Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa - 1892 - G

Montgomery County  >> 1892 Index
Adams County

Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. 
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.


Unless otherwise noted, the following biographies were submitted by Dick Barton.

Philip 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.

He 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.

James 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.

Mr. 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 years old.

Mr. 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.

February 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.

J. 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.

He 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.

James 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.

When 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.

Mrs. 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.

John Gourley

Few 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 these pages.

John 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 Church.

John 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 it.

At 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.

Mr. 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.

Politicaily 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.

Herbert 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.

Mr. 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 avocations subordinate.

He 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.

George 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.

His 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.

In 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.

Mr. 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.

William 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.

William, 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.

Mr. 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.

Hon. 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 living.

F. 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.

October 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 Marie.

Politically 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.

Thomas 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 Griffith's addition.

In 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 Montgomery county.