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

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.

Abel Palmer has resided in Douglas township, Adams county, for a score of years, and is well and favorably known in this vicinity.

Born in Somersetshire, England, April 30, 1828, of poor but honored and respected parents, he was reared on a farm and early taught lessons of industry and economy which have been of great value to him in after life. His parents, William and Johana (Young) Palmer, were both natives of Somersetshire, and their family was composed of four sons and three daughters. In early life they were members of the Church of England, and later united with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

April 4, 1857, Mr. Palmer wedded Miss Jane Coles, who was born in Somersetshire, October 1, 1834, oldest child of Richard and Ann (Hawkins) Coles. Her parents lived and died in England. Immediately after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Palmer bade adieu to their native land, embarked at Bristol in the Osprey, and after a voyage of six weeks landed at Castle Garden. Coming West, they located in Henry county, Illinois, where Mr. Palmer was engaged in farm work for a time. He was subsequently employed in a mill, where he remained until 1870. That year he came to Adams county, Iowa, and bought a farm of eighty acres, the one on which he now resides. It was then wild land, and he paid $6.60 per acre for it. The early pioneers of this county settled along the creeks and in the woods, and Mr. Palmer was one of the first to take up his abode on the prairie. A neatly trimmed osage hedge now surrounds his farm; beautiful trees of maple and cottonwood with their lofty branches cast a friendly shade; an attractive cottage home, with pleasing surroundings, orchard, etc., all these combine to make the Palmer farm a model one.

Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have nine children, namely: Charlotte V., wife of Joel Cole, of Douglas township, this county, has eight children; Ella C., wife of George Mohler, Carbon, Iowa, has four children; Susan I., wife of Charles Penton, Omaha, Nebraska, has two children; Rev. G. W. Palmer, a promising young minister who has charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Persia, Iowa, married Esther I. Wood, a successful teacher and a lady of culture and refinement, and by her has one child; and Ida I., Elmer H., Frank A., Estella May and Charley, at home. Mrs. Mohler and Mrs. Penton were popular and efficient teachers before their marriage. Mr. Palmer and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church, of which he has served as steward. Their daughters Ida I. is secretary and organist of the Sunday-school.

H. H. Palmer, the present postmaster of Red Oak, was born in Northfield township, Summit county, Ohio, October 8, 1840, the son of Resolved Palmer, a native of Rensselaer county, New York, born in 1808. He was of Quaker parentage, but later in life became identified with the Methodist Church. He married Mary Sweam, a native of New Jersey, and both parents removed with their to Salem, Ohio, and later to Summit county, where they passed the remainder of their lives. Our subject was one of a family of ten children, five of whom, four sons and a daughter, are still living.

Mr. Palmer was reared of a farm, and at the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion he resolved to enter the service, and enlisted as a member of the Second Ohio Cavalry. This was one of Ohio's many famous regiments, and did valiant and important service to the cause of the Union. The first expedition of the regiment was through the Southwest, spending considerable time in traversing the State of Missouri, and thence to Arkansas and Indian Territory. In less than a year, as the result of hard marching and fighting, the regiment had become reduced from 1,200 to 700 men. Returning to Ohio and recruiting, they went thence to Tennessee and Kentucky. At the battle of Columbia, Kentucky, July 3, 1863, Captain Palmer was severely wounded, and fell into the hands of the Confederates, by whom his leg was amputated. Being left by the Rebels he was cared for by a loyal family, and as soon as able returned home, where, after a short stay, he obtained a cork leg and rejoined his regiment in front of Petersburg, Virginia. Mr. Palmer is thus without a hospital record! He was mustered out at Harper's Ferry, September 25, 1864, by reason of the expiration of his term of service.

Returning to Ohio, he soon afterward went to Binghamton, New York, where he spent a year attending school, after which he accepted a position as bookkeeper and cashier in a large dry-goods house in Cleveland. His health failed, however, from overwork and close confinement, and he returned to the Ohio farm. Being elected county Assessor, he improved in health by the exercise which the duties of that office afforded, being required to spend much of his time in riding about the country. Later he engaged in the live-stock business and also in the grocery trade at Macedonia, Ohio, and at the same time filled the positions of Justice of the Peace and postmaster. He came to Red Oak in 1870 and engaged in the livery business, in which he still continues, having one of the most complete and extensive livery establishments in this part of the State. In 1873 Mr. Palmer was elected Clerk of Montgomery county, serving two terms. He was a member of the City Council for five years, and has been largely engaged in shipping stock. He has served as Sheriff four terms, his last term expiring January 1, 1889, and January 30, 1889, he assumed the duties of postmaster, to which he was appointed by President Harrison.

In 1866 Mr. Palmer was married to Miss Frances S. Griffis, of Edinburg, Ohio, and they have had seven children: Blanche, Dean, Mary, Louise, Charley, Resolved and Minnie. Mr. Palmer, as already stated, is widely known. His long and successful official career, together with his pronounced views on all the leading issues of the day, have given him an extended reputation, and in his social and political relations is numbered with the foremost citizens of Montgomery county.

Delancy M. Parcher, who resides on section 10, Nodaway township, came to Adams county with Mr. N. N. Odell in November, 1856. He was born in Crawford county, Ohio, February 28, 1833, the son of Simeon Parcher, who died when his son, Delancy M., was but eleven months old. His mother remarried, her second husband being Robert Kirkland, and the date of the marriage was March 24, 1836. The mother died February 23, 1885, at her home in Crawford county, Ohio. Delancy M. Parcher was the youngest of six sons and one daughter. The mother also had two daughters and a son by her second marriage. The subject of this notice and his brother, John Parcher, are the only survivors of his father's family. Two brothers died in the Union army in the war of the Rebellion - Simeon Beal and George.

The subject of this notice remained at his mother's home until he was sixteen years of age, when he engaged to work for Mr. Eli Odell, and one year later for N. N. Odell, with whom he came to Iowa in 1854, and to Adams county in 1856. Mr. Parcher enlisted, January 4, 1864, in Company D, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. He joined the regiment at Little Rock, Arkansas, and served one year under General Steele, in the Seventy Army Corps. In the spring of 1865 he accompanied his regiment to New Orleans, Louisiana, and thence to Alabama - to Spanish Fort - taking part in the siege and battle at the place, thence to Mobile, and thence to Mount Vernon Arsenal, and then again to the city of Mobile and into camp two miles north of that city. There he was taken sick and was sent to the general hospital at Mobile, and about a week later was sent to Sedgwick Hospital, New Orleans, where he was discharged under general order, May 31, 1865. He left the city of New Orleans on the second day of June of the same year, and arrived at home in Adams county, June 12, 1865.

Mr. Parcher was married January 30, 1859, to Miss Nancy A. Thompson, a native of Indiana. Her parents died when she was a child. While Mr. Parcher was absent in the army his family lived in the village of Brooks. In August, 1865, Mr. Parcher removed his family to Nodaway township, settling where he now lives on section 10. His farm of 125 acres had no improvements when he settled here, but it is how under a good state of cultivation. Mr. Parcher and wife have had nine children, eight of whom are living - four sons and four daughters - and although four are married and have families, all are at home but one daughter, having a reunion of the family by invitation of the parents. They lost their second child, George L., at the age of fourteen months. The names of the children in the order of their birth are: Lyman F., who married Emma C. Bowers; George L.; Edwina, wife of John H. Bowers; Noah D., who married Adne Peregrine; Harriet L., wife of Andrew Brown; Frank O., Hannah R., Alma L., John T. It has been seen that Mr. and Mrs. Parcher are among the early settlers of Adams county, who came here when the country was new, and have done their part well, enduring the hardships and trials incident to a new country, and making for themselves a comfortable home.

In his political affiliations Mr. Parcher is a Republican. He cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, in 1856. He and family are faithful and consistent members of the Christian Church. Mr. Parcher has been a resident of Adams county for the long period of thirty-five years. He was a faithful soldier in the cause of the Union, and is a worthy and esteemed citizen.

Elder Joseph Peregrine, one of the honored pioneers of Adams county, was born in Shropshire, England, August 6, 1822, and is the fourth son and child of the Rev. James Peregrine, a native of Wales. The mother was also a native of England. James Peregrine was a minister in the Presbyterian Church for over fifty years. In 1830 the family emigrated to America, and located at Utica, New York. Then they removed to Ohio, and afterward to Indiana, in which State the father died about the year 1862, at the age of seventy-seven years. The mother died several years previously, at the age of sixty-five years.

Joseph Peregrine spent the greater portion of his youth in farm work. He was married in Rush county, Ind., to Miss Catherine Robinson, daughter of John and Catherine (Rishling) Robinson, who came to Rush county in an early day. After his marriage our subject followed farming in Rush, Scott and Jasper counties, Indiana, until 1855, when he came to Iowa, and entered 200 acres of Government land in what is known as Methodist Grove; there he resided one season, and in 1856 he located on his present farm; he has 170 acres in a high state of cultivation.

In March, 1858, he entered the ministry of the Christian Church, and labored as an evangelist in eight counties in southwestern Iowa, and Nodaway county, Missouri. He has been pastor of the Brooks church over fifteen years; of the Valley church for nine years; of the church at Bedford, six years; of the church at Prescott for four years; of the Boundary Grove church, six years; of the church in Clairmont, Missouri, three years, and for several years he was pastor of the Union City, Buchanan, and Hawleyville congregations. He has probably been called to preach as many funeral sermons as any other minister in this part of the State, and he never fails to respond when possible to attend.

Mr. and Mrs. Peregrine had born to them eight children, six of whom survive: J. S., a Brooks, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of William Hanly; Amanda, the wife of Orlando McKay; G. R., a resident of Nance county, Nebraska; E. J., the wife of G. D. Wilson; C. S., a druggist at Brooks, Iowa, and two children who died in infancy. The mother of this family died in 1862, at the age of thirty-six years. Mr. Peregrine was married again in 1863, to Mrs. Lydia J. Newhouse, whose maiden name was Flenner; she is a daughter of Thompson Flenner, formerly of Rush county, Indiana. By this last marriage six children were born: Edgar, Mary, Adner, the wife of M. D. Parcher; Cora, Walter and Homer.

Mr. Peregrine has been a member of the Board of Supervisors for five years. Politically he was formerly an old-line Whig; he voted with the Republican party upon its organization, but he is now a staunch Prohibitionist. He has spent many years of this life in preaching the gospel of his Master, and expects to continue this work as long as his health and strength will permit.

Milton Perkins was born in Bath county, Kentucky, September 10, 1831. He is a son of Thomas and Milly (Powel) Perkins, the former a native of Virginia. Left an orphan at the age of nine years, Milton found a home with his brother-in-law, Joseph Scott, and was reared on a farm, receiving only a limited education. At the age of twenty he went to Park county, Indiana, where he lived three years; thence to Monroe county, Iowa, settling near Albia. At the latter place he bought eighty acres of wild land and improved it. He dates his arrival in Adams county in 1874, and since that time he has been a resident of Carl township. He owns eighty acres of good land in section 2, and here he is comfortably situated and engaged in general farming and stock-raising.

Mr. Perkins was married, in Park county, Indiana, in 1854, to Miss Mary Ann Koontz, a native of that place and a daughter of Phillip and Rebecca Koontz, her father a German by birth. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins have four children: henry Walter, who is married and lives in Union county, Iowa; Sarah Jane, wife of William Rudicil, of Colorado; Ida Ann, wife of Edward Garrett, of Carl township, this county; and William Grant, who owns an eighty-acre farm adjoining his father's on the north.

In politics Mr. Perkins is independent, voting for the man rather than the party. He is plain and unassuming in his manner and speech, and observes the strictest integrity in all his dealings. He and his wife and their three oldest children are members of the Evangelical Association of Mount Zion Church.

IRVIN POLSON, one of the prominent and wealthy citizens, of Adams county, Iowa , was born in Garrett county, Kentucky , January 23, 1814 . His father, John Polson, was a native of Maryland and a minute-man during the Revolutionary war. The Polsons trace their ancestry back to the first Norwegians that settled in the United States . John Polson married Martha Briant, who was born in Virginia, daughter of Benjamin Briant, also of the Old Dominion. When Irvin, their son, was a lad of ten years they moved to Harrison county, Indiana, and later to Washington county, same State. They had a family of seven sons and one daughter. The mother died at the age of eighty years and subsequent to her death the father came to Iowa . The latter passed away in Marion county, aged ninety-five years, eleven months and six days.

Irvin Polson spent his youth on a farm in the Hoosier State , receiving a limited education in the primitive log schoolhouse of that period. In 1852 he came to Marion county, Iowa , and settled on what was then the frontier. Crossing the Mississippi river at Keokuk, he remained for a short time in Salem , Henry county, before locating in Marion county. His has been a useful and active life. For many years he was engaged in buying and selling lands and dealing extensively in stock. He was also engaged in the general merchandise business for years. Long before the advent of the railroad in these parts he bought cattle and hogs and frequently drove them 100 miles to a shipping point. At one time he drove 1,000 hogs to Ottumwa , a distance of sixty-five miles. At another time, by virtue of his being one of the most extensive shippers in that part of the State, he received from the railroad company a rebate of $750. Mr. Polson continued to reside in Marion county until 1879, when he sold his interests there, came to Adams county and purchased 400 acres of land in Carl township, where he has since made his home.

He was married, at the age of twenty-two years, to Miss Polly Radcliff, who has proved herself a most worthy companion and helpmate. She was born in Washington county, Indiana, daughter of David and Rachel Elizabeth (Brown) Radcliff, both natives of Christian county, Kentucky . Her parents died in Washington county, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Polson have had ten children, as follows: Martha Jane, wife of John Davis, of Buffalo county, Nebraska; Cyrus, of Marion county, Iowa; John T., Marion county, Iowa; Nancy, wife of William H. H. Brown, of Adams county, Iowa; Clarra, wife of James Swim, of Prescott, Iowa; David of Carl township, this county; Irvin, Jr., of Marion county, Iowa; Wike P., Marion county; Stephen, at home. One son, Charles V., was killed by an accident, aged thirty-five years. He left a widow and children. Mr. Polson and his wife have about twenty-five grandchildren. Politically he is a Republican, as also are his seven sons one of whom, John T., served as a member of Company G, Fortieth Iowa Infantry, during the late war.

Jefferson Proctor, photographer at Corning, was born in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1842, a son of John and Mary (Powell) Proctor. His father was a merchant and died in 1860, and his mother resides with him, the son. AS he grew up he learned the trade of steam engineer. At the beginning of the war he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and during his service had some thrilling experiences. At one time he was [captured] by guerrillas and a rope was placed around his neck to hang him when he was fortunately saved by the intervention of a friend. He served with his regiment in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, taking part in many of the great battles and sieges, and being struck four times with Rebel bullets, but at no time was he so severely wounded but that he remained in the ranks.

Returning home after the war he learned photography and located in Ottumwa, this State. He came to Corning when it was a straggling village, being the first artist here, and with the exception of a short interval he has been a resident here ever since. He is the standard photographer of the place. He has occupied his present home twenty years, becoming one of the landmarks of the city. He is a member of the Christian Church and of the I. O. O. F.

In 1866 he was married to Miss Alice Weston, and their children are Amazilla, now the wife of Owens Eldon; Aretta and May.