Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa.
Unless otherwise noted, the following biographies were submitted by Dick Barton.
Gadd, a farmer of section 4, Quincy township (postoffice Corning), is a
favorably known citizen, having been here since August, 1871. He was born in
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, November 13, 1838, a son of James Gadd and
remotely of English ancestry. James was a son of Jasper Gadd, who was a soldier
in the Revolutionary war. Philip's mother's name before marriage was Hannah
Fount, and she too was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. James Gadd brought
up seven children. He was all his life a Democrat, and in religion an attendant
at the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1863 Philip went to Adams county, Ohio.
June 25, 1863, he enlisted in the First Ohio Heavy Artillery, and served two
years, being honorably discharged in August, 1865. His regiment was stationed
most of the time at Johnson's Island. After the war he went to McLean county,
Illinois, settling at Funk's Grove, nine miles south of Bloomington, and on one
of Funk's farms. Remaining there until 1871, he came to this county. Here he
purchased eighty acres of wild land, which constitutes his present fine farm.
His house if 14 x 24 feet in ground area, and one story and a half high, with an
L 16 x 32 feet and one story. The lawn is beautiful, dotted over as it is with
pines, cedars and shrubs, and there is an orchard of small fruits. The barn and
other outbuildings are substantial and well arranged. In his political views Mr.
Gadd is a Republican, and in religion a member of the Christian Church at
Prescott. He also belongs to Campbell Post, No. 170, G. A. R., in which he has
held the office of Quartermaster.
was married in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1860, to Miss Martha
Thomas, a native of that county, and a daughter of Joseph and Anna Thomas,
natives also of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Evangelical Church at Mount
Etna. Mr. and Mrs. Gadd have seven children, namely: Lizzie, wife of T. E. L.
Bishop, of Minneapolis, Kansas; Joshua, of Marysville, same State; Joel, of
Warren county, Illinois; Willie, of Kansas; Naomi, of Brooks, Iowa; and Gracie
and Jesse, at home. Jonas Orvey died at the age of eighteen months.
Garrett, who resides on a farm of 160 acres in section 19, Carl township, Adams
county, is one of the well-known citizens of this community.
Garrett was born at Paterson, New Jersey, in 1837, son of John Garrett, who was
born in county Tyrone, Ireland. His father was a weaver by trade, and after
coming to America established the looms at Paterson, New Jersey. He was a man of
education and marked business ability, and for some years was successfully
engaged in business at Paterson. Owing, however, to a combination of
circumstances over which he had no control, he failed. He then moved to Ohio and
settled on the St. Mary's river, at St. Mary's; where he engaged in the general
merchandise business, selling goods to the laborers who were at work on the
great reservoir. He subsequently moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where his death
occurred, at the age of forty-six years. The mother of our subject was before
her marriage a Miss Margaret McCristell. She, too, was a native of county
Tyrone, Ireland. Her death occurred at St. Mary's, Ohio, when James was eight
Garrett was reared in Ohio and Indiana, and received his education in those
States. In early boyhood he assisted his father in the store, and later worked
on a farm. During the war he enlisted, in January, 1865, in the One Hundred and
Forty-Ninth Indiana (Park county) Infantry Volunteers, Company I. After a
service of six months he was honorably discharged on account of disability. He
contracted a severe cold, which settled in his throat and lungs, and from the
effects of which he has never recovered. He now receives a pension. After the
war he came to Adams county, Iowa, and purchased the farm on which he has ever
since lived. This land was all wild then, and Mr. Garrett states that deer would
frequently come to his barn-yard and eat corn and hay. He is now comfortably
fixed and his farm is well improved.
22, 1860, Mr. Garrett married Miss Martha Ann Harlan, daughter of Joshua Harlan,
a native of Ohio, and a second cousin of Senator Harlan. Her mother was Sarah
Maddock. She was a native of Virginia, and died at Mrs. Garrett's in 1888, aged
seventy-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett have seven children, viz.: Edward
Grant, who is married and lives in Carl township, this county; Oliver P., Sarah,
Margaret M., Oscar, Nancy E. and Daisy Willard. Margaret M. is a successful and
popular teacher. Two of their children died in infancy. July 31, 1862, Mr.
Garrett enlisted in Company D, Seventy-Eighth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and
was captured at Uniontown, Kentucky. He is a member of the G. A. R., Post No.
334, of Mount Etna, and is Quartermaster of the Post. He and his wife and
children are members of the Baptist Church.
B. Gerard, an agriculturist of section 5, Mercer township, was born February 22,
1823, in Lorraine, France, and learned and followed the cabinet trade there. In
1848 he emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans with the Icarian community.
Then for twelve years he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois, where in 1856 he
married Theodorine Othello, who joined the community that year. She was a native
of Geneva, Switzerland. After a connection with the community of Iowa for three
years, Mr. Gerard, in 1863, withdrew from it and engaged in farming, which he
has followed ever since. In that year he purchased sixty-five acres if Adams
county where he now resides, and by the industry and good judgment of himself
and wife and the help of good children he has made a comfortable home, and even
laid the foundation for a small fortune. His place is three and a half miles
east of Corning.
has had eight children, all boys and living, who have received an average
farmer's education. Six of them are farmers (five on their father's farm of 600
acres); one is a miner in the Black Hills, and the youngest is a pupil of the
Corning high school.
M. Gladson, who resides on section 29, Quincy township, is one of the pioneers
of Adams county, having arrived here in 1855. He was born in Putnam county, near
Greencastle, Indiana, in 1834, the son of Nathan Gladson, a native of North
Carolina, where he was reared. He removed with his father's family to Indiana,
where he married Henrietta Campbell, a native of East Tennessee, who removed
with her parents to Indiana. Nathan Gladson removed from Putnam county to
Carroll county, where he died, when is son, the subject of this notice, was a
child of about four years. The mother survived until 1885. They were the parents
of three children, all of whom were sons. Jeremiah, the second son, was a
soldier in the Tenth Missouri Regiment, in the war of the Rebellion. He marched
with Sherman to the sea, but was killed in the taking of Fort McAllister, in
North Carolina. The third child died in early infancy.
nineteen years of age Mr. Gladson, our subject, left his mother's home in
Indiana to make his own way in life. He contemplated going to California, but on
reaching this portion of Iowa he decided to continue no farther west, and, with
others who accompanied him, decided to settle here. The first land that he owned
was adjoining the present village of Brooks. He settled on his present farm and
began making improvements the same year, in 1865. He has 120 acres under a good
state of improvement. He was married January 13, 1856, to Miss Almira Newcomb, a
native of Maine, and daughter of William and Elizabeth (Sidesparker) Newcomb.
The father was of English descent, his father having emigrated from England and
settled in Massachusetts previous to the birth of his son. There the parents of
William Newcomb passed the remainder of their lives. William removed from
Massachusetts to Maine, and died in Burnham, Waldo county. The mother afterward
married Zachariah Lawrence, and came to Iowa in the fall of 1856. The family
settled in what is now Douglas township. The wife and mother returned to Maine
in 1865, on a visit, and died while there. Mr. Lawrence lived several years
after the death of his wife. Mrs. Gladson was one of thirteen children, four
daughters and nine sons, several of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Gladson
have had nine children, seven of whom are living, five sons and two daughters,
viz.: Frank M., Viola C., Henrietta E., William N., Charles N., Levi W., Arthur
N. The deceased were Lolo and Freddie, both having died in early childhood.
Gladson is a member of the Congregational Church. While taking no active part in
politics, and not strongly partisan in his views, he affiliates with the
Democratic party. Thus have we given a brief sketch of one of Adams county's old
and respected families, who, have lived here for more than thirty-five years,
and are well worthy a place in the record of the old settlers of Adams county.
pioneers of Montgomery and Adams counties are better known than he whose name
heads this sketch, and it is with pleasure that we present a biography of him on
Gourley was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, October 31, 1833, the son
of Thomas and Catherine (Gardiner) Gourley, both natives of Washington county,
Pennsylvania. The father was of Irish ancestry and the mother, a daughter of
Henry Gardiner, was of German extraction. Thomas Gourley and wife reared a
family of eleven children, whose names are as follows: Betsey Zain, of Wheeling,
Virginia; Peggy Russell, residing near Villisca, Montgomery county, Iowa;
Robert, of Uhrichsville, Ohio; Thomas, Montgomery county, Iowa; Jane Richards,
Zanesville, Ohio; Rachel Stewart, Villisca, Iowa; Nancy Cooney, Montgomery
county, Iowa; John, the subject of this sketch; Henry, who settled in Adams
county, Iowa, in 1856, where he improved a good farm, and where he died in July,
18980, leaving three sons and two daughters, his widow being now a resident of
Villisca, Iowa; and Joseph, a resident of Montgomery county, Iowa. In 1856 the
parents moved west and settled in Montgomery county, Iowa, where the father
subsequently died at the age of sixty-six years, and the mother at seventy-two.
The former had been a farmer all his life. In politics he was an Abolitionist
and later a Republican. For many years he was a member of the Presbyterian
was reared in his native county and received his education in an old log
school-house. he was an ambitious young man of twenty-three when the family came
west and settled in Iowa, and many are his pleasing reminiscences of their
journey by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Missouri to St. Joseph, Missouri,
thence by team to near where Villisca now stands. At that place the family had
relatives, the Dunns, prominent early settlers of that portion of Iowa. John
Gourley was an expert hunter when he came here, and brought with him from
Virginia a pack of hounds. Game of all kinds was abundant and the crack of his
rifle seldom failed to bring down the object aimed at. He was frequently sent
for far and near to go and take part in a wolf hunt or a wildcat chase, and when
John Gourley and his hounds were on the scent there was lively sport. One season
he killed eighteen wildcats and one season forty deer, besides a large number of
wolves. He received $70 for the pelts he obtained one year. He paid his first
taxes on personal property with the scalp of a wolf and had 15 cents left from
first Mr. Gourley began his farming operations on rented land. He afterward
bought swamp land in Adams county, which he sold before buying his present farm,
in section 19, Douglas township. Only six acres of his soil had been broken at
the time he purchased it. Now he owns 520 acres, one of the best farms in Adams
county. His first home here, a cottonwood log house, after being used for some
time gave way to a box house, 14 x 16 feet, now utilized as a granery. His
present modern residence was built in 1880, is two-stories high, and is
surrounded with beautiful oaks and a fine orchard of 200 trees. This farm is
supplied with windmill, stock scales, a barn, 40 x 60 feet, and other
substantial improvements. Mr. Gourley raises more hogs than any man in Adams
county, his annual product being three car loads. One hundred acres of his land
are in timber.
Gourley has been married twice. At the age of twenty-six he married Caroline
Baker, who was born in Missouri, daughter of Judge Samuel Baker, the first judge
of Adams county, Iowa. She died in 1871, leaving five children, as follows:
Robert, James, Emma, wife of Cordy Phillips of Montgomery county, Iowa; Ida,
wife of William Harvy of Wyoming; and John, also of Wyoming. In 1885 he married
Laura Baker, sister of his former companion, and by her has three sons, -
Samuel, Harry and an infant.
Mr. Gourley has been a Republican but is now an Independent. He has passed his
sixtieth milestone, weighs 265 pounds, and is still the same frank and cordial
man that he was in the old pioneer days. He and his family are surrounded with
all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life, and from their modern home
the latch string hangs out as truly as it did from their cabin door.
T. Granger, lawyer at Corning, was born in the Province of Canada, the son of
John L. and Laura J. (Taylor) Granger, native of New York, who moved to the
Province for a brief period, and thence to Illinois when their son was two years
old. The father is a Congregational minister of twenty-five years' standing.
Granger, whose name heads this sketch, was educated at Knox College, Galesburg,
Illinois, and at Oberlin (Ohio) College. His first employment thereafter was in
the capacity of bookkeeper for three years by the Sandwich Manufacturing
Company, of Sandwich, Illinois. He then took up the study of law at Hennepin,
Illinois, and after a further course of study at Bunker Hill, that State, was
admitted to the bar by the Illinois Supreme Court. In 1883 he established
himself here in Corning, in connection with W. O. Mitchell, but he is now
practicing alone. His steadily growing practice and the increasing confidence of
the public in his ability indicate that he is a man of industry and integrity.
His future is full of promise. Clear and concise in statement, comprehensive in
comparison of authorities, and forcible, almost brilliant, in public address, he
has a great advantage. He is devoted to his profession, holding al other
married Miss Mary Jones, of Corning, and his home life is as pure and devoted as
his public is honorable and successful. He is a member of the orders of Odd
Fellows and Knights of Pythias, also of the Congregational Church, and in his
political principles is a Republican.
W. Grant, who now lives on the line of Adams and Adair counties, was one of the
earliest settlers of Adams county. He was born at York, Maine, October 20, 1837,
was raised there and educated in the common schools and afterward taught. He
left Maine and went to Boston, Massachusetts, and staid two years, when he
removed to Adams county, Iowa, and settled in Colony township, on section 4.
father's name was Benjamin Grant, a native of the town of York, Maine; he died
when the subject of this sketch was seven years old.
Grant's wife was Julia Woodward, who was born in York, Maine. She is the
daughter of William and Lucy Woodward. They were married September 22, 1861.
They have had born to them eight children, three of whom have died. Of those
living there are one girl and four boys. Their names are as follows, in the
order of their birth: Hattie M., who is the wife of G. W. Jennings now living in
Highland township, Union county, Iowa; George D., who married Katie Bartlett,
living in Adair county; Fred H., Herbert L., Benjamin E.
Grant has 160 acres of fine land adapted to general farming and stock-raising.
His house is 36 x 20 feet with an L 10 x 18; the orchard contains 250 trees,
besides small fruits; there is an artificial grove of five acres and the
necessary sheds and outhouses. He has a number of graded cattle and quite a
number of sheep.
politics Mr. Grant is Independent, and has held all the township offices. He and
his wife and daughter are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Grant at fifty-four is just in the prime and vigor of his manhood; he is an
intelligent farmer and a man of sterling integrity, - one of the hardy pioneers
who have helped to make Adams county what it is today.
I. Gray, of section 17, Grant township, came to this county in 1880, where he is
one of the enterprising and successful citizens. He was born in Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg, a son of James and Mary Ann (Thornsburg)
Gray, the former native of Tyrone, Ireland, and the latter a daughter of John
Thornsburg, of Pennsylvania. The parents had fourteen children, seven sons and
seven daughters, of whom our subject is the tenth child. They resided in
Allegheny county until death, the father dying at the age of sixty years, and
the mother at the age of seventy. The father, a farmer by occupation, was a
member of the Presbyterian Church, as was also the mother.
our subject, was reared on a farm in his native State, and received a
common-school education. In 1879 he came to Iowa, spent one season in Marion
county, and then came to Adams county, where he bought a farm in Mercer
township. He sold this place in 1890, after which he bought his present farm of
George Bratton and Robert Martin, and also eighty acres of Edward Matthews. He
now owns 240 acres of well improved land, where he has a good house, groves,
orchards, barns, sheds, yards and feed lots.
Gray was married in Allegheny county, March 6, 1878, to Miss Mary Snodgrass, a
native of Butler county, Pennsylvania, and daughter of James and Jane (Hamilton)
Snodgrass, natives of Ireland. They had eight children, four sons and four
daughters. The father died at the age of eighty-four, and the mother at the age
of sixty years, both in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Gray have five children:
Elmer Ellsworth, Jesse Elliott, Alvin Irvin, Myrtle Ursula and Mary Musetta.
Politically Mr. Gray affiliates with the Democratic party, and both he and his
wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.
F. P. Greenlee, one of the prominent citizens of the county and a leading
attorney at law, was born in Ross county, Ohio, October 5, 1846. His parents
were Thomas F. and Eliza A. (Pearce) Greenlee; the former was a native of
Rockbridge county, Virginia, and the latter was born in New Jersey and raised in
Ohio. His father was for more than twenty years engaged in teaching throughout
Ohio, and was prominent as an educator. In later life he turned his attention to
agricultural pursuits on his farm near Hillsborough, in Highland county, Ohio.
He was an active and earnest worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, as was
also his wife. The latter is still living and is now sixty-eight years of age.
Mr. Greenlee was also an enthusiastic worker in the temperance cause and the
Sabbath- school. Of the ten children born to T. F. and Eliza A. Greenlee, the
subject of our sketch was the third and is one of the seven who are still
P. Greenlee, after receiving a high-school education, engaged in teaching, which
he followed for three years, studying all the while. He then read law in
Indianapolis, Indiana, under the tutorage of his uncle, E. A. Greenlee. In 1873
he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of his profession in Villisca,
Iowa. Here he has continued and has met with eminent success. He is the oldest
practitioner in Villisca, and among the oldest, and one of the leading attorneys
of the county. He was elected a member of the School Board, which position he
held for nine years, and ever since he located here has been prominently
identified with the educational affairs of the county. He was elected Mayor of
Villisca in 1883, which position he held one term, declining re-election. He was
elected to the State Legislature and occupied a prominent position there two
years. While a member of the Legislature he was Chairman of the Committee of the
Board of Public Charities, was a member of the judiciary and other important
committees; he had principal charge of reforming the judicial system of the
State and redistricting the same; he took part on the floor in debate, and
discharged the duties of the high offices with a high degree of satisfaction to
his constituents and in a manner that reflected much credit on himself.
24, 1878, Mr. Greenlee was married to Miss Cora Mann, daughter of Joseph and
Emily Mann of Montgomery county, Iowa. She was born in Michigan, and in 1869
came with her parents to Iowa. Her father and mother are now honored residents
of Villisca. Mr. and Mrs. Greenlee have three children: George F., Harry L. and
Mr. Greenlee is a Republican ever identified with the best wishes of his party.
He is also actively associated with the fraternal societies of Villisca, being a
Mason, an Odd Fellow and a Knight of Pythias. In 1875 he had passed through all
the chairs of the I. O. O. F., and more recently through the Encampment and the
Canton. He was District Representative of the lodge in 1878. In the K. of P. he
is a charter member of two lodges, Red Oak and Villisca, and a member of the
Uniform Rank. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Active in
every enterprise which looks to the general improvement and material progress of
the county, Mr. Greenlee is regarded as a most influential citizen, being alike
popular in business, political, fraternal and social circles.
Griffith, who is engaged in banking and negotiating bonds, was born in
Radnorshire, Wales, near the English border, in 1840, the son of John Griffith,
a wealthy farmer and land-owner of that country. The former is the fourth in a
family of thirteen brothers, and is the only one of this numerous family who
resides in America. Three others, however, lived for a time in the United
States, but have returned, and all are now residents of Wales, or just over the
borderland in England. Though the father of Mr. Griffith was a gentleman of
considerable wealth, having been quite an extensive land-owner, and was able to
do well financially by all his sons should they prefer to remain at home, yet
Thomas, on attaining manhood, decided to leave his native land and seek a home
across the sea. Acting upon this resolution he came to the United States in
1864, going first to Dane county, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1869. In
that year he came to Red Oak, which has since been his home. He engaged first in
farming, but soon became a dealer in real-estate, and soon afterward engaged in
the loan and banking business, which he has followed since that time. Mr.
Griffith has by good management and judicious investments become one of the
wealthy citizens of Red Oak. He has been largely interested in farm property,
and has been instrumental in improving a large number of farms. He founded the
town of Griffithville, and also platted an addition to Red Oak, known as
December, 1880, he was married to Miss Mary C. Negus, at Fairfield, Iowa, a
daughter of Judge Negus, a prominent and well-known early citizen of Iowa. They
have one daughter, Blanche. Mr. Griffith has visited his old home in Wales
several times since he has made his home in the United States. The last time, in
1889, he made with his wife an extensive tour of Europe, occupying over five
months. They visited England, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia,
Holland and Belgium, also the great Paris exposition. They went to the top of
Eiffel tower, and visited many places of interest during their tour. On their
return they encountered one of the greatest Atlantic storms which has occurred,
thus witnessing old ocean in its wrath. The tour was highly interesting and
instructive one. Mr. Griffith is esteemed for his strict integrity, and for his
liberal progressive spirit. His energy is proverbial. He has perhaps been
instrumental in improving a greater number of farms than any other man in