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

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.

Thomas J. Hall, a well-known farmer and stock-raiser of Lincoln township, Adams county, Iowa, dates his birth in Shelby county, Illinois, June 17, 1863. His grandfather, Samuel Hall, Jr., a native of North Carolina, came from the South to Illinois about 1822 and settled in Shelby county, where he owned 160 acres of land. He and his wife, who before her marriage was Nancy Steele, had nine children, three of whom are still living. Samuel Hall, their son and the father of our subject, was born in Illinois, January 11, 1824. He married Martha Perryman, a native of Tennessee, born May 31, 1826. Three of their nine children died in infancy. Those living are as follows: Joseph, who married Delia Huffer, resides in Shelby county, Illinois; Sarah is the wife of Jacob Wonus; Albert, who wedded Julia Moore, is dead; Anna, wife of Thomas Potts, lives in Atlantic; Wilburn, who was for many years a successful teacher and who married Allie Smith, also a teacher, is now traveling in Kansas; and Thomas J., whose name heads this biography. The parents of this family are still living and are honored and respected residents of Adams county, Iowa. They moved from Illinois to this State in October, 1878, and settled on the farm where they now reside. For two years they rented and then bought the property, 120 acres. It is nicely improved and well adapted for general farming and stock-raising.

Thomas J. Hall, while he is engaged in agricultural pursuits, gives especial attention to stock-raising. He has twenty-six jacks and jennies, the largest and best lot of this kind of stock in the State. He also raises cattle and hogs.

In August, 1879, Mr. Hall was united in marriage with Miss Lulu Roberts, daughter of John and Frances Roberts, of Cass county, Iowa. Her parents have four children - Lolo, wife of Charles Stein of Cass county, and Mrs. Hall, Frank and Ralph. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts and their two daughters have been successful teachers in this State. Two children, Albert and Jessie, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hall.

Politically our subject affiliates with the Republican party, and is now serving as constable of Lincoln township. He is progressive in his views and is found well to the front in all enterprises that tend to advance the good of the community.

Mrs. Hall is a member of the United Brethren church, and completed a college course at Toledo, Iowa.

Mr. Hall has made extensive travels all over the West; was for two years engaged in real-estate business, in Monrovia, California. This, like all his pursuits, proved very successful. He had full charge of the Willshire tract of land, and was assistant postmaster. He has now formed a partnership with a well-known stock-raiser, Milton Rowdybush, of Tower Hill, Illinois. This firm will carry on the largest business of the kind in the State.

C. W. Harlow, dealer in general merchandise, dry-goods, clothing, boots and shoes, groceries, etc., has been engaged in business in Carl, Adams county, iowa, since October, 1889. The year after he established his business here he purchased the store of his competitor, E. Rice, and consolidated the stocks. Mr. Harlow is a man of fine business ability, and is one of the most successful merchants in the county. Located in the center of a rich agricultural district, he now does a business that amounts to $16,000 per annum, and has a trade that is constantly incresing.

Mr. Harlow was born in Quincy, Adams county, Iowa, when that hamlet was the county seat of Adams county, and before the steam whistle had been heard in the vales of Western iowa, his birth occurring September 1, 1865. His parents, B. W. and Lydia (Kelly) Harlow,came to this county in 1856, and were among the early settlers of Quincy. The father was engaged in business there for a time. He subsequently went to Corning, where he did a hardware business. From there he moved to Spivey, Kingman county, Kansas. C. W. Harlow was reared inCorning, and received a good education. At the age of eighteen he engaged in business. In 1885 he went to Kansas, where he was in business fkour years. Returning to Adams county, he established himself in his present location. He is the Nasby of the Cross Roads. In November, 1890, he was appointed postmaster of Carl, and has proved himself an efficient and popular officer.

Near Mt. Etna, Iowa, on the 4th day of September, 1887, Mr. Harlow was united in marriage with Miss Edna Davis, an estimable young lady, and the daughter of Thomas H. Davis, one of the pioneers of Adams county, prominent mention of whom will be found on another page of this work. They have two daughters, Leah and Lois.

He is a member of Mount Etna Lodge, No. 382, I. O. O. F., and of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically he is a Republican.

Fred Hedinger, an intelligent and enterprising farmer, an old soldier and popular citizen residing on section 23, Nodaway township, was born in the canton of Berne, Switzerland, November 27, 1843, a son of R. and Maria (Balher) Hedinger, both natives also of that canton, who in 1854 emigrated to America, with eight children, settling in Monroe county, Ohio, and lived there until their death. Fred was therefore brought up a farmer, receiving a good education.

Under President Lincoln's first call for 300,000 volunteers to suppress the great insurrection, Mr. Hedinger, in August, 1862, enlisted for his adopted country, in Company E, One-hundred and Sixteenth Ohio Infantry, which was attached to the army of Virginia, and participated in the battles of Moorefield, Winchester, Jackson, Piedmont, Lynchburg and Snicker's Gap. In December, 1864, it was transferred to the army of the James, and participated in the battles of Hatcher's Run, Fort Gregg and Rice's Station, and was at Appomattox Courthouse at the final surrender. After his discharge, Mr. Hedinger returned to Monroe county, Ohio.

He served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and in 1868 came to Iowa, settling in Jasper township, Adams county, where he lived three and a half years. In 1872-73, his health being poor, he was in the East. During the latter year he worked at his trade in Wheeling, West Virginia, and then returned to Ohio. In 1876 he came to Council Bluffs; later he sold out his interests there, purchased land in Adams county and continued at his trade for six years. In 1882 he settled upon his farm, which now contains 120 acres of land, well supplied with a good residence, barn, outbuildings, etc. In 1888 he attended the Twenty- second National G. A. R. Encampment and Exposition at Columbus, Ohio; he also visited his former home and relatives and good old friends in Monroe county, Ohio.

He was married April 6, 1882, in this county (Adams), to Miss Madelia J. Millard, a refined and educated lady, brought up at Clinton, Iowa, from the year 1849. Her father David W. Millard, was born in Montgomery county, New York, and married Amarett D. Jenkins, who was a successful teacher before her marriage. Mr. Millard was killed at Clinton, Iowa, by the great cyclone of 1860, which also severely injured his wife and family.

Mr. Hedinger is an independent Republican, a member of Meyerhoff Post, G. A. R., of Nodaway, and both himself and wife belong to the Baptist Church.

Joseph R. Holbrook, of section 2, Quincy township, arriving here as early as 1853, was the first merchant in the county, when there were in the county but nine voters.

He was born in Cheshire county, New Hampshire, November 30, 1831, the son of Luther and Abigail (Britton) Holbrook. His father was born at Boston, a son of William Holbrook, of an old New England family; the mother was also a native of New Hampshire. The subject of this sketch was fourteen years old when the family moved to Perry county, Ohio; in 1851 they moved to Lucas county, Iowa, where they lived about thirty years; then they removed to Hamilton county, this State, and resided near Webster city until death, - the father dying at the age of eighty- three years and the mother when eighty years old. The father was a dairyman the most of his life.

Mr. J. R. Holbrook was brought up in the business of the dairy farm until he was eighteen years of age, when he learned the trade of cabinet and chair-maker, which he followed some four years; and in 1853 he settled at Quincy, then the county seat of Adams county. Here he erected the first house built in town, put in a stock of merchandise, which he had purchased at Savanna, Missouri, 100 miles away. A year afterward he sold out and purchased 200 acres of land on section 16, which he improved and occupied for ten years. Then he bought on sections 14 and 11, 200 acres which he began to improve. In 1873 he purchased where he now lives, in Pleasant valley, on one of the best farms in Adams county, containing 520 acres of bottom, hillside and table-land, - all rich and productive, and within the blue-grass tract. The place is stocked with 100 head of high-grade cattle, besides large numbers of horses and hogs. His barn, 62 x 100 feet, is one of the best in the country. Besides, there is a horse barn, 24 x 32 and three stories high. A plain, old-style house stands on a beautiful plateau of land, which is prettily ornamented with trees, etc., but Mr. Holbrook's residence is a fine, modern structure, with the latest improvements. Pleasant Valley is, indeed, a beautiful place.

Mr. Holbrook was Justice of the Peace eight years, was the first Prosecuting Attorney of Adams county, and served one term as county Supervisor. He is a good business man, well informed and of advanced, progressive views. In political matters he voted the Republican ticket until 1880, when his views underwent a change; since that time he has voted independently.

He was married in Lucas county, Iowa, January 18, 1852, to Miss Mary Ann Miller, a daughter of J. M. B. Miller, who laid out the town of Quincy, and died here in 1855. Mrs. Holbrook's mother was Mary Wiant before marriage, and she died at Quincy. Mr. Holbrook has nine children, as follows: Mrs. Nettie George, John, Mrs. Maggie Mendenhall, Mrs. Lida Deweese, who was before her marriage a school-teacher; Hector, Joseph, Mrs. Josephine Prather, Grant and Alfred. The children have received a good education, enabling them to fill responsible positions in life.

John W. Houck, one of the highly respected and well-to-do citizens of Adams county, Iowa, was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, August 19, 1844. His father was John Houck, deceased, one of the prominent early settlers of this county, and his mother was nee Ernestine Amdor. John W. was the second born in their family, and was five years old when his parents moved to Marion county, Iowa. In 1852 his father came to this county, bought a large tract of land and improved one of the best farms in that part of the State.

In 1859 young Houck went with his father to Pike's Peak, returning in the fall of 1860. He was reared to farm work, and his education was obtained in the common schools of the county. It was not until he was twenty-nine years old that he left the parental home and settled on a farm of his own - the one on which he still resides. Prosperity has attended his efforts, and from year to year he has added to his landed estate until he is now one of the largest property owners in the county. His home farm is in section 6, Quincy township, and consists of 219 acres of well-improved land. He owns sixty acres in section 1 and 520 acres in sections 15 and 22, Douglas township. His home, a comfortable and commodious residence, built in modern style and well furnished and finished throughout, is beautifully located and surrounded by a variety of shade and ornamental trees, orchard grove, etc. Substantial and commodious barn and outbuildings, stock scales, wells and good fences and other improvements and conveniences indicate at once the thrift and enterprise of the owner. A portion of his land in Douglas township is bottom land, set to blue grass, and rivals the blue-grass regions of Kentucky, the rest of his holdings in that township being upland, and well improved, with buildings, etc. Mr. Houck has given much attention to the stock business, and is one of the most successful and extensive stock men in the county. The past year he sold $4,000 worth of cattle and $2,000 worth of hogs.

He was married March 4, 1873, to Miss Sarah J. Falconer, a native of Ohio and a daughter of John and Harriet (Thornborough) Falconer, both natives of Ohio. Her father died in that State, and her mother is now a resident of Carl, Iowa. Mrs. Houck received her education in Belmont county, Ohio. They have three children, - Harry, Amy Daisy and Nettie E. Their youngest, Percy, did at the age of eleven months.

Mr. Houck is a Republican. He and his family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a liberal supporter. Always interested in the promotion of educational and religious matters, adhering to the strictest integrity in all his business dealings, ever frank and cordial in his intercourse with his fellow-men, he is a popular and highly esteemed citizen.

John Houck, deceased, was one of the prominent early settlers of Adams county, Iowa. A biography of him will be found of interest to many, and is as follows:

John Houck was born in Germany, May 17, 1820, son of John and Anna Elizabeth (Neff) Houck. His father died when our subject was a small boy and his mother was subsequently married to Michael Doefenbaugh. He received a good German education. When he was seventeen years old the family came to America and settled in Dearborn county, Indiana. There some years later he was united in marriage with Ernestine Amdor, who was born in Germany, July 8, 1825, daughter of Michael and Mary Sophia (Nebergall) Amdor, both natives of Germany. At the age of twelve years she came with her parents to America, and in Dearborn county, Indiana, was reared and educated.

In 1849 Mr. Houck moved to Marion county, Iowa, where he improved a farm and resided until 1852. In that year he came with his family to Adams county and settled on a large farm in section 6, Quincy township. The years 1859 and 1860 he spent at Pike's Peak. Returning to Adams county, he opened a store at Quincy which he s[u]ccessfully conducted for ten years. Failing health compelled him to retire from business, and the remaining years of his life were spent on his farm, where he died October 20, 1880. He left a widow and eight children, six of whom are now living, viz.: John W., Henry, Joseph, Frank, George and Mary, wife of Frank Stewart. Five of their children are deceased: William, who was a soldier of the late war; Bennett, Albert, Orren and Ellen Powell.

Before the war Mr. Houck was a Democrat, but after the organization of the Republican party he gave his earnest support to it. He was a most worthy citizen, honored and esteemed by all who knew him.

Joseph Houck is a native of Marion county, Iowa, born October 27, 1852, son of John Houck, deceased, a prominent pioneer of this county, and Ernestine (Amdor) Houck.

Joseph was not yet a year old when his parents moved to Adams county. Here on the old homestead he grew to manhood. He received his education in the old schoolhouse that stood on the farm he now owns. At the age of seventeen he entered his father's store in Quincy, and there received the benefit of a practical business education. In 1874 he commenced farming on eighty acres of land. By industry and judicious management he has been successful in his operations. He was soon enabled to purchase other lands and is now the owner of 565 acres. His home place, in section 1, Douglas township, consists of 390 acres and is one of the best farms in the county. He has 160 acres in Lincoln township, section 34, and fifteen acres in timber.

Mr. Houck has one among the best rural homes in the county. His residence was erected in 1887, at a cost of $2,000; is 30 x 30 feet, two stories, with cellar under the whole, and is built on a wall of solid rock. On the west are a pantry and poarch, 8 x 24 feet. It is situated on a natural plateau and is surrounded by a beautiful lawn, dotted over with evergreens and shrubs and flowers, and both the interior and exterior surroundings indicate the taste and refinement of the family. Two large barns, other outbuildings, stock scales, a beautiful grove of twelve acres and a five-acre orchard make the farm complete in all its appointments. The place is well watered by springs and streams and is particularly adapted to stock purposes. Mr. Houck has given much attention to stock-raising, and during the past twelve months sold $6,000 worth of stock.

He was married January 7, 1875, to Miss Mary A. Stuart, a lady of culture and refinement, who was born in Virginia and reared in Mercer county, Illinois. Her father, Thomas Stuart, died in Virginia, and her mother, nee Eliza Martin, is now Mrs. Johnson and resides in Omaha. Mr. and Mrs. Houck have six children, Edith, Homer, Jessie, Arthur, Grace and Floyd. He is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Such, in brief, is a sketch of one of Douglas township's best citizens.

John F. Humbert, one of the progressive farmers of Jasper township, has been a resident of Adams [c]ounty since 1854. He was born in France, January 4, 1837, and is a son of John and Margarett (Aubry) Humbert. At the age of thirteen years he came with his father to America, landing in the city of New Orleans. There he remained four years, spending a portion of the time in attending the common schools. In 1854, as before stated, he came to Adams county, where he assisted his father in clearing up a farm; he resided under the parental roof until he had attained his majority. He then went to Hancock county, Illinois, but after a year and a half he returned again to Adams county. He and his brother purchased his father's farm, and also the live-stock; as they had little means to pay down, they had a struggle for some time, but by hard work and good management they met their obligations as they became due; they lived economically, and were soon out of debt.

Mr. Humbert was united in marriage January 22, 1862, to Miss Susan Jane McMahan, a native of Johnson county, Missouri, and a daughter of Moses and Mary (Taylor) McMahan. The parents were formerly from Tennessee, but removed to Missouri in 1853. After his marriage our esteemed subject settled on the farm he had bought of his father, where he resided for a period of five years. In 1867 he traded it for a tract of eighty acres of unimproved land, the residence being a small log cabin. This place he improved, and as his means would permit he invested in other land, until he now owns eighty acres in section 11, eighty acres in section 16, and forty acres in section 10, all of which is well improved and under excellent cultivation.

Mr. and Mrs. Humbert are the parents of five children: Mary, the wife of R. J. Mahe, of Corning; Margaret, wife of Peter Gerard, of Mercer township; Frank, a farmer in this township; Samuel, also a farmer, and William. Mr. Humbert has served as school director for several years, is a self-made man, and a good citizen in every sense of the word.

John Humbert (deceased) was born in St. Prancer, Canton De Mircourt, Department Des Vorges, France, May 7, 1804. He was a farmer by occupation. In February, 1829, he was married to Miss Margaret Aubry, by whom he has seven children. Mrs. Humbert was born in 1807, and died November 12, 1847. On account of political troubles in France Mr. Humbert emigrated to the United States with his family of seven children; they landed in New Orleans, came up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, and proceeded thence to Nauvoo, Illinois, where Mr. Humbert engaged in agriculture for a period of four years. In 1853 he was again married to Miss Adelaide Roland, and of this union six children were born, two of whom still survive. In August, 1854, he removed with his family to the frontier of Iowa, and settled in Adams county near the spot where Corning now stands; he entered a small tract of Government land, and, with the assistance of his sons, improved it, and afterwards sold it to two of the sons who now own and occupy it. After selling this land Mr. Humbert returned to Hancock county, Illinois, and made two different trips to his native land, and then returned to Iowa, where he departed this life at the home of his son in Des Moines, November 15, 1878, at the age of seventy-four years.

Thus it will be seen that john Humbert was a benefactor to Adams county, in this, that he reared sons who have become enterprising, progressive citizens; they are among the leading farmers and stock-raisers of the county, and through their energy the stock of horses in this county ranks second to none in the State.  

Leon H. Humbert, importer and dealer in Percheron and Suffolk horses, was born in St. Pranche, France, Canton De Mirconst, Department Des Vorges, October 30, 1832. He is the oldest child of John and Mary (Aubry) Humbert, an extended notice of whom will be found on another page of this work. He was reared on a farm in his native county, and in the year 1850, in company with his father, brothers and sisters, emigrated to America, sailing from Havre, May 9, in the ship Orlando. After a voyage of fifty-eight days they landed in New Orleans, and proceeded thence to Nauvoo, Illinois, and after a residence there of four years, they came to Adams county; they settled on a tract of wild land, which Leon H. assisted his father to improve. He was united in marriage December 4, 1855, to Mademoiselle Liegerot, a native of France, who had emigrated with her parents to Adams county in 1855. After his marriage Mr. Humbert resided on his father's farm until July, 1857, when he moved to Sonora, Hancock county, Illinois; he was engaged in farming there for a period of eleven years, and then returned to Adams county, purchasing a tract of 160 acres of wild, unimproved land; he at once set about placing this under cultivation, and making a home for himself and family; by close attention to his business, and wise management, he has succeeded almost beyond his anticipations; he has now a landed estate of 500 acres, with many modern improvements, well stocked with high-grade cattle, hogs and horses.

In 1882 Mr. Humbert sent his son, Charles E., to France to purchase some pure-bred horses; the son was then a lad of seventeen years; he made the trip in safety, bought three horses, in which a large amount of money was invested, and returned home, having made the initial purchase of what has since grown to be a large and profitable business. Mr. Humbert has a large herd of full-blood horses, his reputation as a dealer having spread throughout the State; he also does a large business in raising cattle and hogs.

Mr. and Mrs. Humbert are the parents of six children, three of whom have died: Alice H., aged four years, Isabelle, aged two years, and Leon, aged six months, all died of croup within a few days of each other; Mattie is the wife of G. W. Morris, of this township; Charles E. resides in Cloverdale, California, and Ernest L. is at home.

Mr. Humbert is a member of Lodge No. 275, a. F. & a. M., and his wife is a member of the Eastern Star. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party.

P. P. Humbert, farmer and stock-dealer, section 3, Jasper township, is a native of France, born August 10, 1840, and is a son of John and Margarett (Aubry) Humbert. In 1850 he emigrated with his father's family to America, landing on August 10, in the city of New Orleans; ten days later they were in Nauvoo, Illinois, where our subject attended school for a short time. In 1853 he went to Keokuk, Iowa, for the purpose of learning the barber's trade; at the end of six months, however, he returned home, and the following year, came with his father to Adams county; here he assisted in clearing and improving wild land, and remained under the parental roof until the father retired from agricultural pursuits. Then in company with his brother John he purchased eighty acres of land, and as he had not means to pay for this he was obliged to start in life with a heavy debt resting upon him; but, by hard work, good management, and close attention to his business interests, he has accumulated a good property.

Mr. Humbert was united in marriage January 1, 1862, to Miss Lucy Matthews, a native of Andrews county, Missouri, and a daughter of Littleton and Jane (Todd) Matthews; the father was a native of Kentucky, was reared in Indiana, served three years in the Black Hawk war, and was one of the pioneers of Andrews county, Missouri. After his marriage Mr. Humbert resided on the old homestead for eleven years, selling out at the end of that time, and purchasing 160 acres of wild land on section 22; he improved this place and resided there for three years; this he disposed of for the sum of $6,000, and the north half of section 15, also in a wild state, was bought; this he improved and owned for twelve years, selling for $30 per acre. He then purchased his present farm which is in the suburbs of Corning; it consists of 300 acres of well- improved land, and has been brought to this high state of culture through the efforts of Mr. Humbert. In connection with his farming interests he has been extensively engaged in importing and breeding Percheron horses.

Mr. and Mrs. Humbert are the parents of six children; Charles J. died at the age of two years; John is engaged as stenographer in Armour's packing establishment at Kansas City, Missouri; Emma May, August Leroy, Bertha Agnes, Peter Eugene.

Mr. Humbert has been a member of the I. O. O. F. for nearly a quarter of a century; he belongs to Nodaway lodge, No. 206, and Corning Encampment, No. 84; he has passed all the chairs of the order. Mrs. Humbert is a member of the Daughters of Rebekah, Lodge No. 18. In his political opinion Mr. Humbert sympathizes with the United Labor party.

Peter B. Hummel, a farmer of section 8, Carl township (postoffice Carl), was born in Snyder county, Pennsylvania, in 1839, a son of Daniel Hummel, a native of Snyder county, that State; his mother's maiden name was Susan Bastian, and she was born in Lycoming county, that State.

The subject of this sketch was left an orphan when a small child, never knew a mother's love or a father's care, and was "kicked and cuffed about" by a cold world. He served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade, at which he was employed until June 20, 1861, when he enlisted in the Twelfth Pennsylvania Reserve Veteran Corps, and afterward was transferred to the Forty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Third Brigade, and was assigned to the First Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery A, after serving eighteen months in the infant[r]y. He served three years, participating in the battles of Drainsville, seven days before Richmond, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Bull Run, siege of Suffolk, etc. At one time he, with other men, had to lie in trenches for two weeks. At another time his horse was killed under him, and still another his ear-drum was thrust out; and from the latter injury he has not yet recovered. He was honorably discharged at Portsmouth, Virginia.

He then made his home in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, until April 12, 1875, and then settled upon his present farm, where he owns 360 acres - one of the best farms in Carl township. December 28, 1885, he moved to Corning, Iowa, and worked at his trade there, while renting his farm, until 1890, when he returned to the farm. On this place is a good frame house, 32 x 36 feet, and a story and a half high, with nine rooms and well furnished. The barn is 16 x 48 feet, granary 24 x 36-1/2 and one and a half stories high, sheds, feed lots, modern windmill, grove, orchard, etc. The water is forced through 1,200 feet of pipe, to a ninety-barrel tank near the house, whence it is distributed about the premises through pipes. Mr. Hummel has some high-grade cattle and horses. "Fairlands" is the appropriate name of the beautiful home he occupies, where the family are surrounded by the comforts and luxuries of life. In his political sympathies Mr. Hummel is a Democrat, and he is a member of Lewellen Post, G. A. R., of Corning. He was made a Mason at Mr. Etna Lodge in 1888. He is also an Odd Fellow, belonging to Lodge No. 206, at Corning, and he is a member of the Encampment, Lodge No. 84, and a member of Lodge, No. 18, Daughters of Rebekah.

He was married in Snyder county, Pennsylvania, November 1, 1864, to Miss Emeline Hartman, a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Bikkhart) Hartman. Of their six children, three are living, - Charles P., Daniel B. and Clinton C. They lost three sons by death, - Archer, a babe; Henry a., who died by chemical poison at the age of twenty-three; he was an artist by occupation, and resided in Corning, Iowa.