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

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.

Joseph 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 Christian woman.

His 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.

In 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.

Mr. 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.

John 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.

Mr. 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 grade, etc.

In 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.

Mr. Neill is a Democrat in his political views, is a successful business man and a useful and popular citizen.

He 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.

Albert 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 Episcopal Church.

He married Miss Olive A. Wiles, in 1884, and they have one child, Carl, who exhibits a very fine intellect.

T. 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.

T. 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.

Mr. 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 1881.

Charles 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.

The 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 a bank.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.