,
leading and able; as a business man he is possessed of good executive ability,
untiring and energetic; as a citizen he is active, progressive, public spirited
and liberal, and since coming to the county he has ever been loyal to her best
material interests, advocating all measures that the best elements therein
strive to maintain. Of strict and upright manhood, he constantly labors for her
welfare and is always found in the line of the best citizenship.
a friend he is true, honest, faithful and sacrificing to all who show themselves
worthy of his friendship; as a man he is amiable, temperate, benevolent and
just, with fine literary tastes and broad culture.
Moore was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, August 28, 1821. His father, S. J.
Moore, served in the war of 1812. He was a native of Pennsylvania, and was a son
of Amos Moore, who was born in Scotland, and served in the Revolutionary war.
The mother of our subject was Jane (Jamison) Moore, a native of Pennsylvania.
Her father, Lord John Jamison, was born in Scotland, and received a collegiate
education there. After coming to America he was engaged as a teacher in
Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and lived to be eighty-nine years of age. His wife
was before her marriage Miss Jane Wills. In 1834 Samuel J. Moore and wife left
Kentucky and moved to Putnam county, Indiana, where the mother died in 1838. The
father subsequently went to Rising Sun, on the Ohio river, and from there came
to Marion county, Iowa, where he died at the age of eighty- three years. He was
by trade a cooper and wheelwright. Of their six sons and one daughter, only the
subject of our sketch and his sister are now living. The latter, Sarah Strahan,
is seventy-eight years of age. One son, Robert P. Moore, was State Attorney of
Kentucky. His death occurred at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Moore was fourteen at the time of his going to Indiana, and in that State he
grew to manhood. In 1840 he came to Iowa and remained one season in Des Moines
county. In the fall of that year he settled in Henderson county, Illinois, where
he lived until 1856, and during that time was deputy Sheriff four years. His
next move was to Adams county, Iowa. He first lived in Washington township, then
in Douglas, and in 1883 settled on the farm of fifty acres in Quincy township,
where he now lives. His place is well improved with good buildings, and has one
of the finest orchards in the county. He has 500 trees in bearing, of which
seventy-five are cherry and thirty are apricot trees. He also has a large
variety of small fruits.
Moore was married in Henderson county, Illinois, in 1845, to Margaret I.
Spencer, a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky, daughter of Alfred and Elinor
Spencer, both natives of Kentucky. Mrs. Moore, however, was reared in Knox
county, Illinois. They have nine children living, viz.: Robert A., an attorney
of Kearney, Nebraska; Winfield Scott, Lincoln township, this county; Sarah
Ellen, wife of John Harlow, of Kingman, Kansas; Alonzo, a lawyer of Callaway,
Nebraska; Ollie J., wife of L. A. Brittan, Douglas township, this county; Curtis
L., also of Douglas township; Nancy A., wife of Ed. Leach, Corning, Iowa; Alfred
J., a postal clerk, and Arthur E., at home. Four of their children are deceased:
Benjamin, who died at the age of ten years; Monroe, who died at the age of
fourteen months, and two children that died in infancy.
men in the county are better known than Benjamin Moore. For forty years he has
acted as auctioneer, and for eight years he was Justice of the Peace. His
political affiliations are with the Republican party. Ever interested in
religious matters, he has served as class-leader and Sabbath-school
superintendent for many years.
Moser, deceased, late a farmer of Nodaway township, was born in canton Berne,
Switzerland, in February, 1837, a son of Christ and Frederika Moser. After
attending school until he was fourteen years of age he was employed on a farm.
Emigrating to America when a young man, he settled in Monroe county, Ohio, where
he went to school again. He was afterward married, and lived in that county till
1877, when he came to Adams county, purchasing the place where he now lives. At
present it contains 293 acres, a good frame house, barn, granary, cribs, etc.,
besides beautiful shade trees and every feature for making a good home.
Moser was married in Monroe county, Ohio, October 25, 1860, to Rosina Bruny, a
native of that county and a daughter of John and Anna (Mary) Bruny, natives of
Switzerland, who came to America before their marriage - the father at
twenty-five years of age and the mother at twelve - settling in that county. Mr.
Moser, had thirteen children as follows: John Albert, Henry Fred, Lesetta Basels,
Alfred, married and living in Nodaway township; David Rinehart, Charley, Mary
Ida, Fred William, Herman, Joseph, Emma Louise, William Grover and Edward, who
died when ten days old.
Moser died November 19, 1887. He was a Democrat in political faith, a church
member and an honest, respected citizen and a kind father and husband.