Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa.
Unless otherwise noted, the following biographies were submitted by Dick Barton.
Narigan was born in Harrison county, Ohio, August 27, 1840, son of Nicholas and
Mary (Willson) Narigan, both natives of Pennsylvania, the latter a daughter of
John Willson. Grandfather Narigan was of German descent, was a Revolutionary
soldier, and was one of the first settlers of Harrison county, Ohio. Joseph was
the fifth born in a family of three sons and three daughters. One of these,
William, a member of Company E, Eightieth Ohio Infantry, was killed at
Missionary Ridge by a ball which entered his left side. He died a few moments
later, aged twenty-two years. The father died in Tuscarawas county, Ohio. His
whole life was passed of a farm. He was a Christian man, and in politics a
Democrat. His widow is now a resident of that county and is eighty-eight years
old. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a devoted
father a farmer, the subject of our sketch was brought up at farm work and was
educated in the common schools. On December 12, 1861, he enlisted in Company E,
Eightieth Ohio Infantry, and served with bravery during the war. He was in the
battles of Iuka, Corinth, Raymond, Jackson and the siege of Vicksburg. He was
wounded at Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, while in the act of lifting his
brother who was dying. The ball, entering his right side broke three ribs and
his shoulder blade. He was taken to the field hospital on the Tennessee river,
where he remained for two weeks; thence to the hospital at Chattanooga. At the
latter place he lay on his back for nine months and suffered untold agonies. He
was granted a furlough of thirty days, but as he was so weak and could only
travel slowly the time expired before he reached home. He then spent three weeks
in the hospital at Huntsville, from there he went to Nashville and then to
Columbus, Ohio; thence he went home, and afterward to Dennison, Ohio. He was
honorably discharged September 22, 1864.
1867 Mr. Narigan went to Fulton county, Illinois, where he spent a short time;
thence to Marion county, Iowa. In 1871 he settled on the farm of 140 acres in
section 33, Douglas township, Adams county, where he still resides. This farm
with its good buildings and well cultivated fields presents the appearances of
thrift and enterprise.
Narigan was married, in Bushnell, Illinois, to Miss Adelaide Humphrey. She was
born in Ohio, daughter of David and Malinda (Nugen) Humphrey, and before her
marriage was an efficient and popular teacher. They have eight children, namely:
Nelly, Florence and Mary Belle, both successful teachers of Adams county;
William, Jacob Oscar, Addie May, Susanna, John Milton and David Humphrey.
Politically Mr. Narigan is a Republican. He is a charter member of the Meyerhoff
Post, G. A. R., and Surgeon of the Post.
L. Neill, a farmer of Douglas township, Adams county, first arrived here in
1856, when a boy, and is, therefore, one of the best known citizens. He was born
in Des Moines county, this State, near Burlington, in 1843, when Iowa was a
Territory. His father, John Neill, deceased, was born in county Down, north
Ireland, March 12, 1812, and came to America when a young man, and becoming one
of the first settlers at Burlington, when there were but three log cabins in the
place. He opened a farm near there, and later engaged in the grain trade,
shipping the first ear-load from that place; also dealt in live-stock, etc. He
married Mrs. Lucinda Boyd, whose maiden name was Ladd; she was born in Indiana,
a daughter of Christopher Ladd, who built one among the first log houses in
Burlington. He and his sons owned a large portion of the town site. He moved to
Adams county in 1855, settling upon 320 acres which he had purchased near town
from Jude Lowe. In the spring of 1856 he bought 220 acres more, - all wild land.
He and his two eldest sons, Henry and John L. (our subject), with three hired
men, broke ninety acres the first season, during which time they lived in a
board shanty which they had built, and where Mr. John L. Neill was cook, and had
charge of the "Hotel de Neill." In the fall they built a log house
sixteen feet square, on section 23, and there the family of parents and seven
children, and hired men and hired girl, all lived, and sometimes strangers,
arriving cold and hungry, were also welcomed to the best the house afforded. Mr.
Neill, the father, opened here a large farm, bought stock, which he drove to
Eddyville and Ottumwa, 140 miles distant. It required three or four weeks to
drive the hogs to that point; cattle were driven twelve to fifteen miles a day.
They hauled their dressed hogs to St. Joseph, Missouri, when the market was
better for dressed meat. Engaging in the mercantile trade on the old farm, Mr.
Neill sold goods to the best settlers. Later he started a store at Red Oak,
where Henry and John L. had charge, hauling their goods from Council Bluffs, St.
Joseph, Des Moines and Ottumwa. Some time afterward the father and John L.
engaged in trade at Hawleyville, Page county, and still later did an extensive
business at Villisca. The father was a good business man and financier. He was a
self-made man, politically a Democrat, and was a valuable man to this county in
early days. He died at Villisca, in 1875; his wife had in December, 1869. They
had four sons and three daughters, namely: Henry, now in the livery and money
lending business at Santa Ana, California; John L., our subject; Samuel, of
Douglas township, Adams county; Julius, of Kansas; Emma, wife of James Preston,
of Rock county, Minnesota; Ida, wife of Samuel Leach, of Springfield, Nebraska;
and Ella, who died in 1861, at the age of twelve years.
John L. Neill, whose name introduces this sketch, was a lad of thirteen years
when he came to Adams county, where he was brought up on a farm, and still
follows that noble calling, farming, now owning 662 acres of land, - all in one
body and mostly bottom land; eighty acres are in Page county. His pasture is in
blue-grass and clover. His residence is a good one, of modern style, 26 x 36
feet and two stories high, with porch. The barn is 44 x 72 feet, and there are
the other outbuildings necessary for good farm management. Mr. Neill keeps fifty
horses, from thoroughbred Clyde and Norman down, 150 head of cattle of good
1863 he crossed the plains and mountains with team to the Pacific coast, leaving
the Missouri river April 16, and arriving at Portland, Oregon, September 18. He
went to San Francisco by water, and thence by the Nicaragua route to New York.
In 1881 he went with his family on a visit to Santa Ana, California, where he
bought and sold some real estate, with profit. Thus he has spent two winters on
the Pacific coast.
Neill is a Democrat in his political views, is a successful business man and a
useful and popular citizen.
was married at the age of twenty-five years, to Miss Eliza Hollis, a lady of
intelligence and of a good family, born in Indiana, a daughter of Ed Hollis, who
was a well-known early settler of Page county. Her mother's maiden name was
Elizabeth Murphy. Mr. and Mrs. Neill have six children, namely: John Edward, who
married Ada Hollingsworth, has one son, Ralph E.; Anna Stella, Cora May, Grace
Blanch, Belle and Willie.
W. Nickols, photographer, Corning, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, a son of
Abner and Margaret Nickols, natives of Ohio and now sturdy farmers in this
State, having lived here twenty-four years. Our subject received an excellent
education in the Afton (Iowa) high school, and then learned photography in the
studio of A. A. Healey. In due season he began business for himself, being
successful from the start. In 1890 he located in Corning and he already ranks at
the leading artist of southwestern Iowa. His studio attests the skill of his
work both in photographic and crayon processes. Few young men stand as well in
the estimation of the people. He and his wife are members of the Methodist
married Miss Olive A. Wiles, in 1884, and they have one child, Carl, who
exhibits a very fine intellect.
J. Noble, of section 21, Grant township, is one of the well-known and early
settlers of the county, having come here in 1883. He was born in Mercer county,
Illinois, March 13, 1845, a son of D. F. and Sarah (Pratt) Noble, the former a
native of Union county, Indiana, and the latter of Pennsylvania. The parents
settled in Mercer county in 1836, where they were among the early settlers. The
mother died in that county in 1881, at the age of sixty-seven years, and the
father died in 1890, at the age of seventy-seven. The parents had six children,
four sons and two daughters. One son, David, served in the late war three years,
in the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
J. Noble, the fifth child, was reared on a farm in Mercer county, and received
his education in the public schools. In 1882 he came to this county and
commenced breaking land on his farm of 280 acres, which he had bought in 1875.
He now owns 320 acres of Adams county's best soil which is well improved, and on
which is a good cottage, 16 x 36 feet, and seven acres of groves and orchards.
He also has stables, cribs, yards, feed lots, a windmill, and everything about
the place shows the thrift and prosperity of the owner. He is engaged in general
farming and stock-raising.
Noble was married March 9, 1882, to Miss Elizabeth Davis, who was born in Howard
county, Iowa, but reared and educated in Rock Island county. She was the
daughter of B. R. and Lydia (Sigler) Davis, the former a native of Fulton
county, Illinois, and the latter of Pennsylvania, and both now reside in Rock
Island county, Illinois. The father, a farmer by occupation, served in the elate
war. He is a Republican politically, and both he and his wife are members of the
Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Noble have two children, Fern and Aravilla.
Politically Mr. Noble is a Republican, and socially a member of the Masonic
order, Lenox Lodge, No. 353; he was made a Mason at New Boston, Illinois, in
C. Norton, cashier of the First National Bank of Corning, was born in 1846, at
Phelps, Ontario county, New York, a son of S. E. and A. B. (Crane) Norton. His
father, also a native of the State of New York, was a business man who came to
Iowa in 1873, and is now living in Corning, aged seventy-four years; the mother
is aged sixty-eight; and they are living in the serene enjoyment of the fruits
of a life of industry and honesty and as members of the Presbyterian Church for
half a century.
subject of this sketch was educated in the excellent public schools of his
native town, supplemented by a course in Temple Hill Academy, Geneseo, New York.
He began life for himself as a bank clerk. In 1872 he made an extended tour
through the Northwest and finally settled in Corning, entering the employ of
George W. Frank, banker. In connection with banking they also do a large loan
and insurance business; but Mr. Norton had charge of the banking business
proper, in which he was eminently successful. July 12, 1883, the First National
Bank of Corning was organized with L. E. Darrow, president, and Mr. Norton as
cashier; capital stock, $50,000. The building is a beautiful three-story
structure, of pressed brick and white trimmings and symmetrical proportions. The
interior is artistically finished in oak, and well arranged for the purposes of
Norton married Miss Loa McLeod of New York, but she died shortly afterward, in
1873, which event was soon followed by the death of their only daughter, Edna
May. For his second wife Mr. Norton married Wilhelmina Frances, formerly of New
York, and the names of the children by this matrimonial union are Charles
Frances, Emily Crane and William Augustus.
Norton is widely and favorably known throughout southwestern Iowa. To the bank
his name has always been a bulwark of strength. He resides just outside of the
town, on a handsome estate, where he makes a specialty of raising the finest
strains of purebred shorthorn cattle and Clydesdale horses, and he and his
partner, Mr. Joseph T. McFee, are importers of Clydesdale, English Shire and
English Hackney horses, their horses being noted for their fine quality,
strength of bone and good action coupled with substance.