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dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Herron, of Atlantic, assisted by 
Rev. Bailey, synodical superintendent. Rev. D. Shenton was at that time 
pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, and also assisted in the service. 

.Mr. Lewis concluded his services with the church early in 1888, and 
the pulpit was not regularly supplied until the call of Rev. J. H. Carpenter. 
who began his work June 1, 1888, and was installed July 10. 1889. Mr. 
Carpenter remained the leader of the church until July 2j, 1S95. this being 
the longest that any minister has been pastor of this church. 

On the first of January. 1890, Rev. Albert Aston became the pastor in 
charge, and continued until January 1, 1901. exactly five years. During his 
ministry the church made the greatest growth it had made up to that time. 
The seed that had been faithfully sown was bringing forth its fruit. During 
the seven years following the work of Mr. Aston the church was served by 
Rev. Walter Irwin, May 1. 1901, to November 1, 1903: Rev. Thomas \V. 
heard, January 1, 1904. to February 2^, 1900; ami Rev. R. S. Weinland. 
May 1, 1906, to August 1. 1908. 

Rev. W. B. Lampe first supplied Shelby about four months during the 
summer of 1909, and returned as pastor on September 1. 1910. At that time 
there were ninety-eight active members on the roll. The attendance at the 
services of the church gradually increased, and soon a movement was started 
by the Young Ladies' Guild to remodel the church and build <m an addition. 
During the winters of 1910 and 191 1 this organization worked hard, and 
finally had seven hundred dollars as a start for this project. At a meeting of 
the church in the following spring the trustees were authorized to canvass the 
members of the church for subscriptions, and so liberal was the response to 
their active efforts that it wa^ decided to start the work at once. The fact 
that the project was carried through and the building occupied by October 1 
was due to the untiring efforts of the pastor and the efficient board of 
trustees. Rev. Lampe resigned August 1, 1913. 

Rev. O. C. Carden lias been with the church since December 1. 1913, 
l>eing ordained and installed as pastor May 5. 1914. on graduating from the 
' )maha Theological Seminary. 

The present officers of the church are: Rev. O. C. Carden, moderator: 
elders, R. M. Pomerov, Benjamin Von Eschen. Thomas Xorman, Peter 
Mortensen, \V. R. Pomerov, clerk; trustees, Thomas Xorman. president. 
James Kern, Ura B. Slaughter. 



[This is the only Congregational church in Shelby county. The author 
is indebted to the research work of Rev. Clifford L. Snowden. pastor of the 
Harlan Congregational church from October. 1896, to March. 1809. for most 
of the following history of the Congregational church, the first part of this 
sketch being in the language of Mr. Snowden and, therefore, quoted.] 

"The original compact from which the present church organization grew 
was made in July. 1S71. by the following persons: James Harvey. Mrs. 
Lucy Harvey, Miss Cordelia Holcomb, Mrs. Mary A. Wood. Mrs. Anna 
Closson and Mrs. Sarah Redfield. Meetings of this self-instituted mission 
were held in various places, ranging from public halls to private parlors. For 
seven years the pastoral services of the Rev. Mr. Wright, of Avoca. were 
procured at irregular intervals. The organization grew but slowly. Finally, 
November 10. 1878. the church was regularly and congregationally organized 
and recognized by the council of the Council Bluffs association with the fol- 
lowing membership: C. Will Fisher. Mrs. Rachel Fisher, B. B. Griffith. Sr., 
and family, Fred Gooding, Mrs. L. M. Gooding. A. G. Hard. Mrs. Mary 
Hard, Miss Cordelia Holcomb. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey. M. F. Campbell. Mrs. 
Sarah Redfield and Mrs. Anna Closson. The following month a large num- 
ber were received, both by letter and by profession of faith. 

"The first praver meeting was held Wednesday evening. February 26, 
1879, and the Sunday school was organized July 6 of the same year. 

"For several years the church worshipped at the Masonic hall, court 
room and similar places. Finally, however, it was resolved to build and 
E. W. Davis, of Avoca. presented a parcel of ground for that purpose. 

"On July 23. 1882. the building was dedicated free of debt. The Rev. 
Dr. T. O. Douglass. Rev. Dr. E. S. Hill, of Atlantic, and the local ministers 
assisted on this occasion. Among those who were early preachers and 
organizers of this church were Rev. E. Adams, of Waterloo, of the famous 
'Iowa Band' from Andover Seminary. Massachusetts, and the Rev. Dr. 
Pickett, whom many old residents will remember. 

"Since the church has been a separate parish it has been served by the 
following ministers: Rev. Joel G. Sabin, July, 1S79, to December. 1881 ; 
Rev. E. L. Sherman. January. 1882. tp December. 1884: Rev. C. X. Sinnett. 
January, 18S5. to November, 1880: Rev. J. W. Gdger, August. 1887. to 
December, 1889: Rev. G. L. Shull, March. 1890. to June. 1891 : Rev. J. 
Bruce Mather. August, 1892, to August, 1896: Rev. Clifford L. Snowden. 


October. 1S9A to March, 1899. In September, 1S9S, tlie Tinsley Memorial 
chapel was built." 

In February, 1S99, Rev. E. \Y. Childs was chosen pastor and on Septem- 
ber 1, 1900, Rev. James Parsons became pastor of the church, which pas- 
torate was held by him until the calling of Rev. Frank G. Beardsley, on 
March 27, 1904. 

On August 30. 1908, Rev. Mr. Beardsley resigned to take charge of the 
theological department of Talladega College of Alabama. On October 7, 
1908, a call was extended to Rev. Franklin \Y. Keagy. of Lewis, Iowa. He 
held the pastorate until the call of Rev. J. L. Blanchard, in November, 1909. 
On April 21, 191 2. Rev. J. L. Blanchard tendered his resignation to accept a 
call to Clinton, Iowa, and on June 23. 1012, Rev. Frederick \Y. Long, ex- 
president of Tabor College, was called to the pastorate. He resigned Octo- 
ber 1, 191 3. whereupon, a few weeks later. Rev. H. Jeptha Sealev, the 
present minister, became pastor of the church. 

In 190S the church received a legacy of five hundred dollars from Mrs. 
Anna Snowden Weeks, one of the devoted members of the church and a 
former leader of the choir. On Sunday. October 4. IQ14. the church was 
re-dedicated, the occasion being the completion of extensive improvements 
to the church, including new hardwood floors, new furnace and new church 
parlors. On this occasion Rev. Frank G. Beardsley, of Keokuk, Iowa, and 
Rev. Frederick \Y. Long, of Glenwood, Iowa, returned to Harlan to assist 
in the exercises. In the afternoon of October 4, 1914, there was a good fel- 
lowship meeting in the church, participated in by former pastors and by the 
pastors of other Harlan churches. Rev. Mr. Sealev. the present minister, 
responded to these greetings. 


The present trustees of the church are Fred Louis, chairman, J. B. 
Whitney. \Y. H. Lemke, C. D. Booth and G. E. Stewart. J. W. Miller is 
clerk, B. B. McPheeters, treasurer, and A. McNeil, assistant treasurer. 


[The author is under obligations to/L. J. Smith, of Harlan, for the 
facts contained in the following sketch. Mr. Smith took great pains and 
spent much time in getting the necessary data.] 

The first Evangelical missionary that preached in Shelby county was 


Rev. William Newman, who took up the work at the Joseph Gardner school 
house Xo. 4. Lincoln township, in April. 1879, also at the Pioneer school 
house in Cass township and in the Byam school house, east of what is now 
Tennant. In 188S the Pleasant Mount church was built by Rev. V. Urbino. 
The people worshiped in the Gardner school house until 1SS8. when the 
Union church was built, whereupon the congregation worshiped there until 
1909. Rev. E. P. Lenard commenced to preach at the Pleasant Valley 
school house in 1SS4 and preaching was continued there until 1897. The 
next appointment was at the Hillside school house, one and a half miles east 
of Kirkman, some time in the early eighties, and this continued until 1908. 
Rev. W. J. Hahn commenced to preach in "'Rabbit Hollow" school house in 
1 891 and continued services there for three years, at the end of which time 
this appointment was discontinued. Pleasant Mount church was moved to 
Audubon county in 1897. Besides the church at Harlan there is now an 
Evangelical church in Earling and one at Defiance. Cuppy's Grove was 
looked after by Rev. \V. J. Hahn in 1891 and this church continued until 
1894. (Mrs. J. Malick informs me that Rev. A. Johnson, a Methodist mis- 
sionary, preached at Cuppy's Grove so early as 1S65. ) 

The first class of the Evangelical church in Harlan was organized in 
1892, with Ben Fisher. Jonathan Roland and L. J. Smith, trustees. The 
congregation worshiped in the Beh Hall and had preaching by Rev. \V. J. 
Hahn, and later moved to the Overholt Hall. Ben Fisher was Sunday school 
superintendent. This organization was maintained until 1895'. On Novem- 
ber 18, 1897, a reorganization occurred, at which time three trustees were 
elected, as follows : E. E. Hoover, president : Ren Fisher, secretary, and 
William Blakely, treasurer. At this time a building committee was ap- 
pointed, consisting of the following: L. J. Smith. C. D. O'Neal and J. 
Roland. The present site of the Harlan church, at the corner of Eighth and 
Willow streets, was selected, and the present building, together with the par- 
sonage, erected, the church being built in the winter of 1897-8. It was dedi- 
cated on Tune 2, 1898, by Bishop R. Dubs. The present board of trustees 
of the Harlan church are William Blakley, president : E. E. Hoover, secre- 
tary : L. J. Smith, treasurer. The present membership is fifty-two. The 
Sundav school has had an average attendance of forty scholars for the last 
nine months. The officers of the Sunday school are L. J. Smith, superin- 
tendent; Mrs. L. J. Smith, assistant su]>erintendent ; Arch Blakely. treasurer. 
The following is the list of pastors, together with the years of their pastor- 
ates : William Newman. 1879: Jacob Wirth, 1880-1881: J. E. Verger, 
1882-1883: E. P. Lenard. 1 884-1 885 ; V. Urbino. 1886-1887-1888; Charles 


Knoll, 1889-1890; XV. J. Halm. 1891-1892-1893; XV. E. Robinson. 1894; 
S. H. Streyfeller, 1895- 1896- 1807; D. C. Busenburg, 1898-1899; V. Urbino, 
1900; Charles Pickford, 1901-1902-1903 ; J. II. Freedline, 1904-1905; 
Thomas Evans. 1906; G. X. Thompson, 1907-1908; G. L. Springer, 1909- 
1910-191 1-1912 ; Clarence Weston, 1913-1914. 


The members of the Protestant Episcopal church in Harlan have had 
occasional services since 1S81. Regular services of St. Paul's church began 
in July, 1896. The church was organized as a mission July 24, 1896, and 
was organized as a parish May 24, 1897. The erection of the church build- 
ing was begun April 12, 1899, the corner stone was laid May 13, 1899, and 
the church building opened for services by Bishop Morrison of Iowa, on 
January 7, 1900. The first missionary was Rev. R. L. Knox. The rectors 
of the church, together with the beginning of their respective service as such, 
have been: Rev. George Benson Hewitson. 1897; Rev. G. Taylor Griffith, 
1900; Rev. Robert \Y. Hewitt, 1901 ; Rev. S. R. J. Hoyt, 1904; Rev. Alvin 
S. Hock, 191 o. The present rector of the church is Rev. George R. Cham- 
bers, who began his pastorate in 1913. The rectory was built in 1904-5. 
The present membership of the church is seventy-six, and the membership of 
the Sunday school about forty-five. 


The Christian church of Harlan was organized in 1876 by C. W. Sher- 
wood and was incorporated November 26. 1879. by Peter Xoble, \Y. P. 
Chance and John Stanley. The first church board was composed of the fol- 
lowing named persons : Thomas J. Stanley, William Tibbetts and John 
Flaugher. elders ; John Stanley and Ephraim Douglas, deacons. The charter 
members were Mrs. Nance, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Potter. Mr. and Mrs. L. S. 
Taylor, Mrs. Campbell, Miss Kate Campbell, Thomas J. Stanley. Rachael 
Stanley, John Stanley, Lucinda Stanley. Mrs. XV. XV. Wyland. Malinda 
Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Riley Cass. William Tibbetts, John Flaugher, Amanda 
Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Douglas and William Barnhill. The present 
church board is composed of the following named persons: L. S. Taylor 
and J. W. Robinson, elders: George H. Miller. J. C. Steele and XV. A. Les- 
senger. deacons; J. C. Steele. George H. Miller and J. W. Robinson, trustees: 
XV. A. Lessenger, clerk; George H. Miller, treasurer. 


The pastors of this church during the years of its history would include 
the following names: Revs. Berry, Adair. King, Lovell, Howe, Picket, 
James Ellis, Xystram. Hampton, Littleton, Denton, Sarvis, Johnson, Mcln- 
tyre, McCormick, Ball. Bailer. Aylesworth and McConnell. 


The pioneer Lutheran church of Shelby county and the largest Lutheran 
church in the county today is the Danish Evangelical Lutheran church at Elk 
Horn. The church congregation was organized April 25. 1S75. and its 
church building finished February 15, 1882. The first pastor was Rev. O. L. 
Kirkeberg. who began his pastorate April 6. 187(1. The names of the suc- 
ceeding pastors to date and the respective periods of their pastorates are as 
follows: O. L. Kirkeberg. 1876-18S0; H. J. Petersen, 1880-1882; Mr. 
Anker, 1882-1897 ; P. L. C. Hansen, 1S97-1899; P. S. Vig, 1899-1903; Th. 
Jersild, 1903-1914; C. C. Kloth. 1914. 

The present officers of the church are Thomas Christensen. chairman; 
Jorgen Madsen, secretary : \Y. Rattenborg. treasurer : Christ Larsen, Andreas 
Aagaard, Laurits Petersen, trustees ; John Tohansen, Madsen Petersen. Sven 
Larsen, Martin Nielson, Thor Madsen. deacons. 

This great church, numbering eight hundred and eighty-two baptized 
members, is located in the largest Danish settlement of the United States. 
It has throughout its historv taken a deep interest in, and has been closely 
connected with, Elk Horn College, which at the present time is the property 
of this congregation and is now conducted by it as a rural high school. This 
church has wielded a great influence for good citizenship, and for the best 
interests of the community in which it is situated. The church building 
stands on a beautiful ridge overlooking an agricultural landscape as beautiful 
as any in Iowa. 


For the past ten to twelve years Danish Lutheran pastors have been 
coming to Harlan to hold religious services. These have been held usually 
in the church building of the Latter-day Saints or in that of the Evangelical 
in the church building of the Latter-Day Saints or in that of the Evangelical 
son township. Among these earlier pastors were Revs. P. S. Vig, A. C. 
Weisman, N. P. J. Nielsen and A. M. Xelson. The present pastor. Rev. 
James C. Petersen, was assigned to this parish by the United Danish Evan- 

, | ;^-^_y 

;--' -' 


gclical Lutheran church of America, soon after finishing college and seminary 
work at Blair, Nebraska, and at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He came here 
in 1912 and soon united the scattered members of the Lutheran faith residing 
in this community. The church was formerly organized on February 16. 
1914, at a mass meeting called by Rev. Mr. Petersen. The congregation soon 
asked for affiliation with the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran church of 
America, which request was unanimous, and was granted by the church au- 
thorities in June, 1914, at their meeting at Greenville, Michigan. The first 
members of the Harlan church are: Messrs. Soren Carlsen, John Thimin, 
Paul Sorenson, X. C. Larsen, Andrew Klitgaard. P. H. Jespersen. C. H. 
Hess, J. J. Xorgaard. James C. Olsen, L. P. Sorenson. Albert Hansen, Xels 
Klitgaard, S. M. Smith. Magnus Larsen, E. C. Boel, Chris Thogersen, Johan 
Nissen, Peter H. Lauritzen, J. S. Yig. Xels H. Christensen. L. IT. Savereide, 
George H. Hess. Thomas C. Jensen, H. A. Hansen. Chris Jensen, Soren Jen- 
sen, M. C. Sorensen, Charles Xissen, Andrew Jensen, Xiels X. Vendelboe, 
Chris Johnson, Peter Clausen, Karsten Clausen. Chris Sorensen, J. C. 
Christensen, Ole Olesen. Hans X. Hansen. P. W. Christiansen; Mesdames J. 
M. Kringel. J. Thimin. X. Nielsen, M. C. Sorensen, J. J. Xorgaard. G. H. 
Hess, C. H. Hess, Kristine Nielsen, J. C. Christensen. Ana C. Hansen, 
Chrinstine L. Hansen, Hanne Smith, S. Jensen, P. Lauritzen. J. C. Olsen and 
the Misses Alma Xiclsen. Dora Christensen, Else M. Nielsen, Janna Marie 

The first officers of the church were: J. J. Xorgaard, president: James 
C. Olsen, secretary: E. C. Boel, treasurer: Albert Hansen. IT. X. Hansen and 
Soren Carlsen. trustees. This church congregation has a beautiful new- 
church building almost completed. It is eighty-four feet long, forty-four 
feet wide, with a spire eighty-four feet in height. 

The church maintains a parochial school, which is in session for three 
months during the summer, three times per week and on each Saturday 
during the rest of the year. Each year it has a confirmation class, which 
begins in the winter and meets until April or May. 

The second Danish Lutheran church to be established m Shelby county 
was that of Jackson township, near the village of Jacksonville. This church 
congregation was formed of Danish Lutherans living in the west and south- 
west parts of Jackson township in and about "Copenhagen." The church 
building was erected in 1885. Another Lutheran church, built about the 
same time, was the Xorwegian Lutheran church of Polk township. Both of 
these churches still maintain their organizations and have preaching services. 



The above named church was organized in January, 1883, under the 
name of the German Evangelical Lutheran Friedens congregation. The char- 
ter members of the church were: Ed. Eden, Hans Nissen, Carl Lutt, 
Joachim Nave, William Johnson, II. William Leback and Jurgen Stump. 
This church belongs to the German Evangelical Synod of Xord Amerika, 
with headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri. The church and school house with 
it were erected in i8S_\ the cost thereof being defrayed by Christian Red- 
delin, of Hamburg, Germany. The pastors, in order of service and to date, 
are: Revs. J. Kammiski, G. Petersen, H. Kloeckner, A. Kern, J. Bizer, F. 
Leonhard, A. Dettmann and P. Ott, the present pastor. 


There are at least two Danish Adventist churches in Shelby county, one 
in Clay township, which was established in 1873, and another in Jackson 
township about 1S77. The first Danish Adventists to reside in Shelby county 
were Fredrickson. Chris Johnson, Ole Johnson. Hans Larsen, Jacob Broder- 
son, Rasmus Broderson, Ole Hansen. 





A letter bearing the date of October 19, 1SS5, came to a newly ordained 
priest at Marengo, Iowa, from his bishop, the Rt. Rev. H. Cosgrove, of 
Davenport, who had ordained him the 20th of the previous September, that 
he was appointed to the missions of Earling, Portsmouth and Panama, Shelby 
county, Iowa. Portsmouth had been an outmission of Xeola. This out- 
mission had a frame church, one and one-half miles from town, and a seven 
hundred dollars deposit in the bank. The congregation was very anxious 
to have the young pastor make his residence in their town, and, since his 
health had been seriously impaired by seminary studies and the cruel blast 
of winter had begun, he concluded to make his first home in Portsmouth. 
The John Birks residence was purchased and furnished. A fair was held, 
in which everyone became interested, and one thousand eight hundred dollars 
was cleared, which, with the bank deposit and subscription list that had been 
raised, were sufficient to purchase five acres from the Milwaukee Land 
Company, move the church to town, put on an addition of twenty feet and a 
tower, and pay all indebtedness on the parsonage: and so Portsmouth was 
happy with its first resident pastor. 

A building committee had been formed in Panama, who built a frame 
church on the hill. This property was in later years exchanged for a more 
desirable location by the present amiable pastor, by whom the magnificent 
substantial buildings have been erected on the new site. 

The Earling people were as anxious for a Catholic school as they were 
for a church, hence the pastor, with J. C. Heese, made plans for a two-story 
frame building (thirty-six by sixty- four>, that was to serve as a housing 
for a church, school and parsonage, and which has certainly served its pur- 
pose well. While this building was being erected, services were held in the 
present F. W. Wilwerding implement house, and later in Schuettgen's hall. 


where the school was also commenced in September. 18S6, with fifteen chil- 
dren and Kath. Golobitz as teacher. The new building was completed in 
February, 1887, so church services were transferred and the school was 
moved. If the school should be a success, it was necessary that the pastor 
should change his residence to be near, and so. with his bishop's permission, 
he did. going from Portsmouth to the new building in Earling; ami the 
people of Earling were happy. This move, however, upset the congregation 
of Portsmouth, but with the bishop's promise that soon a pastor would be 
sent for Portsmouth and Panama, the people were fairly reconciled. This 
pastor came in 1S91, and the mission of Defiance, which had been attended 
from Dunlap, was attached to Earling. 

Soon after the transfer had been made, there was some life in the new- 
chapel on a Sunday afternoon, when Franklin Kuhl, Raphael Zenter and four 
other babies were presented before the communion rail with their sponsors 
and parents for the sacrament of baptism. They now have families of their 

A cemetery was needed to bury the dead, and church bells to call the 
flock to devotions. The pastor successfully found twenty members of the 
congregation who donated twenty-five dollars each, had their names cast on 
the bells, and received a lot free in the cemetery, for which purpose five 
acres had been purchased from the Milwaukee Land Company. To make 
further improvements, picnics were held in the summer and fairs in the 
winter, that were well patronized. In this way the entire block, now known 
as church block, was purchased and improved. 

The congregation was growing and there were too many children for 
one teacher. In the winter of 1888 to 1889. the pastor took up a subscrip- 
tion for a new parsonage, so that his apartments could be given to the 
Franciscan sisters. A modest, eight-room, brick veneer building was erected 
on the southeast corner of the block. This was completed by September 1, 
1889, so when the sisters arrived they found all in readiness to take up their 
work of teaching and leading the choir, which work they have ever per- 
formed with great success. 

In a few years the chapel also became entirely too small to accommodate 
the growing parish, so provisions had to be made for a new church building. 
A church had recently been built at Breda, Iowa, which was said to be very 
suitable for Earling. Five members of the parish accompanied the pastor in 
September. 1891, to inspect this building and thought it just the kind of 
church needed for Earling. The pastor therefore soon after started a sub- 


scription list, which Michael Wilwerding headed with five hundred dollars; 
thirteen subscribed three hundred dollars each; there were six of two hundred 
and fifty dollars each; eight of two hundred dollars each; twelve of one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars each; fwe of one hundred and twenty-five dollars each: 
nine of one hundred dollars each: ten of seventy-five dollars each; twenty-two 
of fifty dollars each; four of thirty dollars each; thirty-four of twenty-five 
dollars each; four of twenty dollars each; one of fifteen dollars. The total was 
fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. Non-Catholics, single 
men and women helped to swell this subscription, a copy of which was 
placed in the cornerstone. A building committee was chosen. It was much 
desired to have J. H. Kuhl a member, but, having so many other important 
duties, he declined to serve, and the following were named : Nicolaus Gaul, 
Wenzel Halm, J. P. .Miller and August Schuettgen. The plans were obtained 
from Matthias Schnell. of Rock Island, Illinois, and in April, 1892, the con- 
tract was let to him for fifteen thousand dollars, and he sublet the masonry 
and plastering to William Cockerell, of Harlan, Iowa. Ground was soon 
after broken, excavations for basement ami foundations were made by the 
members of the congregation, who then began the hauling of material from 
the depot, of which each family hauled one carload. After work had been 
well started, on Mav 20th. a shortened blizzard of the previous winter drove 
the laborers from the work. 

On June 20th the cornerstone was laid with pomp and ceremony, sur- 
rounded by a concourse of happy and delighted people. The feast of the 
Assumption. August 15th. being a holiday of obligation, the men started 
busily at work. When they were informed that they would not 
be allowed to work on that day they objected and when told that 
under no consideration would they be allowed to continue, they ad- 
journed to a nearby hall, celebrated, had some words and refused to resume 
work for a few days, until the contractor came to straighten out matters. 
As the building was going up nicely and nearing completion, the ladies of the 
parish donated ten dollars each for a main altar, different families donated 
the cathedral glass windows, others the stations of the cross, communion rail, 
confessional and other necessaries. The Kenkel family donated the pulpit in 
memory of their parents. Whilst the scaffolding for plastering was still in 
also to Mathias Schnell for four hundred dollars. It was plainly stated in 
the specifications, that the brickwork called for red brick of an even color 
position, it was deemed a wise investment to let the frescoing and painting 
and that there were to be no charges for extras, unless they were made in 
writing. Both of these items caused some argument before a full and com- 


plete settlement was made, but since the specifications were so clear, the 
church was built and settled for without serious difficulty. All was in readi- 
ness and December 13, iSy_\ was the day on which it was happily dedicated 
under the patronage of St. Joseph. 

A small reed organ was insufficient to fill the new church. The choir 
was anxious for a large pipe organ, so after a few years' rest the pastor again 
gathered subscriptions for this improvement. There were a very few who 
did hate to see the pastor coming for subscriptions, even as the devil hateth 
holy water, but after the improvement had been made and their subscription 
settled, they felt like a mother, who, "remembereth no longer the anguish, for 
joy that a man is born into the world." A pipe organ was purchased for 
one thousand and fifty dollars, which has given splendid satisfaction. 

Fourteen years the good sisters had been living in the commodious apart- 
ments of the school house, and it was time something be done for their com- 
fort. The parsonage was small for gatherings 'on divers occasions, so the 
building committee agreed that the parsonage should be changed to a sisters' 
convent, and a new parsonage built on the west side of the church. The 
pastor again solicited the subscriptions and the contract for the present ele- 
gant building was let to home talent. 

The Earling German Cornet Band was organized in the early davs of 
the parish, under the direction of John Langenfeld. They have held splen- 
didly together and have at all times cheerfully lent their assistance for the 
temporal and spiritual uplift of the parish. 

When the congregation was free of debt, the health of the pastor, which 
had been seriously impaired by hard work during his seminary course, broke 
down, so that he was unable to continue his parish duties: therefore, June 27, 
191 3, his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Austin Dowling. made the Rev. Joseph B. Hum- 
mert rector emeritus of his parish, and he is now spending his davs in 
southern California, awaiting with pleasure the time when he shall be laid 
to rest beside his children in St. Joseph's cemetery. Earling. Iowa. 


Rev. Father Hummert. during his long and very active pastorate in 
Shelby county, entered heartily into the social life of his people and was and 
is greatlv beloved by them. In view of the fact that there has lately been 
established at Earling. Iowa, a local council of the Knights of Columbus, 
the following letter, written to and concerning members of this organiza- 


tion, by Rev. Father Hummert, is of much interest and throws much light 
upon the faith of this priest in democracy and in his church: 

"Before joining the organization of the Knights of Columbus, I often 
reflected, and argued with friends, what might be the real purpose of this 
new order. After joining I was still in a quandary, and set about to study, 
what should be the purpose, and give what few ideas presented themselves 
for publication. Every organization that wishes to last must have some real 
live purpose, otherwise its members, after their curiosity has been satisfied, 
and the novelty worn off. will gradually drop, especially if there is much 
expense to the society. 

"The church is a society and has been established by its Divine Founder 
to save souls. How well it has been true to its purpose, and the success it 
has achieved in its efforts, is clearly shown in its glorious historv of the last 
nineteen centuries. Other societies are organized for fun and amusements. 
and others for business. Labor unions are organized to protect the various 
interests of the different classes of laboring men. Some societies are organ- 
ized to rule and govern the affairs of the world, and they generallv keep all 
their doings very secret. They aim to rule and control the governments of 
the different countries, and to enable them to do so. they try to get control 
of the power of the daily press. When they have the power of the press, it 
becomes easy for them to manage the votes of the people, and to hold their 
representatives in office. They hold their members together, and manage to 
control one party. 

"The church derives its strength from the middle class. The laboring 
and small business men with their families fill the pews of our churches at 
divine service. The church is democratic. Its Founder was democratic, 
because He chose to be born in the stable of Bethlehem. He said. I sympa- 
thize with the multitude, they followed Him. and for them He performed 
various miracles. The kingdom of Heaven, He compared to a vineyard, 
whose laborers filled its realms. It was from the laboring class that the 
Divine Saviour selected His apostles, the pillars of His church. To the cap- 
tains of industry and trust magnates. He said, that it was easier for a camel 
to pass through the eve of a needle, than for them to enter the kingdom of 
Heaven. Every Christian should be a democrat, because Christ was demo- 
cratic, z 

"When our beloved country was in its infancy, most of its people be- 
lieved in democratic principles, and men, who believed in these principles, 
like Washington, Adams and Jefferson, were the leaders and rulers of our 


"It is the power of the press that divides the middle class into different 
parties, like democrats, social democrats, populists, etc., and by dividing them 
they manage to keep their own party in power. Laboring and small business 
men, who are at their work, day after clay, from morn to sunset, are easily 
misled by newspapers with wrung principles. Even the higherups in our 
churches and professional , men, who are democratic in sympathy are often 
misled by continuous reading of an inimical press. 

"What we need in this church today is newspapers, daily papers, that 
have at heart the interests of our Christian middle class, and will hold this 
class together in one party, ami give them the daily news, that is fur their 
interest and benefit. Official weeklies, that sail under the banner of faith, 
are more or less deficient, because every family wants a daily paper. There 
is hardly a doubt that must of our city dailies are in the hands of capitalists, 
and that they labor mure fur that party that is controlled by capitalists, and 
that most of them are owned and controlled by men. who are mure in sym- 
pathy with societies, and themselves belong to societies, that are inimical to 
the society founded by our Divine Lord. 

"Would it then nut be a noble purpose for the Knights of Columbus or 
any fraternal society, to use all their efforts and power to have in every city. 
where there is a council, a daily newspaper, whose principal aim and ambi- 
tion it is to hold the middle class together in one party, so they would have 
strength to keep men in office, who would be good Christian men. and al- 
ways have the interests of the Christian laboring men at heart. 

"This class of papers is sadly needed in our country today. If the 
Knights of Columbus, and everv fraternal society, would take up this pur- 
pose, and drill it into their members at all their meetings, then the Knights of 
Columbus would have a purpose, and no doubt be able to do an immense 
amount of good. Would that every council in this, our glorious country, 
would take up this subject and debate it over from start to finish. What 
the Knights of Columbus need, as well as every fraternal society, is a real 
live purpose to work for. Do not be asleep, you are dying whilst yon are 

"Rev. Joseph B. Hummert. 

"St. Joseph's Sanitarium. February, 19 12." 


The first Catholic church to be erected in the vicinity of Portsmouth, 
was built in 1881, two miles east of the town. This building was moved 





■ ' 

Iffll w 


— - 

I I 1 ' 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church and Parsonage, 

Catholic Parochial School, 

Catholic Church, Panama. 

St. Boniface's Catholic Church, 

Catholic Church, Portsmouth. 

Catholic Church, Defiance. 


to Portsmouth in 1884. and the church established there in the same year. 
The dimensions of the present church building are ninety-five by forty-five 
feet. The height oi the church spire is one hundred and twenty-five feet. 
The first priest of the parish was Father J. B. Hummert. The priests who 
succeeded him. in order, were: J. 15. Wilhelm. H. Grotlie. F. \V. Hopp- 
mann, S. F. Wieland. A. J. Dreseler, J. J. Moran, and Julius Failenschmid, 
who is the present priest of the parish. The church at present lias a mem- 
bership of seven hundred two. A parochial school was established in 1S94, 
a cut of the fine building in which it is conducted appearing elsewhere in 
this work. The present attendance of the parochial school is one hundred 
i\xe. Its first teachers were the Franciscan Sisters of Milwaukee. Wisconsin. 
The present teachers are the Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, Kansas. The 
parish of Portsmouth was formerly attended by the priests from Xeola and 


The Catholic church at Harlan was established under the direction and 
care of Rev. P. Brommenschenkel. of Westphalia. The church at present 
has a membership including about thirty families, and is cared fur as a mis- 
sion by Rev. H. Albers, stationed at Avoca. Among the families who have 
been members of this church for many years are those of E. M. Hertert, Jo- 
seph F. Beh, Charles Book, Henry Lamm, P. Heintz, and others. The con- 
gregation owns an adequate church building and a good parsonage. The 
first resident priest was Rev. Tyske. Other resident priests were Rev. Stahl 
and Rev. C. V. Burkheiser, now of Defiance. Other priests who have served 
the mission from Avoca, were Reverends McAllister and Hansen. 


The Catholic church at Defiance, under the present pastorate of Rev. 
C. V. Burkheiser, has a large congregation and is in a prosperous condition. 
The early history of this church is set forth in other articles appearing else- 
where in this work, dealing with the various Catholic missions and churches 
of Shelby county. 


The history of the parent Catholic church at Westphalia has been well 
set forth in the article and the reminiscences of Rev. P. Brommenschenkel, 
the present pioneer priest of the parish, which recollections appear elsewhere 





A reference to the public land records in the office of the recorder 
reveals the fact that on May 16, 1859, A. Rubendall. of Cuppy's Grove, con- 
veyed to the district township of Rounds, for school purposes, a tract of one- 
half acre of land lying forty rods north of the southeast corner of the south- 
west quarter of the southeast quarter of section 7, in what is now Monroe 
township. This land lay on the south side of Cuppy's Grove. Tradition 
records that, at a very early date, probably immediately following this deed, 
a brick school house was erected on the Rubendall land in the south part of 
the grove. It was known as the Rubendall school house. It stood perhaps 
about forty rods north of where the present Danish Baptist church stands. 
So far as the records show, this was the earliest conveyance in Shelby county 
for the purpose of furnishing a school house site. 

It was not until many years later that the north side of Cuppy's Grove 
had a school house. On September 12. 1865, however. Adam Cuppy leased 
to W. J. Johnston, sub-director of district Xo. 1, for twenty years or as long 
as used for school purposes, eighty square rods of land in the northeast 
corner of section 7, in what was then Fairview township, but is now Monroe. 
The first school house built on this site was of brick, but was followed by a 
frame school house, which yet stands on the site north of the old Johnston 
home, now occupied by Mrs. Jesse Scott, formerly Mrs. L. X. Rogers. 

The next earliest conveyance of this character was a deed by James M. 
Long, conveying to the district township of Rounds, Xovember 21, 1S59, 
lots 5 and 6 in block 44 of Long's First Addition to Harlan, Iowa. This 
location was on the south side of what is now Market street, on the corner 
opposite the creamery building, and was where the house of Jacob Erodersen 
now stands. On this site, probably shortly following the date of the above 
convevance, there was erected a brick school house, which served its purpose 
until the fall of 1872, when a new frame school building was erected on lots 
1 to 5 in block 43 in Long's Addition to Harlan. This conveyance was dated 


October 21, 1872. These lots lay not quite a block east of the first school 
house site on Market street and on the north side of the street north of the 
site occupied by the first Methodist Episcopal church in Harlan, which stood 
where Chris Michaelson now resides. The school house was in the same 
block with the Methodist church and almost due north. 

The settlement at Bowman's Grove had two school houses, one on the 
south side of the grove and one on the north side, neither of which now 
remains. On April 2j, 1S61, James H. Adams leased to the district town- 
ship of Jackson, for a period of twenty years, a tract of land containing 
eighty-one square rods, lying in the southwest quarter of the northwest 
quarter of section 6, township 79, range $j, lying twenty-eight rods due 
east of the southwest corner of this fort}'. The lease provided that Mr. 
Adams should be paid at the end of the twenty-year period an annual rent 
of fifty cents for the term of the lease. This school house stood on land 
almost opposite the present residence of William Barkman and across the 
public highway, the land to the east of it being now owned by George 
Walters, and earlier by Eliab Myers. The other school house was erected 
during the summer of 1863 on land leased to the district township of Jackson 
by P. H. Longcor. Mr. Longcor resided on the premises subsequently known 
as the Caldwell farm, near the farm first owned by Bowman and later by 
David Barkman. The description of the land is somewhat indefinite, the 
tract of one-half acre lying "fort}- rods north of the southeast quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 7 in Jackson township." It would appear from 
this description that the school house was not far from the public highway, 
and probably somewhat south of the edge of the timber, although this author 
does not know just how far the timber extended at that date. The lease 
provided for a yearly rent of one cent, payable at the expiration of twenty 
years, the term covered by the lease. 

On May 5. i860, Henry Custer and Elizabeth Custer, his wife, con- 
veyed to the district township of Rounds, for school purposes, one acre of 
land lving forty-five and seventy-eight one hundredths chains west of the 
east quarter post of section 3, in what is now Fairview township. On this 
site was erected one of the earliest school houses of the county. This was 
in the vicinitv of the former home of B. C. Custer, and not far from the 
residence of J. W. McKeig. / 

Two very early school houses were erected in what is now Center town- 
ship, one at Simoda. and another on the hill immediately south of the old 
home of L. D. Sunderland. The author has been told that both of these 
school houses were of brick. 


By deed dated May 14, i860, Milton Heath and wife conveyed to the 
district township of Rounds lot 3 in block 32 of Simoda, for school purposes. 
The author has been told by one of the pioneers that this school building stood 
east of the old residence of II. Baughn, and slightly north in what is now a 
part of the public highway at the turn running east. 

The old Latter- Day Saints' log church at Galland's Grove was undoubt- 
edly the first building used for school purposes in Shelbv county, since 
it was erected about 1855. and was at once used, not only for church services. 
but as a school house. One of the earliest schools in the county was located 
on lot 7 of block 6 in the village of Manteno. in Grove township, the site 
having been conveyed to the district township of Galland's Grove by William 
\Y. Reed on January 5, 186T. Very early school houses in Fairview town- 
ship were built on land conveyed to the district township of Fairview by 
Joseph A. Bunnell. December 19, 1863. and on land conveyed by B. and T. T- 
Tague to the same township October 2^, 1865. 

Another early Grove township school was erected on the southwest 
corner of the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section jS in 
this township, the site therefor being conveyed by W'illson Keairnes Novem- 
ber 10. 1865. 


Almost as soon as the pioneers had established humble homes for them- 
selves, the_\- began to consider the establishment of schools for their children 
and the building of school houses. The first school maintained was undoubt- 
edly that in the Latter-Day Saints' church, which was built in Galland's Grove 
about 1855. The first school house was probably the Rubendall school house 
at Cuppy's Grove. In other parts of the county school houses were erected 
and sometimes schools were maintained for a few months in private homes. 
For instance, the first school in Shelby township was taught in the residence 
of C. J. McLaughlin, one of the very earliest pioneers of the township. This 
school was taught by a son of Mr. McLaughlin. The first school taught in 
the southwest part of Jackson township was in the residence of J. D. Lorent- 
zeu about 1878 by I. \V. Beems, now a resident of Harlan. 

For mail}- years following 1870. and. of course, to some extent prior to 
that time, a majority of the schools were taught by young men. many of 
whom took this means of maintaining themselves while paying for raw land 
which they had bought, or for the purpose of etsablishing themsehes in 
some line of business, or preparatorv to the pursuit of either the profession 
of law or that of medicine, but there were also many young women who had 


the endurance and courage to make long walks during- the rigorous winters 
to teach country schools. The pluck and determination of these young 
women, and the faithful work done by them in the school rooms of which 
they had charge, might well form an interesting chapter in the history of 
Shelby county education. 

In the Manteno items of the Harlan Herald, under date of March 15, 
1877, it appears that a young lady named Miss Flora McGarvey was then 
teaching in Grove township and had ideas much in advance of her time. 
She seems to have encouraged manual training with very successful results. 
I quote: "Miss McGarvey's industrial exposition was held at her school 
house la>t Thursday instead of Wednesday, as we stated in our last issue. 
While the dinner was being arranged, we examined the contributions — such 
a variety of carved work, all with cards attached giving the name of the 
makers: thinking that it would not be ami^s. we jotted down a few: John 
Benjamin, sword, butcher-knife, potato masher; Robert Benjamin, sled: 
Frank Tierney, house and barn: Charles Tlinkle, house: Frances Roundy, 
patch work; Austin Burk. butter ladle and ax; Ida Mcintosh, doll: Carrie 
Buck, pin cushion: Jennette and Ida Baughman. work boxes ; Mary Cheney, 
patch work, picture frames- Sophia Roundy, patch work, pin cushion; Cora 
"McGarvev. pen wiper, pin cushion, doll; Rose llinkle. pin cushion; F.lva 
Lyons, old man and fiddle. We noticed also a beautiful card basket by Miss 
McGarvey. artificial flowers by Mrs. Nancy Benjamin. We understand that 
to Miss McGarvev belongs the honor of holding the first industrial exposition 
in Shelby county." Certainly this bright young woman had ambition and 

One of the earliest school teachers in Shelby county was W. J. Davis. 
who walked from Harrison county into Shelby county in the sixties, shortly 
afterwards securing a position as teacher in the newly established school at 
Simoda. Another early teacher at Simoda was B. I. Kinsey. Another was 
A. W. Barton, who also taught in the old brick school house near the early 
home of L. D. Sunderland. Joseph Stiles taught at a very early date in 
Grove township. Other early teachers were J. H. Louis. Mrs. J. H. Ixiuis, 
L S. Taylor, J. V. Crazie, J. W. White. I. W. Beems, J. W. Carter. Rev. 
T. C. Carter. 1. W. Kime of Grove township, W. K. Colburn, J. D. Dunlavy, 
D. T. Dunlavy, C. F. Swift. Ami Gibbs, John L. Xewby. G. E. McMullen. 
J. C. Kelly, L. O. Hawley. W. J. Wicks. J. W. Miller. J. J. Shepard, Miss 
Carrie Tonnesen, W. E. Cooper. A. G. Wolfenbarger, Miss Capitola Will- 
iams, George Chatbuin. O. P. Wyland, H. W. Byers, James R. Hanna. Miss 
Jessie Cobb, Mrs. C. F. Swift (Miss Tina Koolbeck), A. P. Leech, Albert 


Newton, Edward Johnston, John Swenning, Tugene Sullivan, Frank S. 
Carroll and others. 

Among the young women teaching in 1874 in the townships of Clay. 
Grove, Greeley, Monroe, Washington, Douglas and Jefferson were Laura 
Lynch, Essie Muck, Adda L. Eraser. Estella Hart, Amanda T. Blaine, Kate 
Robinson, Adda Hall. 

Speaking of the subsequent careers of school teachers, one finds that 
several of them became county superintendents. That was a rea- 
sonable and natural promotion. One of the pioneer teachers was A. X. 
Buckman, afterwards county superintendent, and at present a resident of 
Wyoming, a former president of the Iowa State Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany. Another was Hon. J. II. Louis, who afterwards represented Shelby 
county in the General Assembly. Hon. O. P. Wyland, another state repre- 
sentative, taught school in Shelby in the late seventies. Hon. II. W. Byers, 
later speaker of the Iowa House, is another who taught, also George D. 
Ross, later clerk of the district court. Most of our past county officers were 
at one time country school teachers, were wielders of the willow, the slippery 
elm twig, hazel brush and the hitching strap. Several of the young men 
who taught school in the county became physicians. Perhaps the best known 
of these is Dr. J. W. Kime, of Port Dodge, Iowa, formerly of Grove town-' 
ship, a man who has done a great work in educating the people of our state in 
the proper care and cure of consumptives. Other teachers who became phy- 
sicians were John M. Wyland, E. A. Moore, Herman Smith. Colfax Smith. 
Mary Ileilesen, F. A. Malick. and perhaps others. Some turned toward the 
law in later days, and we find in the list Fremont Benjamin, of Council 
Bluffs; Guy .Martin, of Sand Point, Idaho: L. J. Xeff. of Walnut; J. B. 
Shorett, of Seattle, Washington: George A. Luxford, of Denver, Colorado; 
A. G. Wolfenbarger. of Lincoln. Nebraska: Frank Carroll, of Xorth Dakota; 
J. B. Whitney, of Harlan: also C. H. Whitney, his brother: T. R. Mockler, 
of Bismarck. Xorth Dakota: Hon. H. W. Byers. and perhaps others. And 
there are preachers. Rev. Alva W. Taylor, of Columbia, Missouri: Rev. W. 
P. Canine, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Rev. J. B. Mather, of Denver, Colorado, 
and others. 


Fortunate, too. has the county been in the personnel and practical native 
ability of the persons who have held the office of county superintendent of 
schools. Most of the persons who have held the office were equipped with 
much practical experience in life and were successful, either before assuming 



the superintendency, or subsequently, in other vocations. Viewed in the 
strictness of present standards of education, this might be interpreted as an 
element of weakness, but this author is inclined to view it in connection with 
the demands of the times as a decided element of strength. Without excep- 
tion, so far as the author now recalls, incumbents of the office in Shelby 
county had experience in teaching several terms or years before entering 
upon the discharge of the duties of county superintendent and were persons 
of a practical turn of mind. P. C. Truman was one of the earliest bee keepers 
in Shelby county and carried on the industry very successfully. One of the 
early county papers contains a series of articles written by him, treating fully 
of the care of bees. Caleb Smith, formerly of Fairview township, who was 
appointed county superintendent in the spring of 1S71. and elected to the 
office in the fall of that year for a term of two years, was a native of Snyder 
county, Pennsylvania, and received his education at the Freebury Academy 
of that county and at the Union Seminary of Union county, Pennsylvania. 
He began teaching school at the age of seventeen years. Mr. Smith was 
subsequently a very successful farmer and stock feeder of Fairview town- 
ship. At present he is a resident of Avoca and is mayor of that town. 

A. N. Buckman, who served as county superintendent of schools from 
1873 to 1877. was a native of Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, receiving 
his education at the Friends School at Wrightstown and at the State Normal 
School at Millersville. which he entered at the age of eighteen. Subsequently 
he took a course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College. Philadelphia. He 
subsequently taught school. In [861 he enlisted in Company C of the Third 
Pennsylvania Reserves in the Civil War, fighting in a number of important 
battles. He became captain of his company and was finally breveted major 
of volunteers by President Lincoln for "gallant and meritorious sen-ice in 
the field." At the close of the war he was in business at Philadelphia for 
two years. He then came west, spending one year in Nebraska, and in i860. 
he located in section 18, Douglas township. Shelby county. He experimented 
largely in fruit growing and planted one of the first large apple orchards of 
the county, and also five acres of artificial timber. He was active in the 
organization of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company and of the Shelby 
County Agricultural Society, serving both of these organizations as an 

Of M. D. Bridgeman. who followed A. X. Buckman as county superin- 
tendent, the author knows nothing except that he had previously taught coun- 
try schools in Shelby county. W. W. Girton. who followed Bridgeman, was 
one of the joint editors of the Hub, a Harlan newspaper, which was finally 


merged with the Harlan Herald, subsequently coming to he known as the 
Shelby County Republican. Mr. Girton was a graduate of a Wisconsin 
normal school, 1 am informed. He was followed in the superintendency by 
Mrs. M. E. Downey, ami in 1883 W. K. Colburn, son of a well-known pio- 
neer of Washington township, succeeded Mrs. Downey as superintendent. 
Mr. Colburn had had extensive experience in teaching, several years of which 
were in the Harlan schools. Mr. Colburn has shown business ability as sec- 
retary of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of the county for many 
years, and, besides, is extensively interested in the management of farms in 
the county. 

In 18S5 C. F. Swift succeeded Mr. Colburn. He was born in Davis 
county, Iowa, where he resided on his father's farm until sixteen years of 
age, at which time he entered the Southern Iowa Normal and Commercial 
Institute at Bloomfield. Here he completed the teachers' course and also a 
scientific course, immediately after which he began teaching in Davis county. 
In March, 188.2, he came to Shelby county and began teaching in the country 
schools, which profession he filled with high success and with the approbation 
of patrons. The author of this work will, he trusts, be pardoned for saying 
that one of the best and most inspirational instructors he had in the country 
schools was C. F. Swift. J. 1). Dunlavy was another Davis county boy, 
educated in the Southern Iowa Normal School at Bloomfield, who served one 
term as county superintendent of schools, after many years of successful 
work as a country school teacher in Shelby county. He was succeeded by 
Paul Peterson, who had previously been an instructor in Elk Horn College 
in Clav township. Mr. Peterson was a graduate of the State Normal School 
at Cedar Falls. John B. Shorett, who served two terms as county superin- 
tendent, had attended the Woodbine Normal School, had taught school and 
had also spent several years in the State University at Iowa City, where he 
had especially distinguished himself in debating contests. Mr. Shorett is now 
a verv able and successful attorney of Seattle, Washington, where he has 
been in the practice of law for nearly fifteen years. Mr. Shorett was suc- 
ceeded by George A. Luxford, a Defiance boy, wdio had spent several years 
in teaching and had had several years of college work before assuming the 
duties of the office. M. C. Peterson, a son of Peter I. Peterson, was a grad- 
uate of the Harlan high school and had had several terms of experience as a 
teacher. Mrs. Rose Parker, the present incumbent of the office, is one of the 
best known experts in Iowa on the subject of primary teaching and methods. 
She has been employed in possibly a dozen different teachers' institutes in 
Iowa, to take charge of the instruction of teachers along these lines. 

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It is interesting to learn from an old record of school visitation kept 
by County Superintendent \V. \Y. Girton from November 10. 1880, to June 
17, 1881, the character of his observations. He. of course, named the in- 
dividual teachers, but it would not serve any useful purpose now to give the 
names. Here is his record for this period of time: (Would his remarks 
apply to any teachers of this day?) 

"Record of School Visitation, from November 10, 1880, to June 17, 

Teacher No. 1— Teacher energetic, active. Disposition on part of some 
pupils to dispute teacher's methods and be contrary. Rooms clean and or- 

Teacher No. -2 — Teacher not as active as I would wish to have him. 

Teacher No. 3 — Teacher active, alive. Discipline good. 

Teacher No. 4 — Teacher industrious and discipline fair. Building new 
and in good condition, except that of being very, very dirty. 

Teacher No. 5 — School not industrious enough. Small pupils not in- 
terested. Teacher devotes too much time to large pupils. 

Teacher No. 6 — School room in good condition. New stove. Every- 
thing neat. Pupils actively employed, not time for mischief. Teacher doing 
her part well. A success. 

Teacher No. 7 — School quiet, studious. Teacher follows books too 
closely. Work too mechanical. Not life enough. 

Teacher No. 8— ^Teacher active, industrious and doing good work. 
Should not make his questions leading. 

Teacher No. 9 — Teacher lacks vim and energy. Should do more teach- 
ing and less hearing classes. 

Teacher No. 10 — Teacher not careful enough in personal appearance; 
hears recitations instead of teaches. 

Teacher No. 1 1 — Teacher doing his work thoroughly — knows what to 
do and does it — takes care of health of pupils — water on stove with syphon 
to cause steam. 

Teacher No. 12 — School a hard one to govern and teacher rather irrit- 
able, inclined to scold and threaten — needs more persuasive power. 

Teacher No. 13 — School room untidy; scholars orderly, but given to 
bad practices — smoking permitted in the room by the teacher. 

Teacher No. 14 — Slovenly in dress, but enthusiastic enough. 

Teacher No. 15 — (One of the author's teachers) — School house new, 
frame, in good condition; ornamented with winter bouquets, pictures, etc.; 


no apparatus, except dictionary: teacher doing her work quietly but faith- 

teachers' institute. 

Much inspiration and training- for the best educational work is centered 
about the teachers' institute, which was in existence in Shelby county at least 
so early as 1870, and possibly prior to that time, although the author has 110 
proof of an earlier institute and finds the records in the county superin- 
tendent's office of no assistance in the determination of the matter. In the 
Siiclby County Record of November 3, 1S70. County Superintendent P. C. 
Truman gives notice that a teachers' institute will be held for a period of not 
less than six days, beginning on December 26, 1S70. It is likely that in- 
stitutes were held annually thereafter. In the matter of the ability and 
reputation of the men who have taught or delivered lectures before the 
teachers' institutes. Shelby count}' has been especially fortunate. Such a list 
would include former State Superintendents of Public Instruction Henry 
Sabin, C. YV. Von Coelln, R. C. Barrett, John YV. Acres, and others; H. H. 
Seerlev, president of the Iowa State Teachers' College; Prof. YV. C. Wilcox, 
of the chair of history in the State University of Iowa: Professors Kinney, 
Reed and Riddle, of the Woodbine Normal School, Professor Riddle subse- 
quently becoming for many years the able and successful superintendent of 
the West Des Moines schools; Superintendent A. B. Warner, Professor War- 
man, Professor Kirk, now president of the Missouri State Normal School at 
Kirksville. Missouri; Prof. G. YV. Cullison, Prof. O. H. Longwell, Supt. R. 
G. Sauudersou, of the Burlington schools, and others. 

Early in September. 1874. County Superintendent A. N. Buckman gave 
notice with reference to a teachers' institute as follows: 

"A normal institute will he held at Harlan, commencing September 21, 
1874, in compliance with the provisions of section 1759. School Laws of 
Iowa of 1S74. The institute will continue four weeks, of five days each. 

Experienced teachers will give instruction daily in reading, arithmetic. 
both written and mental, grammar, geography and United States history. 
Occasional lessons will be given in penmanship, orthography, physiology, etc. 

A lesson in vocal music will be given every day by a competent instructor. 

Any schools that may be in session during the normal institute will not 
be closed except upon the order of the U>ard of directors thereof." 

In one of the Harlan papers, under date of August 30. 1877. there is 
found the following list of teacher^ in attendance at the Shelby county in- 
stitute: Martin D. Bridgeman, John I.. Newby, George McMullen, Cicily 


Chatburn, Nettie Ashton, Mollie Wright, Eugene E. Moore, William Hig- 
gins, Joseph H. Slagg. Thomas W. Slater, Wiley X. Doty. Lizzie B. Fair- 
held, Ina Fritz, Ella Hummer, Jennie B. Gish, Kate Young. Alida Vande- 
burg, Lizzie S. Saunders. Mrs. E. Wintermute. Mary A. Webster, Essie T. 
Muck. Mollie Gleiser, Ella A. Palmer. Mariab J. Carroll. Martha Roundy, 
Eva Irwin, Carrie Culver, Rookie M. Whitney, X. Lizzie Allen. Carrie Har- 
vey, Thomas Way, Etta Jackson, Anna Burke, Eugene G. Elliott, Mrs. J. 
Stiles, Emma Xance, J. W. Carter, Etta Tibbott. Of the above named per- 
sons. John L. Xewby. William Higgins, George McMullen, Kate Young, and 
possibly others, are alive and residents of the count} - . 

The author is fortunate enough to secure from an early Harlan paper 
the following list of pioneer teachers attending the teachers' institute in 
August, 1S7S: Emily Tinsley, Cicilv Chatburn. Lizzie Saunders, Eva Irwin. 
Mary A. Wehster, Maggie Booker, Mollie Wright, Martha Roundy, Susie 
Grounds, Jessie Baker. Emerette Gregoire, Carrie Flock, Mary West. Ida 
Crandall, Cora Shannon, E. E. Moore. Fannie Hurless, Ella M. Gregoire, 
Ina Fritz, Emma Irwin. Essie Muck. Emma Xance, Anna Peterson. G. E. 
McMullen, J. H. McArthur, W. A. Higgins, J. L. Xewby. J. M. Wyland. 
W. E. Cooper. Isaac Cook, Maggie Clark. T. W. Slater, A. W. Sims, O. F. 
Plum. A. G. Wolfenbarger, J. W. Kime, Edward Johnson. C. K. Olivers. 
W. J. Wicks, I. H. Mather. M. E. Downey, Carrie Tonneson, Minnie Tuck, 
Kate M. Young, Jennie L. Lane. Kate K. Griffith. Mrs. Annie Lens, Annie 
Masterson, Lillian White. Jennie S. Clarke, Ella G. Austin, A. K. Askwith, 
Ray Williams. 

Solemn fidelitv to the truth forces one to admit that then, as now, not 
all of the cpiestions submitted in teachers' examinations were correctly an- 
swered. For instance, here are some "guesses" offered in teachers' exam- 
inations held in 1S78: 

"1. Ouestion : Xame three movements of the ocean and give their 
causes. Answer: Current is caused by the rise and fall of the earth. 
Waves are caused by the traditions of the wind. 

"2. Ouestion: Of what countries are the following cities the capitals? 
Berne, Brussels. Ottawa. Lima and Lisbon. Answer: Berne is the capital 
of Africa, Brussels of Brazil. Ottawa of British America, capital of Peru. 

"3. Ouestion: What, from the structure of his teeth, do you infer 
man should eat?- Answer: Man. I think, should eat vegetables and pork ; 
corn should be his main dish." 

The normal institute of 18S5 had an enrollment of one hundred and 
ninetv-one. There were many able men among the list of teachers. Among 



them were I). T. Dunlavy, A. P. Leach. C. K. Redfield, J. T. Couser, W. H. 
Fleck", W. J. Wicks, A. B. Frost, James R. Hanna (now mayor of Des 
Moines), C. H. Champ, George Chatburn (now a professor in the University 
of Xebraska). J. I'. Shirk. Allien Newton, J. \V. .Miller (now a merchant in 
Harlan), II. S. Miller. Jesse B. Whitney (now an attorney in Harlan). Al- 
bert Curtis, Fred Pratt, O. F. Plumb (now an attorney at law in Xebraska), 
Arlie Parker (now a resident of Harlan). Oscar Roland (better known as 
M. O. Roland), U. S. Roland. L. O. Hawley, James McMillan, W. D. 
Young (now connected with The Lana Construction Company, Council 
Bluffs, Iowa). Albert Morrissey, John Edwards, Albert S. Stevens, J. B. 
Mather (later a well-known preacher). Walter Plum, E. H. Abbott (now a 
lawyer in Chicago), Robert Heinemann, Charles Wilson, J. J. Elser, J. A. 
Gunsolley, George W. Harmon. Joseph B. Reams. John Xeff, S. Gallagher, 
J. J. Sheppard (later head of the great Commercial high school of New 
York City), E. 11. Snyder, C M. Wilder, Thomas Hogan, Jacob I!. Wolf, 
J. C. Kelley. D. J. Keat (later an attorney at law in Harlan), Harry Mc- 
Cuskey, Emery Allen, P. I 7 . Vincent, C. A. Marlin, James Lowery. 

The normal institute at Harlan for 1886 was conducted by Superin- 
tendent C. E. Swift. The instructors were O. H. Longwell. A. B. Warner, 
J. D. Dunlavy and Mr. Swift. The branches taught were English, grammar, 
history of education, American literature, didactics, natural philosophy, as- 
tronomy, arithmetic, reading, vocal music, geography. United States history, 
physiology, orthography, civil government and algebra. 

In August, 1886, when Mr. Swift was county superintendent of schools, 
the normal institute seems to have had graduating exercises, followed by the 
presentation of diplomas. I ([note from the Harlan Tribune of the time: 
"The normal institute had a program at the Congregational church on the 
Friday evening preceding. The audience was called together by Supt. A. I'.. 
Warner, and a prayer was offered by Rev. Post. C. M. Wilder delivered his 
address. 'The Relation of the Teacher to the Patron.' Miss Linnie Long 
followed with the subject, 'Xothing Great Is Lightly Won.' J. C. Kelly read 
a paper on 'Froebel.' Miss Carrie Scott also had a paper on the program. 
Miss Ina Fritz, a daughter of John Fritz, read a paper on 'Life and Efforts 
of Pestalozzi.' Charles Hunt delivered the valedictory, and the salutatory 
was to have been given by Miss Mamie Fritz, who was unable to attend. 
Supt. C. F. Swift presented the class with diplomas." 

At the normal institute, sixteenth session, August. 1889. one hundred 
and ninety teachers or more were enrolled, including many men. Among 
them were W. H. Gooding, Colfax Smith. Archie Myers. Charles Dickinson, 

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Frank \Y. Hanna, Alva \V. Taylor, James Ouinn. Frank Stevens. C. O. 
White, James Kinsella. Joel Fisher. Carl Campbell. F. A. Malick. \V. B. 
Buckley, \\". J. Wicks, Walter Guthridge, Guy Martin. W. R. Fisher. Frank 
Gallagher (now postmaster at Walnut), W. D. Young- and others. 


One of the distinctive educational features during the decades between 
1870 (or slightly earlier) and 1800. was the spelling schools. These schools 
were held practically throughout the county. In connection with them a 
good deal of attention was paid to the definition of words and to correct 
pronunciation. This author has little doubt that such contests were of more 
value than many present-day educators are wont to believe. They, no doubt, 
not only encouraged boys and girls to note the printed form of words, but 
greatly favored the acquisition of a wider vocabulary. 

It may prove not uninteresting to preserve some facts with reference to 
a noted spelling school, held at the Harlan opera house on December 31. 
1S86. This contest was open to all residents of the county. In spite of the 
fact that there was a heavy fall of snow and the weather intensely cold, 
there was a large attendance. The rules governing the contest, as published, 
were as follows : 

"1. Words must be given out alternately to gentleman and lady. 

"2. Spellers will be provided with seats and in their turn will rise to 
their feet, spell the word given out and resume the seat. 

"3. Should the word be missed, those missing will retire to the aud- 

'■4. In case of dispute as to the correctness of the ruling, the appeal 
must be made while the contestant is upon the floor, and will remain stand- 
ing until the referees give a decision. 

"5. When a woru! is missed, a new word will be given to the next 

"6. Webster's unabridged dictionary will be authority." 

Music was given by the orchestra. The forty spellers entered were 
about equally divided between men and women. Mrs. Warner and Mrs. J. 
W. Jones were referees. Applause was given over amusing breaks and 
episodes. The first prize was won by Miss/M. O. King, Miss Ina Fritz the 
second, Mrs. J. W. Jones the third. George Stamm won the boy's prize, and 
Helen McArthur, the girl's prize. The following were the contestants: 
Mesdames Fred Eidamiller, F. A. Cobb. Clyde Mosby, Mary Wyland. J. 


Turner, T. H. Smith. YV. II. Cocke rell, J. \V. Jones. J. II. McArthur: the 
Misses Ina Fritz, Mamie Fritz, M. O. King, Ada French, Linnie Long, Cora 
Ramsey, Pearl French, Maude French, Lettie Smith, Kate Holtschneider, 
Helen McArthur. Sarah Grant: Messrs. Lewis Gingery, S. A. Burke, Fred 
French, J. 1. Myerly, E. B. Wicks, A. X. Stamm. Porter Gray, Fred Black- 
stone, P>. F. Eshelman, George Stamm, H. Ramsey, J. S. Mills, O. S. Dona- 
hue, E. A. Revnolds, T. 11. Smith. Charles Reynolds, Guy Martin. Ira 
Smith, George Chatburn. E. J. Smith. D. P>. Sheller and Wilson Young. 

The words missed were: Dial. dual, sequel, despair, decency, sphinx, 
valise, irksome, cuticle, symmetry, hreathe. chasm, colossus, treacle, silex, 
rarelv, cede, feign, octavos, miracle, pelican, seraphim, halloo, auxiliary, 
main, omniscient, mementos, porticoes, traceable, compiled, Buddhism, post- 
humouslv, misspell, bifid, gaseous, raillery, cupola, fetish, deficit, sumach, 
syrup, viscount, pyrites, phosphorus, plebeian. 


In 1874 there were 1,523 children of school age in the county, the 
largest number being Harlan township, 2jj; the next, Grove, with 224; 
next, Monroe, with 209, and the next, Fairview, 183. 

Report of county superintendent for the year ending September 20, 1878: 
Number of persons in the county between five and twenty-one years of age. 
3.479; number of schools in the county, 100: average number of pupils at- 
tending school, 1,620: number of teachers employed, men, 80; women. 98: 
average compensation of teachers, per month, men, St,2.jj; women, S30.40; 
total value of school houses and apparatus. S45.095 : total amount paid teach- 
ers since September 20, 187S, S22,S82.^j. 

The county schools were often very large. For instance, in 1888. from 
school reports of almost forty schools in session during that year, it appears 
that the largest school was Xo. 3, Monroe, with Nellie Bungor as teacher, 
with an enrollment of 42. The second largest was Xo. 9. Jackson, L. O. 
Hawley, teacher, enrollment, 40; the fourth largest was Xo. 9, Monroe, with 
Lizzie G. Boland. teacher, enrollment, t,/ : the third largest was Xo. 3, 
Jackson, with Laura B. Xewby, teacher, enrollment. 38: the fifth was Har- 
lan Xo. 2, J. YV. Jones, teacher, enrollment. t,j : the sixth was Xo. 9, Greeley. 
Tina Anthony, teacher, enrollment. 34, and the next. Xo. 7, Jackson, J. C. 
Kelly, teacher, enrollment, 34. 

In these nearlv forty schools there were only seventeen pupils neither 
absent nor tardv. These schools were taught in the winter term. Among 


the men who were teaching them were H. C. Hanson, J. D. Keet, C. M. 
Wilder. Walter Guthridge. W. A. Gibbs, Frank Gallagher, J. C. Kelly. J. W. 
Jones. Frank Steven?. Eugene Sullivan ( now a well-known hanker of Pana- 
ma. Iowa). L. O. Haw lev. Thomas Hogan, W. J. Wicks and John Keitges. 
The least cost of tuition per month per pupil was in Jackson Xo. 3, Si. 33, and 
the highest cost was Xo. 8, Fairview, $49-. this variation, of course, de- 
pending largely upon the enrollment. 

Superintendent Swift's report in 1889 to the state superintendent of the 
number of pupils of school age in the county, showed a total number of 
6,267, made up of 3.205 boys and 3.062 girls, the boys being in the majority 

by 143- 

Statistics from Shelby county teachers' journal, February 18. 1904: 
Total number of school age in Shelby county today, 5.928: twenty years ago, 
5,515. Total number of library books now. 9.469; twenty years ago, 250. 
Value of school houses now, $122,425: then, $91,975; average wages paid 
rural school teachers in Shelby county today. S33.89; twenty years ago. 


In 1879 a majority of the country schools had seven months' school, 
although Lincoln and .Monroe had eight months, and Greeley township had 
nine months. The wages paid first class teachers were : Harlan, S25 : 
Douglas, S30; Jefferson. $28: Jackson. $30; Fairview, $30: Lincoln, $30: 
Monroe, S30; Greeley, S30 ; Shelby. $25 : Westphalia had six months and 
paid $35 per month, except the town school, which had ten months. M. J. 
Heires taught the school at S50 per month. The enrollment of the town 
school was 84. 


The recent prominent movement in Shelby county education is the for- 
mation of consolidated independent school districts, that is. the annexation, 
of course after the vote of the people, of territory surrounding a village or 
town, with the school district in the village or town, and with provision for 
the transportation of pupils from the county territory to the school house. 
Shelby countv now has four consolidated independent school districts in 
which pupils are transported in hacks to School some miles from the country. 
■ These districts are the Harlan independent district, the Tennant consolidated 
independent district, the Kirkman consolidated independent district and the 
Irwin independent district. 


The Kirkman consolidated district was established following an election 
on April 26, 1913. on which date the vote favoring a consolidated distri 
was: In town 37. in the country jj. or a total of 59 votes in favor of the 
proposition: the vote against consolidation was: in town. 7 votes, and in the 
country 13, or a total of _'o votes against the proposed consolidated district. 
The new board of education was organized May 19, 1913. 

The territory embraced by the district at the present time includes the 
town of Kirkman and all of Douglas township, except four corner sub-dis- 
tricts. 1. 3, 7 and 9. The pupils from this territory are conveyed to the 
school in Kirkman by means of four hacks. 

The course of study, which is being printed, provides for the taking of 
agriculture in the eleventh grade, instruction in this branch having been 
offered for the rir>t time in the fall of 1914. So far the subject has been 
taught by text books. Courses are also offered in dome-tic science and in 
manual training. The equipment of the school consists of ten double steel 
vises and work benches and one lot of tools for carpenter work. For the 
domestic science there are five double cook table-?, one kitchen cabinet, one 
blau-gas range connected with a blau-gas plant, cooking and table equipment, 
also a sewing machine. For the teaching of the agriculture there is also one 
set of agricultural charts. 


In 191 3 the consolidated independent school district of Tennant was 
formed from certain territory in Shelby. Cass and Lincoln townships. Dur- 
ing 1913-14 a fine brick school building was erected. It is equipped with 
modern heating apparatus, plumbing, ventilation, and with apparatus for 
manual training and domestic science. 

The building was dedicated March 14. 1914- The school now has an 
enrollment of one hundred and twenty-eight pupiK with an average attend- 
ance of ninety-five per cent. The pupils are conveyed several miles, in five 
hacks, to the school. These hacks begin picking up the pupils about seven 
o'clock. The drivers are paid an average salary of nearly seventy dollars 
per month. 

The first principal of the school was A. \Y. Phillips. The first and pres- 
ent board of education is: George X. Cook, president: R. F. Plumb. August 
Turke. Albert Hansen, Fred T. Miller, and F. L. Hansen, treasurer. The 

5 < 

x 3 


first secretary was R. A. Studley, who worked especially hard for the estab- 
lishment of the school. 

The present teaching force is composed of Thomas L. Cook; Blanche 
Morris, domestic science: Miss Freiburghouse, intermediate grades; Hattie 
Wulff, grammar grades: Mrs. J. B. Wiley, primary grades. 

The school offers the following courses: Ninth grade — First Semester: 
Latin, algebra. Fnglish. physical geography; second Semester: Latin, algebra. 
English, agriculture. Tenth grade — First Semester: general history, Fnglish, 
Latin, home economies or manual training: second Semester: general history, 
English, Latin, home economics or manual training. 


The city of Harlan and the towns of Shelby, Defiance and Irwin have 
taken especial pride in maintaining high standards for their high schools. 
Graduates of Harlan and of Shell >v are admitted without examination to the 
State University and to the other leading colleges of the state and other 
states. Graduates of Irwin and of Defiance receive credit for their courses, 
so far as maintained by these schools. The towns of Tennant and Kirkman 
are also building up strong schools, which are made possible by the consolida- 
tion of a large tract of surrounding territory, and it is likely that they. too. 
will develop strong high schools with courses of study in advance of what 
thev now have. The county has long maintained a fine reputation for the 
number of its young people who are taking, or have taken, work in the lead- 
ing colleges and universities of the country. Shelby count}' young people 
have been graduated from the following universities : Kansas, Nebraska, 
Iowa. Northwestern, Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan and Yale, and from the 
following colleges : Iowa Agricultural College, Simpson, Cornell. Grinnell, 
Des Moines, Highland Park. Tabor. Drake, State Teachers' College and 


Contributed Upon Request by G. W. Cullison, of Harlan. 

This college is owned and controlled by a corporation organized under 
the laws of Iowa, not for pecuniary profit. It was organized on the 19th day 


of April. 1911, by L. F. Potter, O. P. Wyland, W. T. Shepherd, C. F. Swift 
and G. \V. Cullison, all citizens of Harlan. 

Prior to that time one \Y. L. Hoff. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had pur- 
chased a tract of two hundred acres of land adjoining the city of Harlan, 
land this tract out as an addition to the city known as College Heights. 
and sold lots to many citizens of Harlan and vicinity with the implied under- 
standing that the money arising from the sale of said lots should he used for 
the purpose of building and equipping a college. He platted the college 
campus and began the erection of the college building. He was unable to 
finish the building and had no means with which to equip it. It then became 
apparent to all that the college enterprise would fail unless some one other 
than Mr. Hoff would take hold of it and all the money so far expended would 
be lost. 

Under these circumstances the gentlemen above named organized the 
corporation, as above stated, purchased the interest of Mr. Hoff in the entire 
propertv and proceeded to finish the college building and furnish it 
for use as a college. It cost them, in addition to the amount received from 
the sale of kits, the full sum of thirty thousand dollars. The building, equip- 
ment and campus represent an investment of sixty thousand dollars. The 
main building is sixtv by one hundred and twenty feet, three stories high, 
with a large and commodious basement. It is modern in design and architec- 
ture, and has numerous closets, wardrobes, lavatories and toilets. It has a 
library room, an apparatus room, two executive offices, a dining room and 
kitchen, a gymnasium, with shower baths and dressing rooms, a music room 
and practice rooms, a chapel, and four large commodious, well-lighted, well- 
ventilated school rooms and recitation rooms adjoining. It will comfortably 
accommodate five hundred students. It has a complete system of heating, 
lighting, ventilation and sewerage. It is the most perfectly planned and 
equipped building in the state of Iowa. The college is situated in the south- 
western part of the city, with a campus of twenty acres, and commands the 
most enchanting view of the surrounding country to be found anywhere. 

The college opehed September 4. 1911. and has added much to the edu- 
cational facilities of Harlan. It aims to train young men and women for the 
active vocations, for useful and happy lives and to give its students power to 
do, to understand, to initiate and manage business affairs for themselves or 
others, and furnish them a chart and compass that will lead into the great 
fields of human knowledge and experience and bring to the student a well- 
poised culture and refinement. 


The college is now being conducted by the Professors McAdams, to- 
gether with a corps of able assistants. 

Its courses of study are: i — Academic, including English. Latin, his- 
tory, geography, mathematics, physics, science, and politics; 2 — Normal — 
The science and art of teaching, mental and moral philosophy, and physi- 
ology; 3 — Business — Penmanship, bookkeeping, commercial .arithmetic and 
commercial law; 4 — Shorthand and typewriting: 5 — Vocal and instrumental 
music; 6 — Manual training, domestic science, and agriculture. 


The Elk Horn Lutheran High School and College was established in 
1S7S, and opened its first school year November 1, 1878, with an enrollment 
of fifteen students under the instructive care of three professors. Rev. O. L. 
Kirkeborg, Chr. T. Ostergaard and Mr. Crouse. Three acres of the land had 
previously been presented by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran congregation 
in Elk Horii for the purpose of erecting a high school building. During the 
summer and falal of 1878 a two-story building was erected, which would 
house about twenty-five students, and a dwelling for a professor. 

The general purpose of the school was to help young folk coming over 
here from the fatherland. Denmark, to obtain such an instruction as would 
qualify them for their professions or work in this country. Hence the in- 
struction was given in two languages, Danish and English. P>ut the special 
purpose was to impress upon their minds a clear view of the spiritual treas- 
ures brought over here from the fatherland in the Danish history and lit- 
erature, so they might, by being honest and true, adhere to their forefathers' 
religion (the Lutheran church) and become good citizens, enlightened Chris- 
tians and earnest church members. 

The founder of this school was the local church congregation, but Dan- 
ish Lutherans from different parts of the United States contributed fre- 
quently to the noble undertaking, even some Americans donating liberally. 
Ministers A. S. Nielsen. Holm Rosenstrand and O. L. Kirkeberg, and lay- 
men Rasmus Hansen. Jorgen Jensen (George James,), T. S. Petersen and 
Christen Christensen. deserve to be mentioned as the most active members 
of the founders of this school. Rev. O. L. Kirkeberg was the first president. 

Early courses of study included Danish, English, history, and lectures 
on different subjects taken from science and literature. Singing of Danish 
hymns was frequently taught. The preparatory work for the ministry in the 
Danish church was also carried on in some measure. 


The school has in the past maintained the following departments of 
study: Hbjskole, academic, normal, domestic economy, college, commercial, 
music: and has had an enrollment of more than one hundred students and a 
faculty consisting' of nine professors and instructors. 

The student body over a period of twenty-tive years represents nearly 
all states in the Union from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, and numbers 
between two and three thousand. A number of these students occupy today 
trustworthy positions as ministers, lawyers, professors, doctors, business 
men, etc. 

The school has for twenty-five years been supported chiefly by the 
faithful Danish farmers in the vicinity of Elk Horn. A great deal of work 
and much money have been donated by them for defraying the expenses of 
the institution. 

The Elk Horn high school was at first owned by Rev. O. L. Kirkeberg. 
In 1880 it was transferred t" the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 
America. Afterwards, upon the earnest request of that church body, it was 
sold to Rev. K. Anker in 1S90. For four years it was his property, but 
then he, in TS94. sold the school to the newly organized Danish Evangelical 
Lutheran Church in North America. In 1896 this church body was united 
with the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Association and from that time until 
the month of June. 1903, it was the property of the United Danish Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Church in America, when it was sold to a stock company, 
chiefly consisting of members of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran church in 
Elk Horn. 

It was the aim of this company to do all in its power to make this school 
prosper and keep it going in such a way that it would be able to educate our 
youth and qualify them for taking up the line of work for which they are 
talented as good citizens and earnest, sincere, pious Christians. 

A special stress will he laid upon educating young men and women for 
teaching in the public and parochial schools. Many sttudents and graduates 
from this school have in former days performed excellent work in the public 

On May 1, 1S87, the original high school building burned down, hut was 
rebuilt the same year. 

The main college building was unfortunately burned on January 30, 
1910, but the local patriotism and devotion to this college gave such good 
account of itself that a fine new building was dedicated in October of the 
same year. This new building contains rooms for about sixty students, a 
large auditorium, studio for music, library, two class rooms, reading rooms 
and dining room. 


Rev. C. C. Kloth is now president of the institution. The present en- 
rollment of students is about fifty and includes students from all parts of the 
United States and Canada. The regular school year opens on December i. 

The courses of study include rural high school, three months' course in 
all the common school branches and especially English for newcomers; music, 
both vocal and instrumental, and gymnastics. 

The teachers at present are Rev. C. C. Kloth, Miss Dorothea Jensen. 
Miss Annie Jensen and Alfred Koch. The Danish Evangelical Church coun- 
cil conducts the present management of the college. 




One of the extremely interesting institutions established in Shelby county 
in the pioneer times was the literary society, sometimes called by the pioneers 
the "lyceum," or simply the "literary." The pioneers and their families very 
generally attended these literary societies, which usually met in the school 
houses. A fine social lite centered about these societies. These organizations 
were established in practically even - early settlement in the county. They 
did much to develop ready and capable extemporaneous speakers, who were 
able to give good account of themselves in county political conventions, at 
church gatherings and on all public occasions. Indeed, this author is in- 
clined to believe that the first generation 'in Shelbv counts' contained more 
ready and effective public speakers than the present generation with much 
better opportunities, or at least education. Of course, the secret societies, and 
the "Grange," the "Farmers' Alliance," the "Good Templars" and other or- 
ganizations helped to develop ready and effective thinkers and public speakers. 
although the literary societies antedated most of the other organizations 
except, possibly, the verv earlv churches. 

One of the first of these societies was the Young Folks' Literary Society 
of Harlan, which appears to have been established about 1874. 

In January. 1873. also, the students of the upper grades of the Harlan 
schools had formed themselves into a literary society. 

Through the courtesy of George D. Ross, of Harlan, the writer has been 
able to see the constitution of "The Young Folks Literal"}- Society of Harlan" 
of which he was a leading member. This constitution was undoubtedly 
typical of all. There were thirteen articles in this constitution. In these 
provisions were made for officers of the society consisting of president, vice- 
president, secretary, treasurer, editor, ami doorkeeper, and their duties tie- 
fined, all of which officers were elective on the last Saturday evening of each 
month and installed cm the first Saturday evening of the next month. Aside 
from the usual duties of a president of any organization, the president of 


this society was required to procure the services of some one to build tires, 
light up the room and keep it in order, and he was further obliged upon taking 
his seat as such president to deliver an opening address and, at the expiration 
of his term of office, to deliver a closing address. The duties of the editor 
were to prepare a paper for each meeting and read the samp, and also to act 
as critic during his term. 

Article seven of this constitution was somewhat unique. It provided 
that it should be the duty of the doorkeeper to tend the door at each meeting 
"and collect ten cents from every man not accompanying a lady, and to pass 
in free all ladies and all gentlemen accompanying lathes and at the close of 
each meeting to hand the receipts over to the treasurer." 

"Anv suitable person, gentleman or lady," might become a member of 
the society by a majority vote of the membership, a lady being required only 
to sign the constitution and by-laws, but a gentleman being required in addi- 
tion to pay an initiation fee of fifty cents. 

Appearance on the program was enforced by a fine of ten cents for 
each failure and if these lines were not paid at the end of four weeks the 
secretary was required to strike the name of the delinquent member from the 
roll of the society. A program committee consisting of five members was 
appointed by the president at the inception of his term. The duty of this 
committee was to prepare and present to the society each evening a program 
for the next evening, provided, however, that at the option of the societv any 
two members might .choose a member in turn until all of the members were 
chosen, one side then to furnish an entertainment for one evening, and the 
other side for the next evening, and so on through one term of office, the 
first choice of members to be determined by lot. The order of the exercises 
was as follows: Call to order; reading of minutes of previous meeting: 
admission of members; evening's program; miscellaneous business, embracing 
election of officers, reports of officers and committees: adjournment. 

It appears that dialogues were very popular at the time of this literary 
society, for every program had one or more presented. On November 7, 
1874, the following caste for a dialogue appeared: Barkeeper, George D. 
Ross; Policeman. Joseph Babcock; Drunkard. William Bergstresser ; Jailer. 
E. J. Fenton; Faith. Mi>s II. M. Allen: Hope. Miss Ella Swain; Charity. 
Mrs. Ida Reynolds. 

The debates were also deservedly popular, including such questions as 
these: "Resolved, that intemperance has caused more misery and suffering 
than war": "Resolved, that slander causes more suffering to the human 
family than intemperance"; "Resolved, that capital punishment should be 


abolished in the United States, except for the crime of treason": "Resolved, 
that one should never advocate or defend that which he knows to be false." 
P.v the way, this question was affirmed by Thomas Way and Professor Girton, 
county superintendent of schools, and the negative by \V. A. Bergstresser and 
Cyrus Beard (now a member of the state supreme court of Wyoming')- A 
selection was also read by A. G. Wolfenbarger, now a very prominent at- 
torney of Lincoln, Nebraska. 

lion. Thomas H. Smith, later state senator from the Shelby-Cass dis- 
trict, was on the affirmative of this subject: '"Resolved, that moral suasion 
has clone more to suppress intemperance than legal coercion." 

On June 20, 1874. the following was the program of the Young Folks' 
Literary Society of Harlan: 

Oration. George D. Ross, J. Y. Brazie, J. E. Bennett. 

Declamation. D. E. Lang. J. Babcock, T. Burr. 

Select Reading, Misses Fannie Worts, II. Brazie, D. Swain. 

Essays, Misses Ella Swain, Ida Reynolds. William Bergstresser. 

Committee on Music, S. A. Burke, Miss Reynolds, Miss Worts. 

Question for Debate: "Resolved, That it is better to build our new- 
court house by direct tax than by bonds." Affirmative: E. G. Fenton, E. 
Gittings, O. Reynolds. Negative: S. A. Burke, E. Williams. O. Wyland. 

One of the questions discussed by the Young Folks' Literary Society 
of Harlan, September 26, 1874, was, "Resolved, that foreign immigration 
to the United States should be encouraged." Another question discussed 
on October 24. 1874, was, "Resolved, that slander causes more suffering 
to the human family than intemperance." 

In 1874. the Harlan Literary Society gave what was called "a necktie 
sociable." proceeds to be donated to the Methodist church for the purpose 
of helping the church to purchase an organ. Neckties were brought to the 
place of meeting for sale. 

In 1876 the Douglas Township Literary Society debated, among others, 
the following questions: "Resolved, that the herd law would be a benefit 
to this country"; and, "Resolved, that a liar would be more damage to the 
countrv than a thief," and "Resolved, that the attendance of pupils of our 
public schools should be enforced by legislation." (This last question indi- 
cates that' there were thinkers in those days anticipating what has come to 
be real legislation in our own time.) In January. 1877. Windy Knoll, 
in the eastern part of Harlan township, had a debating society in a flourish- 
ing condition. In January, 1876, Hacktown had a debating society. One of 
the questions discussed was. "Resolved, that women should have the right 


to vote and hold offices." In this literary society it appears that a number 
of ladies appeared on the program. In Fairview township in 1876, at one of 
the debating societies, this question was discussed, "Resolved, that novel 
reading is wrong." 

It appears that the elders came in occasionally and addressed the so- 
ciety at Harlan, for it is recorded that J. \V. Chatburn was present at one of 
the meetings and talked to the young people, his topic being "The Road Be- 
tween Here and the Mill." It also appears that Dr. F. M. Hill, of Manteno, 
was invited to lecture before the society at Harlan. 

On December 2S, 1S75, there was a literary society meeting regularly 
in the Waterbury school house in Fairview township, and also one in the 
Michael school house in Douglas township. 

In January, 1876, there was a literary society at the Flaugher school 
house in Union township. 

In 1S77 a literary society was organized at the John Fritz school house 
in Jackson township. 

In 1877 a literary society at the Pioneer school house in Cass- township, 
was discussing- the question of "Woman's Rights." There was about this 
time, a literary society at Leland's Grove, in the same township. One of the 
questions debated was "Should women have the right to vote?" In Novem- 
ber, 1876. at the court house in Harlan the advisability of extending the ballot 
to the women of the United States was affirmed by J. B. Swain and denied 
by L. H. Thompson and J. Y. Brazie. 

In January. 1877, the Hacktown Literary Society, of Fairview town- 
ship, was in a flourishing condition. 

In Douglas township in January. 1877, there was a literary society 
calling itself "The Middle Botna Association," which met at the Mitchell 
school house even- Saturday evening. A local correspondent says that at this 
school house "questions that have for years puzzled our nation are discussed 
and decided without difficulty." 

On January 26, 1878. the citizens of the Glendale district, which was in 
subdistrict Xo. 5, Shelby township, met for the purpose of organizing a de- 
bating society. A. J. Taber was chosen president; J. B. Linn, vice-president; 
M. V. Best, secretary, and L. D. Dickenson, treasurer. The first question 
debated by the society was: "Resolved, /that the works of nature afford 
more pleasure to the eye than the works of art." The principal disputants 
were George Battey and M. V. Best. 

Another joint discussion, which occurred in Februarv, 1879, was be- 


twecn the Hacktown Literary Society, below the present village of Corley- 
on the east side of the river, and the Fairview Society, which was in the 
same township. The question was, "Resolved, that the Indian has more 
cause for complaint for maltreatment than the negro." Fairview affirmed 
and Hacktown denied. The question was decided in favor of the negative. 

The Glendale Literary Society of the north part of Shelby township 
in the seventies, among other questions, debated these: "Resolved, that the 
works of nature are of more pleasure to the eye than the works of art ;" 
"Resolved, that we as a nation set a good example for other nations to fol- 
low." ' ' 

At the Frum school house in Shelby township at an early day these ques- 
tions were debated : "Resolved, that women should be allowed to vote ;" 
"Resolved, that Hawaii should be annexed to the United States." 

On December 14, 1S79, the literary society of Douglas township dis- 
cussed the subject: "Resolved, that the sale of intoxicating liquors should 
be prohibited in the United States." 

Two questions discussed by one of the country literary societies in De- 
cember, 1879, were: "Resolved, that the protective tariff is injurious to the 
producing class." and "Resolved, that education is more beneficial than 

These literary societies from different townships sometimes had joint 
debates. For example, in February, 1S79, the Jackson Township Literary 
Society and the Windy Knoll Literary Society of Harlan township (now 
Center) , held a joint debate at the Poling school house in Center township. 
The question discussed was. "Resolved, that war is a greater evil than the 
disregard of one's own conscience," the Jackson Township Society having 
the affirmative, and Windy Knoll the negative. The judges were H. Gray, 

C. F. Graves, William Scroggins, E. Meyers and J. Goodwell. A county 
paper of the time records the fact that this debate was "exceedingly com- 
bative and resulted in favor of the negative." further adding, "there was a 
crowded house and everything pleasant except a little disturbance by a lad 
filled with whiskey." 

The Douglas Township Literary Society, in February, 1879, discussed 
the question. "Resolved, that Lincoln deserves more honor for defending 
the United States than Washington did for founding it." 

There was a literary society at the Slates' school house in December, 
1879. In May, 1879, there was in Harlan a Ladies' Literary Society. Mrs. 

D. M. Wyland was one of the members. There was a debating society at the 
Bunnell school house at Cuppy's Grove in January, 1887. 


In 1883, Harlan had a Chautauqua Literary Society with the following 
membership: D. O. Stuart, J. Stiles, J. E. Weaver, Katie Goodyear. S. A. 
Burke, Thomas H. Smith, W. W. Girton, N. \V. Macy, Mrs. P. Wicks, F. 

B. Eshelman, R. M. LeGore, Mrs. Fannie Tinsley, Miss Marian Wicks, Annie 

C. Walker, G. W. Cullison, Ella Smith, Mrs. J. E. Weaver. Mrs. O. P. 
Wyland, Mrs. J. E. Stiles, Miss Helen M. Perkins. Miss Ina Fritz, Mrs. D. 
M. Wyland, Mrs. A. R. Stuart, Mrs. Hattie C. Miller, Mrs. Reppa L. Bow- 
lin. Mrs. A. X. Stainm. Miss Flora True, W. M. Bomherger, X. Booth, Rob- 
ert P. Foss, F. M. Reynolds, Mrs. Frank French, Miss Maggie Coenen. 

Early in October, 1S84, the Flarlan Methodist Episcopal church held a 
literary contest, which is described in a Harlan paper as follows : 

"The literary contest in the Methodist Episcopal church last Friday 
night brought out a good audience in spite of the threatening appearance 
of the weather. The contestants were thoroughly prepared on recitations 
and readings. The first prize was carried off by Miss Rose Ewing, who re- 
cited one of Will Carleton's poems entitled 'Out of the Old House, Nancy.' 
Myrtle Ryan (now Mrs. Charles Escher, Jr.), of Greeley township, took the 
second premium on her recitation, 'Darius Green and his Flying Machine.' 
Rose Ewing also took the special premium offered by the Republican for the 
best speller on a list of twenty-five words." The prize was taken by spelling 
eighteen of them correctly. The poorest speller among the contestants 
spelled only twelve of them correctly. The list was: Easily, peaceable, 
separate, belief, supercede, accede, alpaca, managing, changeable, necessity, 
sieve, grieve, Cincinnati, croquet, civilize, neutral, manufactory, skillful, feasi- 
ble, serene, scissors, villain, victuals, seizing. 

The literary society save and except in the high schools of the county, 
has virtually disappeared. It is not apparent that any institution of any- 
thing like character or of equal value has come to do for men and women the 
splendid work which it did during the seventies, eighties, and to some ex- 
tent during the nineties in Shelby count}'. 


The Harlan Literary Club was organized in 1891 and was federated 
in 1896, there being at that time but four clubs in Iowa so federated. The 
person first most active in the organization of the club was Mrs. Alice Warner, 
wife of Superintendent A. B. Warner, of the city schools. She talked with 
Mrs. Jennie S. Cullison and others, with the result that the club was organized 
as above stated with the following charter members: Mrs. Alice Warner, 


Mrs. M. E. McArthur, Mrs. Belle VVyland, Mrs. Eunice C. Macy, Mrs. 
Jennie S. Cullison, Mrs. Sallie R. Stuart, Mrs. Nettie E. Cobb, Mrs. Josie 
W. Smith, Mrs. M. Carrie Turner, Mrs. Arthur E. Noble, Mrs. Lillian 
Pexton, Mrs. Eleanor Cockerell, Mrs. Mary J. Byers, Mrs. Martha Potter, 
Mrs. Lucy A. Robinson. 

The object of the club, as set forth in its constitution, is "the develop- 
ment in its members of a higher literary taste and culture and to secure to 
each a more general knowledge of the important topics of the day."' 

Among the topics presented and discussed in the early years of the 
organization were: "American Bar and Judges"; "Government Owner- 
ship of Railroads"; "Military Training in Iowa Schools"; "The Value of 
Political Equality"; "Church Entertainments"; "Social Institutions of the 
United States;" "Bi-Metallism and the Gold Standard," etc. 

The club also studies many subjects dealing with art, literature and 
science. At practically all of the meetings there has been and is much parlia- 
mentary drill and practice. 

Among the persons who have been secretary of the club are : Mrs. 
Belle Wyland, Mrs. Jennie S. Cullison, Mrs. M. C. Turner. Mrs. Althea 
Noble, Mrs. Eleanor Cockerell, Mrs. Sallie R. Stuart, Mrs. Lucy A. Robin- 
son, Mrs. Nettie E. Cobb, Mrs. Martha Potter, Mrs. Eunice C. Macy, Mrs. 
Josephine W. Smith and others. 

The ofhee of president has been held in turn by all of the members of the 
club, the fundamental law of the club so providing, the purpose being that 
as many as possible might have training and experience as a presiding officer. 


The Friday Club of Harlan, Iowa, was organized October 4, 1903, and 
federated in 1905. The constitution of the club provides that, "The object 
of this club shall be to stimulate interest in literature^ art, science, and the 
leading topics of the day." The members of the club are deeply interested 
in the library movement. 

The first officers of the club were: Mrs. Catherine Whitney, presi- 
dent; Mrs. Margaret McPheeters, vice-president; Miss Matie Errett, secre- 
tary; Mrs. Grace Ledwich, treasurer. 

The presidents of the club to date have been Mrs. Margaret Mc- 
Pheeters, Miss Jennie Osborn. Mrs. Mabel Nielsen, Mrs. Pearl Franklin, 
Mrs. Belle Camery, and Mrs. Ethel Mayne, and the secretaries to date have 
been Mrs. Grace Ledwich. Mrs. Phebe Barton, Mrs. Sadie Newbv, Miss 


Cora Osborn, Mrs. Jennie Baughn, Mrs. Jennie Dunlavy, Mrs. Helen Stewart, 
Mrs. Catherine Whitney. ' 

The meetings of the club occur on alternate Friday afternoons from 
October i to June I. 

The club was organized with eight charter members, two of whom are 
yet members of the organization. The membership of the club is limited to 
fifteen. During the eleven years of its existence the club has had over 
fifty names on its membership roll and, with but two exceptions, all resigna- 
tions from the club have been on account of removal from Harlan. The 
programs have been varied. For several years the Bay View courses were 
followed. For the current year the general topic for study is, "Our Island 


The Loyal Home Workers Club of Shelby was organized by the fol- 
lowing ladies of the town as its charter members : Mesdames Jones, Cobb. 
Pomeroy, Cooper, Leigh, Cook, Evans, Chestnut, Tucker, Farnsworth, An- 
derson, Wortrnan, Clausen. Helm and Morton. The organization was effected 
in 1S96. The club was federated in 1S99. 

This club has accomplished much for the betterment of life in Shelby 
and is deserving of great credit for its achievements. It was instrumental 
in the purchase of a tract of land near the center of the town, which was 
made into a beautiful little park which has afforded much pleasure to the 
citizens of the town and in which they now take a proper pride. The club 
also raised the funds by which a cement walk was laid from the town to the 
cemetery, which is located a half mile south of the town. A library of five, 
hundred volumes has been procured through the activity of this club, the 
books therein being available to all citizens of Shelby who will pay the small 
sum of five cents per week for the use of a book borrowed from the library. 

The membership of the club at present is : Mesdames Atchley, Beebee. 
Benedict, Buckle_\", Carden, Chestnut, Clapp, Clausen, Coe, Cook, Curry, Frum, 
Hale, Heathman, Jones, Laird, Mansfield, Moore, Oathout, Pomeroy, Powers, 
Pryor, Reams, Savage, Scott, Ward. Honorary members are Mesdames 
Nancy Larkin, Jennie Newman and Agnes G°chenour. 

The presidents of the club in order to date have been: Mesdames 
Alice Jones, Ada Anderson, Anna' Frum, Genevra Sampey, Carrie Helm, 
Minnie Bucklev, Katharine Pomeroy, Julia Read. Nettie Cook. Lettie Reams, 


Bertha Cassidy, Alice Jones. Ada Clapp, Anna Scott, Lulu Clausen, Ethel 

The present officers are: President. Mrs. Alice Curry; vice-president, 
Mrs. Flora Frum; secretary, Mrs. Ethel Plale; treasurer, Mrs. Anna Frum ; 
librarian, Mrs. Hattie Chestnut: critic, Mrs. Lettie Reams; historian, Mrs. 
Katharine Pomeroy. 


It will be difficult indeed for anyone to estimate adequately the far- 
reaching and lasting influence for good of the chautauqua movement in 
Shelby county. Long before the establishment of a local chautauqua at Har- 
lan, and at other points in the county, there was an organization of persons in 
Harlan who followed the very excellent chautauqua course prescribed and 
offered by the "parent chautauqua" of Chautauqua. Xew York. When the 
chautauqua assembly was maintained at the grounds near Council Bluffs a 
party of Shelby county people, consisting of a dozen or more, attended much 
of the program. 'The local establishment of the chautauqua in Shelby county 
has afforded many citizens and their families opportunities of seeing and 
hearing many of the distinguished men and women that other persons less 
fortunate have been obliged to content themselves by merely reading about. 
The messages brought home to our people by these leaders of the world's 
thought and action have made an impress that will do much towards carrying 
forward at a proportionate rate, in the future, the splendid progress, intellect- 
ually and morally, made by the county in the past. 

At the commercial club rooms in Harlan on June 1, 1905, a permanent 
organization of the Harlan Chautauqua Assembly Association was made with 
the following officers : President. L. F. Potter; vice-president, G. YV. Culli- 
son; superintendent. Rev. C. J. English; secretary, Frank G. Beardsley; treas- 
urer, P. B. Brown. A board of directors was chosen, consisting of the fol- 
lowing named persons : W. T. Shepherd, Judge X. VV. Macy, H. \Y. Byers, 
T. H. Smith, Albert Hansen, George A. Luxford, George H. Miller, Rev. J. 
G. Freedline, W. C. Campbell, Rev. S. R. J. Hoyt, George Walters, Rev. X. 
H. Byers, M. K. Campbell. C. F. Swift, O. P. Wyland. C. D. Booth, E. S. 
White, Rev. T. C. Mclntyre, C. G. Warren. Rev. Fr. Bromenschenkel, Su- 
perintendent O. W. Herr. 

At a meeting held July 21. 1905, it was moved and seconded that an as- 
sessment of fifteen per cent, on the total amount of the guaranty fund be 
levied, but that those continuing on the guaranty list for 1906 be refunded 
the fifteen per cent, levied, if the 1906 receipts should warrant such refund. 


The guarantors meeting the deficit of the first year were eventually reim- 

On November 2S. 1905, the guarantors of the Harlan Chautauqua or- 
ganized the association for 1906 by choosing L. F. Potter, president; H. W. 
Byers. first vice-president ; C. G. Warren, second vice-president, and G. B. 
Frazier. treasurer. Rev. Dr. Frank G. Beardsley declined to serve longer as 
secretary and E. S. White was subsequently chosen. Upon ballot, a program 
committee was selected as follows: John Sandham, W. T. Shepherd. Frank 
G. Bearsley. Superintendent O. \V. Herr and F. S. White. 

The program of 1906 was a notable one. That year the people of Shelby 
county saw and heard Mrs. Maude Ballington Booth, United States Senator 
Robert M. LaFollette, F. W. Gillilan, the humorist, whose work appeared 
then and yet appears in many of the leading magazines, Hon. J. Adam Bede 
and Capt. Richmond P. Hobson. 

On November 22. 1907, the Harlan Chautauqua Association was or- 
ganized as a "corporation not for pecuniary profit." The articles of incor- 
poration provided that the board of directors, holding office until the first 
annual meeting of the stockholders, should be L. F. Potter, John Sandham, 
C. D. Booth. G. W. Cullison, W. T. Shepherd, P. B. Brown and T. H. Smith. 
On April 5, 1907, L. F. Potter was chosen president of the board of 
directors, John Sandham, vice-president, E. S. White, secretary, and O. P. 
Wyland, treasurer. 

On November 9, 190S. T. H. Smith was chosen president of the board 
of directors, Charles D. Booth, vice-president; E. S. White, secretary, and 
O. P. Wyland, treasurer. The committee on talent for 1909 was composed 
of Edmund Lockwood, John Sandham, W. T. Shepherd, W. C. Campbell and 
E. S. White. 

April 22, 191 1, Charles D. Booth was chosen president of the board of 
directors; T. N. Franklin, vice-president; E. S. White, secretary, and O. P. 
Wyland. treasurer. 

September 1, 191 1, it was decided by the board of directors to purchase 
for the Chautauqua Association lots Nos. 9, 10, 19 and 20 of block 2 of the 
College Heights Addition to Harlan, Iowa, having been previously directed to 
purchase said real e-tate at a meeting of the stockholders of the association. 
On October 4, 191 1, the stockholders of the Chautauqua Association 
voted unanimously to enter into contract with the Redpath-Yawter System 
for the holding of a chautauqua in Harlan during the year 191 2, under which 


contract the Harlan Chautauqua Association, as a corporation, was guarantor 
for the sale of one thousand four hundred dollars' worth of season tickets. 

The present officers of the local association are C. D. Booth, president, 
and George B. Gunderson, secretary. 

The directors to date have been, since the incorporation of the associa- 
tion: L. F. Potter, C. D. Booth, P. B. Brown, G. W. Cullison. John Sand- 
ham, T. H. Smith, \Y. T. Shepherd, T. X. Franklin and O. F. Graves. The 
association owes much of its success to the perennial optimism of Hon. G. \V. 
Cullison, who was for man}' years its superintendent. 

This association gave many notable programs. In 1907 it spent $2,144.70 
for lecturers, musicians and entertainers. Among the famous persons ap- 
pearing on the program that year were United States Senator Tillman. Hon. 
William J. Bryan, United States Senator Burkett, Jane Addams, Rev. Xewell 
Dwight Hillis and Rev. Thomas E. Green. 

In 1 90S the association expended $2,040 on its program. Among the 
persons of national reputation appearing on this program were the distin- 
guished author. Will Carleton, since deceased; Hon. Champ Clark, present 
speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Jacob A. Riis, the 
famous Danish slum worker and philanthropist of Xew York City, since de- 
ceased ; Rev. Dr. X. McGee Waters, of Xew York City, and the Whitney 
Brothers Quartet, some of whose beautiful selections then rendered mav now 
be heard on the records of the "Yictrola." 

In 1909 the association expended $2,435 f° r talent, presenting Opie 
Read, the distinguished author, known the country over; Governor Folk, of 
Missouri; Governor Hanly, of Indiana, and the famous Civil War veteran, 
Gen. O. O. Howard. 

The programs throughout the history of the association were made to 
exemplify these standards of an ideal program: Addresses or lectures by 
persons of national reputation in literature, politics or science ; music, both 
instrumental and vocal of a high order: dramatic numbers; experiments in 
science ; humorous lectures to enliven and lighten the program ; illustrated lec- 
tures of many different kinds. 

Chautauquas have, since the Harlan Chautauqua was established, been 
held at Defiance, Irwin, this year at Elk Horn for the first time, and also at 

The present arrangement by which the Redpath-Yawter Chautauqua 
System presents the Harlan program, relieving the local association of the 
trouble and expense of hiring and erecting a tent, of the labor and expense 
of putting up seats, etc., has in the main proved satisfactory and has afforded 


excellent programs. This system consists of a large circuit of chautauquas 
held at many different points in Iowa, Missouri, and possibly Nebraska, based 
on a definite and connected schedule of dates and numbers. By means of this 
circuit arrangement, the expense of transportation from one chautaucpia to 
another, as well as other expense, is reduced to a minimum and, besides, such 
arrangement gives lecturers and other persons appearing on program a better 
opportunity to rest between dates, and thus appear at their best before aud- 
iences. This company is able to present a program at an expense much less 
than could the local association, which frequently had heavy deficits, in spite 
of much hard work. 


So busily have the men and women of Shelby county been engaged in 
the material development of the county that they have had little time for the 
development of a literature. They have, however, been interested in literary 
matters ami in literary culture from the very early days to the present. 

A former teacher of Shelby county of long years' successful experience, 
a former resident of Panama. Mrs. Mary Katherine Moore, has done some 
creditable literary work. She was brought up in Scott county, Iowa, and 
her first writing, outside of a country literary society, which was held in a 
country school house, was for the home paper, the LeClaire City Enterprise, 
of LeClaire, Scott county, Iowa. For one year she was editor of the 
"Woman's Rights" page. Speaking of this experience, she says, "That was 
fifty years since and, while T have always stood firm, I have-not yet had the 
great blessing of casting a vote, for suffrage must come to Iowa. I will not 
go somewhere else to enjoy what rightfully belongs to me in my native be- 
loved Iowa." 

About the time that Mrs. Moore was doing editorial work for the 
LeClaire paper the Youth's Companion was asking for pioneer stories and 
she contributed to this magazine occasionally until her marriage. 

The material was chosen from actual experiences among the people of 
the "long time ago." and was all true. The even -day life of the acquaint- 
ances of her childhood, in Scott county, Iowa, she wove sometimes into a 
sketch and sometimes a story. These stories and sketches Mrs. Moore lost 
in moving. Among the subjects developed by Mrs. Moore in her writing 
were: "When I Went to Church in Jack's Barn." "Mrs. McConstrey and her 
Split-Bottomed Chair" and the "Colporter." 

About 1903 the Youth's Companion offered a prize of five steel engrav- 


ings to the three schools in Iowa that, under the supervision of their teacher, 
would make the greatest improvement in the appearance of their school 
grounds for that year. Mrs. Moore was then teaching in Shelby county. 
The school yard where she was teaching consisted of a thicket of scrub 
oak, with the school house in the middle of it. to which a little path led. She 
and her pupils went to work with a will and after three months' hard work- 
had the satisfaction of knowing that nothing remained of the scrub oaks 
but ashes and that in their stead was growing a beautiful garden of lettuce, 
radishes and onions, which the teacher and pupils enjoyed at their luncheons. 
George A. Lux ford was then county superintendent and it was through his 
recommendation that Mrs. Moore and her school received one of the prizes, 
which consisted of five historical engravings. Xo frames were ever pur- 
chased for them by the district and Mrs. Moore still has them, as she savs. 
in the "original package in which they came," and she is vet waiting for the 
frames. Mrs. Moore has contributed a great many articles to educational 
journals, to the Banner of Gold ami to various newspapers. For some time 
she was the Panama correspondent of the Harlan Tribune. 

Mrs. Moore hopes to live to finish a book for which undoubtedly she 
has been long gathering and shaping material. The beautiful literarv stvle 
she commands is well illustrated by this paragraph from a letter to the author: 
"To have lived and enjoyed going out for pleasure and duty in an ox wagon, 
and then clapping our hands for very joy when the first horse team was 
bought and brought to us, our very own. from Galena. Illinois, followed by 
the steamboat, the railroad, and now the auto, is certainly a great experience. 
I am thankful to have lived the life of it. but my greatest love is the dear old 
Mississippi and the cemeteries where I go to linger for a time with the 
friends of memory, not with sadness, but with thankfulness that God blessed 
my life with a friendship and relationship of earth's noblest men and women." 

J. K. P. Baker, who for some vears was a resident of the north part of 
the county, but during the last years of his life a resident of Harlan, possessed 
much more than ordinary literary ability. For a number of years he carried 
on a correspondence with the famous George William Curtis and with other 
prominent literarv men of the country. Mr. Baker was county surveyor of 
Shelbv county and at one time hail a very wide acquaintance in the county. 
Perhaps the best literary composition from his pen is the following poem, 
which was composed by him at the grave of his daughter, Louise: 



What mystic force is in this mound 

That makes it seem like living ground? 
There's a tuft of grass and a bush of flowers 

That smile and sing to each other for hours. 
They beckoned and called to a little bird 

And it came at once, for it saw and heard. 
The bird is alive, it flutters its wings ; 

It opens its throat and it sings— it sings! 
The grass is green and the flowers are red — 

And the ground — this mound — is it dead, is it dead? 

Out of its life these lives arose 

Which the living green and the flowers disclose; 
Out of its life and the life below, 

These living forms of beauty grow ; 
Out of its life and the life that sleeps, 

Awakening life in its glory leaps: 
And when so many sweet lives they give 

They have life in themselves — I know they live. 
For never a mother dead gave birth 

To children alive like thine. O Earth! 
And this very clay, like Eden's clod 

Is alive with the self-same breath of God. 

And if this be true, as I feel it is, 

Our lives are as deathless as His — yes, His! 
Then sing, little bird. O, sing, sing, sing; 

"Where is thy victory. Death — thy sting?'' 
Nod and beckon and blush, sweet flower, 

Saving "Where is thy triumph, O. Grave — thy power; 
Carpet her grave with thy green. O, grass, 
. Smiling at Time with his scythe and glass. 
For our lives — all lives — with Christ are hid 

Even beneath the coffin's lid. — 
And this lid is a door that outward swings. 

Oh, how the bird its rapture sings ! 


W. M. Oungst, the founder of the Harlan Hub, was a man of unusual 
literary ability, which sometimes involved him in a good deal of trouble, 
legal and otherwise, including one famous libel suit at Harlan. His best 
known production, perhaps, is the famous "Houn' Dog" song, which has 
been set to music and is now obtainable as a phonograph record. The poem 
runs as follows : 

Wunst me an' Lem Briggs an' ol" Bill Brown 
Tuk a load o' cawn to town, 
An' ol' Jini-dawg. the onry cuss, 
He jes' nachelly follered us. 

Chorus : 

Every time I come to town 
The boys keep kickin' my dawg aroun', 
Makes no difference if he is a houn' 
They gotta quit kickin' my dawg aroun'. 

As we driv past Sam Johnson's store 
Passel o' yaps come out th' door 
When Jim he stops to smell a box 
The} - shied at him a bunch o' rocks. 


The_\- tied a can to his tail 

An' ran him past th' county jail, 

'N' that plumb nachelly makes me sore 

'N' Lem he cussed 'n' Bill he swore. 


Me 'n' Lem Briggs 'n' ol' Bill Brown 

We lost no time in a-jumping daown 

An' we wiped them ducks up on th' groun' 

For kickin' my ol' dawg aroun'. 



Folks say a dawg kaint hold no grudge, 
But wunst when I got too much budge, 
Them town ducks tried t' do me up, 
But they didn't count on ol' Jim-pup. 


Jim seed his duty thar and then ■ 

And he lit into them gentlemen. 

An* he shore mussed up the cote house square 

With rags 'n' meat 'n hide 'n' hair. 


W. M. Bomberger, the well-known horticulturalist of Shelby county, 
has written many special articles, not only in his own particular line, but 
along many lines of economic and political thought. 

Hon. VV.'F. Cleveland, of Harlan, is the author of an elaborate history 
of Masonry, in Iowa, of which three volumes have already been issued from 
the press. 

Prof. A. B. Warner, for eleven years city superintendent of the Harlan 
schools, is master of a very strong and trenchant literary style. He has con- 
tributed largely to educational publications and occasionally to the local press. 

Charles F.scher. Jr.. of Botna, Iowa, has written more or less for live- 
stock journals, and has frequently appeared on programs at banquets abroad 
given to stock breeders. 

John J. Louis, a graduate of the State University of Iowa, and for 
several years city superintendent of the Harlan schools, wrote a very 
thorough article, entitled. "Shelby County; a Sociological Study," in which 
he developed with great interest certain features of the political institutions 
of the county and the life of her people. This was published in The Iowa 
Journal of History and Politics. 

Miss Mollie Paul, a daughter of Dallas F. Paul, at one time county 
auditor of Shelby county and prominent resident of Cass township, published 
for private circulation a book descriptive of scenes and incidents of her 
European travels. 

Bert Mills, a son of John S. Mills, for many years in the drug business 
in Harlan, is now and for many years has been a reporter on the Des Moines 

Elmer Pennell, for many years a local leader of the Socialist party in 
Grove township, which at one time polled thirteen or fourteen votes in that 
township, is now editing a socialist paper somewhere in the state of Missouri. 


Rev. Clifford L. Snowclen, for several years a pastor of the Harlan 
Congregational church, did much newspaper work and was the author of 
several magazine articles. 

Mrs. Emma Xelson-Johnson has done some literary work for the World- 
Herald of Omaha. 

G. K. Swift, a son of Hon. and Mrs. C. F. Swift, of Harlan, has shown 
ability of high order as a newspaper correspondent, and has had some im- 
portant assignments from the World-Herald of Omaha, including the report- 
ing of President Taft's campaign through Nebraska. 

Mrs. Grace Jack-Hall, a daughter of Col. and Mrs. John T. Jack, writes 
well and has had some of her work published in one of the magazines. 

^R. A. Kirkpatrick, formerly principal of the schools of Earling and at 
one time editor of the Earling Observer, has done some literary work for 

J. U. Walker, a former editor of the Harlan Tribune, published a volume 
of verse many years ago at Harlan. 

Mabel Cullison, a daughter of Attorney George YV. Cullison, has done 
some literary work for an eastern magazine. 

R. M. Maxwell ( father of J. D. Maxwell, of Cass township, and of 
Allan Maxwell, of Union township), for many years a resident of Douglas 
township, north of Harlan, wrote with more than ordinary ability and power 
many articles on political and economic subjects, particularly on the single 
tax theory of Henry George, in which Mr. Maxwell was a firm believer. He 
at one time carried on more or le>s correspondence with Henry George, him- 
self, and with other single taxers all over the United States. 

Rev. Dr. Erank G. Beardsley, now pastor of the First Congregational 
church of Keokuk, Iowa, published two books while serving as pastor of the 
Congregational church of Harlan. The first one, which received a first prize 
of a fine gold medal offered by a religious society, was entitled "History of 
American Revivals." The second work was entitled "Christian Achieve- 
ment in America." 

Rev. Alva W '. Taylor, now a professor in the State University of Mis- 
souri, is the author of a work entitled "Social Side of Christian Missions," 
which is regarded by, and has been adopted as, a standard work by the 
Christian Foreign Missionary Society. 

Rev. J. B. Hummert, the veteran priest of Earling, has prepared a num- 
ber of pamphlets and has written to some extent for the local press. 

W. C. Campbell, of the Harlan Tribune, and P. B. Brown, of the Shelby 
County Republican, write so clearly and well on very many topics of general 
interest that they are frequently quoted by the daily and weekly press of 


Iowa. Their best work rises to the dignity of something more than the 
commonplace "hack-work" of the average weekly newspaper. Much of the 
local history of Shelby county has been well told by them in their newspapers 
issued from week to week. 

Editor J. C. Lunn, of the Vacgtcren, has occasionally written historical 
articles for his journal on topics of the Danish settlements of Shelby county. 

Rev. P. C. Nelson, a former Cuppy's Grove boy. is the author of a num- 
ber of creditable short poems and other literary compositions. 

B. \Y. Hon, of Polk township, has shown some talent for the composi- 
tion of verse. 

From the Shelby County Record, issued in the seventies, the author 
found this rather clever piece of writing by E. J. Currier, who owned the 
farm in southwest Harlan later owned by M. K. Campbell, and following his 
ownership, by \Y. \Y. Wheeler, and now known as College Heights: 

"Editor Record: I see by your paper that 1 am billed for a concert. 
Issacharlike, I generally do whatever I am asked to do if I can do it with a 
clear conscience. Instead of the concert, however, I will give a matinee 
lasting from five o'clock A. M. to eight o'clock A. M., at my home in Lincoln 


"Song, 'Five O'clock in the Morning.' by Mr. Chanticleer. Chorus, 
'The Morning Light is Breaking.' 

"Chorus, by P. Chicken and family, 'Spring is Coming." 

"Song, by Mr. G. Ander, 'The First Quack.' (Comic). 

" 'Meet Me by Moonlight Alone,' sung by Mr. Thomas Cat. Esq. 

"Baritone Solo by Prof undo Basso. 'Get Up.' (Sung in characters, 
but not in costume, and very comical.) 

""Sparkling Duet' (upon the cook stove), by Miss F. Ire and Miss S. 

"Equine chorus, 'Feed Me Till I Want Xo More.' 

" 'Give Me Three Grains of Corn, Mother,' by Porcine Troupe. 

"K. O. Wapsie, Esq., from West Liberty, has been requested to sing, 
but it is feared his cold will prevent. 

"Prof. T. II. Under, the celebrated bass soloist, has been invited to 
participate in the exercises, and will, no doubt, come, unless he is unavoidably 
detained at his winter home in the South. 

"Closing piece, 'Come to Breakfast,' by A. Bell. 

"E. J. Currier." 


The Earling German Cornet Band, a famous pioneer musical organ- 
ization of Shelby county, was organized February iS, 1890. The names of 
the members of the band at its organization are: John Langenfeld (leader), 
J. P. .Miller. Theo. Scheuring, I'lrich Albers. F. \V. Wihverding. Rev. J. B. 
Hummert. John Altaian, X. V. Kuhl. William Muenchrath. Xick Funk, 
Jake Weiland. John Weiland (deceased), John Kuhl. John l.oeltz, John 
Muenchrath, Frank Theile (deceased), Christ Weiland, J. X. Kuhl. 

This famous band has had the good fortune to retain as members 
throughout its nearly a quarter of a century of existence, four of the charter 
members, as follows: J. P. Miller. Theo. Scheuring. Ulrich Alberts. F. W 
Wilwerding. F. M. Grosi- has been a member for twenty years. 

The present members of the band are J. P. Miller, Theo. Scheuring, 
Clrich Albers. F. W. Wilwerding. F. M. Gross. J. J. Langenfeld, Kick 
Bissen, Albert Langenfeld, J. D. Shaben, Xick Freund, Henry Freund, Henry 
Biecker, John Bayer, Joseph Gross, John Langenfeld, Jr.. and Joseph 

The present leader of the band is Theo. Scheuring. It has had but two 
leaders in its history. John Langenfeld. Sr., one year, and Theo. Scheuring 
throughout the remaining period. The band has played on many famous 
occasions. It was present at Council Bluffs upon the return of the Firty- 
first Regiment of Iowa soldiers who had served in the Philippine War; it was 
present at the laying of the corner stone and dedication of the Shelby county 
court house; has often played at carnivals, picnics. Fourth of July celebra- 
tions and at fire tournaments held at Harlan. Manning. Templeton. Dedham, 
and Mapleton, Defiance. Panama, Portsmouth and Persia. In September, 
191 1, it plaved at a shooting tournament held at Bow Valley, Cedar county, 
Nebraska. It also played when the famous Baughn hose team returned after 
having won the belt three time>. The band has also played at most of the 
large weddings in the colony for the last twenty years and at many political 
meetings of the surrounding towns. 

The band has at all times been composed of Germans, all Catholics and 


all Democrats, and every member of the organization has been able to speak, 
read and write both English and German. All have been true and loyal 
citizens of the republic and highly respected residents of Shelby county. 


In 1S9.2 the Harlan American issued a special edition devoted to Harlan 
history. An interesting article contributed by an anonymous writer to this 
paper was the following, which gives in a readable way much history of 
the development of music in Harlan : 

"As we cast our last lingering look into this bag, methinks I catch strains 
borne upon the air of Harlan's first band, which was organized in .March, 
1876 — centennial year. At the great centennial celebration as the band goes 
marching into Billeter's grove, for the first time before the public, we hear 
the strains of the first tenor. George D. Ross; second tenor, T. B. Burr; first 
B-flat, D. D. Downs; second B-fiat, Harry Howell; first E-flat. R. E. Lloyd; 
second E-flat, Henry Carl; first alto, Pryor Tinsley; second alto, Thomas 
Blair; baritone, Martin Bridgeman ; bass drum, I.afe Thompson; snare drum, 
Warren Smith. 

"The first vocal organization was what was known as the Old Eolks 
Musical Association, so-called not because it was composed exclusively of 
elderly people, but because some of them were instrumental in forming the 
society. The organization was effected in the fall of 1S75 and consisted of the 
following members: George Ross. Will Bergstresser, D. D. Downs, R. E. 
Llovd. E. J. Currier, Henry Carl. Charles Hubbard, J. H. Louis and wife, 
Samuel Potter and wife, M. K. Campbell and wife. Mrs, Oscar Downs, and 
the Misses Irene Kimball. Belle Cass and Fannie Wortz. The association had 
a leader elected each month and met weekly at the homes of the different mem- 
bers. This society was very modest and never aspired to very lofty heights, 
never even appeared in public, but the members of this pioneer 'singin' skewl' 
can now look back to the old days with something like sacred reverence and 
sigh for another chance to display their skill on the gamut. Though they 
made no public display of their powers, yet their aid was frequently invoked 
for church gatherings, celebrations, etc. This experience also gave them 
considerable musical proficiency and many of our earlier church choirs were 
made up largelv bv recruits from this initial musical organization. Though 
their efforts were in vain, they were not lost. 

"In 1887 the following members constituted a band: Steve Morrissey, 


Jay Wyland. Herman Noble, Will Ilolcomb. Gus Moore, Jim Jones. Menzo 
Fretz, Arlie Parker, Cliff Warren, Charles Keyser, Ben Fisher, Fred Black- 
stone. They too have disappeared — too good to live, the old saying, 'the 
good die young,' but perhaps in the end their efforts may not have been in 
vain. Perhaps 'tis well we can not always see what the end may he. In 
1890 another band appeared on the scenes in all its youth and beauty. Its 
members are: Gus Moore, solo B cornet: Lem Stanley, first B clarinet: 
Herman Xoble, solo B clarinet; Milt Smith, third alto: Louie Crammond, 
second cornet: Art Bowlin, solo alto: Pearl Downs, solo F cornet, Sam Gar- 
low, second alto; Will Holcomb. tuba: Herb Garlow, second tenor; H. B. 
Gish, first B cornet; Ed Bennett, baritone; Harry Cisna, base drum; Ben 
Fisher, snare drum; Mr. Bigelow, first tenor. This band shows an encourag- 
ing persistence in playing that the}- derive a private enjoyment. If they fail 
to exhibit heroic spirits, they show their pluck and 'tis said, 'pluck is a hero." 
"We have several organizations that could he mentioned: The K. P. 
quartette — Herman Xoble, Frank Parker. Carl Campbell and J. VV. Miller; 
the guitar and Mandolin Club — Carrie Xoble. Annie Robinson, Yira Cass 
and Millie Walters. We also have a Danish band." 


The first meeting called for the purpose of organizing a musical associa- 
tion in Harlan was held March 1. 1875. -^ n address was given by Professor 
Hotchkiss. Thereupon the Shelby County Musical Union was organized 
with the following officers: J. V. Brazie. president; vice-president. Mrs. D. 
D. Downs; conductor, George D. Ross; first assistant, Mrs. Sharp; second 
assistant, Annie Burke: secretary, Emma Smith; assistant secretary, Cicily 
Chatburn : treasurer, Ella Robinson. Among the early members elected were 
J. B. Swain, Miss Fannie Worts, Miss Ida Doleman and others. 

The duties of the conductor were interesting. It was provided that "it 
shall he the duty of the conductor to select the music and to assign such parts 
to the members of the association as in his judgment will contribute most to 
the welfare of each. He shall criticise all performances and decide what 
shall, and what shall not. be sung." The object of the association was 
stated to be "the cultivation of all that pertains to vocal music." The mem- 
bership fee was one dollar. 



From the very earliest times, apparently, singing schools were highly 
popular in Shelby county. People met at the school houses in the country 
and in either the school houses or other public buildings in the towns. It is 
likely that most of the members of the schools were young people, bent on 
having a good social time as well as interested in singing. For a number of 
years singing masters conducted singing schools in Harlan, and it is true that 
there was a singing school organized in Harlan at about the same time that 
the first literary or debating society began its existence there. These singing 
schools greatly helped the singing of church choirs and at public meetings 

Of course, in the early days as now. band music especially appealed to 
the people and the pioneer towns of Harlan and Shelby, and later other towns 
as they were established, such as Fading and others, took much pride in 
their local bands and patriotic young men interested in music readily volun- 
teered to plav in such bands. It .has. however, with the single exception per- 
haps of the famous German Cornet Band of Failing, been very difficult for 
a band to maintain a continuous existence for any great length of time. 
owing apparently to the fact that our population, especially the young and 
ambitious men. has been rapidly shifting in this western country. 


In January. 1873, there was a singing school meeting at the Baptist 
church in Harlan at 6:30 o'clock one evening each week. 

On March 11, 1874, the Harlan Musical Association gave a concert at 
the Baptist church. 

At the French school house in Douglas township in 1875. a singing 
school was held every Wednesday night. 

In February, 1875, Prof. C. C. Hotchkiss was conducting a singing 
school at Harlan. On February 13, 1875, he together with his scholars gave 
a concert at the Baptist church. It might prove interesting to some of the 
people interested in music to know the titles of the solos, songs, choruses and 
instrumental selections given at this concert. They are as follows : Vocal — 
"Make a Joyful Noise." "How Lovely is Zion." "Home of Rest." "Soft 
Floating on the Air." "Touch Not the Cup," "Jennie Find Song," "When 
Grand-Mama is Gone," "Gathering Home," "The Old Canoe," "Over the 


Hill to the Poor House." "The Old College Bell." "Master and Pupils," 
"Forest Echoes." Instrumental — "Jovial Farmer's Boy," "Home Again 
Returning," "The Gushing Rill," "Silver Threads Were Golden Then," "The 
Farmer and the Seasons," "Prairie Home," "Oh! Join this Laughing Lay," 
"The Trundle-Bed," "Only Waiting." "The Beautiful Hills." 

In March, 1875, a musical society had been formed in Harlan, under 
the name of the Shelby County Musical Union. It was intended for the im- 
provement of all the members, and all wishing to avail themselves of 
its benefits were invited to become members. The union met, once each 
week. This organization is said to have benefitted greatly the singing in all 
the churches. 

In 1877 a singing school was in existence at the Fritz school house in 
Jackson township, with Miss Plummer as teacher. 

During the eighties concerts were given at different places in the county 
by Nannie Duncan and Frank Duncan, blind children of T. P. Duncan, of 
Bowman's Grove. These children were educated in the Asylum for the 
Blind at Vinton, Iowa. Among the places where they gave concerts were 
the George Allen school house on Indian creek in Jackson township, the 
French school house in Douglas township and the Philson school house in 
Jackson township. They gave these concerts so early as 1879, part of the 
proceeds going to aid in building a new Baptist church at Bowman's Grove. 

In April. 1SS1, a cantata, entitled "Hay Makers," was presented at the 
Christian church in Harlan by the Shelby County Musical Association, com- 
posed of the best musical talent in the county. The association had been 
drilled by Attorney D. O. Stuart, of Harlan, himself a singer of unusual 
power and ability. 

In January, 1885, the young folks of Union township had organized a 
singing school at the Flaugher school house. 

In February and March, 1888, Professor Hubbard had a singing school 
in Harlan containing a class of nearly one hundred, which at the close of the 
term gave a concert. 

Harlan must have had much musical talent going to waste so early as 
1879. since a correspondent, writing from Harlan to the Council Bluffs Bugle, 
gives an interesting and glowing account of the business of the town and also 
of the proceedings in the circuit court at this place. The letter winds up as 
follows : 

"Harlan has a band of sweet-voiced young men, who these moonlight 
nights amuse themselves by taking one of their number, placing him on a 
wheelbarrow and, equipped with a mouth-organ, he is trundled about the 


streets to the tunes which his musical skill is able to evolve from this humble 
instrument, while the heavenly choir who take turns at the handles accompany 
him with voices as well as feet. There is nothing rude or boisterous about 
their fun — but fun it is." 

In April, 1S83. Messrs. Potter. Hutt, Miller and McGrew had formed 
a male quartette to be known as the "Jolly Troubadours." 

In January. 1873. ^ r - Hartsough was giving music lessons at Cuppy's 
Grove and also at Harlan. 

So early as September, 1S78, these persons had purchased new pianos: 
Thomas McDonald, B. B. Mastick, J. B. Swain, Thomas Leytham, and per- 
haps others. 

An interesting event scheduled to occur at the Baptist church in Harlan, 
in February, 1874. was a trial of excellence between three different organs. 
Mr. Goodyear brought an organ from Windy Knoll and also a person to play 
it. The contest did not develop ; somebody apparently faltered. 

Harlan appears to have organized a brass band so early as November, 
1875, for the editor of the Shelby County Record, under date of November 
.24, 1875, informs the public: "Harlan is to have a brass band — a real live 
band. The instruments, ten pieces, have been ordered and will be here next 
week. In view of this mournful fact, we are anxious to dispose of our 
house and move out into the country four or five miles." 

In February, 1879, there were two excellent bands and orchestras in 
Harlan, one being the Danish band and orchestra. The Danish band secured 
uniforms from Chicago in the summer of 1SS1. In August, 1882, about 
one hundred of the Danish citizens celebrated the anniversary of the organ- 
ization of the Danish band. 

The Shelby Cornet Band, in December, 1S78, was composed of nine 
members instead of five as when first organized. Shelby appears to have 
developed an excellent band so early as June. 1879, for in that month the 
band came to Harlan and gave the people of Harlan some music that was 
highly praised. During the eighties, Shelby had a fine band under the leader- 
ship of George H. Rink. 

The early eighties seem to have been particularly favorable for the 
establishment of musical organizations in Harlan. In the fall of 1882 the 
band boys had organized a fine orchestra of nine pieces. Harlan at that 
time had two excellent bands, and the Danish people had a musical organiza- 
tion, established for the purpose of the encouragement and development of 

In 1884 the Harlan Independent Cornet Band seems to have been com- 


posed of the following members: K. Petersen, leader; Albert DeWild, 
president; J. B. Watts, secretary; W. W. Smith, J. Merrill. E. Zimmerman, 
H. Adkins. E. B. Humphrey, S. Ward, Charles Smith, -C. McDowell, F. Will- 
iams, C. L. Ingvartsen. 

In 1887 Cuppy's Grove had a fine string band, which a local correspond- 
ent said furnished excellent music. In 18S7 Shelby had a ladies* cornet band, 
with George Rink as instructor. 

In November, 1S88. the enterprising young men of Harlan had organ- 
ized a new band (with J. C. Moore as leader), composed of the following 
persons playing the instruments, respectively named : George Knapp, E- 
flat horn: Jay Wyland, E-ilat ; J. C. Moore, B-flat ; Arley Parker, B-flat; 
Herman Noble, B-flat; Howard Haddock, tenor: Steve Morrisy. tenor; Ed 
Fisher, alto ; Will Holcomb. alto ; Charles Keyser, tuba ; Fred Blackstone, 
bass drum; Ben Fisher, snare drum. In March, 18S9, Herman Xoble was 
elected leader of this Harlan Cornet Band. 

In the early nineties Harlan young people had an organization known 
as the Harlan Mandolin and Guitar Club. It was composed of George Duval, 
Lem Stanley, Yira Cass. Carrie Xoble, Anna Robinson, Millie Walters, 
Maude Swain and Bessie Swain. 



Hardships and privations, shared alike by the people of the pioneer 
times, had the natural effect of placing men on a common level, no matter 
what their previous wealth or social standing had been. The common 
dangers and inconveniences called for a united courage, the difficult problems 
of establishing homes, and of making a living under adverse conditions, the 
long distance intervening between neighbors and between settlements, all 
contributed to a social life much more unified than that of today. In the 
fifties and sixties, and indeed much later, young people would drive in lumber 
wagons, drawn by oxen or horses, many miles to attend a social event. The 
social activities of the people centered about the literary and debating so- 
cieties, church festivals, dances, firemen's festivals, the observance of the 
Fourth of Jul}-. Thanksgiving and other holidays, the spelling school, the 
organization of Good Templars, to which both men and women belonged, the 
Grange, the Farmers' Alliance, the lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows, the 
county fair, occasional athletic events, such as baseball, football and horse 
racing, the threshing of grain, dramatic entertainments, usually by local 
talent, weddings and charivaris, a few clubs avowedly organized and main- 
tained for the purpose of social pleasure, teachers' institutes and educational 
meetings, and for men the various township and county political meetings 
and meetings addressed by speakers during political campaigns. Each of 
these furnished reasons for the assembling of the people, and, when once 
assembled, the pioneers knew how to meet one another freely and without 
reserve, and knew how to make the best of all such occasions. 


The first observance of the Fourth of July, it is said, was in 1855. on tne 
premises of Nelson Ward, one of the early county judges, then residing in 
what is now Douglas township. The families present were the Wards. Sun- 
derlands, Jenkins and Stantons. This was held at what was afterwards called 
Kibby's Grove. Tradition does not reveal just in what way the Fourth was 


observed, but it is said that a flag was improvised of underwear of the re- 
quired colors and that there was plenty of whiskey. 

.The first celebration at Harlan seems to have occurred in 1858. The 
oration on this occasion was given by Stephen King, of Harbison county. A 
liberty pole was erected. Corn bread, potatoes, onions and hard cider were 
the principal refreshments. Harlan celebrated again in 1875, and probablv 
several times before that date. 

From a newspaper of the time one gathers the following account of the 
first celebration of Shelby in 1874: 

"The Fourth of July is over and gone, and the celebration in James 
Hawkins' grove, near this place, was pronounced a complete success. The 
procession formed in the principal street at nine and a half o'clock and pro- 
ceeded to the grove, marshalled by J. Davis. After arriving at the grove 
the people were called to order by J. D. Caughran. chairman, and the exer- 
cises were opened by singing 'The Star Spangled Banner,' after which 
prayer was offered by Rev. William Armstrong, of Avoca. Xext in order 
was reading the Declaration of Independence by R. C. McLaughlin, after 
which Rev. J. Knott, of Council Bluffs, was introduced, who delivered the 
oration of the day. Then came the dinner, which was the most important 
feature of the day, added to which was a bountiful supply of free lemonade. 
Several swings were put up, and the people, especially the children, enjoyed 
themselves to the utmost for a short time, when the assembly was again 
called to order, and after some singing by the Sabbath school. Rev. Mr. Arm- 
strong made an address, rich and spicy. There was more singing, followed 
by some very appropriate remarks by Rev. Mr. Smith, of Harlan, which 
closed the exercises of the day. We do not recollect of ever attending a 
Fourth of July celebration where the good feeling existed that was her.e. 
There was no quarreling or drinking done, and it was a day long to be re- 
membered with pleasure by Shelby and vicinity." 

July 4 was observed at Harlan in 1877 with the following officers of 
the day and exercises: President. Piatt Wicks; marshal. John L. Long; dep- 
uty marshal, C. C. Redfield ; chaplain, Father McGinnis ; reader. H. C. Hol- 
comb: orator, D. R. Lucas, of Des Moines. Ten o'clock A. M., opening piece 
by Harlan Cornet Band: prayer and song: Declaration of Independence: 
song; oration; music by cornet band; dinner: music by cornet band: toasts; 
"Qualifications Necessary for the Statesman of 1877," P. C. Truman; "Our 
Children, their Present and Future," Rev. C. Ashton; "Our County and its 
Requirements," T. E. Weaver: 'Our .Homes. What Thev May Be." Rev. 


Gilman Parker. A match game of baseball was played at the close of the 

Arrangements were made for a celebration of July 4, 1SS2, at the fair 
grounds. Music was furnished by the Harlan Glee Club and by the Harlan 
Silver Cornet Band. There were "Mulligan guards.*' pigeon shooting, foot 
racing and other sports. W. J. Davis was chief marshal. The fire depart- 
ment, in full uniform, was out with fire apparatus. Prayer was offered by 
Rev. A. Jacobs. M. \Y. Macy read the Declaration of Independence. These 
toasts, in the afternoon, were responded to by the persons below named: 
"Early Settlement of Shelby County," Rev. William McGinnis; "The Day 
We Celebrate," Hon. Piatt Wicks: "The State of Iowa," Thomas H. Smith; 
"The Laws of Our Country," Cyrus Beard: "The Press," U. S. Brown: "The 
Town of Harlan." J. B. Swain; "Parting Salute," J. E. Weaver. Many of 
the old settlers took seats upon the stand. The Harlan Glee Club, which 
sang, was composed of Mrs. J. T. Graham, Misses Etta Marybelle, Ella 
Xoble and Letta Swain and Messrs. P. B. Eshelman. Willard Xoble and C. P. 
Hale. The orator of the day was X. M. Pusey, of Council Bluffs. There 
were fireworks on east Court street and two mammoth platforms were used 
for dancing. At a shooting match, the purse for eight single balls of forty 
dollars, was won by Harp Wilson, of Avoca: second prize, twenty-five dol- 
lars, won by J. L. Forkner, of Harlan: third prize, fifteen dollars, won by E. 
Eenger. of Harlan Purse Xo. 3, ten single birds, first prize, sixty dollars. 
won by Harp Wilson ; second prize, fort}- dollars, by II. D. Swain, of Har- 
lan; third prize, thirty dollars, by Prank Wyland, of Harlan. Purse Xo. 4, 
three pairs double birds, first prize, forty-five dollars, won by Omar Wyland, 
of Harlan; second prize, thirty-five dollars, by Mr. Briggs. of Avoca; third 
prize; twenty dollars, by D. M. Wyland, of Harlan. Purse Xo. 5, ten single 
balls, first prize, fifty dollars, won by J. L. Eorkner. of Harlan. 

Three thousand people celebrated July 4, 1884, in Harlan. The address 
was made by Hon. Jacob Sims and speeches were made by Attornev D. O. 
Stuart and by the well-known pioneer preacher. William McGinniss. Tliere 
was a big dance at the skating rink and there were wheelbarrow and potato 
races, a sack race, also a greased pole for the boys to climb for a prize of a 
silver watch given the winner. Tom Kendall received the watch. A greased 
pig was also caught. The fire department made an exhibition run and put 
out a fire in a pile of hay which was burning. 

On July 4. 1S86, a celebration was held at Irwin in the beautiful grove 
just south of the town. 

The invocation was by Rev. H. B. Turner; reading of Declaration of 


Independence by J. H. Dudley; address by Rev. Geizer. of Des Moines; bene- 
diction by Rev. B. Farrell. The committee on arrangements was as follows: 
E. J. Trobridge, \V. J. Wicks and J. R. Stephens. 


July 4, 1886, was celebrated by a dress parade of "the royal duties" at 10 
a. in. ; music by the Manning Cornet Band and Kirkman Glee Club. The 
celebration was held in a grove near the depot. The orations were by Hon. 
Cyrus Beard, A. X. Buckman and S. II . Lauck. Sports included pony races, 
foot races, sack races, egg races, climbing greased pole, pie-eating match, 
cake-eating match and balloon ascensions in the evening. There was a grand 
bowery dance in the grove both in the afternoon and the evening. The com- 
mittee announced "all persons in town, from 10 a. m. until close of exercises, 
will be allowed a full day's work." A. N. Buckman was president of the 
day, M. H. Woods, marshal, and M. Larson, vice-president. 

Thanksgiving day seems to have been observed in Harlan so early as 
1874. the Shelby County Record of December 2, 1874, containing this de- 
scription of its observance": "The day was properly observed in Harlan by 
an appropriate sermon delivered by the Rev. A. C. Smith in the Baptist. 
church at eleven o'clock. A majority of the business houses were tempor- 
arily closed and a good audience was well entertained. The dining hall ot 
the hotel was then cleared, and the violin, accompanied by the patter of 
many feet whirling through the mazes of the waltz, the schottische and the 
polka, could be heard until the witching hour of three o'clock in the morning. 
As far as we can learn, the day was observed all over the county by social 
gatherings and dancing parties, remembered for its true merits. Disorderly 
conduct was below par, and every one stood on his good behavior and good 

The observance of Thanksgiving, happily, continues, and in Harlan at 
present consists of a joint meeting of all the churches of the town and of 
others who accept the invitation, which is extended generally to all to come 
together. At this meeting a sermon is preached and church music rendered. 



During the decade between 1870 and 1880, and to some extent immed- 
iately before and immediately following, the organization of Good Templars 
was established at many different points in Shelby county, including Manteno, 


Harlan, Shelby, Hacktown, and perhaps elsewhere. These local lodges often 
presented literary and dramatic programs and sometimes held spelling con- 

In May. 1875, there was held at Harlan a Good Templars' festival, at 
which, after music, there was a spelling contest. The captains were Messrs. 
Mcintosh and Reynolds. The Mcintosh team was composed of the follow- 
ing named persons : Hattie Brazie, H. I.. Wood, Belle Cass. Katie Berg- 
stresser, J. V. Brazie. Adelia M. Swain, A. L. Griffith, Fannie Worts. Lettie 
Swain and Carrie Harvey. The Reynolds team was composed of the follow- 
ing named persons : Mary Griffith, G. D. Ross, Theophilus Fulghem. Ella 
Smith, W. O. Townsend, Annie Burke, David Lang. Cicely Chathurn, Emma 
Xance and Ella Burke. All went down until the two sides were represented 
by A. L. Griffith, Carrie Harvey, Miss Griffith and G. D. Ross. Miss Carrie 
Harvey received the prize, a handsome bound copy of Byron, and Mr. Fulg- 
hem a pictorial copy of the alphabet, which brought forth many cheers. They 
then voted as to the prettiest lady present, the only candidates being Miss 
Cecily Chatburn and Miss Emma Xance. Miss Chathurn won by a moderate 
majoritv. They then voted on the homeliest man present, the vote finallv 
standing: Mcintosh, sixty-five, and Wood, seventy-eight. Wood was the 
editor of the paper. The receipts amounted to thirty-three dollars and fifty 

In August. 1 886, a lodge of the order of Good Templars was organized 
in Shelby at the Methodist Episcopal church. The order started out with 
twenty-nine members and with good prospects for a large increase in mem- 
bership. The meetings were held weekly. 

In June, 1877. the Good Templars of Harlan gave a literary and musical 
program at the Masonic hall. Music was furnished by the Harlan Cornet 
Band. A new song, entitled "Mary's Promise, or Pledge Me, Ix>ve, in 
Sparkling Waters." was rendered by Miss Ella Burke. There was also pre- 
sented a drama, entitled "Pretty Piece of Business." A comedy of one act 
followed, the cast of characters being: "Capt. Felix Merry weather," J. H. 
Chrisman : "Dr. Lancelot Shee," J. V. Brazie; "Miss Charlotte Shee," Cicely 
Chatburn; "Dobson," Miss Kate Wright; "Mrs. Fanny Grantley," Miss Etta 
Jackson. . The program was closed with a song, "Merry Heart." given by 
the double <;uartette, composed of the Misses Ella Burke, Emma Xance, Ida 
Weimer, Letta Swain and Messrs. J. V. Brazie, George D. Ross. D. D. 
Downs and Henry Carl. George D. Ross, D. D. Downs and Henry (W. II.) 
Carl are vet residents of Harlan. 


From the earliest times dancing was a favorite amusement. The Shelby 
County Record of November 5, 1874. says: "The house of Jonas Baker last 
Wednesday night was made to echo to the sound of the musical catgut and 
the heels of No. 1 1 stogas and No. 6 gaiters. Heavens, but they made things 
jingle. It is the terpsichorean headquarters for those who desire to attend." 

A Harlan paper of March. 1879. says: "Never have Harlan's pleasure 
lovers enjoyed a greater social feast than at hong's hall Monday night. 
About twenty-five couples, inspired by the sweet melodies of the Northwest- 
ern Quadrille Band, of Clinton, tripped the light fantastic and vied one with 
another in making everybody happy until the wee small hours, only admitting 
a short delay at twelve o'clock, when all repaired to the Harlan House, where 
they were bountifully refreshed. It had never been our good fortune to 
secure this favorite band before, hut having once listened to the enchanting 
harmonies we shall speak for the boys from Clinton to furnish us music. In 
addition to our own pleasant social circle the following joyous friends from 
a distance were present: From Avoca, Thomas Ledwich and wife. Mrs. Hall 
and Mrs. Kerkson; from Shelby, A. C. Autin and wife, \Y. C. Atwater and 
lady. Quite a number were intending to come from Avoca and several couples 
from Hacktown, but the train failed to put in an appearance. We hope to 
have the pleasure of chronicling another blow-out by the Harlan Coterie be- 
fore the season closes.'' 

In December, 1877, a dance was held at hong's hall until half past 
three in the morning. At twelve the dancers partook of supper at the Har- 
lan House. It seems there were skirmishes outside of the hall. 

The author has been told by several pioneers, residing here at the time, 
that when Chatburn's mill was completed, in 1867. there was great desire 
among the leading spirits of the town to have a church building erected in 
Harlan. Accordingly, a dance was held in the newly-built mill and the pro- 
ceeds received therefrom were devoted to help build the First Methodist 
Episcopal church in Harlan. The author does not vouch for this story, but 
it appears to be based upon credible authority. 

In earlv times it was often expressly advertised in handbills that at 
public dances "good order will positively prevail." In later years an affirma- 
tive show ing of this sort has not seemed so often necessary. 

In the early eighties the masquerade ball seems to have been attractive 
to the people. A paper of the time contains the following reference: "hast 


Thursday night one of the most enjoyable masquerade balls of the season 
took place at Long's opera house. The attendance was about forty couples 
en masque, besides a large audience of spectators. The masks were excellent. 
by far the best that have ever been in the city. We understand the cos- 
tumes were from Des Moines. The most complete surprise was to the musi- 
cians, Henry and Emery Potter. The boys left home at eight o'clock, and 
the ladies were very sleep} - and should retire immediately. When the masks 
were removed Henry's eyes dropped upon the familiar face of Mrs. Henry. 
Emery was giving directions about a difficult figure, and grasped a girl bv the 
arm to place her in proper position, when, to his surprise he found his partner 
to be J. F. Huntzinger. fully equipped in all the furbelows of the latest French 
agony of female apparel. The two clowns, with the poodle, bothered the 
multitude and made fun for the hosts. Our wooden shoes knocked a whole 
acre of flesh off our left toe and our 'dicher' proboscis melted down and 
smothered us. The lovers of the dance enjoyed themselves after unmasking 
for several hours, under the inspiring music of the best orchestra in western 
Iowa, and retired to their homes well satisfied with the entire evening's pleas- 


Church festivals or "socials" were frequently held for the purpose of 
raising funds for various church purposes. At these meetings, depending upon 
the time of year, strawberries, ice cream, etc., were served and occasionally 
various articles, usually of home manufacture, were offered for sale. The 
reader will recall the "necktie" festival held by the Young Folks' Literary 
'Society of Harlan, for the purpose of raising funds to help the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

The festival also sometimes centered about local organizations, such as 
fire companies, cornet bands, etc. At these festivals numerous were the 
devices for inducing those in attendance to part with their money for the 
"cause." The people of the time were very fond of having at these festivals 
voting contests of various sorts. Perhaps this voting is best illustrated 
by the "Firemen's Fair and Festival" held in the latter part of October. 
1881, at Long's hall, Harlan, described in a Harlan newspaper of the time. 
The voung men and women worked "very diligently to make this 
event successful. Many people from Avoca seem to have come to Har- 
lan to assist in making the affair enjoyable. The first of the voting 
contests was on the question of the most popular lady in Shelby county. 
The two young ladies receiving the highest votes were Miss Bechtel, who 


received one hundred and eighteen votes, and Miss Carrie Harvey, who re- 
ceived one hundred and ten. The prize offered was a riding bridle, donated 
by Harp Wilson, mayor oi Avoca. The next contest was as to the most 
deserving young man in Harlan. Sam Hunt got eighty-two votes and E. D. 
Potter seventy. On the second night of the fair there was a spirited contest 
for the purpose of deciding who was the most popular old bachelor of Harlan. 
Every person voting paid ten cents for eacli vote cast by him. The prize 
was a pin-cushion, donated by Mrs. J. T. Jack. E. D. Potter received forty- 
eight votes, and Cyrus Mentzer, thirteen. The next contest was for the 
prize of a camp chair, donated by Carl & Graves, for the most popular 
married lady in Harlan. .Mrs. D. M. W'yland received a vote of fifty-six to 
forty-seven for Mrs. Steinhilber. The next ballot was for the purpose of 
voting a cradle, donated by Mr. Steinhilber. to the most deserving man in 
Harlan. 1). M. W'yland received one hundred and thirty-seven and one-half 
votes and O. F. Graves one hundred and thirty-four. The amusing thing 
about this vote was that neither of the men then had or ever had the slightest 
personal use for a cradle. Undoubtedly this added to the /n< of the voting. 
The next contest in which the persons present participated was for the pur- 
pose of deciding who was the most popular young lady in Harlan. The 
prize was a cake stand. Miss Bessie Bechtel received one hundred and thirtv- 
nine and one-half votes and Miss Ella Xoble one hundred and eighteen and 
one-half votes. Messrs. Robinson and Rockafellow had donated an album 
for the most popular officer in the fire department. In this contest 0. F. 
Graves received thirty-five votes and Thomas Ledwich, thirty. A set of 
jewelry, donated by Pryor Tinsley for the best girl in Harlan, went to Miss 
Ella Burke by a vote of fifty-nine, to fifty for Miss Badan. The last contest, 
involving, of course, more or less horse-play, was for a chromo. donated by 
Mr. Steinhilber, to the ugliest man in Harlan. Mayor Thomas Ledwich re- 
ceived twenty-five votes, Ed Parmelee. twenty votes, and Billie Ramsey, five, 
leaving no one with a majority, but since a plurality took the chromo. Mr. 
Ledwich won. ' 

At an earlv date the young [>eople entertained themselves and their 
friends by giving amateur plays. In Xovember. 1873, Prof. M. Gibney, of 
Des Moines, Iowa, was then in Harlan, making a local cast of characters for 
Shakespeare's comedy, "The Merchant of Venice.'' The Shelby Station 
Dramatic Club, in the seventies, gave an entertainment at the hall under the 
auspices of the Good Templars lodge of that place. The troupe was com- 
prised of the following named ladies and gentlemen : Miss Kate Trusdel, 


Miss May Baird. Mrs. O. \Y. Baird, George Kiefer, Frank Ramsey, O. W. 
Baird. Chan. Baird, E. J. Heath and John Morton. 

Early in January, 1S80. a company of Harlan amateurs rendered the 
comic opera. "H. M. S. Pinafore," in Long's hall, the net proceeds derived 
from which being divided between the Harlan Library Association and the 
Cornet Band. The dramatis personae in this plav were as follows: "Sir 
Joseph." \Y. M. Onngst: "Captain Corcoran." \Y. H. Ivridler; "Ralph Rack- 
straw." J. \\". Lehman: "Dick Deadeye," C. R. Pratt; "Boatswain," J. I. 
Myerly: "Midshipman," L. P. Benedict f "Josephine," Mrs. W. \V. Girton ; 
"Little Buttercup." Mrs. E. S. Burgin; "Hebe." Mrs. L. M. Bechtel ; Sisters, 
Cousins and Aunts, Misses Bessie Bechtel, Lettie Swain. Ella Swain. Mag- 
gie Coenen. Mollie Coenen. Clara Sweat. Ella Burke; Sailors, H. C. Mnnger, 
J. C. McManima. A. K. Riley. Will Stutsman, I". S. Brown and R. \Y. 
Robins: pianist. Miss Louise Todd. 

In 1879 Billy Marbled theatrical troupe gave plays in Long's hall, on 
November 10, n. r2, and in 1882 played in what was then the new opera 
house. Among the plays at that time presented were "The Poor Eactorv 
Girl" and "Under the Gas Light." This company seems to have been very 
popular at that time. 

In 1SS2 "'Above the Clouds,"' a drama, was given, the first entertainment 
by local talent in the Harlan opera house. The cast : O. F. Graves. J. F. 
Huntzinger. S. K. Pratt, \V. C. Campbell, J. M. Kingery and C. R. Pratt. In 
1889 "The Turn of the Tide" was presented by home talent, consisting of 
S. K. Pratt, W. T. Shepherd. Frank W. Parker, L. M. Kerr. Jay Wyland, 
Herman Noble, Pearl Swain, Amy Cook, Lina Piatt and Fannie Long. 

The dramatic talent of the present day is developed to some extent by 
the giving of occasional amateur plays in the opera houses of the county, for 
the purpose of raising funds to support various public enterprises. A number 
of the high schools of the county now have the custom of giving a play an- 
nually by the graduating class of the year. One of the men who has given 
largely of his time, with much success to the training of young people along 
these lines, is Editor \Y. C. Campbell, of the Harlan Tribune. 

The young people of Earling have continued to take great interest in 
amateur acting, and for a long period of years have presented plays that 
gave them excellent experience and offered the people pleasing entertainment. 
So earlv as April. 1888, Earling had a ■'dramatic club. On each evening 
comedies were presented in German and in English. The company seems to 
have been well received by the people. 


The young people of Portsmouth and of Panama have also shown inter- 
est and talent along the same lines. 

During the seventies and eighties, especially at Harlan, a great many lec- 
turers and entertainers appeared before the people. In the seventies Miss 
F.lla May Dwight, at Long's hall, gave a number of readings. Among the 
selections were "Creeds of the Bells" and "High Tide."' In January. 1876, 
Harlan had a visit from Professor Owen, the phrenologist. He gave four 
lectures on phrenology, physiognomy and mesmerism. Both local editors 
had their heads carefully examined and estimates made. In connection with 
his lecture on the subject of matrimony from the phrenological point of 
view a vote of the audience was taken to ascertain the handsomest lady and 
the homliest man present. These voting contests, by the way, in the early 
dav were very popular on all possible occasions. Miss Cecily Chatburn was 
voted to be the most beautiful lady and was given a phrenological chart as a 
prize. Attorney J. E. Weaver received the other prize. In November, 1877. 
the Harlan Lecture Association met at the clerk's office and made arrange- 
ments to have a lecture course in Harlan for that winter, the intention being 
to have one lecture each month. One of the persons considered for a lecture 
was Susan B. Anthony. The officers of the association were: President. D. 
M. Wyland; vice-president. George D. Ross: secretary, C. M. Robins: treas- 
urer, Thomas McDonald, every man of whom made his impress upon the 
life of Shelby county during his time. On the evenings of July 25, 26, 27, 
1877, Col. J. P. Sanford delivered three lectures in Harlan on these topics: 
"My Travels in Japan and China,'' "Old Times and New" and "Arabia and 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Harlan had arranged a 
course of lectures during the summer of 1887. Among those who lectured 
were Rev. ]. W. Geiger, of the Congregational church, on the subject, "Our 
Boys and their Sisters." The second lecture was given by President W. E. 
Hamilton, of Simpson College, at the Methodist Episcopal church, on the 
"Labor Question." In 187S there was a Harlan Lecture Association, com- 
posed of Mrs. D. M. Wyland, Mrs. J. B. Stutsman and Mrs. Thomas Mc- 
Donald. One of the persons they brought to Harlan was Rev. Sanders. In 
Harlan, August 13, 1878, Professor Wentworth, of Chicago, gave a reading. 
In November, 187S. Miss Jessie E. Wilson delivered, at the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, a lecture entitled the "New Bonanza." President Berry, of 
Grinnell College, lectured in Shelby in December, 1879. ■ On May 1 and 2. 
1879, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was scheduled to lecture in Harlan. 

In June, 1881, Col. J. P. Sanford gave a lecture in Harlan.' In June, 


18S1, Rev. C. S. Ryan save two lectures at the Methodist church. His sub- 
jects were "Loiterings in Scotland and England" and "Men of the Times." 
On April 5, 18S1, the "Artemus Ward Panorama" exhibited at Long's hall. 
Accompanying this was Alonzo Ward, a brother of the celebrated humorist, 
who delivered a lecture. In March. 1SS1, at Long's hall. Homer D. Cope 
gave a lecture, entitled .'"Damon and Pythias."' On May 1, 1883, Miss 
Matilda Hindman lectured at the Congregational church on the subject, 
"Woman Suffrage," under the auspices of the local suffrage association. On 
December 15, 18S4, Ralph Bingham, then known as the boy orator, 
thirteen years old, appeared in Harlan. He. by the way, is on the lecture plat- 
form today. In 1S86 the Reading Room Association of Harlan had brought 
Governor Cumback to Harlan to lecture, but had lost money on the course, 
which was made good to it by Hon. Piatt Wicks. On October .20, 1SS7, 
Belle Boyd, known as the "Rebel Spy," gave a lecture at Harlan under the 
auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic. On the evening of April 12, 
188S, Rev. Anna Shaw, since become very famous as an advocate of woman 
suffrage, lectured at the Congregational church on the subject, "The Late of 

From about 1870 to about 1890. or perhaps somewhat later, the coming 
of the teachers of the county, numbering nearly two hundred, to attend the 
Teachers' Institute, which usually lasted at least two weeks, and sometimes 
longer, was the occasion of much social activity. Almost every year there 
were a number of ice cream sociables, usually called "socials." given by 
churches or other organizations on the court house lawn on the public square 
at Harlan. On these occasions the teachers and their friends would assemble 
there in the evening and play various games, including the old-fashioned 
"Virginia Reel." usually, however, under other names to disguise it. A 
favorite exercise was "Old Dan Tucker," which was also a sort of rustic 
dance, although not known as such. Many a school teacher, with an excess 
of dignity before her pupils in the school room, was known to have taken a 
good deal of personal delight in the physical exercise called "Pig in the Par- 
lor." Sometimes the old game of "Drop the Handkerchief" was indulged in. 
Of course, often, formal dances were held. 

In 1882 the business and professional men of Harlan organized a social 
club of about thirty-five members, known as the "L'tile Dulce Club." This 
club had a ladies' day, which was on Friday afternoon and evening, on which 
day the members of the club were privileged to invite ladies to visit the club 
rooms. , 



From the earlie-t times the charivari has accompanied weddings in the 
county. This beautiful post-nuptial serenade is. and has been, long per- 
formed with cow bells, tin pans, shotguns, drums, etc. The persons com- 
posing it were, and are. of course, men and boys. They usually elect a cap- 
tain, who speaks for the crowd, and with whom the luckless bridegroom is 
obliged to treat for terms. Sometimes the serenaders receive apples, some- 
times cigars, or both. The institution survives in the count}" to a general 

Perhaps the earliest May party held in Shelby countv was in 1881. The 
Harlan Weekly Herald of May 26. 1S81, describes the happy event thus: 
"As we sat at our desk last Saturday afternoon, racking our brains in a vain 
endeavor to produce from them an idea that we could work up into an edi- 
torial, our office was suddenly brightened and made cheerful by a happy 
group of young maidens who had just returned from a May party at Chiches- 
ter's Grove. They were brimful of fun and happiness, and. realizing the for- 
lorn lot of an editor who has no enjoyment in this world but is compelled to 
pass his time prying into other people's business and getting cursed for it. 
they deposited upon the editorial table a huge pile of the good things left 
over from the feast the}' had enjoyed at the grove. The party consisted of 
the following misses and masters : Xettie Stanley, queen : William Macy. 
king: Minnie Baker. Edith Baker. Ella Barton. Ada Chase. Minta Beck. 
Lillie Campbell, Ro-^e Dickinson. Clara Ferguson. Addie Gibson. Anna Jack- 
son, Hattie Locke, Rena Shepherd. Ina Smith. Buda Stringer. May Wyland, 
Frank Harford. Clarence Redfield." 

A unique form of entertainment was a "hide and seek" party, devised 
by Harlan young people in November . 1888. The girls agreed to meet at a 
certain residence. If the young men discovered their hiding place, they were 
to be provided with a supper. One young man. who probably had a "tip." 
found them assembled at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. P. F. Murray. Sup- 
per was prepared and the girls drew lots for partners. 


One of the youngest but most highly successful of the clubs of Shelby 
county, whose membership is composed of ladies in country homes, is the 
Center Country- Club of Center township. This club was organized February 
25, 1914. The charter members were Mesdames Mae Daws. Anna Errett. 
Gertrude Graves. Eva Graves. Carrie Hess. Cecile Hubbell. Lulu Kilpatrick, 


Ruth Lewis. Plunia Littleton, Elizabeth Mayne, Marjorie Miller, Jennie 
Obrecht, Floy RufFcorn, Trena Terkildsen, Mary Westrope. 

The present and first officers are: President, Mrs. Mae Dawes; vice- 
president, Mrs. Eva Graves: secretary, Mrs. Lulu Kilpatrick ; treasurer. Mrs. 
Gertrude Graves; pianist, Mrs. Pluma Littleton. 

The present members of the club are: Mesdames Margaret Rlack, 
Myrtle Carter, Mae Daws, Nancy Errett, Anna Errett. Gertrude Graves, Eva 
Graves, Jessie Graves, Cassie Grabill, Carrie Hess, Cecile Hubbell, Delia 
Heflin, Lulu Kilpatrick. Ora Klindt, Ruth Lewis, Jennie Littleton, Pluma 
Littleton, Elizabeth Mayne, Anna Mellott, Marjorie Miller. Ermal Miller, 
Hazel McCord, Louisa Morgan. Jennie Obrecht, Pearl Obrecht, Demaris Pot- 
ter, Anna Potter, Ida Rold, Floy Ruffcorn. Trena Terkildsen and Mary 

The purpose of the clubs primarily, quoting the words of a member, "is to 
improve the conditions of life surrounding the women of country homes. 
It aims to keep them better informed on current events, to make their work 
easier, their homes brighter and better, to help its members profit by the 
progress of the world, to make a better community and to make the com- 
munity attractive with power to hold the young people at home, and to help 
each member and others, in spite of themselves, to live up to the best possible 
in life." The club is accomplishing much in breaking the isolation of the 
country and in promoting a better and happier community life. 


In April, 1910, there was organized by a number of ladies of Lincoln 
township the ''Self Improvement Club." 

Its first members were Mesdames Blakely, Brockman. Christensen, Cus- 
ter, Carlson. Hansen, Martin, McKeig, Miller, Kevan, Kinsey, Olsen. Philson, 
Poole, Severns, Sorensen, Smith. Steele, Robinson and White, and the Misses 
Clara Blakely, Vinnie Brockman, Cora Hoskins, Laura Hoskins, Ella Hos- 
kins. Bertha Hoskins, Christy Jensen. 

The first officers of the club were: President, Mrs. Blakely; secretary. 
Mrs. Anna Custer: treasurer, Mrs. Belle Stewart. The present officers of 
the club are: President, Agnes Alwill ; \i9e-president. Xina Bartholomew; 
secretarv, Maud McKeig; treasurer, Priscilla Blakely; organist. Vinnie Brock- 
man ; recorder. Belle Stewart. 

The present membership of the club is twenty-six. The objects of the 
club are to promote sociability among neighbors; to do all good possible with- 


in the circle of the membership: and to learn different and better ways of 
performing; the duties of the home and community. At each meeting of the 
club a literary program is given and many of the papers presented are dis- 
cussed informally by the members of the club. The organization aims to 
send, and has frequently sent, money to the Orphans' (Christian) Home in 
Council Bluffs, and in cases of sickness in the neighborhood in which the 
members of the club reside a flower committee, appointed by the club, has 
sent (lowers and the club in other ways has made itself helpful and useful to 
persons and families needing .help and sympathy in the neighborhood. 


One of the very useful and practical organizations of Shelby county 
women is the Woman's Union of Harlan, which was organized October 7. 
1 901. It has for its purpose the study of ways and means by which its 
members can better conduct and help in their homes, rear and train children 
and fulfill the countless duties that fall to women in the home and in the 
community in which they live. 

The first officers of the organization were Mrs. T. II. Smith, president; 
Mrs. M. K. Campbell, vice-president; Mrs. P. B. Brown, secretary, and Mrs. 
J. Turner, treasurer. The present officers of the Woman's Union are Mrs. 
T. H. Smith, president; Mrs. H. J. Garland, vice-president; Mrs. James 
Lauritzen, secretary, and Mrs. W. B. DeMar, treasurer. The union meets 
e\ery other Tuesday afternoon at 2 :3c o'clock. Among other useful accom- 
plishments, the Woman's Union is caring for the plants in the postoffice win- 
dow, and during the last summer the flowers on the Chicago Great Western 
depot grounds were in their charge. The organization has a very large 
membership in Harlan and its members take an active interest in the welfare 
of the union and in the good to be derived from it. 



The young men of Shelby county, and in fact a good many of the older 
ones, have been fond of athletic games and sports from the very earliest days. 
During the seventies, and undoubtedly to some extent before that time, base- 
ball was the favorite sport, although foot racing, jumping and other sports 
were more or less indulged in. Nearly every town and village in the county 
and almost every rural community having enough young men to form a team 
had a baseball organization during the seventies, and to some extent in the 
eighties. There was particular rivalry between the "Unions," of Harlan, and 
the "Modocs." of Shelby. 

The "Union" team in 1877 had as its captain George \\ Aland. Other 
members of the team were Yost, Harvey, O. P. YVyland, Hurless Askwith. 
Forest, Seth YVyland. Stanley, John YVyland and VanLoum. The team that 
year defeated Avoca by a score of eleven to six. 

In 1877 the Shell))' baseball team, the "Modocs," was composed of 
George Rink, captain, Brown. J. Rink. Lake. W. Rink, Fry, Crow, Askwith, 
Armstrong and Leigh. In this year Shelby defeated Walnut by a score of 
thirteen to eight. 

In 1877 there were three games of baseball scheduled between the "Un- 
ion" baseball team of Harlan and "Modocs," of Shelby. The first game re- 
sulted three to one for the "Modocs" and the second twenty-two to fifteen 
for the "Modocs," thus rendering the third game unnecessary. The Modocs 
in that vear also defeated Atlantic, seventeen to sixteen, and in 1878 defeated 
the Pastimes, of Council Bluffs, eleven to four. 

Much county pride was taken in the "Modoc" baseball club. In Septem- 
ber, 1878, it proposed to play the Davenport ball club for the championship 
of the state, and in October Harlan citizens had made up a purse of about 
twenty-five- dollars by way of encouraging arrangements for such a game 
and to assist the Shelby boys. 

The Harlan "Unions" in 1877 won the third and last game from Avoca 
by a score of twenty-five to nine. 

On the first day of the fair at Harlan in 1877, the "Modocs"' were de- 
feated by the Harlan "Union" team. 


At a baseball game played in June, 1S77. between two teams known as 
the "Paddywhackers,"' of Harlan, and the "Prussians," of Westphalia, the 
score of the former was eighty-three and that of the "Prussians" fourteen, 
all of which would indicate that, the boys had an abundance of exercise 
running bases. 

In 1878 Manteno had a baseball team and there was also a team in that 
vicinity known as the "P.lue Ridgers." In 1879 Bowman's Grove had a 
baseball team that came to Harlan and defeated the Harlan club. 

August 23, 1S77. the Avoca second nine and the Harlan boys played a 
game of baseball on the fair grounds in Harlan, the Harlan boys winning by 
a score of eleven to six. On July 4, 1S77, Shelby county players defeated 
the Avoca club at Avoca by a score of nine to four. 

Even the young men of Westphalia township, then known as the "Col- 
ony," so early as June, 1S77. were playing baseball with Harlan, the prize 
being a ball and bat to the winning team. In July, 1877, the Harlan club 
played the Polk township boys, the Harlan club winning the game. 

Washington township boys had a good team known the the "Mos- 

The young men of Defiance, Earling. Panama and Portsmouth very 
earlv took to the game, and played it with skill and success. At Defiance 
there were such men as H. V. Yackey, Hulsebus. Graham, Kingsbury, Ho- 
bart and others; at Earling, H. W. Byers, the Ford boys, the Schleiers, and 
others developing great skill, so much so that Earling, during the eighties, 
had not only the best team in Shelby county, but one of the hest teams in 
western Iowa, meeting defeat only at the hands of the wonderful Hastings, 
Nebraska team in August. [886, and maintaining since that time a high stand- 
ard of proficiency in this truly American game. Among the well-known 
Harlan plavers might be named II. E. Swain. Dr. E. A. Moore, John P. 
Hertert. Yackey, Hulsebus and many others. Eately there has been a revival 
in the plaving of the game, especially in the towns above named and in the 
town of Elk Horn. 

Shelby had an excellent baseball team in 1896. composed of the follow- 
ing named persons:. Ed. Wood, Clyde Williams (afterwards greatly dis- 
tinguished as a football player on the State University of Iowa team, and 
later one of the best coaches in the Mississippi valley), Ed. Plelm, George 
Murschl, Roy Linn. Charles Williams. Bert Gapp (now a well-known Har- 
lan banker), Watson Keeney and Xels Foster. Tom Leigh and Harry Clapp 
were managers. 

The present active team^ of the county are: 



The town of Panama had a very excellent baseball team this year. The 
members of it are as follows: Kelso, catcher; Yackey. center held; Xauroth. 
second base; Shelly, third base: Cowan, left field: Meters, first base; Kepler, 
right field: Manhart, short stop: Weise. pitcher: C. A. Case, manager; Will- 
iam Mischo, captain; J. Oppold. secretary and treasurer. 


Peter Jorgensen, captain and pitcher: Nels Jorgensen, catcher; Folmer 
Hansen, manager and first base; Martin Eoose. second base: Peter Madsen. 
shortstop; Soren Nelson, third base; Alfred Hansen, left field: Alfred Peter- 
sen, center field; Storm Marquessen, right field, and Fred Clemmensen, 


The town of Portsmouth is justly proud of its present baseball team, 
which at the Shelby county fair of 1914 at Harlan, won the championship 
of the county in the tournament held at that time. The membership of the 
team is as follows: Ted Benning, shortstop: \Y. J. Herkenrath. center field; 
Frank Ehrhardt, second base; John Rosenthal, first base and right field: 
Peter Clausen, catcher and first base: William Dahlhiemer, third base: Wil- 
fred Hainley, catcher: John Hickey. pitcher: Mike Sondag, left field: Mat 
Ohlinger, first base and right field: Charles Gallagher, manager. 


Earling has maintained a reputation for having a great baseball team 
from the earliest times. Her present team, captained by Will Langenfeld 
and managed bv John H. Meaders. has a membership as follows: Joe Shim- 
eroski, catcher; William Donnelly and John H. Meaders, pitchers ; Tony 
Heitman, first base; Joseph Stephany, second base; Will Langenfeld, third 
base; Frank Schell, shortstop; Joe Heese, left field; Henry Xauroth, center 
field; Fred Jacobs, right field; substitutes. Henry Langenfeld, center field; 
Fred Jacobs, right field. 



The running of foot races, usually of about one hundred yards in, 
length, was a favorite sport in early times. Shelby county has developed a 
number of fleet-footed runners of more than ordinary ability. H. B. Gish. 
familiarly known as "Hi." was unusually good in the dashes of fifty and 
one hundred yards. The contests participated in by the Baughn Hose Team 
and by earlier hose teams helped to develop many sprinters, who gave a good 
account of themselves on a number of occasions. Among these might be 
mentioned James Harford and "Doc" Pixley, of Irwin. Giles Bendon and 
Lew Oathout, of Cass township, Dr. E. A. (Gus) Moore and D. J. (Dave) 
Booth, and others, of Harlan. It is doubtful whether the county ever pro- 
duced a steadier or stronger runner at the distance of two hundred to three 
hundred yards than Doctor Moore, or a man of more native ability in the 
dashes of fifty to one hundred yards than Booth, although neither of these 
men ever trained as professionals or held themselves out as such. Shelby 
township produced a tleet sprinter named Atherton. B. Rhodes, of Greeley 
township, was a good runner at two to three hundred yards. 

Wrestling in pioneer times was particularly indulged in, and each of the 
pioneer settlements, as a rule, had one or more young men whom it looked 
upon as its champions at this form of contest. 

Among the miscellaneous games played were marbles, quoits ( horseshoe), 
"black man" and "dare-base." The game of "bull-pen" was also a favorite. 
Jacob Tague tells me that this game was played as follows: The boys en- 
gaged in the game put all of their hats into the center of a ring formed by 
them. One player then dropped a ball into one of the hats. The owner of 
this hat was then obliged to pick up the ball ami thow it at the runner who 
had dropped it into the hat. If the runner was hit he in turn took the ball 
and dropped it into a hat and so on. 

In the early days men were rather fond of horse-racing and particularly 
of running races. 

The editor on February 3, 1876. said in the Herald: "Horse racing in 
town Sunday is not exactly the thing, as we do not like to have our serious 
meditations disturbed by being obliged to jump up and look out of the win- 
dow to see who wins." 

A running race was advertised for January 2j, 1S77, at the fair grounds 
track by E C. Swain, secretary. Admission to the grounds was fixed at the 
moderate sum of ten cents. 


On July 2 and 4. 1SS1, purses amounting to one thousand two hundred 
dollars were offered for the winners at a race meet at Harlan, as follows: 


Green horses — $50, $30, $20 $100 

Running race, one-halt mile — $50, $30, $20 100 

2:50 lass — S125, $75, $50 ' 250 


Double team race (not restricted to one owner), $50, $30, $20 $100 

Pacing race — $75, $50. S25 150 

3:00 class — $100, S60. $40 200 

Free for all — $150, $100. $50 300 

There was an amount of dash and spirit in the local athletes and it ap- 
pears they ever stood ready to accommodate any outsider who desired amuse- 
ment. For instance, a Harlan paper of August 30, 1877, says: "One day 
last week a party of sports passed through Harlan with two or three race- 
horses, a strong man who pulled square draft, a light-footed boy who ran 
races, and. in fact, they declared they were in for any and all kinds of sport. 
Our fellows 'seen' them in even-thing desired. They passed on toward 
Denison poorer and, it is to be hoped, wiser men." 

During the eighties roller skating was much in vogue. For the past 
twenty years or more little has been heard of it in the county. It has, how- 
ever, again come into fashion. In 18S3-4 roller skating was very popular at 
Shelby. At Harlan about the same time a large brick skating rink was built 
on Market street, and here some of the present dignified citizens of Harlan 
involuntarily cut figures that this author dare not in all charity relate. Ice 
skating on the ponds and streams dates from the early days. 

At least so earl)- as March. 1873. the game of football was played. This 
was what has since been known as the association game, which was a purely 
kicking game, in which every man or boy had a chance to participate and 
take a kick at the ball, which was spherical in shape and not oblong, like the 
Rugbv ball, which is now generally used./ The Shelby County Record of 
March. 1873. refers to the results of this game in 1873: "The football team 
season has commenced. Saturday a devotee of the 'best game in the world' 
went home with a well executed map of Horseshoe Lake on his right cheek 


and a mansard projection over* his left eye. One of his ribs, is on a strike 
and a quarter section of his shin bone is caved in." The game was plaved 
at this time on what is now the public square of Harlan and on places adja- 
cent thereto. As late as iS.So the game was being played on the public square. 
Many of the best known citizens of Harlan, such as O. P. Wyland and others, 
participated in this sport. 

During the late eighties and early nineties, the Harlan high school plaved 
association football. During the eighties, also. Harlan had a town team 
that played this game. Among the members of the town team were \V. T. 
Shepherd, Fred Blackstone and others. In the fall of 1S96 the game of rugbv 
football was introduced to the Harlan high schools boys and from that time 
until this, with the exception of a few years, the game has been plaved bv 
them. During these years Harlan has won victories over many high schools, 
most of them located in cities much larger. Without disparagement of other 
successful teams which preceded it, the team of 1903 made an exceptionally 
fine record. The team that year was composed of the following plavers : 
Swift, Hansen, Nelson, Rogers, Croft, Smith, Hammer, Howard. Baer. Rob- 
inson, Cobb and Stanley. The schedule of the games played by this team in 
1903, with scores, was as follows: 

Harlan 15 Council Bluffs 6 

Harlan 47 Council Bluffs o 

Harlan 1 6 Red Oak o 

Harlan 6 Ida Gro\ 

Harlan 6 Des Moir 


ines 23 

Harlan o Ida Grove o 

Harlan 23 Omaha o 

Harlan 29 Walnut o 

Harlan 45 Boone o 

177 64 

Among the famous college football players who received their intro- 
duction to the game in Harlan high school teams might be mentioned Thomas 
Burcham, who, for several years, was a famous member and captain of the 
Drake University football team, and his brother, John Burcham. the famous 
right halfback upon the Drake championship team of Iowa in the fall of 
1909. Both of these boys were famous as punters and drop kickers. Thomas 
Burcham kicked a goal from the field in a game with Michigan University. 
the only score made by Drake. John Burcham won several games by sue- 


cessful drop kicks from 'the forty-seven yard line. They were also well 
known as track and field athletes. They are sons of John Burcham and 
grandsons of the pioneer. Jonas W. Chatburn. 

Another high school alumnus. J. J. Louis, son of Capt J. H. Louis, was 
especially distinguished as an athlete at the State University of Iowa, where, 
for several years, he was without a rival in the running high jump. Lie held 
the championship of the state for several years. At the Western Inter-Col- 
legiate Athletic meet at Chicago, in which all the great universities and col- 
leges of the middle West had entered their picked representatives, he tied 
with Powers, of Xotre Dame University, in the high jump, at five feet eleven 
inches. In practice he had cleared six feet. He also won a special prize of a 
silver cup, offered to that member of his graduating class who had made the 
best record, both as athlete and student. Fred Cockerell, while a student at 
Ames, won third in the mile run at the state meet of Iowa colleges. James 
C. Byers won prizes in the dashes at the state high school meets. His broth- 
ers, Ed. Byers, Dow Byers and McKinley Byers, have especially distinguished 
themselves in the Des Moines high school as football players, ranking with 
the very best in Iowa. Perry Mayne won third place in the mile run in one 
of the state high school meets. Fred Moore, son of Dr. E. B. Moore, played 
an unusually fine game on the State University football team at Iowa City. 
Lawrence Nelson was for some years a member of the strong football team at 
Ames. George Allen, of Harlan, played a strong game as fullback on the 
university team at Iowa City. 

One of the most distinguished athletes which the county has produced 
was Clyde Williams, of Shelby. He entered the university at Iowa City and 
became one of the greatest quarterbacks in the whole country, being given 
credit for his remarkable work by the best national authorities on football. 
He learned the game in the town of Shelby, while a student in the high school. 
This high school took up the game a year or two following its introduction 
into the Harlan high school. The athletic editor of the Ioisa Register and 
Leader on December 6, 191 4, referred to Clyde Williams and the first foot- 
ball team at Shelby as follows : 

"Clyde describes the Shelby aggregation when he was there as 'the 
darnest football team you ever saw.' He played halfback. They played the 
game in crude fashion, with even cruder implements, but they played it, noth- 
ing to the contrary withstanding. 

"The 'suit' Clyde wore — and so did all the others — was a set of blue 
overalls and a corn-shucking jacket. They used a catcher's baseball mit for 
a football at first, but after a while they saved their Sunday school pennies 


and purchased a one dollar and ninety-eight cent football. In spite of these 
acute privations of apparel and baseball nuts, that Shelby high school football 
team turned out men who in subsequent years helped to make football history 
in the Hawkeye state. 

"From that Shelby high team the following lights appeared in college 
football: In 1S9S, 1899 and 1900 Ray Morton and Clyde played on the 
varsity backfield of the State University eleven ; Chick and Rill Pomeroy 
played substitute: Bert Clapp played on the Iowa scrubs: and Arthur Buckley 
played guard on the Ames 'varsity' team; Archie Scott played regular on the 
same Cyclone team, as fullback: Walter Stoltenberg plaved regular end at 
Iowa; Roy and Fritz Buckley played on Iowa's team: Cliff Scott was Ames' 
captain and center in 1909. and a brother of the aforesaid Buckleys since 
has played at Iowa. Some gridders. all of them!" 

Fred Buckley and Roy Buckley, of Shelby, played on the 1903 univer- 
sity team at Iowa City. During the same year Jesse Cook, of Shelby, played 
full back on the Highland Park College team at Des Moines. 


In 191 1 the Harlan Field Club, at Harlan, was incorporated, with a 
capital of twenty thousand dollars. The purpose of the club is to provide 
and maintain for the use of its members a club house, golf links and tennis 
courts, and in general opportunities for healthful recreation and social in- 
tercourse, especially during the spring, summer and fall. The club has 
erected a splendid, well-appointed club house, has locker rooms and shower 
baths, is equipped with city water and electric lights and owns forty-one 
acres of superb blue grass land. Experts from the cities, such as Omaha 
and Chicago, have pronounced its nine-hole golf course and blue grass turf 
one of the best in the West with a little further development of its putting 

A special campaign has recently resulted in the sale of enough corporate 
stock to lift a balance of indebtedness resting on the club house. The first 
board of directors was L. F. Potter, O. P. Wyland, B. B. McPheeters, W. E. 
Cooper and F. S. White. L. F. Potter was the first president and B. B. 
McPheeters' the first secretary. The present board of directors is A. C. 
Clapp. C. D. Booth, L. F. Potter. O. P. Wyland and E. S. White. The 
present membership of the club is about seventy-five, with prospects of many 
others being added, since this club has attractive plans for the coming year 
and since it affords virtually the only opportunity the city people have for 


outdoor physical development and recreation and is their only outdoor social 


Two of the most famous wrestlers of the world at one time lived in 
Shelby county. During the late seventies the first of these two champions, 
Clarence Whisler, lived at Shelly and worked in that vicinity, part of the 
time in a meat market. Me especially excelled in the style of wrestling 
known as the Graeco-Roman and before his death, which occurred at Mel- 
bourne, Australia, was regarded as a world's champion at that style of 
wrestling. A Shelby count)' paper of January 12. 1881, contains this ex- 
cerpt from a Xew York City paper having reference to Mr. Whisler: 

"The second Graeco-Roman wrestling match between Edwin Bibbv and 
Clarence Whisler. for two hundred ami fifty dollars a side, took place at the 
American Institute building, Third avenue, this city, on the evening of 
December 21, 1SS0, and attracted quite a large assemblage. The contest 
was one of science against strength, and the result was no more satisfactory 
than had been the previous meeting between the same parties. Bibbv clearlv 
demonstrated his superiority as a scientific wrestler (a fact which no one 
previously questioned), but he found a man opposed to him whose quite 
exceptional muscular power defied his skill and lesser strength. The men 
struggled fur nearly five hours without securing a fall, Whisler being unable. 
from lack of knowledge, to follow up an advantage which lie once or twice 
obtained, and then they mutually agreed to call it a draw. The articles ex- 
pressly stated that such a termination should nut lie allowed, but it was ap- 
parent to all that the only way in which either contestant could win would be 
by tiring the other put, and as to accomplish that result additional hours of 
monotonous struggling would plainly be required, the spectators were not 
displeased because of the mutual agreement to call it "quits.' These men 
should never come together again in a wrestling match under the same 
rules, where strength is capable of successfully placing at defiance the finest 
skill, and consequently prevents the really better man from gaining the 
reward which his exertions and attainments should secure for him. James 
Pilkington was judge for Whisler, Chris. Hoefler for Bibby, and William 
Child was the referee. 

"Clarence Whisler is a Shelby county boy, and until recently worked 
in a meat market at Shelby. At present not a man in America has been 
able to throw him to the ground, Graeco-Roman stvle of wrestling;." 



Perhaps but few ]>eople of Shelby county know that the celebrated 
Fanner Burns once resided in Shelby county, where he wrestled, taught 
wrestling and excelled at '"stick-pulling." His secretary. J. \Y. Ehvood, of 
Omaha, Nebraska, writes me that Mr. Burns says he resided in Shelby 
county about one year, probably in the year 1888, at which time he worked 
on the celebrated one thousand-acre ranch of Major E. A. Collins in Shelby 
township and that be wrestled at Harlan and at various other towns in the 
county, in addition to teaching wrestling as above stated. Since his residence 
in Shelby count}-, as is well known, Mr. Burns became the world's champion 
middle-weight wrestler, and also the world's champion heavy-weight. He 
has been 'the best known wrestler of his time with the exception of Frank 
Gotch, whom he found on an Iowa farm and developed until Gotch in turn 
became a world's champion. 

Among the early boys of pioneer days in Shelby county especially fond 
of wrestling, who participated in many a match, were Jacob Tague, of 
Harlan, and M. II. Poling", both formerly of Bowman's Grove, now of Har- 
lan. J. D. Maxwell, of Douglas township, and others. 

So interesting was this sport that it is said that at the first Fourth of 
July celebration held at Bowman's Grove, participated in not only by the 
residents of that Grove but by residents of other groves, including Galland's 
Grove, the chief event was a wrestling match between the champion of Gal- 
land's Grove, and Daniel Bowman, of Bowman's Grove, which tradition 
records was won by Bowman. In the early days there were two favorite 
methods of wrestling, "side-holts" (holds) and "catch-as-catch-can." The 
pioneer wrestlers were very strong and agile in their wrestling, although 
they knew little or nothing of the complicated varieties of tricks and holds 
that now characterize the sport. 

p. j. FROM. 

A Shelby county wrestler who has achieved much more than local fame 
is P. J. From, better known as ""Pete" From. He was born in West- 
phalia township, Shelby county, February 1, 1891. He is a son of Joseph 
and Catherine From. He wrestled more or less with his brother and with 
the boys in the neighborhood, but it was not until he was sixteen years of 
age that he had his first real match, which was at Panama, where, dressed 
in overalls, he wrestled Tom McAndrews, winning his match. Shortly after- 


wards he wrestled an opponent from Minden, Iowa, at the hall in Earling. 
which match he also won. His first hard contest was with a man named Wes 
Cobb at Fremont, Nebraska. Cobb was a professional, twenty-three years 
old. After three hours and fifty-five minutes of struggle, the match was 
stopped at twelve o'clock and declared a tie. Eight months later he returned 
and again wrestled Cobb, getting two falls from him in one hour and forty 
minutes. At this time From weighed but one hundred and fifty-six pounds 
and had never had any professional training. All that he knew about w rest- 
ling he had learned from experience ami in attempts to break the holds of 
men with whom he had wrestled. 

Following the match with Cobb at Fremont, Mr. From left home that 
winter and traveled under an assumed name. He contested on this journey 
about thirty matches, occurring in main- different parts of Nebraska, North 
Dakota and South Dakota. He has wrestled in different parts of Iowa, 
Illinois. Kentucky, Minnesota and Ohio. The first and only defeat that he 
has ever met was at the hands of a very strong and clever wrestler of Spen- 
cer, Iowa, Jud Thompson by name, who, for some time, was deputy sheriff 
there. The first time that From wrestled with Thompson, From had a 
sore arm, and besides Thompson was two vears older at a time when From 
was scarcely mature. Afterwards From defeated Thompson. The last 
match that From had was in the coal mining district at Hiteman, near 
Albia, where he wrestled a miner. Jack Rozier by name, twenty-five years of 
age, and slightly heavier than himself. After wrestling for three hours and 
twenty-two minutes, and until midnight, the match was declared a draw. 

Among the skillful men that Mr. From has wrestled are Jud Thomp- 
son, of Spencer, Iowa : Ben Reeves, of Guthrie Center. Iowa : Con Albright, 
of Rochester, New York ; Tom Gately. of Stormsburg, Nebraska ; Leu- 
Miller, of Aberdeen, South Dakota: George Poppas (a Greek), of Cincin- 
nati, Ohio; C. Caddock, of Covington, Kentucky, and Barratt, of Wisconsin. 
Altogether. Mr. From has had about one hundred and seventy-five matches. 
Of all the men with whom he has contested, he considered Gateley and Cobb 
the best men of his early matches, and Jud Thompson, of Spencer, the 
cleverest man with whom he has contested. 

The only professional training that Mr. Frum has ever had aside 
from what he learned from his experience in actual contests with profes- 
sionals, was two weeks' training in 1913. under Farmer Burns, of Omaha. 
Mr. Burns complimented him for his easy-going methods of wrestling, which 
are quite different from the stiff and hard efforts of many wrestlers, and he 
also complimented him on his fine endurance. 


By the way, the longest wrestling match in which Mr. From ever 
participated was that with Gateley, which" took five hours and fifteen minutes. 

Mr. From's brother Mike, weighing but one hundred and fifty pounds, 
also wrestled a great deal for a few years, and defeated everything that he 
met in his class in Iowa and Nebraska. 

I'. J. From farms during most of the year, but pursues wrestling, at 
which he makes considerable money, during the fall and winter of each 
year. He is very popular in Shell)}' county and is undoubtedly one of the 
very best athletes born and raised in the county. 


One of the first organizations to bring the name of Harlan and Shelby 
county brilliantly before the people of Iowa and the West was the famous 
Baughn Hose Team, named in honor of \V. L. Baughn, then mayor of Har- 
lan. In a competition that was lowa-wide and of the fiercest character, this 
stalwart organization maintained a prestige that finally won the state cham- 
pionship silver belt offered for the best hose racing, by the State Firemen's 
Association of Iowa. Much credit for the splendid achievements of the team 
was due, not only to Mr. Baughn. who was thoroughly loyal to it, but also 
to \Y. C. Campbell, present editor of the Harlan Tribune, himself a veteran 
fireman and a member of ?Iarlan's early home teams, who was manager of 
the team throughout its history and watched earnestly and with confidence its 
development on the pathway' to victory. 

As a preliminarv matter, it will no doubt, be of interest to recall the 
names of the members of the first team to carry the colors of Harlan into a 
contest. The first running team of the fire department, which in September. 
18S1, left for Avoca to enter a contest, consisted of the following men, only 
one of whom now resides in Harlan, \V. C. Campbell, editor of the Harlan 
Tribune: S. C. Peet, leader; J. Fisher, F. Butterfield, T. Miles, C. Mentzer, 
Al Reynolds, H. \V. Byers. S. K. Pratt, J. Burcham, D. Halladay, T. E. 
Palmer, Frank Sibball, George Bumphrey. John Burshaw, Henry Dust; 
plugmen, L. Miller, W. Bridgman: couplers, C. R. Pratt, \Y. C. Campbell. 

The Omaha Bee, contained this sketch of the Baughn Hose Team in 

"The first state firemen's tournament in which a Harlan team participated 
was that held at Council Bluffs in 1889. The team of that year was or- 
ganized and trained by T. A. Campbell, who at that time was at work in the 
office of the Harlan Tribune. 'Joe' took his raw recruits down and succeeded 


in winning fifth place in the state hose race. The hoys brought back fifty 
dollars in cash and incidentally something better — a determination to continue 
in the field 'if it took all summer.' Their perseverance told in the succeeding 
annual tournaments, and since the day of their Council Bluffs initiatory con- 
test few, if any. teams in the state have carried home more reward of merit 
shekels than the Harlan lads. Today the record of three straight sweep- 
stakes in the last three Iowa state tournaments and the best time made at 
each of those contests are things standing to the credit oi these same 'boys 
they call the fellows." 

"In 1891 the team assumed the name 'YV. L. Baughns,' in honor of Mr. 
Baughn, who was then mayor of the citv. Baughn has steadily stood by his 
fleet proteges, and a year or two ago presented each runner with an elegant 
gold medal, upon which was engraved the time of one of their best per- 
formances. Considering the fact that every man in the team is strictly an 
amateur runner and that it has never enjoyed the benefits of thorough phy- 
sical training under an expert who understood his business, the running of 
the team has been remarkably good. In fact, for several years past the 
straightaway three hundred yards has been looked upon as being a thing that 
it would be safe to wager idle capital that Harlan would get. Time and 
again the Baughns have covered the three hundred-yard stretch in thirty- 
six seconds flat. Good timers have caught them in even less than that. 
And thirty-six seconds is at least two seconds better than any other Iowa 
team is in the habit of doing. 

"The couplers' work has kept pace with the running of the boys, and in 
1892, at Atlantic, Booth and True, of the Baughns, became champions of the 
state. At the recent state tournament, held at Iowa City, where, by the way, 
the boys were most shamefully treated by the Sawyer team of that place, 
Booth and True again distinguished themselves by making three couplings 
in 2, 2.2 and 2.2, respectively, an average of 2.13, the previous state record 
being 2.4 (an average of three straight couplings). The team's best for three 
hundred yards and coupling is 40.4 seconds, a record made at Sioux City last 
year in two races. The members of this year's team are: Gus Moore, 
leader ; Dave Booth and George True, couplers ; Arley Parker, Tom Xewby, 
Pearl Downs, Ike Stanley, Fred Boyd. Fritz Heise, Fd. Parker, Hugh YVy- 
land, Harry Swain, Frank Hille, Morris Moore, Day Ledwich, Clark Beems 
and Will Smith." 

The Shelbx County Republican of 1892 describes the victories of the 
Harlan hose team at the state meet of that vear : "The first straightaway 


race of three hundred yards with cart and reel full of hose, was won by 
Harlan; time, thirty-six and one-half seconds; purse, fifty dollars. In the 
forty-four hose race, involving a run of three hundred yards, unreeling one 
hundred yards of hose at the end of the run, breaking same and coupling on a 
nozzle at the close, Harlan tied with Council Bluffs in forty-six and two- 
fifths seconds. First and second money was divided between the two, 
seventy-five dollars each. In the forty-first class, the same kind of race, 
Eldora took first money and Harlan, second; time, forty-six and four-fifths 
seconds; purse, fifty dollars. 

"In the coupling contest, George True and David Booth made three 
tests. Their average was two and eighty-one hundredth seconds, their next 
competitors was two and ninety-three one hundredth seconds. Their prin- 
cipal competitor was a man named Wood, of Eldora. 

"In the sweepstakes race, the team won its chief glory and made the best 
time of the tournament. Council Bluffs led in forty-five and three-fifths sec- 
onds, Eldora followed in forty-seven and a fraction seconds, and Harlan 
finished the contest in a tine run and splendid coupling; time forty-live and 
one-fifth seconds; purse, one hundred dollars. The total amount of money 
won by Harlan was three hundred and sixty-five dollars. 

"Harlan is proud of its hose team. It is composed of a lot of splendid 
young men. They were prime favorites at the tournament, winning praise 
not only for their splendid performances, but for their gentlemanly behavior. 
The town will never suffer in reputation so long as it is represented abroad 
by such a company. At least a hundred of our citizens attended the tourna- 
ment, many of them remaining the entire three days." 

The fine belt won by the team consists of nine links of silver, about one 
yard in length. On the middle link there is the representation of an eagle 
with arrows in its talons. At the top of the middle link is the inscription. 
"Iowa Firemen's Ass'n State Championship Belt. Hose Racing." At the 
bottom of the link are flags crossed together with the traditional helmets of 
the fireman. 

The remaining inscriptions are as follows, including the names of the 
respective teams that over a period of years won and defended the cup: 

Left to Right — Section 1. Baughn Hose Team : P. A. Lambert, Harry 
McComas, Jas. Harford, Jas. Long, Chas. Downs, E. A. Moore. G. Bendon, 
W. T. Smith, E. X. Ilille, Jas. Kelly. R. L. Kent, John Ouigg, Bert Reams. 
Ray Morton, Will Cox, I). J. Booth, Art Bowlin. Ed McQuillen, Will 


Section 2. Baughn Hose Team : P. A. Lambert, Jas. Kelly, Jas. Long, 
G. Bendon, Will Nelson, II. O. Wyland, John Quigg, Jas. Tallman. Chas. 

Downs, B. Downs, Will Cox, Ed. McOuillen, Jas. Harford, Will Hathaway, 
O. Bendon. W. T. Smith, F. X. Hille. F. Pixley, Ed S. White, D. J. Booth. 

Section 3. W. L. Baughn Hose Team, Harlan, Iowa. International 
Champions, 300 yards, thirty-nine and three-quarter sections, Marshalltown, 
Iowa, 1S96. W. C. Campbell, Manager. 

Section 4. W. L. Baughn Running Team, 1896: E. A. Moore. G. Ben- 
don, D. P. Downs, Will Hathaway, Wm. Cox, O. Bendon, B. Downs. W. T. 
Smith, H. O. Wyland, I. Stanley, H. B. Gish, John Quigg, Ed McOuillen, 
F. Heise, M. Moore. Coupler, F. X. Hille; pipeman, D. J. Booth; trainer, 
James Kelly. 

Section 5. June 20, 1S95, Vinton. Iowa. E. W. Clark Hose Team ot 
Grinnell, Iowa. Time, forty seconds. 

. Section 6. S. J. Pooley, G. E. Vanderveer, G. D. Peirce, L. B. West- 
brook, A. C. Dickerson, W. S. Xeedham, C. O. Arms. J. T. Hastings, V. C. 
Preston, E. W. Atherton, W. S. Peirce, L. Thompson, C. E. Harris, T. L. 
Xewton, S. R. Davis, R. M. Haines, Jr. Couplers, J. E. Carlstedt. T. E. 
Riley: substitutes, E. W. Bartlett, G. W. Roth. W. W. Berry, captain and 

Section 7. Baughn Hose Team, Harlan, Iowa, three hundred yards, 
forty seconds, Iowa City, 1897. W. C. Campbell, Manager. 

Section 8. Baughn Hose Team, Harlan, Iowa, two hundred and fifty 
yards, 32 seconds, Muscatine, 1S98. W. C. Campbell, Manager. 


191 1— Fred Winslow, Glen Miller, Glen Howard, D. T. Mellott, Har- 
low Tague, Carl Tague, Frank McFarland, Elmer Xelson, Clyde Mason, 
Harry Xorgaard, George Palmer, Vince Sunderland, Rob Anson, Hal Camp- 
bell, Rob Campbell. Paul Taylor, Everett Fiscus, Charles Rice. Mike Fromm. 
Roy Parker ; John Burcham, Leslie Taylor, couplers ; W. T. Smith, manager. 

1 9 12 — James Long, Mike Fromm, Peter Fromm, Earl McCamlev. Al- 
fred Howarth, Leonard Kerr, Carroll Steele, George Seiter, Alex Von Tersch, 
Guy Wurtsbaugh. Park Hook. Will O'Neal, Elmer Xelson. Clyde Mason, Roy 
Parker, Ras Anderson; John Burcham, Leslie Taylor, couplers; Hal Camp- 
bell, manager. 

1913 — Xoel Mountjoy, Ira O. Brown, Earl McCamley, Mike Fromm. 
Peter Fromm, Homer Roland, V. H. Bvers, Leonard Kerr, Alfred Howarth, 


Winfrcd Watters, Glen Miller, Roy Packard, John Wyland, Emerson Cooper. 
Ernest Boysen, Guy Downs, Eugene Parker, Frank Wirth, Charles Rice, 
Grover Philson; John Burcham, Leslie Taylor, couplers; W. T. Smith, 

1914 — Homer Roland, Leo Dick, John Whitney, Earl McCamley, Au- 
drey Wilson, James Taylor, Chris Hess, Lawrence Kuhl, Leonard Hoisington. 
Glen Hoisington, Cecil Hoisington, Frank Wirth, Alfred von Tersch, Carlton 
Beli, Ernest Boysen, Ralph Goddard, Hallie Bartrug, Dale Shipp; John 
Burcham, Leslie Taylor, Jack Burcham, Earl Hoisington, couplers: W. T. 
Smith, manager. 

This more recent team has been g'iving a good account of itself, and has 
served to keep Harlan and Shelby county on the map as a locality in which 
winning athletes grow. At Harlan, on June 19, 191 3, the Harlan team took 
the association race, which included a run with the hose cart of two hundred 
yards, the laying of one hundred yards of hose, and the making of a coupling; 
time, twenty-five and two-fifth seconds. This is the best record of the asso- 
ciation to date. 

At present Harlan has won the cup twice in succession, and if won next 
year by her boys will keep it. Owing to the fact that the Manning and Har- 
lan teams tied in 1914, the cup is held jointly by the two teams this year. 
Should Manning win next year, she must, in order to retain the cup, win it 
again in 1916. 


Beginning in the seventies and continuing at intervals almost to date, 
men of good endurance have taken great personal pride in their ability to husk 
a large amount of corn in a fixed time. By the way, the kind of husking done' 
in the early days is quite different from what is called husking today. When 
the contests of years ago were held, men were expected to husk the corn free 
of all husks and to some extent the silk even was removed from the ears of 

The first husking contest in the countv, of which I have found record, 
occurred in the fall of 1878 when two men named Tom Bass and Charlie 
Nichols on a wager husked corn from daylight to sunset. Bass husked and 
cribbed ninety-nine and one-half bushels and Nichols eighty-seven and three- 
fourths bushels. The Shelby Xcws of December, 1878, is authority for the 
information that John Rink, of Shelby township, husked one hundred and 
thirty bushels of corn in nine and one-half hours, and that James Tracy, Jr.. 
husked one hundred and thirtv-seven bushels in nine and three-fourths hours. 


In November, 1889, in a match between Otis Westrope. of Center town- 
ship, and P>. W. McConnell, of Harlan, on the farm of T. R. Westrope, in 
Center township, McConnell won. Both men started in promptly at 6:45 
a. m. In an hour Westrope came in from the field and, owing to sickness, was 
compelled to quit husking. McConnell was called and awarded the match. In 
the hour and fifteen minutes during which McConnell worked, he husked bv 
weight the remarkable amount of twenty-four bushels and thirty pounds. 
Westrope's husking was only slightly behind. McConnell won many matches 
in several states. A number of years previously Clarence Whisler, of Shelbv 
township, celebrated as a wrestler, and a man named Brown had a similar 
contest in Shelby township, and it is said that Whisler husked one hundred 
and twenty-seven bushels as one day's work. If the two men, Westrope and 
McConnell, each had worked the eleven and half hours agreed upon, more 
than three hundred bushels of corn would have been put in the crib by them. 

On December 5, 1892, Fred Hewlett and Frank Hayward, of Fairview 
township, contested a husking match on R. P. Foss' farm. They started in 
to husk ten hours, for twenty-five dollars a side, but after seven hours and 
eighteen minutes they concluded they had had enough. Howlett husked one 
hundred and twenty-three bushels and thirty pounds, and Hayward one hun- 
dred and nine bushels and fifty pounds. A big crowd witnessed the perform- 
ance. One of the famous corn buskers of Shelby township was George 
Slaughter. In 1S92, when engaged in husking corn for J. C. Mansfield, in 
that township, he husked and cribbed six hundred and eighty-five bushels in 
six days, without any matched competition. 




[The following article was contributed upon request by Hon. William 
F. Cleveland, of Harlan, to whom many high Masonic honors have come. 
In 1906 he was chosen grand master of Masons in Iowa; in 189S, grand high 
priest of the grand chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa; in 1901, grand 
master of the grand council of Royal and Select Masters of Iowa; in 1892, 
grand commander of the grand commandery of Knights Templar of Iowa. 
In 1914 he was selected grand secretary of the grand chapter and grand re- 
corder of the grand council of Iowa, which positions he now holds. He 
was selected by the gram! lodge of Iowa, as historian, and after two years 
of research has completed and has had published a History of Freemasonry 
in Iowa, in three volumes.] 

The spirit of fraternity has existed in the mind of man in all ages, 
and among all people the desire to associate in closer bonds of friendship 
among his fellow man has existed from the earliest dawn of time; the divine 
attribute of charity, that awakens the better impulses of man's nature, has 
alone influenced man to aid and assist his brother. 

This spirit or desire has resulted in the formation of secret societies 
which by their acts have done much good in elevating the standards of 
morality, inculcating the practice of the virtues and ever opposing vice in 
every form. Among those societies that have been most active in this great 
work none stands higher in the opinion of the observing world than the 
Ancient and Accepted Fraternitv of Freemasonry. If age is considered, it 
stands alone among the secret societies of the world, for its origin can be 
traced back through the dim and misty ages of the past beyond the time of 
recorded history. 

In this country it has ever followed closely upon the footsteps of civil- 
ization. Some of the Pilgrim Fathers who landed at Plymouth, as well as 
the Cavaliers who settled at Jamestown, were honored members of the 


Masonic fraternity. As the nation has grown in strength and power so has 
Freemasonry steadily increased in membership and influence. 

Many of the earliest settlers of the state of Iowa were members of the 
Masonic society, who organized Masonic lodges soon after their coming here, 
or joined the lodges that they found already organized by those who had pre- 
ceded them. As the state of Iowa passed from the formative period of a 
territory into the full powers and prerogatives of statehood. Masonry had so 
grown in numerical strength that the grand lodge of Iowa, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons was duly constituted as the official head of the order, and 
has ever since enjoyed exclusive and undisputed jurisdiction over the entire 
state. It has kept step with the state in its unimpeded march from a terri- 
tory to the proud position it occupies among the other states of this great 
nation and today the grand lodge of Iowa, with more than five hundred active 
lodges, embraces a membership of more than fifty thousand of the best men 
that Iowa can produce, coming from all vocations and professions of life. 

In the early days, when the tide of emigration commenced its westward 
march from the Fastern states, crossing the Mississippi and over the rolling 
prairies of Iowa, it found what is now known as Shelby county a spot of rare 
beauty, yet untouched by the hand of man, its virgin soil ready to yield forth 
its increase at the hand of the tiller of the soil. It was organized as a county 
in 1851. The first Masonic lodge to be recognized in western Iowa was in 
Council Bluffs where those early settlers who were Masons were compelled 
to go to attend the lodge meetings. Another lodge was soon organized at 
Sioux City. Then another lodge was located at Magnolia, Harrison county, 
and another at Dunlap in the same county, but when Mt. Nebo lodge was 
organized at Avoca, the brethren living at Harlan and vicinity were quite 
regular in their attendance at either the lodge at Dunlap or Avoca, depending 
upon what part of the county they resided. They would arrange to attend 
lodge, going in groups, almost always on horseback, returning home some- 
times at a rather late, or early hour. As the county continued to settle up, 
the desire for better lodge facilities soon became apparent. 

It was epiite an event when Parian Lodge No. 321 was organized at 
Harlan on November 30, 1S72. The charter members are names quite 
familiar to the older citizens of the present; they were H. S. Burke. William 
Wyland, Thomas W. Chatburn. James Lambert. F. A. Bayer, David Carter, 
William H. Griffith, Piatt Wicks and Samuel Slates, all of whom have gone 
to their long rest, except Thomas W. Chatburn, who resides at Independence, 
Missouri, and David Carter, who removed to Arkansas a few years ago. 

Several lodges have since been organized within the county, viz.. Silentia 


Lodge, at Shelby, Guardian Lodge, at Defiance, and Sardius, at Irwin, thus 
affording the members opportunity to attend the meetings of their several 
lodges without encountering the inconveniences incident to frontier life upon 
the western prairies. 

Harlan has from almost the beginning been regarded as an active 
Masonic town. Its members are embued with intense Masonic spirit and are 
ever ready to devote a considerable portion of their leisure time towards the 
upbuilding of the fraternity. 

Olivet Chapter No. 107, Royal Arch Masons, was organized at Harlan 
in 1885. This is a body closely associated with the lodge and carries on the 
work and continues the history of the order and is known and designated as 
the capitular degrees. It receives its members from the membership of the 
lodge. Olivet Chapter has grown and prospered since its organization. 

Adelphi Council Xo. 4, Royal and Select Masters, is the next body in 
what is known as the American system. It is designated as the cryptic rite, 
is the summit of Ancient-craft Masonry and completes the history of this 
branch of Masonry. Its membership is made up from the chapter, the de- 
grees being received in their order, lodge, chapter and council. 

Mount Zion Commandery Xo. 4<j. Knights Templar, is a Christian order 
of knighthood that in this country follows after the chapter. To receive 
these orders of knighthood the petitioner must be a member of both lodge and 
chapter. This commandery was organized at Harlan in 18S6 and enjoys the 
honor of being one of the best commanderies in the state. 

Lebanon Chapter Xo. S. order of the Eastern Star, was organized at 
Harlan more than a quarter of a century ago. It has a large membership of 
the Master Masons, their wives, daughters and sisters, and has added much 
to the social life of the community. 

Ever since the organization of these several Masonic bodies, they have 
exerted a beneficial influence upon the lives of their members: they have con- 
tributed to the social life of our city, broadening the views of their members, 
making them more tolerant of the opinions of others, ready to help the un- 
fortunate and needy, and to strengthen the ties of friendship and brotherly 
love. These are some of the objects and the mission of Masonry. It will 
continue to grow and perform its duties to mankind so long as man is in- 
fluenced by his baser nature and does not accept and endeavor to live up to 
the divine comand, "Love thy neighbor as thy self." 

The names of the masters of Parian Lodge to date are: John Fritz, 
W, J. Davis. J. H. Louis. F. A. Bayer, P. B. Hunt, J. W. Chathurn. J. I. 
Myerly, D. B. Sheller. O. P. Wyland, L. C. Lewis, W. C. Campbell. O. F. 



Graves. Charles D. Booth. J. YV. Bailey, YV. F. Cleveland. H. E. Swain, W. 

E. Cooper, C. E. Swift. O. S. Donahue. YV. T. Shepherd, E. Lockwood, John 
Sandham, Xathan Booth, Thomas II. Potter. J. II. Frederickson, L. -M. 
Kerr. Gottlieb Walter, Hal W. Campbell. Gaillard K. Swift and J. H. Deen. 

The secretaries in order have been William W T }'land, D. M. Wvland, A. 

F. Holcomb, T. E. Palmer, S. A. Burke, J. W. Eatta. Wesley Scutt, O. P. 
W'yland. Cyrus Beard. E. M. Kerr, W. B. Rowland, H. E. Swain, J. W. 
Bailey and O. F. Graves. 


The dispensation authorizing the organization of Sardius Eodge Xo. 
444, at Irwin, was granted by George V. Van Saun, most worshipful grand 
master of Iowa. January 15, 1SS3. to the following named charter members: 
Peter J. Brant. G. M. Dunham. J. M. Dunlap, S. E. Denman, W. W. Gibbs. 
J. L. Hall, Peter .Mayer. J. C. Piper. .Miles Reynolds. R. B. Thomas. J. C. 
Wood and Amos Wright. 

The first meeting was held February 15. 1S83. and the following selected 
as the first officers of the lodge: W. W. Gibbs, worshipful master; J. C. 
Piper, senior warden; S. F. Denman, junior warden; Miles Reynolds, treas- 
urer ; G. W. Dunham, secretary ; P. J. Brant, senior deacon ; J. C. Wood, 
junior deacon; J. L. Hall, senior steward; Peter Mayer, junior steward; J. M. 
Dunlap, tyler. 

The charter was granted by the grand lodge of Iowa on June 5, 18S4. 
Since the organization of the lodge the following members have held the 
offices of worshipful master and secretary. 

Year. Masters. Secretaries. 

1883 W. W. Gibbs for year G. W. Dunham for year 

18S4 W. W. Gibbs W. S. Branson 

1S85 P. J. Brant W. S. Branson 

18S6 P. J. Brant W. S. Branson 

1887 W. D. Dunlap ■ O. L. Russell 

1888 __P. J. Brant O. L. Russell 

1889 P. J. Brant— f O. L. Russell 

1890 J. C. Wood B. T. Jessen 

1891 J. C. Wood Peter Nelson 

1892 J. C. Wood Peter Nelson 

1893 J. AV. Wurtsbaugh R. B. Thomas 


Year. Masters. Secretaries. 

1894 G. E. McMullen R. B. Thomas 

1895 G. E. McMullen R. B. Thomas 

1S96 W. A. Lessenger R. B. Thomas 

1897 YV. S. Branson . R. B. Thomas 

1S9S W. S. Branson R. B. Thomas 

1899 G. E. McMullen R. B. Thomas 

1900 G. E. McMullen A. G. Christensen 

1901 G. E. McMullen A. G. Christensen 

1902 J. M. Edwards Peter Xelson 

1903 J. M. Edwards Peter Xelson 

1904 J. M. Edwards 1 Peter Xelson 

1905 J. M. Edwards Peter Xelson 

1906 J. M. Edwards Peter Xelson 

1907 G. E. McMullen Peter Xelson 

1908 G. E. McMullen Peter Xelson 

19C9 G. E. McMullen Peter Xelson 

1910 G. E. McMullen Peter Xelson 

1911 W. W. Ames Peter Xelson 

1912 Peter Xelson G. E. McMullen 

1913 Peter Xelson G. E. McMullen 

1914 W. J. Kington G. E. McMullen 

The lodge is now in a flourishing condition with forty-one members on 
its roll. The present officers are a< follows: YV. J. Kington, worshipful 
master: C. M. Mickelson. senior warden: William Fogartv, junior warden: 
M. Mickelson, treasurer: G. E. McMullen, secretary; J. M. Edwards, senior 
deacon; Albert Quick, junior deacon; R. YV. Xellis, senior steward; Jacob 
Nelson, junior steward : Lloyd Selby, tyler. 


The charter members of Guardian Lodge Xo. 441. Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons at Defiance, were Wesley J. Williams. Howard Miles. C. 
A. Topping, E. B. Brain. Charles C. Seybold, C. M. Robbins. Joseph Yackey, 
J. F. Massey, \V. F. Massey. The date op establishment was September zj, 
1882. The first officers were Wesley J. Williams, worshipful master: How- 
ard Miles, senior warden; Charles A. Topping, junior warden; W. F. Massey, 
treasurer; C. M. Robins, secretary; E. B. Brain, senior deacon: Toseph 


Yackey, junior deacon: C. C. Seybold, senior steward, Frank Massey, tyler. 
The succeeding officers were : 

Year. Masters. Secretaries. 

1882-1885 Wesley J. Williams C. M. Robbins 

18S5-18S6 C. M. Robins J. M. Roseberry 

H. C. VanDuzen 

1SS7 W. J. Williams H. C. VanDuzen 

1888 W. J. Williams W. B. Cotton 

1889 W. J. Williams A. S. Riley 

1890 H. B. Sooy A. S. Riley 

1891 H. B. Sooy A. S. Riley 

1S92 H. B. Sooy H. V. Yackey 

1S93 H. B. Sooy E. E. Reams 

1894 :H. B. Sooy E. E. Reams 

1895 H. V. Yackey E. E. Reams 

1896 H. V. Yackey E; E. Reams 

1897 J. B. Reams E. E. Reams 

1898 Frank Longnecker E. E. Reams 

1899 H. P>. Sooy E. E. Reams 

1900 H. B. Sooy E. E. Reams 

1901 H. B. Sooy A. L. YanArsdol 

1902 R. G. Penniston — A. L. VanArsdol 

1903 A. L. VanArsdol A. C. Bills 

1004 A. L. VanArsdol A. C. Bills 

1905 R. G. Penniston Warren Reams 

1906 R. G. Penniston T. C. Ford 

1907 George Rewerts T. C. Ford 

1908 George Rewerts T. C. Ford 

1909 George Rewerts T. C. Ford 

T910 T. H. Baer T. C. Ford 

1911 -_-_F. M. Blakeslee T. C. Ford 

1912 T. C. Ford A. L. VanArsdol 

1913 F. M. Blakeslee A. L. VanArsdol 

T9I4 ---' F. M. Blakeslee A. L. VanArsdol 

The present officers are: F. M. Blakeslee. worshipful master; Robert 
Davis, senior warden: A. E. Muller, junior warden; A. L. VanArsdol. secre- 
tary ; George Rewerts. treasurer ; R. G. Penniston, senior deacon : foe Eigler. 


junior deacon: T. C. Cook, senior steward: M. M. Campbell, junior steward; 
Allan Maxwell, tyler. The present membership is about fifty. 


Dispensation was granted for the organization of Silentia Lodge No. 
391, at Shelby, Iowa, and seal affixed at Iowa City, Iowa, February 10, 1876, 
A. L. 5876, and the thirty-third year of the grand lodge of the state of Iowa, 
Henry Rothert. grand master, and T. S. Parvin, grand secretary. The lodge 
was established at Shelby, Iowa. March 6, 1876; the charter members were, 
together with the offices held by them: S. B. Frum, worshipful master; 
A. C. Snyder, senior warden; Silas Davis, junior warden: J. E. Edwards, 
treasurer; J. H. Shivley, secretary; J. N. Frum, senior deacon; G. Tate, 
junior deacon; J. D. Frum. tyler; J. Robertson, senior steward. 

Beginning with the organization of the lodge, S. B. Frum was worship- 
ful master during the years of 1876 to 1S82, inclusive. J. E. Frum was wor- 
shipful master in 1883; II. D. Read in 1884; S. B. Frum again served from 
18S5 to 1890, inclusive. J. E. Frum was master in 1891, in 1892 Dr. G. A. 
Cassidy, and S. B. Frum was again master during the years 1893 to J ^95' 
inclusive. During the years 1896 to 1900, inclusive, H. D. Read was wor- 
shipful master. During the years 1901 to 1905. inclusive. George H. Rink 
served as master, and in 1906 H. D. Read served in that capacity. During 
the years 1907 to 1909. inclusive. Dr. J. M. Jones was master, and from 
19 10 to date this position has been filled by \V. E. Frum. 

In 1876 J. H. Shively was secretary, and his successors in order have 
been as follows: In 1877. J. D. Caughran: 1878. J. W. Harrod; 1S79, G. 
Martens, who likewise filled the position in 1880 and 1881 ; 1882 and 1883, 
S. P. Silliman; 18S4 and 1885. W. P. Weaver: 1886 and 1887, F. M. Kee- 
ney; 1888 to 1899, inclusive. George H. Rink; 1900 to 1902, D. K. Chest- 
nut; 1903, R. D. Prouty: rqo4 to 1909, inclusive. S. B. Frum, and dur- 
ing the years 191 o to date Dr. J. M. Jones has been secretary of the lodge. 


Lebanon Chapter Xo. 8. Order of the Eastern Star, at Harlan, was 
instituted March 30. 1887. under the direction of Mrs. H. A. Ercanbrock, 
of Anamosa. Iowa, at that time grand matron of the state of Iowa. 

The first officers of Lebanon Chapter were as follows: Mrs. H. J. 
Garland, worthy matron : D. B. Sheller, worthy patron ; Mrs. J. F. Piatt. 


assistant matron: Mrs. O. P. Wyland, conductress: Mrs. Wesley Scutt. asso- 
ciate conductress; Mrs. D. M. Wyland, Adah; Mrs. E. A. Cobb, Ruth; Mis^ 
Mate Wyland. Esther: Mr>. C. S. Gibbs, Adah; Mrs. Xeil Carmichael, 
Electa; Mrs. W. C. Campbell, warder; Mrs. E. M. Bowlin, treasurer; Mrs. 

D. 13. Sheller, secretary; P. B. Hunt, sentinel. 

The worthy matrons of the lodge from its establishment to date and the 
years during which they served, are as follows: Mrs. Gara M. Garland, 
18S7-8S; Mrs. Martha E. Piatt. 1889; Mrs. Sophia Scutt. 1890; Mrs. Clara 
Burke. 1891-92: Mrs. Sophia Scutt, 1893-94: Mrs. Mary E. Allen, 1S95-96; 
Mrs. Rachel J. Wyland. 1897-98; Mrs. Mary A. Booth. 1809-1900; Mrs. 
Nettie E. Cobb, 1901-1002; Mrs. Mary E. Hunt. 1903-1904: Mrs. Marie 
Hammer, 1905; Mrs. Linnie Griffith, 1906-1907: Mrs. Edith Booth. 1908; 
Mrs. Anna Kerr, 1909; Mrs. Eily H. Wunder, 1910; Miss Edith Walters. 
1911; Mrs. Nettie Bander, 1913: Mrs. Mattie Potter, 1913; Mrs. Elizabeth 

E. Parker, 1914. 

The worthy patrons of the lodge from the beginning, together with the 
years they served, are as follows: D. B. Sheller, 1887-1X88; W. C Camp- 
bell, 1889-1S90; N. Booth, 1891-1892; O. P. Wyland. 1893: J. P. Miller, 
1896-1897; L. M. Kerr. 1898: James Bailey, 1899-1901 : O. E. Graves, 1902- 
1904; C. D. Booth. 1905-1907; R. D. Prouty, 1908-19CX): James Byers, 
1910-1911; John Frederickson, 1912-1914. 

The present officers of the lodge are: Mrs. Elizabeth E. Parker, worthy 
matron : Mr. John Erederickson, worthy patron; Mrs. Lulu Walters, 
assistant matron; Miss Florence Lemke. secretary; Mrs. Ida Gregory, treas- 
urer; Mrs. Lillian Erederickson, conductress: Mrs. Mamie Lana, associate 
conductress; Mrs. Mattie Potter, chaplain; Mrs. Eily Wunder. marshal; Mrs. 
Mvrtle Hayes, organist: Mrs. Ruth Howlett, Adah: Mrs. Anna Hansen, 
Ruth; Mrs. Ellen Kerr Dryden, Esther; Mrs. Sarah Paup, Martha: Mrs. 
Olive Young, Electa; Mrs. Nettie Bander, warder; Mr. O. F. Graves, sentinel. 

The present total membership of the lodge is one hundred and fifteen. 


Harlan Lodge No. 2^7, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organ- 
ized December 26. 1873. Its charter is dated October 22, 1874. The lodge 
was instituted by B. Newman, district deputy grand master. The charter 
members were N. Booth, L. D. Frost, W. S. Stutsman, D. M. Wyland. 
Samuel Potter, Crayton Closson, A. S. Swain, Warren Closson. William M. 
Longcor, J. W. Martin and J. W. Salter. The following members joined as 


Ancient Odd Fellows on the night of organization : N. J. Sharp and F. M. 
Nance; on dismissal of certificates, Isaac Plum and Aaron Bergstresser; as 
initiates. A. F. Holcomb, T. \V. Chad mm, \V. J. Davis and James Boland. 
The first elective officers were : Samuel Potter, noble grand ; X. Booth, vice- 
grand ; D. M. Wyland, secretary; W. S. Stutsman, treasurer. The first 
trustees were A. F. Holcomb, F. D. Frost and Isaac Plum. 

The lodge purchased its present building December 3. 1S9S, for a con- 
sideration of five thousand six hundred dollars. The building was pur- 
chased of F. C. Fewis. receiver for the Harlan Bank. Practicallv all of the 
money with which to buy the building at this time was borrowed, and at the 
present date the building is paid for and free from incumbrance. 


On January 2, 1914. Kirkman Lodge Xo. 712. with a membership of 
twenty-seven, consolidated with the Marian lodge. The present officers of 
the Harlan lodge are: II. G. Baker, noble grand; M. I. Westergaard. vice- 
grand; F. F. \Y under, secretary; Henry Hansen, trea.-uirer. Trustees, 'D. J. 
Booth, S. IF Billings and 1. II. Paup. The present membership of the lodge 
is one hundred and fifty-one. 


Mt. Sinai Encampment Xo. 106, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
was organized April 24. 1S82, by District Deputy Grand Patriarch A. John- 
son, of Avoca, Iowa. The charter is dated October 17, 18S2. The charter 
members were D. O. Stuart, G. S. Gibbs, \Y. M. Oungst, E. J. Trobridge. 
S. K. Pratt, O. F. Graves, F. C. Swain, X. Booth. Ed. Bergstresser and D. 
M. Wyland. 

The first elective officers at the time of organization were: D. M. 
Wyland, chief patriarch; O. F. Graves, high priest; E. C. Swain, senior 
warden: D. O. Stuart, junior warden: W. M. Oungst, scribe; G. S. Gibbs, 
treasurer. The present officers are: G. W. Crawford, chief patriarch; Henry 
Hanson, high priest; 11. G. Baker, senior warden: William Faughman, junior 
warden; F.. F. Wunder, scribe; F. II. Rasmussen, treasurer. 


Zenobia Fodge Xo. 286, Daughters of Rebekah, was organized October 
16, 1S95, at Harlan. The charter members were as follows: F. D. Sunder- 


land, Mrs. M. E. Sunderland, \V. R. Honeywell, Mary Honeywell. C. D. 
Grauel, Mrs. E. E. Grauel, Dr. Marry Donnan, Grace Oonnan, 1). \V. Beatty, 
Einnia Beatty, G. \V. Tilton, Mrs. M. M. Tilton, W. Shepherd. Mrs. H. A. 
Dickinson, D. O. Stuart. Sallie R. Stuart, 1). 11. Miller. Mina Miller, William 
Broun. Alice Brown, P. B, Brown. Eva L. Brown, Alex Pritchard, Mary 
Pritchard, W. 11. Carl, Mrs. A. C. Carl. F. YV. Blizzard, YV. S. Stutsman. M. 
H. McKinzie, D. L. Ganser, Mrs. M. A. Ganser, Nancy McKinzie, O. F. 
Graves, Celina Graves, X. Booth, Mary A. Booth. 

The first officers of this lodge were as follows: Noble grand, Mrs. 
Mary A. Booth; vice-grand. Mrs. 11. A. Dickinson; secretary, Mr. YV. S. 
Stutsman; financial secretary, O. F. Craves: treasurer, Mrs. S. A. R. Stuart; 
warden, Mrs. Mary A. Pritchard; conductor, Mrs. Eva L. Brown; out- 
side guardian. G. YV. Tilton: inside guardian. Mrs. Mina Miller; right sup- 
porter to noble grand: P. B. Brown; left supporter to noble grand, Mrs. 
Alice Brown; right supporter to vice-grand, X. Booth; left supporter to vice- 
grand, Mrs. Celina Graves. 

The present officers of this lodge are as follows: Noble grand, Henri- 
etta Wirth; vice-grand, Ada Gould; secretary, Rose- M. Parker: treasurer, 
Althea Baker: warden. Grace Darling; conductor, Christina Heise; inside 
guardian. Ann- Carl; outside guardian. Olive Young; right supporter to 
noble grand, Mary E. B. Allen; left supporter to noble grand, Emma Cox; 
right supporter to vice-grand, Sadie Newby ; left supporter to vice-grand. 
Hattie B. McXaughton: chaplain, Ada Steele. 

The persons who have held the position of noble grand from the organ- 
ization of the lodge to date are as follows: Mrs. Mary A. Booth, Mrs. 
Harriet Dickinson, Mrs. Sallie Stuart. Mrs. Celina Graves, Mrs. Eva Brown. 
Mrs. Mary E. Allen. Mrs. Mary J. I'.yers, Mrs. E. E. Grauel. Miss Mamie 
A. Pritchard. Mrs. Mary F. Hunt. Mrs. Amy Carl. Mrs. Sylvia Blizzard. 
Mrs. Mary Pritchard, Mrs. Mina Miller, Mrs. Emma Cox. Mrs. Anna 
Bishop, Mrs. Mary Tilton. Mrs. Mollie Ferguson, Mrs. Emma Billings, Mrs. 
Mary Booth, Mrs. Olive Young, Mrs. Ada Steele. Mrs. Emma Cox, Mrs. 
Sadie Newby, Mrs. Emma Mason, Mrs. Bessie Banks. Mrs. Nettie Bander, 
Mrs. Mary E. B. Allen. Mrs. Jennie Baughn. Mrs. Marie Hammer. Mrs. 
Alice Wolff, Mrs. Phoebe Barton. Mrs. Ella Gibbs, Miss Anna Wilson, Mrs. 
Lucy Newby, Miss Henrietta Wirth. 




Carthage Lodge No. 65, Knights of Pythias, was instituted June 30. 
1885. with thirty-four charter members. Of the first officers, II. M. Xeu- 
meyer, the pioneer barber of Harlan and Shelby county, is the only one now 
residing in Shelby county. Among the men who early held membership in 
this organization were Judge X. W. Macy. Hon. H. \Y. Byers, Joseph Stiles. 
Dr. B. F. Eshelman. D. B. Sheller, J. \V. Harrod. H. L. Schofield, Gus Das- 
bach, Thomas Hathaway, Michael Headly, W. E. Cooper. Menzo Fretz. T. 
N. Franklin, J. F. Brock, ( f K. Patterson, J. 11. Ramsey, J. F. Huntzinger. 
J. F. Pexton. and others. The lodge is yet in existence, hut does not have 
a large membership. W. T. Smith is the present chancellor commander. 
There were at one time Knights of Pythias lodges at Defiance and Shelby. 
but both of these lodges have long since ceased to exist. 


Catalpa Camp Xo. 188", Woodmen of the World, was organized at 
Harlan March 19, 1898, with the following officers: I. T. Welch, consul 
commander: T. M. Hathaway, vice-lieutenant: H. W. Xieman. banker: 
F. F. Wunder, clerk; L. Larson, escort: F. L. Swain, watchman: H. E. 
Closson. sentry: William Anthony, S. W. Parker and George W. Roberts, 
managers: II. H. Stoner, physician. The present officers of the camp are: 
W. T. Smith, commander; Henry Hildebrand. vice-lieutenant; D. M. Deen, 
banker; Asa Dunnington, clerk; Drs. Moore and Vanatta, physicians; George 
Stevenson, watchman; Roy Custer, sentry; X. O. White, Kenneth Leach, 
Earl Wallace, managers. The present membership of the camp is one hun- 
dred and tour. 


Harlan Homestead Xo. 959. Brotherhood of American Yeomen, was 
established November 7, 1902, and was reorganized January 3, 1913. The 
first officers of the lodge were: L. S. Moore, foreman; Albert McDowell, 
master of ceremonies; T. H. Baer, correspondent: Carl Lage, master of 
accounts; Anthony Petersen, physician; Abner J. Roland, overseer; Samuel 
S. Hudson, watchman: George Hoisington, sentinel: Thomas Rogers, guard; 
Carrie C. Hudson, Lady Rowena; Ruth F. Hoisington, Lady Rebecca. 

In 1903 A. L. McDowell was foreman, and in 1913, W. T. Smith. 
The present officers of the lodge are: W. T. Smith, foreman; Harry Blair, 


master of ceremonies; Fred A. Smith, correspondent; Anna Wilson, master 
of accounts: Xora B. Shipp, chaplain; Charles Hansen, overseer; George 
Wilson, watchman; Roy Custer, sentinel; Frank UeBord, guard; Ruth V. 
Book. Lady Rowena ; Lola Custer, Lady Rehecca. 


Palm Leaf Camp Xo. 1934. Royal Neighbors of America, was organized 
at Harlan, Iowa. January 6, 1900. The first officers of the lodge were: 
Oracle, Mrs. Julia Mockler; vice-oracle, Ina McDonald; recorder, Mrs. Ella 
Gibbs; receiver. Mrs. Stena Hansen. 

The position of oracle of the above named camp has been held by the 
following named persons, to-wit: 1901, Mrs. Julia Mockler; 1902, Mrs. 
Julia Mockler; 1903. Mrs. Ruth Booth; 1904. Mrs. Mamie Lana; 1905, Mrs. 
Nettie Bander; 1906. Mrs. Nettie Kent; 1907, Mrs. Olive Young; 1908, Mrs. 
Vina Birkholm; 1909, Mrs. Olive Young; 1910, Mrs. Ethel Mayne: 191 1, 
Mrs. Ethel Mayne: 1912. Mrs. Dollie Stewart: 1913, Mrs. Isie Babcock 
The present officers of the lodge are: Oracle, Mrs. Isie Babcock; vice-oracle, 
Mrs. Winnie McCoy; recorder, Mrs. Ella Gibbs: receiver, Mrs. Olive Young. 
The organization at present has a membership of fifty-seven. 


Chapter A P of the P. E. O. Sisterhood was organized at Harlan, Iowa, 
June 1, 1894, by members of Chapter A F of Atlantic. The charter mem- 
bers were Mrs. Josephine Sandham, Mrs. Celina Graves, Mrs. Hattie Eshel- 
man, Mrs. Luella Cleveland, Mrs. Rachel Wyland. Mrs. Clara Shoudy and 
Mrs. Sophia Scutt. 

The following ladies have served as president : Mrs. Josephine Sand- 
ham, Mrs. Sophia Scutt, Mrs. Lillian Griffith, Mrs. Nettie Cobb. Mrs. Althea 
Noble, Mrs. Rachel Wyland, Mrs. Edith Booth, Mrs. Celina Graves, Mrs. 
Mary Pierce, Mrs. Clyde White, Mrs. Tina Swift. The present officers are: 
President, Mrs. Minnie Overlield; vice-president, Mrs. Nettie Cobb; record- 
ing secretary, Mrs. Eilv Wundcr; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Lillian Pex- 
ton : treasurer, Miss Anne Hoyt; chaplain, Mrs. Mary Pierce: guard. Mrs. 
Rachel Wyland: journalist, Mrs. Alice Booth: organist. Miss Elizabeth 
Booth. The membership now numbers thirty-four active members. 

The first member initiated by Chapter A P after its organization was 
Mrs. Lillian Griffith, who has always been an active and enthusiastic member, 
serving for two vears as president of the chapter. In 1910 she was elected 
^ (32) 


state organizer, in which office she served for three consecutive years. She 
was then chosen first vice-president and, after serving in that capacity for 
one year, was in 1914 elected president, the highest honor which the state 
chapter can confer. 

The P. E. O. Sisterhood was organized in January, 1S69, by seven col- 
lege girls of Iowa Wesleyan University, and is today the largest secret organ- 
ization of women in the world independent of a higher organization of men. 
The sisterhood today has a membership of twenty-two thousand, with chap- 
ters in twenty-seven states, in the District of Columbia and in British Colum- 
bia. In Iowa alone there are one hundred and thirty-eight chapters, with a 
membership of five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine. Its work is edu- 
cational, philanthropic and charitable, and the P. E. O. Educational Fund 
is a memorial to stand for the sisterhood. The educational fund was estab- 
lished to assist worthy young women desiring a higher education. The fund 
was started in 1906 at the supreme convention, and is now assisting sixty- 
five young women through college. 

Chapter A P has always taken an active part in all that pertains to the 
advancement of the sisterhood and in all that pertains to the interest of the 
home town, in both education and charity. The greatest efforts have been 
exerted toward the establishment of a public library, the result being the col- 
lection of about fifteen hundred valuable books. 


On June 12. 1S79, there was organized at Harlan, Harlan Lodge Xo. 
193, Ancient Order of United Workmen, with twenty-eight charter members. 


On July 26. 1 88 1, there was organized at Harlan an Iowa Legion of 
Honor, consisting of twenty-six charter members. Neither of these lodges 
is now in existence. 

G. A. R. POSTS. 

At the close of the Civil War many young men financially handicapped 
by a military service of several years at slight wages, found themselves 
obliged to build up their fortunes. Shelby county, at that time, affording 
manv thousand acres of prairie unbroken, offered opportunities which hun- 
dreds of the veterans embraced. Indeed, it can be truthfully said that the 


early county government of Shell >v count}' was largely managed and directed 
by veterans of the great conflict, during the late sixties, the seventies ami even 

Grand Army posts were established at Harlan. Irwin, Defiance. Panama 
and Shelby, of which there remain but two, Harlan Post No. 197, at Harlan, 
and the post at Shelly. The passage of fifty years since the close of the war 
has depleted the ranks of most of the posts so that they were obliged to dis- 
continue their separate existence, the few members left by death and vet 
residing in the county taking up their membership either at Shelby or at Har- 
lan. Harlan Post Xo. 197 was chartered July 10, 1883. The charter mem- 
bers were as follows: George D. Ross, Charles L. Wilder, Thomas Ledwich, 
G. H. Shoemaker, T. F. Simons. T. J. Robinson, J. H. Louis. M. K. Camp- 
bell, George Bennett. Michael Headley. R. L. Tompkins. H. D. Lacv, Samuel 
Potter, Thomas A. Long. B. I. Kinsey, F. Dunham. J. H. Weeks. C. L. Drake, 
D. F. Paul, George Chase. 

During the history of the Harlan post there have been one hundred and 
forty-six different names on its roll. The commanders of the post, to date, 
are J. H. Louis, J. \V. DeSilva. T. A. Long. W. H. Errett, J. O. Wicker- 
sham, G. M. Hubbell, E. F. Fish, J. H. Reynolds, H. W. Winder. George D. 
Ross. All of the foregoing commanders, save the first two, are vet living. 

The present roster of officers is: Past commander. H. W. Winder; 
senior vice-commander, D. E. Morris; junior vice-commander, J. P. Gilmore; 
adjutant, S. F. Kohl; quarter-master, W. P. Kellogg (deceased), J. H. Rey- 
nolds (acting): surgeon. E. A. Cobb: chaplain, William Laughman; officer 
of the day, F. S. Kays; post inspector, George D. Ross; officer of the guard, 
H. Custer; sergeant-major, J. H. Reynolds: quarter-master sergeant. T. A. 

Harlan Relief Corps Xo. 178 was chartered March n, 1889. The 
charter members were Mary M. Wickersham. Isabella Chance, Annie E. 
Gammon. Harrietta A. Truman, Linnie Griffith. Abigail L. Potter, Amelia 
Mead. Mary Corbin, Esther Carmichael, Xevada Errett, Sarah McDowell, 
Caroline Koolbeck, Emily Ross, Mollie Wyland. 


This organization was chartered May 20, 1906, and has a membership 
to date of eighty-six. It is the largest and most thriving branch of the order 
in the state of Iowa, and its work is greatly appreciated by the Catholics of 
Earling and vicinity. The officers of the order to date are : Rev. B. Kuep- 


penbender, spiritual director; August Bicker, commander; M. A. W'ihverd- 
ing, vice-commander: Hugo Hendricks, past commander: F. M. Gross, chap- 
lain; George J. Kohles, recording secretary; William Blum, financial secre- 
tary; Frank Halin, escort: Joseph Halin. guard; August Sonderman, treas- 
urer; Steve Stephany, sentry; J. J. Langenfeld, F. XV. W'ihverding, John 
Koesters, trustees; Dr. P. M. Sterck, Dr. F. F. Peters, medical examiners; 
H. V. Bicker, Joseph Shimerowski, Albert Langenfeld, musicians. 

August Bicker, a member of Branch Xo. 944, Catholic Knights of 
America, of Earling, Iowa, is the state president of Iowa, and another mem- 
ber, George J. Kohles, of Earling, is the supreme deputy for the state of 

The ladies' branch, Xo. 1050, of the Catholic Knights of America, at 
Earling, was chartered on October n. 1914, with a membership of twenty. 
The following persons in this order held the offices below named : Rev. B. 
Kueppenbender, spiritual director: Carrie M. Kohles, commander; Katie 
Anna Stephany, vice-commander ; Francis Kobold, past commander ; Doro- 
thea Langenfeld, chaplain: Anna F. Halm, recording secretary ; Rose A. Lan- 
genfeld, financial secretary; Eva Marie Kobold, escort; Elizabeth Muench- 
rath, guard; Helen Langenfeld, treasurer; Mary Rose Langenfeld. sentry; 
Mary Fbert, Mayme Blum, Mary Anna Kuhl, trustees. 


The Knights of Columbus have a council at Earling, known as Earling 
Council Xo. 1 741. This council was instituted in June, 1914, with sixty- 
two charter members. The officers were as follows : X. V. Kuhl, grand 
knight ; J. M. Albers, deputy grand knight ; Theodore Scheming, chancellor ; 
J. X. Loeltz, recorder; Ed Mesenbrink, financial secretary; J. C. Heese. 
treasurer ; M. M. Leuschen, warden : A. M. Toeller, advocate ; Rev. B. Kuep- 
penbender, chaplain ; H. J. Albers, inside guard ; P. C. Heese, outside guard ; 
H. A. Schleier, lecturer; C. J. Weiland, Jacob W'ihverding, J. H. Schmitz, 

The membership of the council at this time is 185 and the officers at 
this time are as follows : X. V. Kuhl. grand knight ; F. M. Gross, deputy 
grand knight ; Theo Scheming, chancellor ; M. M. Finken, recorder ; H. A. 
Schleier, financial secretary; X. J. Albers, treasurer; M. M. Leuschen, war- 
den; J. M. Albers, advocate; Rev. B. Kueppenbender, chaplain; H. J. Al- 
bers, inside guard: P. C. Heese, outside guard; H. A. Schleier, lecturer; 
C. T. Weiland, Tacob Wilwerding, I. H. Schmitz, trustees. 



Apparently the first newspaper issued in Shelby county was the Neiv 
Idea, started by Samuel Dewell. afterwards county superintendent of schools. 
This paper began its existence at the now vanished village of Somida (us- 
ually called Simoda). The first issue of the Nezv Idea came from the press 
soon after the village was platted, in 1858, and was known later as the 
Gazette. This newspaper soon ceased to exist. It was followed by another 
pioneer paper, known as the Shelby County Record, the first issue of which 
was dated March 5, 1859. It was Democratic in politics, edited by Major P. 
Bull and advocated the removal of the county seat from Shelbyville. in what 
is now Grove township, to Somida. It waged a bitter personal warfare 
against County Judge Tarkington and the people of Harlan. 

The first newspaper in Harlan was the Shelby County Courier, which 
began its existence January 30, 1850. Its editor and proprietor was J. B. 
Bcsack. Its career, like that of the Somida papers, was brief. 

The next newspaper to be founded was The Shelby County Record, es- 
tablished at Harlan by R. II. Eaton in July, 1870. It was owned successively 
by a number of different editors and publishers, including Messrs. H. L. 
Wood (a hard-hitting, somewhat vitriolic editor), and R. W. Robins. In 
1876 George D. Ross, then the editor of the Harlan Herald, bought the 
Shelby County Record, and merged it with the Herald, which he conducted 
until Jul_\- 16, 1877, when he sold the office and real estate to R. \Y. Robins. 
B. I. Kinsey. yet a resident of Harlan, was at one time local editor of The 
Shelby County Record. Mr. Kinsey tells me that the first office of the Record 
was built of ordinary '"barn boards." About February 12. 1874, R. \Y. 
Robins sold the Shelby County Record to Holcomb & Bennett. 

On Deceml>er 18. 1874. another Harlan paper, known as the Herald, 
was established by Campbell & Mu^grave. Thi> paper was Republican in 
politics. It was edited by a number of men. including F. H. Mcintosh and 
George D. Ross ( a present resident of Harlan ). who took charge of the paper 
in December. 1875. 

On July 17, 1871;. Robert \V. Robins became proprietor of the paper, 


with John L. Long interested in the publication of it. On January 22, 1SS0, 
a half interest in the Herald was sold to C. R. Pratt, of Connecticut, where- 
upon the firm publishing the paper became known as the Herald Printing 
Company. In November, 1SS0, C. R. Pratt sold to C. R. Parmelee. January 

5, iS8_\ Parmelee sold a half interest in the Herald to S. K. Pratt, the firm 
name then becoming Pratt Brothers, who conducted the paper until July 12, 
1883, when they sold to VV. VV. Girton, at one time county superintendent of 
schools, who soon after took as a partner VV. M. Oungst, who has attained 
much celebrity as a writer. Messrs. Girton & Oungst had been connected 
with the Harlan Hub, a Republican paper established by \V. M. Oungst, 
December 9, 1880. which especially advocated the passage of the prohibitory 
constitutional amendment. The Harlan Hub, in July, 1S83. was merged into 
the Herald, and the Herald, in turn, in July, 1886. became the Shelby Comity 
Republican, on which date VV. VV. Girton sold it to C. VV. Rhinesmith, a 
versatile and able newspaper man, now proprietor of the Charles City In- 

The Republican was then published by Oungst 6c Rhinesmith until 1889, 
when Oungst sold his interest to P. B. Brown, whereupon the paper was 
edited and published by Rhinesmith & Brown until 1903, when Rhinesmith 
sold his interest to Mr. Brown. 

When Mr. Brown purchased the interest of Mr. Oungst. in 1S89. the 
Republican had a circulation of but six hundred and fifty, which, largely 
through the efforts of Mr. Brown, has been increased to many times that 
number of subscribers, an increase made possible by man)- trips over Shelby 
countv and the inducing of heads of families to feel that they should have a 
county paper in the home. After purchasing the interest of Mr. Rhinesmith, 
in 1903, Mr. Brown had as partners, for short periods of time, VV. D. Meek, 
now a resident of Des Moines and manager of the Iowa Success Linotype 
Company, and II. M. Guy, who is now owner of a paper in Clarion. Iowa. Mr. 
Brown put in a junior linotype as part of his equipment in 1908, and a stand- 
ard linotype in 1910. He equipped the plant with a new improved press in 
1906. The fine new building in which the Republican is now housed is one of 
the best in Iowa, in cities of the size of Harlan. The dimensions of the 
building are twenty-two by one hundred feet. It has outer walls of vitrified 
brick and the interior has a hardwood finish. The building is well heated. 
well lighted and properly ventilated. The linotype and presses are run by 
means of electric power. Associated with Mr. Brown in the management of 
the Republican is his son, D. K. Brown, a graduate of the Iowa State Col- 


lege at Ames. Harry E. Blair ami A. P. Albright are employed in the 
mechanical department of the business. 

The Harlan Tribune, the only Democratic paper in the county, was 
established June 11, 1870. by A. D. Tinsley and I". S. Drown. On February 
18, 18&0, Tinsley purchased Brown's interest and operated the paper until 
May 10, 1882, when he sold it to E. T. Best. December 19, 1883, the paper 
was sold by Best to G. \V. Cullison and A. D. Walker, who continued as 
partners until February 27. 1884, when Cullison sold his interest to 'Walker, 
who conducted the paper alone until January 1, 1S85, when it was purchased 
the Republican is his son. D. K. Brown, a graduate of the Iowa State Col- 
by \Y. C. Campbell, who has continued in charge until the present time. Its 
editor, W. C. Campbell, has had extensive experience in a great many news- 
paper offices, including these of the Nebraska City Journal, the Plattsmouth 
Press, the Omaha Bee. the Omaha World-Herald, the Council Bluffs Non- 
pareil, the Council Bluffs Globe, the .Atlantic Daily Telegraph and the Des 
Moines Register. 

For six months, about 1877, ^ r - Campbell, together with Mr. Harris, 
under the firm name of Campbell & Harris, published The Cuthriau. at 
Guthrie Center. Iowa, and about a year later helped found the first newspaper 
in Audubon, the Times. Audubon, at that time, was a real pioneer town, 
containing about three hundred men and two women. Mr. Campbell came 
to Harlan in March. 1879, and took the position on the Harlan Herald that 
had been previously filled by "Hib" Ashton, now a court reporter residing at 
Guthrie Center. George D. Ross was then editor of the Herald. In June, 
1879, Mr. Campbell assisted in founding the Harlan Tribune, of which he 
became foreman, and afterwards manager, until January 1, 1885, when he 
bought the property from J. D. Walker and G. W. Cullison. He put in a 
linotype in May, 1910, and in 191 1 put in a new job and cylinder press and a 
folder. Mis fine new building, one of the best found in Iowa cities of the 
size of Harlan, was erected in 191 3. It has a front of thirty by thirty-two 
feet, and a workroom seventy feet long. The machinery is run by electric 
power. The present office force consists of W. C. Campbell, editor, and his 
son, Hal \V. Campbell, publisher. Walter McCoy is. foreman of the plant. 
Miss Blanche Kinsey, a daughter of B. I. Kinsey, is employed as a reporter. 

The Industrial .American was established July 16. 18S7, by A. T. Cox 
and his brother. M. B. Cox. In April. 1888, H. C. Hanson bought the in- 
terest of M. B. Cox. and the firm name became Cox & Hanson. Subsequently 
the paper was owned and published by II. V. Battey, now an attorney of 
Council Bluffs. Iowa, and was purchased by Hansen & Stauning, the former 


being Hon. Albert Hansen, who subsequently represented Shelby county in 
the General Assembly of Iowa, and A. K. Stauning, who later went to Min- 
nesota. Afterwards the paper was owned and edited by Ransom B. Hall and 
by Hall & McCoy ( Walter McCoy ). who sold it to a man. who at once sold it 
in turn to the proprietors of the Shelby County Republican and of the Tri- 
bune, who discontinued its publication in 1910, the last issue of this paper 
being Friday, September 2, 1910. The business men thought that two news- 
papers were enough for Harlan, and encouraged this consolidation. 

The Shelby News was established March 22. 1S77: Its founder was 
Ed. L. Heath, who owned and conducted it until April S'. 1SS0. when it be- 
came the property of John Pomeroy, who is yet a resident of Shelby town- 
ship and who edited and published it successfully for many years. Later 
the paper was published by F.vert Stewart. At present the paper is owned 
and published by C. O. Wayne, who makes it interesting to the community 
which it serves. 

The Defiance Argus was established June 10, 1SS2, at Defiance. Iowa, 
when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad was being constructed 
through the town. Its founder was F. Bangs. Subsequently the newspaper 
of Defiance came to be known as the Enterprise, and was edited and pub- 
lished by S. E. Zollinger. He sold to the Manilla Times. Defiance had no 
paper for some months, but later O. E. Kelso established a new Enterprise, 
which he is now editing and publishing with success. 

The Vaegteren, a religious journal of wide circulation in the United 
States, Canada, and even in Denmark, the organ of the Danish Baptist 
church in America, is published at Harlan. This journal dates its his- 
tory from January, 1S77. It was started by private persons to meet a keen- 
felt want in the scattered members and little churches for a religious paper. 
The name of the paper was first Oliebladct. Rev. H. A. Reichenbach and Prof. 
N. O. Jensen were the first publishers and editors. In 18S0 it was turned over 
to a tiewly organized Book and Tract Society, with headquarters in Chicago. 
The name was later changed to this present name, Vaegteren (being translated, 
Tlie Watchman ). In course of a few years it was turned ovr to S. C. Xielson, 
who, in the year 1897. moved the printing outfit and the paper to Harlan, 
while the book concern remained in Chicago. 

Whemthe Danish Baptist conference of America came into existence the 
paper and the old machinery was turned over to this organization, which has 
its headquarters here in Harlan. This change of hands took place in Septem- 
ber, 1910. The board of trustees of the conference then leased the paper 


and the good will oi subscribers to J. C. Lunn, who now lias the honor of 
being the editor and publisher. He has been connected with it in the capacity 
of contributor, field editor, secretary, one form or the other, for seventeen 
years or ever since it was moved to Harlan, where it in all probability will 
have its permanent home. It now has a fine International type-setting ma- 
chine and besides publishing the paper, the printing house with its present 
capacity is able to take care of a good deal of job printing. 

In the late seventies the general advertising in the newspapers informed 
the general reader of the desirability of having in the house rick's Floral 
Guide, Harper's Weekly and Harper's Bazaar. Before the railroad came in 
the Harlan newspapers contained a great deal of Avoca advertising, with 
occasional advertising from other towns, including Council Bluffs, Dunlap, 
Woodbine, etc. 

The literary style of die early newspapers was at times very direct, not 
to say pungent. For instance, one of the papers speaks of its contemporary 
in the following language : "Last week's Hub gave a practical demonstra- 
tion of the innate cussedness of the hypocritical and pernurious soul that is 
incompetent to do justice because of personal spleen. The Harlan Dramatic 
Association need have no fears of such insults. The people know the motive 
ami the calibre of the editors of the above sheet." Just what the Hub editor 
had said about the '"actors and actresses" is not known. 

Note also this gem from the Shelby County Record of January 23, 1873 : 
"We are about to publish a lexicon to accompany each issue of the Record, 
in order that any obscure passage may be elucidated by those in doubt as to 
its meaning." 

See also this, from the Shelby County Record of November 19. 1874: 
"The freedom of the press is being torn from us in Shelby county. We are 
being extinguished, as it were. We can't, in the geniality and frankness of 
our nature, indite a simple little joke of four lines, dedicated to our own 
domestic joys and sorrows, witliout some big, burly ruffian sees a ten thousand 
dollar slander on his character and prances around on one foot, and plunges 
out wildly with his sledgehammer fists, and bugs his eves out, and swears 
he will be the cause of an editorial funeral, or some other equally foolish 
and impossible feat. We can't even speak of chickens and clothes lines being 
exposed to the cold weather, without some <me pants for the blood of an 
editor. If we happen to write an ordinary business local — and thev are as 
scarce as hen's teeth in this suburbs of a graveyard — the man we have com- 
plimented will come around in a hurried, constrained sort of a manner, and 
throw out hints on the negative side of the question of our longevity." 


The editor of the Shelby County Record, on March 6, 1874. in the 
following gentle words suggested an accounting of some quasi-public funds: 
''Some time since a subscription was raised to purchase a thirty dollar bell for 
the school house. Time elapsed and a twelve dollar hell arrived in dignified 
silence, which it has maintained so tar. One of the subscribers naturally 
enough desires to know what disposition was made of the balance of the lx?ll 
funds." Let it he known that a satisfactory accounting was soon rendered. 

We think sometimes that our local partisan politics as reflected in the 
newspapers is a little rough on the individual hut it strikes the author that 
we are not accustomed to anything quite like the following copied from the 
Shelby County Record, of October 1, 1874: "Allegorically speaking. Shelby 

countv has laid down like a sick horse or cow, and 

the countv auditor, and the hoard of supers isors, are hovering over her, await- 
ing dissolution that they may satiate their own uncanny appetites. And their 
presence throws a gloom over the spirits of the patient, and hastens the end. 
Shall they be allowed to prey on the vitals of the count}' until they have 
stripped it of everything, and left it a withering carcass' Or will the people 
unite with us in driving them out. and by giving the proper care and restora- 
tives try to effect a cure? These fixe carrion-eating birds have flown to and 
fro over this countv quite long enough and unless they are very soon disposed 
of will have given it such a name that all good people will >hun it as they 
would a den of rattlesnakes. If we are not greatly mistaken, the few kernels 
of corn which we have lately thrown out as a bait, and which had strings 
fastened to them held by us. have been swallowed, and in trying to scratch 
them out, they will scratch their own heads off.'' 

This is the way the wedding of two prominent young people was written 
up by the editor offering congratulations to the hride and groom, who. by 
the way, and now living and prominent in Shelhv countv: "This was the 
announcement in conjunction with the wedding cards which the mails 
brought to us. yesterday. Thus it i> with them all. We never have a friend, 
whom we single out for a good natured old bachelor, hut that, at some unex- 
pected moment, he jumps to the full realization of all that makes life seem 
bright. Having been for a long time numbered among the friends of the 
groom, we know that he is one of the happy dispositions that were never 
destined to be warped and shriveled by a lonely and desolate contact with the 
cares of life, and that the charming young hride may rest securelv and bliss- 
fully in the arms of her new found happiness. has 

passed the majority of his days among the beautiful prairies of western Iowa 


and Shelby county, ami besides being well and favorably known by most of 
cur citizens, has. by his superior business qualifications, succeeded in amass- 
ing such a snug little property about him, that Miss that was, 

need never feel the cold breath of poverty. In the person of his accomplished 

bride, Mr. has secured one whose man}" lovely attributes 

will be to him a treasure more precious than the wealth of Ophir. and one 
which be will shield from every care. The happy couple have the unadulter- 
ated wish of the Record that their future may never be one whit less bright 
than it now is, and that their hymeneal compact may be strengthened by many 
little bonds." 

One of the editors who very much disliked the count}' auditor who in 
addition to other duties acted as the clerk of the board of supervisors, ran 

this simple local in his paper. " , county auditor, will be 

in session next Monday. The board of supervisors will be there as usual." 

Occasionally the editor seemed to take delight in giving the ordinary 
reader a local literary touch like this: "It has already become so warm and 
spring-like in Tennessee that every poetaster has now commenced to tickle 
his spavined Pegasus into a Napoleonic canter." 

Irwin had for some time a paper conducted by Theo. Palmer called the 

Earling for a number of years had a paper called the Monitor and later 
another paper called the Observer. L. L. Dickerson for some time edited the 
Monitor, and R. A. Kirkpatrick the Observer. 

Harry Blair, now of Harlan, for some time conducted a paper at Panama 
known as the Herald. He also ran a newspaper at Kirkman. Iowa, for some 
time known as the Herald. Portsmouth also had two papers, one known as 
the Leader, and the other as the Gazette. Most of these latter fields, how- 
ever, were too small to justify the publication of a successful paper, and the 
papers were short lived. 

One of the Harlan papers of the year 1877 gives a fair idea of what was 
happening in the county by the large number of notices of the condemnation 
proceedings to secure land for school houses and for public roads. There 
were a good man}' estray notices, for stock was at this time running much 
more at large than it was at a later date. There were a good many sheriff's 
sales, indicating that a number of men had been so unfortunate as to lose 
their holdings. 

The press of Shelby count}' has done much to promote its progress. 
In its infancy, it brought many a settler hither to break the prairie sod. It 


has stood for a new court house, for better public schools, better roads, for 
the building of railroads, for the establishment of electric lights, waterworks 
and sewerage in our towns, for lecture courses, public libraries, the chautauqua, 
the church and the Sunday school. And much of this able and courageous 
work has been done without hope of reward save the personal satisfaction of 
duty well performed. 


In the early history of Shelby county Aery much of the practice in the 
courts was looked after by Council Bluffs attorneys, who were frequently 
here representing clients. Among the out of town attorneys who, in the 
seventies and to some extent prior to that time, represented clients in the 
circuit ami district courts at Harlan, were: Colonel Sapp. F. B. Hart. George 
F. Wright, C. R. Scott, Major Joseph Lyman, Capt. D. \V. Price, George 
Carson, \V. S. Mayne and Flickinger Brothers, of Council Bluffs; Smith 
McPherson, of Red Oak. now a federal district judge; R. P. Foss, J. S. Hall, 
John Ledwich and J. G. Tipton, of Avoca; Frank Griffin, of Dunlap; Major 
A. R. Anderson, of Sidney, afterwards congressman for the eighth Iowa 
district; John \Y. Scott, Mr. Makepeace. Mr. Griggs and Mr. Temple, all of 

A number of able men came to Harlan in the capacity of district attorney 
in the early days. It will be recalled that previous to the enactment of the 
law providing for a county attorney, the district attorney system prevailed, 
under which one prosecuting attorney attended court and examined witnesses 
before the grand jury and tried criminal cases in a great many counties dur- 
ing the year. Among the men who came to Harlan as such district attorneys 
were A. R. Anderson of Sidney, afterwards a representative in Congress: 
A. B. Thornell, of Sidney, one of the present district judges and candidate 
for re-election; and J. P. Conner, of Denison, subsequently district judge 
and a little later representative in Congress from the tenth district of Iowa. 

Mr. Conner commenced coming to Plarlan as district attorney on Janu- 
ary i, 1SS1, and he served in that office for four years. Later he came to 
Harlan as circuit judge for two years beginning in 1SS5. In a letter to the 
author, Mr. Conner says: "I recall some of the lawyers who -were at the 
bar at that time, Piatt Wicks, J. W. DeSilva, Smith X- Cullison, D. O. Stuart, 
X. W. Macy. Warren Gammon. Most of these lawyers have either removed 
from Harlan or are now deceased. Webb Byers was just entering the prac- 
tice at the time I left. The Harlan bar at that time was a strong one and 
compared favorably with any bar in the state."' 


A. B. Thornell was elected district attorney for the thirteenth judicial 
district of Iowa in 1884. and entered upon his duties January 1, 1885, becoming 
district judge January 1, 18S7, which office he has held continuously to date. 
Judge Thornell informs me that the attorneys practicing at the Harlan bar 
when he was elected district attorney were: Macy & Gammon. Smith & 
Cullisnn. J. E. Weaver, Beard & Myerly, Wicks & Burke, R. P. Foss, D. O. 
Stuart. John Wallace, and J. W. DeSilva. 

While serving as district attorney, Judge Thornell drew the indictment in 
the murder trial in State of Iowa vs. Mendenhall and in the rather famous 
libel case brought against Oungst & Girton by reason of their local political 
verse. At the time he was district attorney there were both district and 
circuit courts: the circuit court had no criminal jurisdiction, but had exclusive 
jurisdiction of probate matters, and certain law and equity jurisdiction con- 
current with the district court. The circuit court was abolished in April, 
1886, and at that time the present fifteenth judicial district, including Shelby 
county, was organized. The office of the district attorney was abolished by 
constitutional amendment in l886.- 

As Harlan, however, began to develop and to give promise of being a 
good town, a great main - lawyers established themselves in Harlan, shortly 
before its incorporation, many more than the amount "of business in sight 
could support. At one time there were no fewer than eighteen practitioners, 
almost double the present membership of the Harlan bar. In 1878, there 
were fifteen resident attorneys in Harlan. 

Probably the first attorney to publish his card in a newspaper was A. C 
Ford, who advertised in the New Idea that he was an attorney and counselor 
at Somida (Simoda) in 1S58. 

J. W. DeSilva, a Xew Yorker, appears to have been the next pioneer resi- 
dent lawyer of Shelby county. He came to Harlan in 1869. shortly before 
the arrival of Piatt Wicks, and first had an office in what has since been 
called "Old Harlan," north of the present public square. Piatt Wicks came 
in 1869 from Indiana. Joseph Stiles arrived in the fall of 1875 and opened 
an office in Harlan. In 1874 Robert P. Foss and Capt. John H. Louis (later 
representing the county in the General Assembly) were in practice together 
in Harlan under the firm name of Foss & Louis. In 1874 Will S. Burke was 
in practice with Piatt Wicks, under the firm name of Wicks & Burke. J. F. 
Weaver became a member of the Harlan bar in 1875. A little later Lafe 
Thompson and F. Y. Greenleaf, among "Soap Creek's (Davis county, Iowa) 
prolific sons." entered the practice at Harlan, blazing the way for Thomas 
H. Smith (later state senator), whose shingle has been waving in the breezes 


of Shelby county since 1878. Mr. Smith termed a partnership with P. C. 
Truman, then in Harlan. A. K. Riley came in April, 1S79. S. A. Burke in 
1878, J. G. Myerly in January, 18S0. D. O. Stuart in August, 18S0. (;. W. 
Cullison in January. 18S1. Warren Gammon, a native of Maine, came to 
Harlan in 1870, and in November, [881, formed a partnership with X. \Y. 
Macy, who had come to Harlan in November, 1879. the firm name being 
Macv & Gammon. Cyrus Heard came in October. 1878. lie became a 
member of the firm of Beard & Myerly. 

One of the most distinguished of the early attorneys was the Hon. Piatt 
Wicks, a native of Indiana. He received a collegiate education from a 
Baptist college in his native state and had had some experience in the practice 
of law as a district prosecuting attorney in Indiana before coming to Harlan, 
which was in 1869. He represented Shelby county in the Legislature in the 
sessions of 1879 and 1881 and was a very prominent candidate for speaker 
of the house, a position which he lost by but a few votes. lie. for many 
years, was a trustee of the Iowa State College at Ames. He was an able man 
and was prominent in all local affairs during his residence in Harlan and 
being a man of force and some brusqueness of manner, with many warm 
friends, he had also a number of rather bitter enemies. In 1890 he went 
to Pueblo, Colorado, which count} - he represented in the Legislature, where 
again he was a leader. He was elected as a free-silver Republican. He 
built and lived in the house in Harlan now occupied by Dr. E. A. Moore. 

Hon. Thomas H. Smith, familiarly known as "Tobe," is the oldest con- 
tinuous practitioner in Shelby county, having come to Harlan in the spring 
of 1878, at which time he formed a partnership with P. C. Truman. Mr. 
Smith served as one term as state senator for the Cas--Shelby district. He, 
at one time, served as county attorney of Shelby count}-. 

In November, 1S79, there located in Harlan, an attorney who was to 
make his mark in western Iowa, Hon. X. W. Macy, now a resident of Pasa- 
dena, California. He came to Harlan from Adel, Iowa, where he had been 
practicing immediately following some years experience as a school teacher 
in eastern Iowa. Possessed of fine native ability and equipped with a college 
education both in liberal arts and law. received in the State Lniversitv of 
Iowa at Iowa City, he at once took high rank at the Harlan bar. He first 
formed in 1879 a partnership with D. W. Smith. He later formed a partner- 
ship with Warren Gammon. In 18S8. he contested with Cyrus Beard for the 
delegation from Shelby county to the judicial convention, having at that time 
become a candidate for district judge of the fifteenth judicial district of Iowa. 
Being successful in carrying the delegation of Shelbv county, his name was 


presented to the judicial convention held at Red Oak in August, 188S, where 
on the fifteenth ballot he was nominated. He then served continuously for 
about twenty years, with an exceptionally fine record, having few reversals 
of his decisions by the state supreme court. 

Hon. Cyrus Heard, above referred to. coming to Harlan in October, 
1878, was destined to attain high rank in his profession. For some years 
he was in practice at Harlan with J. G. Myerly, now a citizen of Des Moines, 
for some years its postmaster, and lately a candidate for the Republican 
nomination for Congress. Moving to Wyoming, Mr. Beard was elected to 
a position as ju.-.tice of the supreme court of that state, to which position he 
has been recently re-elected. 

Another attorney who came from Adel, Iowa, at the same time that 
Judge Macv came, was D. YV. Smith. Shortly after entering practice at 
Harlan, he became deputy treasurer of Iowa and did not again return to 

In August. 1880, D. O. Stuart came to Harlan from Des Moines. He 
was graduated from Simpson College in 1872 and has been continuously 
practicing in Harlan since coming here in 1880. and is second in point of 
longest continuous practice in Harlan. Mr. Stuart lias tried many cases of 

In 1881, George \V. Cullison began the practice of law in Harlan. He 
had previously been here as instructor in the Shelby county teachers' institute. 
but had been admitted to the bar in southern Iowa in 1876. He had been 
graduated from the State Normal School of Missouri at Kirksville in 1S70 
and had much more than a local reputation as a teacher in Iowa. In January, 
18S1, he bought out the partnership interest of Attorney P. C. Truman and 
thereupon became a partner of Thomas H. Smith, under the firm name of 
Smith & Cullison. which for many years was engaged in very important 
litigation in Shelby county and in other counties. Mr. Cullison was last fall 
a candidate for district judge on the non-partisan ticket. 

D. S. Irwin, who came to Greeley township, Shelby county, in 1870, was 
admitted to the bar at circuit court in Harlan in March, 1881, and for some 
years practiced law at Irwin, Iowa, where he yet resides. In 1870, he wrote 
some interesting chapters on Shelby county history for the Shelbv County 

Probably the first young man who grew up in Shelby county to be ad- 
mitted to the bar was Jesse B. Whitney, who began the practice of law in 
Harlan in 1887. He subsequently served two terms as county attornev of 
Shelby county. 


In 188S, Hon. II. \V. livers, a man destined to occupy a large place at 
the Iowa bar and in the Republican politics of Iowa, was admitted to the 
practice of law. He succeeded largely to the practice of Macy & Gammon 
when Mr. .Macy went on the district bench. In 1890 he formed a partner- 
ship with Edmund Lockwood. subsequently a very active mayor of Harlan, 
who bad a superior legal education received in the law departments of the 
University of Michigan and in the University of Columbia. This firm was 
on one or the other side of the most important litigation in Shelby county 
for about fifteen year.-.. Mr. Byers served two terms in the General As- 
sembly of Iowa, was unanimously elected speaker of the House, served three 
terms as attornev-general of Iowa, was temporary chairman of one state 
Republican convention of Iowa, was a prominent candidate for the Repub- 
lican nomination for Congress from the ninth district, and is now corporation 
counsel of the city of Des Moines. 

In 1891, two other young men brought up in the count}-. T. R. Mockler 
and C. H. Whitney, were admitted to the bar and began practicing in Harlan. 
Mr. Mockler served two terms as county attorney, subsequently moving to 
Bismark, North Dakota, where be now resides. He was elected to the North 
Dakota Legislature as a Republican and is now prominent in the political 
and legal affairs of North Dakota. Mr. Whitney served as county attorney 
and removing to Nebraska became county judge at Hartington, Nebraska 
and later was Democratic candidate for attorney-general of that state. He 
now resides in California. 

In 100.2, two young men began their legal careers in Shelby county, Will 
Pomeroy, son of R. M. Pomeroy, at Shelby, and Tom C. Smith at Harlan. 
Mr. Smith is a son of the famous pioneer attorney of Harrison county, Hon. 
"Joe" Smith. Both of these young men are in practice elsewhere, Tom C. 
Smith having served as county attorney of Harrison county, and Mr. Pom- 
eroy in the office of prosecuting attorney in an Oklahoma county, in which 
state he now resides. Another bright young man who began the practice of 
law in Harlan a little later was Dan R. Perkins, who was in partnership with 
Hon. Thomas H. Smith. Mr. Perkins removed to North Dakota where he 
held for some years the position of county judge of his county. 

Two brilliant young students of law received early guidance in the law 
office of Byers & Lockwood. One was H. P. Burke, a son of John T. Burke. 
an earlv pioneer of Douglas township; the other, Viggo Lyngby, a native of 
Denmark and graduate of the law department of the famous University of 
Copenhagen. Mr. Burke is now and has been for some vears one of the best 



known district judges of the state of Colorado, and Mr. Lyngby is practicing 
law in Council Bluffs and is Danish vice-consul for Iowa. 

Edward S. White, a sun of J. \Y. White, of Jackson township, immedi- 
ately after graduation from the law department of the University of Mich- 
igan in Kjoj, entered the practice of law at Harlan. Through the kindness 
of the people of Shelby county he was county attorney of Shelby county for 
three terms, and at present is city solicitor of Harlan and engaged in general 
practice of the law. 

For several years I.. P.. Robinson, formerly of Oakland. Iowa, was in 
partnership with G. W. Cullison under the firm name of Cullison & Robin- 
son. Mr. Robinson was mayor of Harlan for some time and as such officer 
rendered very careful and effective service. 

In 1904 James C. Byers (a son of H. W. Byers) after graduation from 
the University of Michigan began the practice of law at Harlan in the firm 
of his father, the name of the firm then becoming Byers, Lockwood & Byers. 
James Byers became mayor of Harlan. He is now practicing law at San 
Diego, California. 

John P. Hertert. a son of E. M. Plertert. of Plarlan, after graduation 
from the law department of the University of Michigan, began the practice 
of law at Harlan in 1007. He is the present county attorney of Shelby 
countv. which office he has held for two terms. He was re-elected last fall. 

Shelb}' C. Cullison. a son of G. W. Cullison, began the practice of law 
with his father in 1907 under the firm name of Cullison & Cullison, soon 
after graduation from the law department of the State University of Iowa. 

V. H. Byers, a nephew of H. W. Byers, at once upon graduation from 
the law department of Drake University in 1912, became the Harlan part- 
ner of the firm of Byers & Byers. Lately this firm has taken into partnership 
Ernest M. Miller, a graduate of the law department of Drake University of 
the class of 1914. He is a son of Jerry Miller, late a resident of Elk Horn. 
The firm name is now Byers, Byers &- Miller. , 

George B. Gunderson, an alumnus of both the literary and law depart- 
ments of the State University of Iowa, in 191 3 became a member of the firm 
of Smith & Gunderson. He is now mayor of Harlan and was last fall the 
• Republican candidate for county attorney of Shelby county. 

The resident attorneys of Harlan are, therefore. T. H. Smith, D. O. 
Stuart. G. W. Cullison, Shelby C. Cullison, J. B. Whitney. V. H. Byers. 
Ernest M. Miller. John P. Hertert. George B. Gunderson and E. S. White. 



A noted case that was tried in the circuit court of Shelby county at 
Marian in the late seventies was that of the Chicago. Rock Island & Pa- 
cific Railroad Company vs. Grinnell. It does not appear that any resi- 
dent Shelby county attorneys were in the case. The defendant was repre- 
sented by Sapp, Lyman & Anient, of Council Bluffs, and the railroad com- 
pany by Thomas F. YYithrow, and by the firm of Wright. Catch & Wright, 
who, if I am correctly informed, were Des Moines attorneys. During the 
seventies there had been much trouble between a number of homesteaders 
and the Rock Island Railroad Company, particularly in Jefferson township. 
It will be recalled that when the Rock Island Railroad Company was com- 
pleted to Council Bluffs on June 6, 1869, it had taken a different mute through 
Shelby count}" from the route originally surveyed for the Mississippi \- Mis- 
souri Railroad Company, for which the Dodge survey was made. .Mr. Grin- 
nell had settled upon land in Shelby county in 1872. intending t' 1 acquire and 
occupv it as a homestead under the laws of the United States and had made 
application as required by the homestead laws. When, however, he sought 
to Hie these applications in the United States land offices, they were refused, 
hence the litigation. 

The circuit court of Shelby' county decided against Mr. Grinnell, the 
court holding that the lands upon which Mr. Grinnell had settled were rail- 
road lands and had passed under the grant to the railroad company by the 
United States. The case was appealed to the state supreme court of Iowa 
and decided by that court at the June term, 1879, tne supreme court sustain- 
ing the decision of the circuit court of Shelbv county. The gist of the de- 
cision was that Congress, by an act approved June _\ 1864, authorized the 
Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Company to modify and change the location 
of the uncompleted portion of its line, at that time the railroad having been 
completed a distance of one hundred and thirty miles, or from Daveni>ort to 
Kellogg. The Rock Island Company, in 1866. became purchaser of the 
Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Company and all its title and interest in any 
lands originally granted by the United States to the first company. The 
supreme court of Iowa also held that under the act of 1864 the railroad com- 
pany was authorized to select lands under certain conditions within twenty 
miles of its line, the original act allowing selection of lands only within a 
fifteen-mile limit. Mr. Grinnell's land, it appears, lay between the fifteen- 
mile limits of the first grant and the twenty-mile limits of the later act. 


Submitted with the Grinnell case were twenty-three other cases brought 
against numerous persons in different courts of the stale of Iowa. The 
decision by the state supreme court, however, did not end the matter, as the 
Shelby county Grinnell case was appealed to the supreme court of the United 
States, where it was decided March 21, 1881, by an affirmance of the judg- 
ment of the supreme court of Iowa. There was one dissenting opinion, that 
of Mr. Justice Bradley. 

Many cases were tried in the district and circuit courts at Harlan, which, 
on appeal to the state supreme court of Iowa, made law for the whole state 
on important questions. Among these wa^ the case of Coenen & Mentzer v. 
Stauh et al., tried before Hon. A. B. Thornell about iSSu or 1SS7. It was 
claimed by the firm of Coenen & Mentzer that it was entitled to a mechanic's 
lien against real estate to secure the cost of lumber used in a sidewalk. It 
was held by Judge Thornell that, inasmuch as the lien was given only against 
property on zi'hich the improvement was situated, there could be no mechanic's 
lien in this case, for the reason that the sidewalk was not situated upon the 
land, but upon the street. The attorneys in this case were Beard & Myerly, 
of Harlan, for the plaintiffs, and Fremont Benjamin, of Avoca, for the de- 

Another important case tried in the district court at Harlan before Judge 
George Carson in 1891. was that of Gollobitsch vs. George S. Rainbow. 
Sheriff of Shelby County, these questions being involved in that case: First. 
it was contended that a depi isition taken could not be used in evidence for 
the reason that the notice of the issuing of a commission to take it was served 
by a deputy of the defendant sheriff, and that where a sheriff zvas a party to 
the suit, his deputy could not serve any of the 'notices involved in the suit; 
and, second, that for the same reason the deputy sheriff could not impanel 
the jury. 

Judge Carson held that the objections to the acts of the deputy sheriff 
were not good, but on appeal to the state supreme court of Iowa, the decision 
of Judge Carson was reversed. The attorneys appearing in the case were 
B. I. Salinger for the plaintiff, who had sought the recovery of certain per- 
sonal property and who appealed the case, and D. O. Stuart and Smith & 
Cullison for the defendant. 

The case of State vs. Book, found in the 41st Iowa Reports, at page 550. 
decided at the Decemlier term. 1S75. settled an important proposition of 
criminal law. The defendant was charged with running a billiard hall where 
persons played billiards or pool with the agreement that the loser at the game 
should pay the proprietor for the use of the tables. The case was tried 


in the district court at Harlan before Judge Reed, who instructed the jury, 
of which H, M. Cook appears to have been foreman, that playing the game 
under such agreement constituted gambling, and that a person so permitting 
persons to play was guilty of maintaining a gambling house. This was the 
first time that this proposition was before the state supreme court, which 
affirmed the decision of Judge Reed. Up to that time most persons had 
thought that playing billiards or pool in tin?- way did not constitute gambling. 
The attorneys appearing in the supreme court were M. E. Cutts, attorney- 
general of Iowa, and Clinton. Hart & Brewer, of Council Bluffs, for the 
defendant, who appealed the case. 

Another interesting case was that of Bays v. Hunt, found in the 6oth 
Iowa, at page 251. The plaintiff in this case brought suit against the de- 
fendant for damages by reason of alleged slander. It appears that the plain- 
tiff was a candidate for office. It was held by the district court at Harlan, 
and by the state supreme court on appeal, that when a man is a candidate for 
office, seeking the support of the electors, a person may not be held liable 
for slander when he. without malice and in good faith, repeats to electors 
matters that have been told him concerning the candidate even though untrue, 
but which he believes, provided he makes such statements for the sole purpose 
of advising electors of the real character and qualifications of the candidate. 
The court, in other words, held that the speaking of such words under such 
conditions was privileged and that the defendant was not liable. Sapp & 
Lyman, of Council Bluffs, appeared for the plaintiff-appellant and Smith & 
Cullison for the defendant-appellee. 

The mvsterious disappearance, in August, 1S96, of Francis Richardson, 
a wealthy bachelor who for many years had made his home at various places 
in the eastern part of Shelby county, resulted in litigation of large propor- 
tions for Shelby county. Mr. Richardson was a somewhat eccentric man, 
who for many years had loaned large sums of money to the farmers of the 
eastern part of the count}'. He suddenly disappeared and it is believed that 
he was murdered, although no definite clue was ever discovered, fixing the 
guilt for the commission of this crime. At the time of his death he owned 
nineteen hundred acres of improved land in Shelby and Audubon counties 
and besides had under his control perhaps forty thousand dollars worth of 
personal propertv. chiefly notes secured by real estate mortgages on Shelbv 
and Audubon count}- land. Important litigation arising out of this state of 
facts was conducted by Byers & Lockwood and Cullison & Robinson of Har- 
lan, with some non-resident attorneys. The most important case, perhaps, 
which was tried, involved the question of the ownership of certain notes and 


securities in the possession of Mr. Richardson at the time of his disappear- 
ance, which, however, were made payable to his brothers and other relatives. 
The administrator had surrendered these notes and securities to the payees 
named therein, and suit was brought to have it declared by the court that the 
said notes and securities belonged to the estate. The administrator, how- 
ever, was sustained in his action. The case is found in Vol. 13S, Iowa 
Supreme Court Reports at page 669. 


Many interesting stories are told of incidents occurring" during the, 
progress of trials in Shelby count}-. For example the Shelby County Record 
of January 19. 1876. tells this story: "DeSilva had a case last Monday 
before a justice in the colony. Witness started to say something that would 
hurt his part of the case, when DeSilva said: 'Henry! Henry! He mustn't 
say that.' " 

That the early unmarried members of the bar did not have their minds 
wholly absorbed by the law is proved by this local item, appearing in one of 
the Harlan newspapers in the seventies : "It is reported that on the evening 

of the lecture at the supper table a young lawyer, whose name is , 

became so much absorbed in looking at the lecturess that he was caught mak- 
ing futile efforts to eat soup with his fork." 

In the earlv days the members of the bar seem to have devoted more 
attention to one another than the occasion justified when perhaps they ought 
to have been keeping their minds on 'the law and evidence of the case which 
they were trying. During the progress of the Gardner-Zimmerman trial in 
May, 1887, annoyed by the constant quarreling of counsel, the court, while 
waiting for a witness turned to the attorneys and remarked, "Now, gentle- 
men, we have a few minutes' leisure. You will please devote the time to 
quarreling." It is said that this remark of the court set the attorneys back 
to such an extent that they finished the week without exchanging another 
cross word. 

If tradition bears the torch of truth in the matter, several of the Harlan 
attorneys have had some difficult}' in handling Scriptural quotations safely. 
One attorney, it is said, wishing to emphasize before a jury that flight of 
one charged with crime indicated a guilty 'conscience, intended to say, "The 
evil flee when no man pursueth," but what he insisted on saying was, "The 
evil pursue when no man fleetli." which version he repeated with great 
emphasis several times when he thought he detected an effort on the part of 


the other attorneys to laugh him out of court. Another attorney, deeming 
it his duty to correct the erring brother, declared it as his fixed opinion that 
"Xo man pursueth when the evil fleeth." 

On another occasion at the Methodist church, when the church was 
crowded, a legal brother intending to edify the congregation by quoting the 
words. "May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth and my hand not 
forget its cunning'," surprised and delighted his hearers by declaring solemnly. 
"May my hand cleave to the roof of my mouth and my tongue not forget its 

The author is indebted to Hon. G. Smith Stanton, whose recollections 
occur elsewhere in this volume, for the following story of early days in 
court at Harlan. [The Joe Smith therein mentioned was the father of Tom 
C. Smith who practiced law in Harlan] : 

"Every good story having a Western brand was during the war re- 
peated by the friends and eneemies of President Lincoln as Old Abe's last. 
One of the stories appropriated as one of Abe's actually originated in the 
court house at Harlan, Shelby county. Iowa, and a lawyer by the name of 
Joe Smith was the originator. As already stated, my place on the Pigeon 
was about half way between the county seats of Shelby and Harrison counties. 
I often entertained the court and bar as they passed from one county seat to 
the other. They were a witty and bright lot of fellows, but poor in purse. 
Their clothes had seen long service and represented all the styles before the 
war. Joe was a great wit, and, unfortunate!}', always broke. Once while 
attending court at Harlan and while waiting for his own case to be called, he 
got quite interested in the case which was being tried. The seat of the 
trousers of one of the attorneys who was trying the case was worn through, 
and as he wore a sack coat and while addressing the jury would lean forward. 
one could see through the hole in the trousers the white shirt within. A 
philanthropic brother attornev had drawn up a subscription paper and passed 
it around among the lawyers for signature, the purport of which was to buy 
the brother attorney a new pair of trousers. Seventy-five cents in those 
days would have accomplished the mission. When it came Smith's turn to 
sign, he, being broke as usual, wrote the following endorsement on the sub- 
scription paper : "On account of my financial condition I am unable to con- 
tribute anything toward the object in view." 

In the early days of the county there resided therein a Swede who had 
been a rather rough citizen, it is said. He subsequently left the county, and 
one day word came back that he had died while fighting a prairie fire. A 
case arose in the district court in some way involving the Swede's career. 


G. W. C. addressing the jury said. "They tell us died fighting fire, 

and for aught that you or I may know, gentlemen of the jury, he's fighting 
fire yet." 


H. \V. Byers. James C. Byers. V. II. Byers, II. P. Burke. Will S. Burke. 
S. A. Burke, Cyrus Beard. J- V. Bra?ie, F. S. Carroll, George W. Cullison, 
Shelby C. Cullison, S. G. Dunmore, J. XV. DeSilva, R. P. Foss, E. Y. Green- 
leaf, Warren Gammon. George B. Gunderson, John P. Hertert, D. S. Irwin, 
J. D. Keat, Edmund Lockwood, John Ledwich, James Ledwich, John H. 
Louis. Yiggo Lyngby. Ernest M. Miller. T. R. Mockler, X. W. Macy, J. G. 
Myerly, C. W. Oakes. William Pratt. D. R. Perkins. Will Pomeroy, D. T. 
Ouinn, A. K. Riley. W. B. Rowland, E. B. Robinson. Thomas H. Smith, 
Thomas C. Smith, D. W. Smith, D. O. Stuart, Joseph Stiles. Late Thompson, 
P. C. Truman, Piatt Wicks. C. H. Whitney, J. B. Whitney. W. J. Wicks, 
Tohn Wallace, Edward S. White, J. E. Weaver, John Watson. 



Probably no class of men endured more severe hardships or were more 
distinguished in a nobler way for personal sacrifice, than the early physicians 
of Shelby county. Their privations and trials deserve that they be not for- 
gotten. In the early days of this county it was necessary for a physician to 
hold himself in readiness to make a trip of ten. fifteen or twenty-rive miles 
over the trackless prairies and to ford the streams in order to render assist- 
ance to patients. On many a wild, stormy night, without intervening houses 
at which they might stop to rest or to protect themselves from the merciless 
storm, these courageous men traveled alone, on a mission of relief to suffering 
humanity and with the hope of but scant financial reward. Physicians in 
those days usually made their journeys on horseback, hut sometimes were 
obliged to travel long distances on foot. There were no roads, merely trails. 
They had many narrow escapes from drowning in the treacherous and swollen 
streams and on more than one occasion were in danger of freezing to death 
in blizzards. Physicians sometimes came from Council Bluffs or from Harri- 
son countv on horseback. 

Perhaps the first physician to come into Shelby county was Dr. YV. J. 
Johnston, of Cuppy's Grqve. who settled there in 1852. He was the father 
of Mrs. L. X. Rogers, now Mrs. Jesse Scott, of Cuppy's Grove, and the grand- 
father of Douglas Rogers, an attorney of Manning. Iowa, and recently elected 
to the Legislature from Carroll county. The name of Doctor Johnston ap- 
pears a number of times on the records of the count}' judges of Shelby 
county in the matter of small claims for medical services rendered paupers. 

Probably the second physician to come to Shelby county was Dr. Adam 
T. Ault, who platted the first territory now embraced within the corporate 
limits of Harlan. This plat of Doctor Ault's was executed August 6. 1S5S, 
and it is likely that he was living in Shelby county for a few years previous 
to that time. He seems, however, to have been interested primarily in a 
store, probably the first store established in Harlan. The stock of goods was 
very small and the patronage of the store was undoubtedly very limited. I 
know nothing of the medical education of Doctor Johnston and of Doctor 


Ault. It appears that Doctor Ault left Shelby county about the time of the 
Civil War. It is doubtful whether he practiced to any extent. 

Dr. L. I). Frost came to Harlan in 1863 and established the first drug 
store. He had formerly lived in Guthrie county, Iowa. He practiced to 
some extent in Shelby county soon after arriving here, but seems to have 
devoted most of his time to the management of his drug store. He took 
much interest in horticulture and very soon after coming to Harlan planted, 
in the northwest part, a very fine ten-acre orchard of apple trees. 

Another pioneer physician to locate in Shelby county was Dr. David 
Gish. He was born in Botetourt county, Virginia, February 8, 1832, and 
was graduated from the Keokuk Medical College of Iowa, in 1863, prac- 
ticing first in Jasper county, and afterwards in Story county, then coming 
to Shelbv county in 186S. He at once purchased land when he came to 
Shelby county, and at one time was one of the largest land owners in the 
county. He lived in Douglas township northeast of Harlan. He died in 
Shelby county on August 13, 1878, at the age of forty-six years. The 
funeral services were held at the Miles school house, conducted by Rev. Gil- 
man Parker and Rev. Washington Wvland. A son of his, very well known 
in Shelby county. C. O. Gish yet resides in Douglas township. 

Another physician who came to Shelby county, possibly a little later than 
Doctor Johnston and Doctor Ault. was Doctor F. M. Hill, of Manteno. He 
did some lecturing and it appears that in the late seventies he was invited to 
lecture in Harlan by the Young Folks' Literary Society. Doctor Hill was 
postmaster for a number of years at Manteno. subsequently resigning about 
the year 1883, with the intention of practicing medicine at Earling. 

On August 16, 1864. Dr. X. E. Palmer, who belonged to the eclectic 
school of physicians, came to Bowman's Grove, where he practiced medicine 
for four years, subsequently going to Avoca for four years, and for six 
years practiced in Harrison county, when he again returned to Bowman's 
Grove. He studied medicine under his father at Adrian. Michigan. Doc- 
tor. Palmer, living at Botna. Shelby county, and now eighty years of age, 
called on the author and gave some of his reminiscences. From these I 
gather that he, while practicing at Bowman's Grove, was frequently called 
into practically all of the surrounding counties. He, in his practice, often 
went over the old Magnolia road in Harrison county. While on one of his 
trips into Cass county, he came very nearly being drowned at the head of 
"Walnut Slough." He used to ford Indian creek more or less frequently. 
In the spring of 1881 Dr. Palmer had ninety-six cases of scarlet fever, which 


he treated, losing only three of the ninety-six. lie was horn in Wayne 
county, New York. 

Perhaps the best known earlv physicians of Harlan were Dr. R. M. 
Smith and Dr. F. A. Bayer. Doctor Smith, who was the father of \V. T. 
Smith, of Harlan, and of Ed S. Smith, was horn in Coshocton county. Ohio, 
and came to Harlan in 1869. Dr. F. A. Bayer, who came to Harlan in 1S72, 
was a native of Dansville, New York, and studied medicine at Cincinnati. 

As was true with the profession of law, so in medicine the promise that 
Harlan gave in the seventies of being a prosperous town induced many young 
physicians to establish themselves in Harlan. So early as 1874. Dr. \Y. H. 
Thermong, coming from Georgia, was to be found at the Harlan House. 
In 1877 Doctor Cowles, said to have had twelve years' experience in his pro- 
fession in New York, had opened an office in Harlan. In 1877, Dr. Ransom 
L. Harris, a homeopathic physician and surgeon, located in Harlan. 

Early physicians locating at Shelby were Dr. J. \V. Campbell, Dr. Fred- 
erick Collins or Dr. L. Benliam. also N. Jasper Jones, who is now in practice 
there, the pioneer physician of Shelby and one of the oldest practitioners in 
the county. 

In June, 1877, Dr. J. R. Teller, previously of Albia, Monroe county, 
Iowa, located in Harlan. In 1878 Dr. J. H. Haslett was a Harlan physician. 
. In 1879 Doctor Franklin was practicing in Harlan, having his office in 
the drug store of Robinson & Elser on the north side of the square. 

In 1S78 there was a Dr. B. L. Leland at Leland's Grove in Cass town- 
ship. Early in the seventies there located in Clay township, near Indian 
creek, Dr. P. B. Allen, a homeopathic physician, who farmed and practiced 
medicine there for many years. 

One of the early physicians of the village of Westphalia was Doctor 

One of the physicians establishing himself soon after Kirkman was 
platted was Doctor Dott. Dr. G. \Y. Todd came to Harlan in 1881 where he 
formed a partnership with Doctor Cartlich, who had located in Harlan in 

Among the well-known early physicians of Defiance were Dr. YV. B. 
Cotton. Dr. J. H. Guthrie and Dr. C. O. Eigler. 

Dr. George A. Cassidy, a graduate of McGill Universitv of Montreal. 
Canada, located at Earling in July, 1885, later moving to Shelbv where he 
practiced medicine for a number of years. 

The early physicians of Irwin were Dr. W. S. Branson. Dr. E. A. Whet- 


stine and Dr. S. H. Watters. Doctor Branson and Doctor Waiters are yet 
practicing at Irwin. In 1889 Dr. J. H. Guthrie was practicing" medicine at 
Kirkman. In 1887 Doctor Stevens was practicing medicine at Elk Horn. 
One of the early physicians of Panama was Dr. A. E. Gregg, and one of the 
earl_\- physicians of Portsmouth was Dr. A. Smiley, a graduate of the Mc- 
Gill University of Montreal. Canada. It appears that in 1881 there died in 
Cass township a physician named J. W. Clark. 

Probably one of the earliest Shelby county boys to study medicine in the 
State University of Iowa, was John Wyland, a son of Mr. and Mrs. I. P. 
Wyland, and brother of O. P. Wyland and William Wyland. He was 
studying medicine at Iowa City in 1882. This family also produced another 
physician, Dr. Asa Wyland, also a graduate of the same college, who prac- 
tices medicine at Underwood, in Pottawattamie county. 

Many younger men all over Shelby county have entered the practice of 
medicine and surgery successfully. Ann nig them may be mentioned Dr. 
A. E. Sabin, of Kirkman, who has been established for a number of years, 
Doctor James at Elk Horn. Dr. J. L. Lundby at Kirkman. Dr. V. J. Meyer 
at Defiance. Dr. Peters at Earling. Dr. Walsh of Panama, Dr. Weir at Ports- 
mouth. Dr. P. Soe. who for some years practiced in Elk Horn, is now 
engaged in the practice at Kimballton, Iowa. 

Dr. G. W. Todd was born at Bellevue. Huron count} - . Ohio, in 1838. 
He attended college at Granville. Ohio, three years and in 1861 was gradu- 
ated from the Cleveland Medical College. He served in Company A, Fifty- 
fifth Ohio Infantry, during the Civil War, anil at the close of the conflict 
came to Tabor, Fremont county, Iowa, where he engaged in the drug business 
and where he remained eight years. In the spring of 1878 he moved to the 
town of Shell)}-, in Shelby count}-, and to Harlan in 18S1 where he formed 
a partnership with Doctor Cartlich. 

In the nineties. Dr. F. A. Malick, a son of J. M. Malick. practiced medi- 
sine for several years at Corley. He is now deceased. 

Another practitioner prominent in the eighties in Harlan was Dr. J. C. 
Dunlavv. who subsequently went to Sioux City where he achieved distinction 
and where he now resides. He is a brother of J. D. Dunlavv, a former 
countv superintendent of schools of Shelby county, and a well known pioneer 
teacher of the county. 

Dr. J. H. Waite was also well-known as another Harlan physician of 
the eighties and perhaps later, subsequently removing to Iowa City, where 
his death occurred. 

The death at Harlan, on January 4, 191 2, of Dr. Edwin B. Moore, 


closed the career of one <>f the best trained and most capable pioneer physi- 
cians of Shelby county, who began his practice at Harlan in lS/S- He was 
born at Deer Creek. Pennsylvania, and spent several winters in the State 
University of Iowa preparatory to taking his course in medicine which he 
pursued at the Keokuk Medical College and at the famous Bellevue Hospital 
Medical College of Xew York City. He was a tine thinker, enjoyed a large 
practice and was prominent in local Democratic politics. He had the rare 
distinction of having his three sons study medicine. 

In iSSo, Dr. Elliott A. Cobb, a native of Wayne county, Pennsylvania. 
began his practice at Harlan, after a year's study in the medical department 
of the University of Michigan and after graduation from the Cleveland 
Medical College of Ohio, a training that he subsequently supplemented by a 
course in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of Xew York City where he 
had the advantage of instruction by some of the then foremost medical men 
of America. He for many years had a county-wide practice, making surgery 
one of his specialties. He served several years as Democratic chairman of 
Shelby county, and was a member of the city council when electric lights and 
waterworks were established in Harlan. He served as public health officer 
of Harlan and stood for a rigid quarantine of persons afflicted with con- 
tagious disease when protecting the public health was not an especially popu- 
lar activitv. He has a son who is practicing medicine and surgery in Sioux 
City, Iowa. Doctor Cobb resides in Harlan in the former home of Hon. 
C. J. Wyland. He served in the Fifty-fifth Ohio Infantry in the Civil War. 

Dr. E. T- Smith, a native of Indiana, came to Plarlan in 1S80. He is a 
graduate of Rush Medical College and has enjoyed a large practice in Harlan 
and vicinity. He served the city of Harlan as mayor, and was coroner of 
Shelbv county when the present court house was erected. His genial, kindly- 
bearing has made him many friends. He has a son practicing medicine and 
surgerv in Ogden, Utah. This son has lately been in Europe taking special 
work in his profession. 

Dr. E. L. Cook, of Harlan, who has the distinction of having risen from 
the ranks to the position of a lieutenant in the Civil War, although not locat- 
ing so earlv as some of the other physicians in Harlan, soon made a place 
for himself as a careful and well-informed physician. He served for many 
years on the pension examining board of Shelby county. He has taken an 
active interest in Republican politics, has served as chairman of local con- 
ventions and enjovs the acquaintance and confidence of many of the dis- 
tinguished leaders of the party in Iowa. 

Dr. E. A. Moore, a son of Dr. Edwin B. Moore, deceased, is a graduate 


of the Harlan high school and of the Creighton Medical College, of Omaha. 
He is entitled to the credit of having made his own way through the medical 
college by hard work in vacations and at other times. After his graduation 
from this college in 1901. he had se\ eral years' experience doing hospital 
work in Wyoming, Nevada and Utah, with a railway construction company, 
acting as hospital superintendent. He began his practice in Harlan in 1903. 
and at present is county coroner. Dr. Moore has two brothers. Dr. Morris 
Moore, who practices at Walnut and Dr. Fred Moore, who is pursuing a 
special course in the celebrated medical school of Johns Hopkins University. 
Dr. E. A. M(X>re resitles in the former residence of Hon. Piatt Wicks. 

Dr. F. R. Lintleman, a graduate of the Homeopathic College of Medi- 
cine at Iowa City, practiced successfully in Harlan for several years. His 
partner. Doctor Yanatta, succeeds to his practice. Doctor Yanatta is also 
a graduate of the same college and has a good following. 

Dr. Herman Bocken is one of the more recently established physicians 
in Harlan ami is doing well. He is a graduate of the Harlan high school 
and of the medical school of the University of Nebraska. lie is a son of 
H. Bocken of Harlan, the well known tailor. 

Dr. James Bisgard, a graduate of the medical school of the University 
of Nebraska, is also one of the leading physicians of Shelby count}', and for 
many years has enjoyed and now has a large and important practice. 

The names of other physicians occur in the special articles treating of 
the various towns of the county. 


The Shelby County Medical Society was organized in June. 1SS7. Doc- 
tors J. C. Dunlavy, E. A. Cobb, E. J. Smith. J. H. Waite, E. B. Moore, W. 
S. Branson, W. B. Cotton, A. E. Gregg, X. II. Burks. S. H. Watters. N. J. 
Jones, J. Smiley and C. Tiske were the charter members of this organization. 
The first officers of the society were E. A. Cobb, president; N. Jasper Jones, 
of Shelby, vice-president; J. C. Dunlavy, now of Sioux City, Iowa, secretary, 
and E. J. Smith, treasurer. This society is yet in existence. 


One of the earliest resident dentists of Harlan was Dr. B. F. Eshelman, 
now of Tacoma, Washington. He was an inventive genius and secured a 


number of patents on his devices of various sorts. Among the men who 
have followed him are Dr. .M. S. Overfield, who has been longest in prac- 
tice in Shelby county; Dr. R. L. Osborn, now residing in Arkansas: Dr. 
Harry Donnan : Dr. George E. Erret and Dr. Frank Maasen. In the earlv 
days Doctor Gothard used to make occasional visits to Harlan, coming from 



In less than ten years after the organization of Shelby count}" as a civil 
unit, the great Civil War broke tiercel)- upon the country, Shelby county 
had scarcely passed the log-cabin stage of development, when men were 
traveling to mill and market over the winding trails, along the ridges ami 
plateaus and skirting the heads of streams, then unbridged, and when the 
prairies and sloughs of the county were yet furnishing sustenance and refuge 
for wild animals. L'nder these circumstances it was that the voting men 
of Shelby county were called upon to assume the stern responsibilities of their 
citizenship in common with the other people of Iowa. Shelbv county went 
to the defense of the colors right loyally, sending, it is estimated, one man 
out of every six then resident within her newly created boundaries. These 
volunteers came from Cuppy's Grove, Bowman's Grove, Manteno, Hack- 
town and Harlan. Here are the names of these men constituting Shelby 


Daniel S. Bowman, Company M, Ninth Iowa Cavalrv. 
Alexander Barr, Company C, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Joseph A. Bunnell. Company M, Ninth Iowa Cavalry. 
Hezekiah N. Baughman, Company I, Twenty-thir,d Iowa Infantry. 
Charles E. Butterworth, Company B, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. 
William H. Buckholder, Company E, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. 
William A. Babb, Company A, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Henry Custer. Company A. Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
William Guppy, Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Samuel Campbell, Company M. Ninth Iowa Cavalry. 
Merriman Carlton. Company I. Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
Jesse Casteel, Company I. Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
George Casteel, Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
Albert Crandall, Company D. Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. 
Jonathat* Custer. CAmpanv A. Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Tohn Dewell, Company M, Ninth Iowa Cavalry. 


J. H Reynolds, H. 7th In Cav.; F. St 
S. S. Chamberlain, G, 13th III. Inf. 
F. S. Kays, B. 4 th la. Cm v. 
Theodore Afsqulth, C, 102d 111. Inf. 
J. H. Blaine. I, 17th Pa. Cav. 
John G. Honey-well. E, 86th 111. Inf. 

47th 111. Inf. 
Wm. LaiiRhman. 104th 111. Inf. 
John Bare, F. 24th la. Inf. 
Ira Grabill. F. SGth 111. Inf. 
W. J. Blair, I. 7th la. Inf. 
Theodore M. Keeney, H. 52d Pa. Inf. 
J. B. Wad.-. M, 17th III. Cav. 
E. K. Kington. I, 57th 111. Inf. 
M. L. McLyman, C, 20th Wis. Inf. 
John Huffman. F. 31st Ind. Inf. 
Bernard McAllister. A, 15th la. Inf. 
Lemuel Stilwell, B. 9Sth Ohio Inf. 
Garret Hubbell. D. 192d Ohio Inf. 
H. W. Winder. D. 33d la. Inf. 
James P. Gilmore, G, 31st la. Inf. 
L. F. Kellogg:, H, SCth 111. Inf. 
Dr. E. L. Cook, H. 9th la. Cav. 
Thos. Yost, C, .53d III. Inf. 
Geo. \V. Ickes, D. 138th Pa. Inf- 
J. O. Wickersham, A, 123d III. Inf. 

David W. Green. G, 17th la. Inf. 
J. V. Watson. M. 9th la. Cav. 
J. S. Dee. G, 7th Mo. Cav. 
M. Quick. B, lnth W. Va. Inf. 
Thomas Brown. B. 75th III. Inf. 
\V. H. Brown. B, 2d 111. Mounted Inf. 
H. Watkins. A, 92d < ihio Inf. 
James F. Smith. I, 2'id la. Inf. 

C. D. O'Neal. A. 33d la. Inf. 
J. J. Marco. C, 92d 111. Inf. 

N*. E. Palmer. K. lnnth Ind. Inf. 
Walter R, Parke,-, B, lwith Ind. Inf. 
\V. H. Erret, I, liiJth III. Inf. 

D. E. Morris. H. 57th III. Inf. 
S F. Kohl. K, Sth la. Cav. 
John Koolbeck. F. 1th la. Cav. 
Dr. E. A. Cobb. A. 55th Ohio Inf. 
B. B. Bowen. L, 1th \V. Va. Cav. 
Theodore P. Austin-. I, 7Sth 111. Inf. 
Geo. D. Koss. < i. 21st Wis. Inf. 

X. White. L, 1th la. Cav. 
Henry Custer, 29th la. Inf. 
George Razee, K, 2d X. H. Inf. 
B. I. Kinney, I. 18th la. Inf. 
Fred Goodling. E. 77th III. Inf. 
Edward F. Fish. F. 3d Wis. Inf. 


David Duckett. Company I. Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
William Frantz, Company P>, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. 
Henry Frantz, Company H, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. 
John Fritz, Company M, Ninth Iowa Cavalry. 
James Howell, Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Christian Hack. Company A, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Pern' Hack. Company A, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Harvey lngalsbe. Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
Luther Ingalsbe, Company M, Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Alfred Jackson. Company F. Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. 
Brafford Johnston. Company C. Fifth Iowa Cavalry. 
John E. Knott, Company P>. Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Samuel W. Kemp, Company H, Thirteenth Iowa Infantrv. 
Robertson Keairnes, Company M, Xinth Iowa Ca\'alrv. 
James G. Kemp. Company M. Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Benjamin T. Larkin, Company P>. Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Milton Lynch. Company 1). Thirteenth Iowa Infantrv*. 
Peter H. Longcor, Company M, Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
William M. Longcor. Company M. Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Jeremiah Law Long, Company L. Fourth Iowa Cavalry. 
Elias Monroe, Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantrv. 
Charles W. Oden, Company C, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Martin Olirecht, Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
David Romigs. Company C. Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Jonas H. Reed. Company P>. Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
James Rhodes, Company M. Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
William A. Rigg. Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
Hiram Simmons. Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Milton H. Stanton, Company I, Twenty-third Iowa Infantry. 
James L. Trenor, Company A, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
William P.. Tarkington, Company C, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. 
Daniel White, Company P>, Fourth Iowa Infantry. 
Jonathan Watson, Company M. Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Michael White, Company M, Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Daniel Waterburv. Company M. Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Warren Wicks, Company M, Xinth Iowa Cavalry. 
Jasper X. Wyland. Company M. Ninth Iowa Cavalry. 
Nicholas White. Company L, Fourth Iowa Cavalry. 


In addition, Ed. A. Sweeney enlisted in Company I, Twenty-third Iowa 
Infantry, but was refused by the mustering officer. 

Of the above named soldiers, William Cuppy died of disease December 
27, 1S61, at Rolla, Missouri. James Howell died in action November 27, 

1863. at Taylor's Ridge. Georgia, and his remains lie buried in the national 
cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, section D. grave 891. Benjamin T. 
Lakin was wounded slightly in the eye December .29. 1862, at Vicksburg, 
Mississippi. Jonas H. Reed died from an accidental wound received March 
14, 1862, at Springfield. Missouri. Daniel White died of disease March 4, 

1862, at Lebanon. Missouri, ami his remains lie buried in the national ceme- 
tery of Springfield, Missouri, section 9. grave 60. Luther Ingalsbe died of 
disease August 2j, 1864, at Devall's Bluff, Arkansas. James G. Kemp died 
of disease March 4, 1864, at St. Louis. Missouri, and his remains lie in the 
national cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, section 6, grave 
233. Jasper X. Wyland died of disease at Devall's Bluff, Arkansas, July 9, 

1864, and his remains lie in the national cemetery at Devall's Bluff, Arkan- 
sas. Merriman Carlton died of disease May 27, 1863. at the Van Buren 
Hosital, and his remains lie in the national cemetery at Vicksburg, Missis- 
sippi, section II. grave 81. David Duckett died of disea^e July 25, 1S63, at 
Milliken's Bend. Louisiana, and his remains lie buried in the national ceme- 
tery at Vicksburg. Mississippi, section B, grave 22. William A. Rigg was 
killed in action June 7. 1863, at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana. Henrv Frantz was 
wounded in the side at Shiloh, Tennessee. April 6. 1862. and after re- 
enlisting was again wounded in the left arm severely on July 22. 1864. near 
Atlanta. Georgia. Jeremiah Law Long died of disease May 13, 1862. at 
West Plains. Missouri. Perrv Hack was wounded April 30, 1864, at Jen- 
kins' Ferry. Arkansas. Jonathan Custer died of disease February 21, 1863, 
at Helena. Arkansas. William B. Tarkington died of disease March 1. 

1863, at Helena. Arkansas. Martin Ohrecht was wounded May 17. 1863, at 
Black River Bridge, Mississippi. James L. Trenor became first lieutenant 
of the One Hundred and Thirteenth United States Colored Infantry January 
20. 1S64. 

An investigation of the nativity of a large majority of the above named 
soldiers shows that eleven were born in Ohio, eight in Xew York, ten in 
Indiana, five in Pennsylvania, five in Illinois, two in Maryland, and one each 
in Iowa, Connecticut. Michigan. Maine, Missouri. Virginia, Ireland and 
France, Martin Ohrecht having been born in the last named country. 

It is interesting to know that Privates Jonathan Custer, Christian Hack, 
Perrv Hack. Henrv Custer and James L. Trenor enlisted where the Citv 


Hotel, now known as Motel Harlan, stands. The oldest volunteer was Peter 
H. Longcor, forty-five years of aye. and the youngest Hiram Simmons, who 
was but sixteen at time of enlistment. The Longcors were father and son. 

In the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars, Shelby county young 
men showed themselves worthy of the spirit of civil war times. The names 
of those enlisting, together with places of residence, company and regiment, 
are herewith given : 

Horace G. Baker, Harlan. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Haslett P. Burke, Rocky Ford, Colorado, Company i_\ United States 
Volunteer Signal Corps. 

Perry A. Black, Harlan. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa. 

James A. Beebe, Harlan, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa. 

William J. Copeland, Harlan. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa. 

Dennis J. Cobb. Irwin, Company I. Fiftieth Iowa Infantry. 

Frank C. Curtis. Fairview township. Company L, Pi fly-first Iowa In- 

Walter C Davis, Shelby, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Charles Dragoo, Portsmouth. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Ralph W. Fuller, Harlan, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

John A. Causer, Harlan, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

George S. Gibbs. Harlan. Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Joseph B. Greenlie. Portsmouth, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

William Hansen. Harlan, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

William J. Manion, Panama. Company F. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Burt Petty, Harlan. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Orville IF Plum, Shelby, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Martin T. Sorensen. Harlan, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Charles Stanley. Harlan. Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Howard M. Stiles. Harlan, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

James O. Tallman, Harlan, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Albert C. Walker, Portsmouth, Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Louis F. Wyland, Harlan, Company C. Fifty-first Iowa Infantry. 

Of the above named soldiers. Harry A. Black died of disease September 
17, 1898. at the field hospital. Presidio, San Francisco, California, and John 
A. Ganser died of disease at the same place September 10. [898. George S. 
Gibbs became company quartermaster-sergeant, and was transferred to the 
United States Volunteer Signal Corps, as first class sergeant June 11, 1898. 
His interesting and able military career is elsewhere detailed. James A. 
Beebe became first sergeant of his company. Corporal Louis F. Wyland 
was wounded April 24. 1800. at Pulilan. Philippine islands. 


In the early days in Shelby county, men took their partisan politics 
almost as seriously as if it were a religious matter. Campaigns were man- 
aged in a greatly different way from what they are now. Before the coming 
of the Australian ballot law in 1892, each part}' had a separate ballot and the 
party workers were well supplied with these as well as the candidates them- 
selves. These ballots were usually between two and three inches wide and 
ten to twelve inches long, or at least long enough to have printed neatly the 
names of the respective offices and the candidates aspiring to fill them. 

We often hear today of the term "scratching" or a "scratched" ballot. 
This term comes down to us from the days before the Australian ballot sys- 
tem. In the early days a voter was permitted to take one of the ballots, draw 
a pencil mark through the name of any candidate for whom he was unwilling 
to vote, and to write in the name of another candidate, or he was permitted 
to paste over the name of the candidate for whom he did not wish to vote, a 
paster on which was printed the name of the rival candidate. Often, and 
usually, the candidates themselves, or their friends, had ballots already pre- 
pared with the pasters attached. A party worker at that time could "fix" 
and deliver a ballot, walk up with the voter to the ballot box and see that the 
ballot was actually deposited in the box, so that if a man were inclined to 
buy a vote, either with money or whiskey, he could be sure that he got what 
he bought. 

During a great many campaigns, before the introduction of the Aus- 
tralian ballot svstem, whiskey was used to a large extent, sometimes openly, 
sometimes "on the sly," and sometimes effectively with many men. It was 
used, of course, after the coming of the Australian svstem. but not so effec- 
tively, for the reason that it could not be known what the voter would do 
when he once was in the voting booth marking his ballot secretly. The 
custom has obtained in Shelby county for many years for the candidates to 
treat the voters to cigars, and that custom obtains yet to some extent, 
although it is believed that Shelby county is one of the very few counties in 
the state to maintain this custom, which has proved very expensive to candi- 
dates for office, a custom which manv good men are inclined to condemn. 


The campaign preceding the vote on ilie proposed prohibitory amend- 
ment to the Constitution of Iowa was hotly and bitterly contested in Shelby 
county. Men indulged in personalities, such as have probably not been 
known in any campaign since that time. 

One of the very notable campaigns in Shelby county was the "free-silver" 
campaign of 1S96. At this time there were many new party alignments, men 
who had been lifelong Democrats voting for President McKinley, and others 
who had been lifelong Republicans supporting Hon. \Y. J. Bryan and free 

As is indicated by the half century vote on President in Shelby county, 
herein set forth, the county has been comparatively close politically from the 
very beginning. 

It would appear that the men belonging to the following pioneer families 
were Republicans: A. Johnson. Hack. M. K. Campbell, Custer. Waterbury, 
Johnston. Redfield, Bowman, McConnell, Truman, Holcomb, John Fritz, 
Piatt Wicks. W. J. Davis New by. George D. Ross, William McGinness; Mc- 
Cord, Booth, H. Eiarrod, Frost, Paul, Beckley, Slates. Bell, Patterson. Kin- 
sev, M. II. Adams, Bartlett, Henry Lee. Gibbs, Poling. Ledwich, McKeig, 
Thomas Leytham, George M. Williams. C. A. Reed, Charles Kidd, Keairnes, 
Swinehart, Graves. Penniston, Ford, McCoid, Eliab Myers, Long, Washing- 
ton Wyland, Dr. Bayer, Dr. R. M. Smith, Buckman, Irwin. Chatburn. 

Of the earlv pioneers, men of the following families were Democrats: 
W viand (with the exception of Washington Wyland). Sunderland. Louis. 
Caleb Smith. J. J. Miller. Shorett, Roundy, McDonald. Tcrrill, Dilleter. 
Cuppv, Kimball, DeSilva. Tinsley, Gish, Swain. Xance, Kuhl. Schmifz, Berg- 
stresser. Baughn. Sweat. McXaughton. D. Carter. Rubendall. Cleveland. 
George S. Barr. Howlett. J. O. Ramsey. Cox. Richard Leytham, Malick. Black, 
Obrecht. Crandall, J. 11. Philson, John A. Mcintosh. 

Among the prominent members of the Greenback party were A. X. 
Stamm, J. M. Pratt and others. 

Political speech-making began early in Shelby county. From the Council 
Bluffs Nonpareil one learns that S. A. Rice. Republican candidate for at- 
torney-general of Iowa, was billet! to speak at both Harlan and Shelbyville 
on September S. 1858, and from the same source it appears that John A 
Kasson and D. O. Finch, opposing candidates for Congress in the fifth dis- 
trict, were scheduled for a joint debate at Harlan on Thursday, August 21, 
1862. C. C. Xourse. Republican candidate for attorney-general, also ad- 
dressed the people of Harlan on Saturday. August 16, 1802. 

Subsequent political campaigns have brought to Shelby county many 


famous men. Among tliese might be mentioned Senator William P>. Allison. 
Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver, Hon. \V. P. Hepburn, Hon. M. J. Wade. Sen- 
ator A. B. Cummins. Senator William F. Kenvon, Major Joseph Lyman, 
Senator Lafayette Voting, Judge Thurston, Hon. L. M. Shaw. Hon. F. W. 
Lehmanu (now one of the greatest lawyers of America), Hon. Smith Mc- 
pherson. Hon. Claude Porter, Col. John H. Keatlev. Hon. Dan Hamilton, 
Col. W. F. Sapp, Hon. William J. Bryan (who came to Harlan and made 
a speech at the opera house very early in his political career), lion. B. I. 
Sallinger (recently elected to the state supreme court of Iowa). John A. 
Kasson. J. W. McDill. J. 15. Weaver. C. C. Xourse. William Larrahee, L. G. 
Kinne. Hon. J. C. Burrows, Buren R. Sherman, Gov. George W. Clark. Con- 
gressmen Good, Haugen and others; Hon. John F. Lacey and others. 

Perhaps the most spectacular campaign was that of 1884. known as the 
Blaine-Cleveland campaign, which resulted in the election of Grover Cleve- 
land as President. This campaign marked the culmination of the torchlight 
processions, marching clubs, mounted clubs, etc. During this campaign men 
indulged in a great many personalities and jibes, and frequently carried in 
their parades banners upon which appeared many "a strange device." One 
of the greatest events occurring during this campaign in western Iowa was 
the Republican rally at Harlan in 1884. which is well described by a local 
paper of the time, and which, in order to give the spirit of the times, the 
author quotes as a part of this chapter. 

This, the most famous political "rally" ever held in Harlan and perhaps 
in western Iowa, was held on August 17, 1884. This well illustrated the 
exceedingly serious way in which men took their partisan politics in those 
days. There were on this occasion one thousand five hundred men in line 
with torches, and it is said that the number would have been two thousand 
had there been enough torches to go round. A newspaper thus describes the 
event : 

"A crowd of seven thousand people witnessed the parade. The meet- 
ing was in honor of Blaine and Logan. The earliest clubs to appear were 
those from Defiance. Astor, Earling. Irwin, Panama and Kirkman. all of the 
men marching being called "Plumed Knights," in allusion to the sobriquet 
of Blaine. . Later, men from Portsmouth appeared. As darkness came on 
they were joined by the Harlan Black Eagle Legion, of three hundred men. 
and the Harlan Ladies' Blaine and Logan club, consisting of forty-five ladies. 
Then arrived the mounted Guards of Lincoln, under the command of Capt. 
George I). Ross, with Michael Headley at the head with a big rooster perched 
on a pole, with a banner on top, inscribed "Crowing Over Ohio." and very 


soon after came the mounted Cohorts of Corley, under command of Dr. Piper 
ami carrying appropriate banners. Those present, amid great cheers from 
the people, were mar-haled into line of march by Commander Mosbv and 
went to the depot to escort the companies expected on the train. 

"Nearly seven hundred hied out of the cars at the depot. Of the com- 
panies which came on this train there were two hundred uniformed Knights 
from Shelby, with John Sandham as flag bearer, and under the command 
of Capt. S. 1). Abbott. There was also the Avoca corps, composed of the 
Avoca Plumed Knights, Avoca Ladies Club and Avoca Cadets, which num- 
bered about four hundred, with the Walnut and Marne Knights and mem- 
bers of clubs from Hancock and Carson, numbering about fiftv more. 

"One of the tahleaus was represented by a large wagon drawn by four 
handsome horses. Upon the wagon was a large platform, handsomely draped 
and decorated, upon which stood a stately and beautiful young lady dressed 
to represent the 'Goddess of Liberty.' She carried a banner on which, was 
inscribed, 'We Don't Want Free Trade.' Opposite the 'Goddess of Liberty' 
was a very tall, middle aged man dressed as 'Uncle Sam.' carrying a banner 
with a motto to answer that of the 'Goddess of Liberty." inscribed. 'Xot 
Much." Immediately following the protection tableau, was one to repre- 
sent free trade, which consisted of an old ramshackle vehicle, to wdiich was 
attached a couple of spavined, ringboned and knock-kneed 'crow baits.' with 
old harness rope lines. In this wonderful chariot were the driver and three 
boys, all in rags, who looked as woebegone as they could get themselves 
up. They carried a large banner upon which was inscribed. 'Fre Traid.' 
As a take-off, it created much merriment. A juvenile tableau of Protection, 
followed, consisting of a platform, mounted on wheels, on which were seated 
a little boy and girl, dressed as the Goddess of Liberty and Uncle Sam, with 
appropriate mottos on the sides of their car. This was loudly cheered. The 
procession marched to the opera house four abreast and when the head of 
the column had reached the opera house the foot of the column had not come 
up the hill by the depot. The Harlan Cornet Band led the way, and fine 
martial bands from Avoca, Defiance. Portsmouth. Shelby and Irwin followed. 

"A platform had been erected in the street opposite the opera house and 
from this the procession was reviewed by General Raker, candidate for at- 
torney-general, and Judge Lyman, our nev.t congressman, who each, in turn, 
addressed the great crowd. Judge X. W. Macy also addressed the crowd 
eloquently. In the large room of Lamm Brothers, good coffee and ham 
sandwiches were dealt out freely to the people. The transparencies were 
very attractive and numerous and the following mottoes were displaved : 


'Brains vs. Neck,' "Education vs. Ignorance,' 'Loyalty vs. Treason,' 'Protec- 
tion vs. Free Trade.' 'i860 — Lyman at the Front, Pusey at Home." '1884 — 
Lyman Again at the Front, Pusey Lost," 'Ohio Redeemed by 1.2,000 Repub- 
lican Majority,' "'Affidavits for Sale by J. X. Baldwin,' 'Oscar May Want 
Cleveland, but We Don't,' 'Westphalia uo Votes for Lyman." 'On to Vic- 
tory,' 'The Woods are Full of 'Em,' 'For a Pure Ballot,' 'Iowa is Solid.' 'The 
Boys in Blue are for Logan,' 'We Crow for Ohio," 'Civil Service Reform,' 
'English Gold Wants Free Trade,' 'Keep the Rascals Out." 'Protect Our 
Home Markets.' "Free Trade is Ireland's Curse,' 'Shall Johnny Bull Rule?' 
'The Irish are With Us." 'Democratic Taffy Soured on Pat.' 'The G. B. 
Party is Dead — Democracy Owns the Corpse," 'We are for Jim and Jack,' 
'For Grover's Record Ask Pro. Beecher,' 'For Liberty, but Xot for Liber- 
tine,' 'No Fire-in-the-Rear Men Xeed Apply,' 'Botna Valley Booms for 
Lyman,' 'No Kangaroo Ticket for Us," 'Ohio is Ours.' 'The Xinth Will be 
Redeemed," 'Put Pusey in his Little Mint Bed.' 'No Pension to Rebels," 
'Democratic Diet After November' — Cleveland Crow, Butler Buzzard and 
St. John Soup.' 

"There were a number of pictorial transparencies also. One repre- 
sented the picture of a hideous reptile; underneath were the words 'A Copper- 
head,' and on the body of it were the words, 'Pusey. Cleveland. Hendricks.' 
Another represented an old goose, with the word, 'Hiss-s-s-s' on her beak, 
and underneath were the words, 'A Quack.' On the body of the goose was 
the single word, 'Pusey.' On the other side of it was the legend : 'This 
goose will be cooked Xovember 4.' Portraits of Blaine and Logan were also 
shown. Lamm Brothers were thanked for the free use of their large room. 
D. F. Paul, who was a drummer bov in the L'nited States army in the Civil 
War, played in the procession. 

"The Democratic club showed excellent spirit by loaning one hundred and 
fifty of their torches." It was stated that the palm for the best drilled corn- 
pan}' should be properly awarded to Shelby, hut that Defiance was a close 
second. The paper contains this interesting item: "The ladies of Harlan 
were especially pleased at the handsome manner in which the Shelby Club 
doffed their helmets at the word of command.'' Roger's Martial band was 
on hand. Henry McGinness was one of the hardest workers for the success 
of the occasion. Capt. O. F. Graves was praised for the splendid illumina- 
tion of his store windows, also H. M. Cook for a light hung on the top of his 
highest tree. Miss Hille, who was the Goddess of Liberty, was highly praised 
for the splendid way in which she took her part, as was J. IT. Bates, who got 
up the car and impersonated "Uncle Sam," and H. M. Locke, who drove 


the horses. About fifty men, in lieu of torches, carried brooms. "There 
were only about half a dozen intoxicated persons in the town." 

At the general election of August 7. 1854. Augustus Hall, candidate for 
Congress, received forty-three votes, and Rufus P.. Clark had nine votes, and 
at the general election of August, 1856, J. 1.. Curtis, candidate for Congress, 
had forty-six votes; Augustus Hall, five votes; Samuel R. Curtis bad six- 
votes, and Samuel Jones two votes. 

In 1857. forty-four votes were cast for finishing the court house at Shelby- 
ville, and forty-seven votes against finishing it. At the election of .April. 1858', 
thirty-seven votes were cast in favor of permitting the county judge to borrow 
three thousand dollars to aid in building a court bouse at Shelby ville, and 
sixty-five votes were cast against giving such permission. At the >ame elec- 
tion, sixty-two votes were cast in favor of letting stock run at large, and 
fifty-one votes against. 

The vote for President and Vice-President in Shelby county, begin- 
ning at the election of November 2, 1856, to date, is as follows: 

18 56 — John C. Fremont. Republican 62 

James Buchanan, Democrat 19 

i860 — Abraham Lincoln. Republican 100 

Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat 64 

1864 — Abraham Lincoln, Republican 61 

George B. McClellan. Democrat jS 

1S6S — L". S. Grant, Republican 153 

Horatio Seymour, Democrat 129 

1S72 — C S. Grant, Republican 379 

Horace Greeley. Democrat and Liberal 138 

1876 — R. B. Hayes, Republican 896 

Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat 631 

1880 — James A. Garfield, Republican T -499 

\Y. S. Hancock, Democrat 963 

1884 — James G. Blaine, Republican 1,802 

Grover Cleveland, Democrat r ,74 1 

1888 — Denjamin Harrison, Republican 1,714 

Grover Cleveland, Democrat 1,762 

1892 — Benjamin Harrison, Republican L674 

Grover Cleveland, Democrat 1,890 

1896 — William .McKinley. Republican 2,016 

William J. Bryan. Democrat 2.172 


1900 — William McKinley, Republican ?.iSj 

William J. Bryan, Democrat 2.010 

1904 — Theodore Roosevelt, Republican -Wo 

Alton B. Parker. Democrat 1, 584 

190S — William II. Tai't. Republican '•''"J! 

William J. Bryan, Democrat r >935 

1912 — William II. Tat't. Republican 862 

Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive 1,061 

Woodrow Wilson. Democrat I.819 

Among the men who have served the Democratic party as county chair 
men have been: Thomas McDonald, (i. W. Cullison, Dr. E. A. Cobb, C. F. 
Swift, W. F. Cleveland, ( ). P. Wyland, S. B. Morrissey and perhaps others. 
Among the Republican chairmen have been R. W. Robins, W. J. Davis (re- 
peatedly at intervals over a very long period of years), W. Gammon, L. H 
Pickard, L. C. Lewis. Dr. F. A. Haver, A. F. Holcomb, and others. 

In 1866 Hon. G. Smith Stanton, a son of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was 
in Harlan during the progress of a political campaign then on in Shelby 
county. In his hook, "When the Wildwood Was in Flower," he gives his 
recollections as follows: 

"In the fall following my arrival in the Hawkeye state there was a hot 
political contest going on, and I attended one of the meetings at Harlan, the 
county seat of Shelby county. Speaking of Harlan. I will never forget the 
way they distributed the mail. The postoffice was in the hotel where I 
stopped. The 'postoffice' consisted of two dry goods boxes, one where you 
deposited the mail and the other where you got it. When the mail carrier 
arrived, he would hand the pouch to the postmaster, who was the proprietor 
of the hotel, also hostler and waiter combined. The combination postmaster, 
proprietor, hostler and waiter would dump the mail into one of the boxes, 
and whenever a citizen called for his mail he would dig into the dry goods 
box, look oxer its contents and take what mail belonged to him, and thus 
the mail in the early sixties was distributed in the shire-town of Shelby 

"I naturallv have heart 1 in my life many political issues discussed, but 
I never heard of a nightshirt heing an is^ue until that night at Harlan. There 
was a joint debate between the two opposing candidates for representative in 
the Legislature. The district generally went Republican. The Democratic 
candidate was a farmer, the Republican candidate a lawyer. The majority of 


voters were tanners. Many of them had never heard of a nightshirt, let 
alone owning one. In the heat of a former debate the Democratic candidate 
had charged his opponent with being an aristocrat, in that he wore a night- 
shirt. The Republican candidate at first denied it. but at the Harlan meeting 
the Democratic candidate produced the necessary proof, and from that 
moment the Republican candidate's chances -were doomed; in fact, if I rec- 
ollect riehtlv. he withdrew from the contest." 





Miss Isabella Beaton, for a number of years, was a resident of Harlan, 
where she taught music, sang in the choir of the Congregational church and 
was an active worker in the Christian Endeavor Society. She has become 
famous not only for her instrumental music on the piano, but for her musical 
compositions, which are now played in concert by many oi the best artists 
and orchestras of the world. The Musical Leader says of her musical com- 
positions: '"Her Landler is a favorite program piece, as is her Scherzo for 
orchestra. A quartette for strings, arranged by her. has been played by the 
Bettheber Quartette of Paris, the Wolfried DeCarle Quartette of Montreal, 
the Jacobsohn Quartette of Chicago, and many others. Mr. Frederick 
Stock, the conductor of the Thomas Orchestra, wrote of this composition: 
'The Allegro Scherzando for strings is a clean as well as clever bit of musi- 
cal writing.' She has met with much success with her Intermezzo. Romanze 
(for piano, pipe organ and violins). Improvisations, etc. Her opera, 'Ana- 
conda.' is to be produced this year, and those who have had the opportunity 
to see the work in manuscript and to read the story are enthusiastic as to its 

Miss Beaton is a graduate of Grinnell College, where she made a fine 
record as a student. After five years of study with Moszkowski and other 
masters in Berlin and Paris, she returned to America, where she completed 
the undergraduate course in Western Reserve University, with the degree 
of Master of Arts from the graduate school of that college. Besides this, 
may be mentioned a four-years' post-graduate course in literature and his- 
tory of modern romantic and Germanic languages, doing original research 
work in history and physics in the department of sound. And all this intel- 
lectual power and development has been brought to bear upon her composi- 
tions and interpretations upon the piano. 

Miss Beaton is now in concert and recital in all the large cities of the 
United States and Canada, and the musical public has already shown its ap- 



preciation of her merit by assuring her a welcome seldom accorded a native 
artist. Miss Beaton's tour is in the hands of Mare Lagen, of New York. 


Hon. Cyrus Beard, one of the well-known early practitioners of law in 
Harlan, was graduated from the law department of the State University of 
Iowa June 30. 1874. In 187S, after practicing law in Washington, Iowa, 
for a few years, he came to Harlan and practiced there until 1890, when he 
removed to Evanston, Wyoming, where he engaged in practice. While 
residing in this city he was elected justice of the supreme court of Wyom- 
ing for a term of eight years, commencing in January, 1905. and was re-eleeted 
for a like term, commencing in January, 1913, which term he is now serving, 
He was chief justice for the last two years of his first term and will serve 
again as chief justice for the last two years of his present term. Mr. Beard 
was a candidate for district judge in Iowa at the time that Judge X'. W. 
Macv was nominated. 


Rev. Park W. Fisher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cary William Fisher, better 
known as C. Will Fisher, a pioneer photographer of Harlan, was born in 
the building in which his father had his studio. This building was about 
where Paid Rettig's harness shop now stands, the date of Mr. Fisher's birth 
being April 24, 1SS0. He attended the public schools of Harlan. In 1S89 
the family removed to Demorest, Georgia, where Mr. Fisher again entered 
school, completing the course at the Demorest Normal School in 1897. Be- 
tween 1897 an( ' 1007 be worked at various trades in Demorest and in Atlanta, 
Georgia. In 1907 he entered the Atlanta Theological Seminary, where he 
remained two years. Then he entered the Hartford (Conn.) Theological 
Seminarv. where he remained one year, being graduated in 1910. At Atlanta 
June 7. 19 10. he was married to Miss Elinor Sugg, of Tarboro, North Caro- 
lina. He and his wife then came to Hindman, Kentucky, the latter part of 
June, 1910. where he hecame instructor in manual training in the Woman's 
Christian Temperance L'nion settlement school of that city. He and his wife 
started a Sunday school three miles distant, em Mill creek, where he held 
preaching services. 

As readers familiar with the book will recall. "The Little Shepherd of 
Kingdom Come" lived in the pine mountains of eastern Kentucky, on the 
north fork of the Kentuckv river. Alxmt fiftv miles westward, on the mid- 


die fork, is a place known by its inhabitants as "Hell fer Sartin." Half way 
between these, and a little north of them, is Hindman, the county seat of 
Knott county. Hindman is forty-five miles from a railroad, the nearest 
station being each a two-days' journey over very rough mountain roads. In 
this region July 15, 1910. .Mr. and Mr>. Fisher started a Sunday school of 
one hundred and one members. They had no Sunday school literature and 
no lesson helps and each Sunday went only with their Bibles. The Sunday 
school steadily grew and at Christinas the school had on its rolls one hundred 
and seventy names, with an average attendance of about seventy-five each 
Sunday, all the little school house would seat. Through the generosity of 
home churches in Georgia, Xew York and Connecticut, these primitive moun- 
tain people were enabled to have their first Christina.- tree. The little school 
house filled to overflowing. It was a great treat, not only for the children 
but for the older persons, isolated as they had been all their lives. An 
amusing incident is this: A friend in Florida sent a box of oranges, and 
one little mountaineer began eating his orange as he would an apple, peeling 
and all. The Sunday school grew rapidly, regardless of bad weather, mud 
and poor bridges, fathers and mothers coming afoot and carrying their little 
children two or three miles. On one occasion a dozen men met at the cross- 
ing place of the creek, where there had been only a foot log and made a 
bridge of logs with a plank floor, so that the children might have a sure ami 
safe way for crossing the creek in times of frequent high water. Later one 
man offered to donate all the logs needed to build a "church house" and a 
house for the preacher. Another man donated the ground on a pretty south- 
ern hillside and others gave the tise of their teams and performed labor 
sufficient to erect the church and parsonage. In October, 191 1, Mr. Fisher 
found the need of funds very urgent and, armed with fifty lantern slides 
made from pictures taken with his own kodak while in Kentucky, he started 
for Xew England, where he met a hearty response from friends there. 

Mr. Fisher has not only taught these people and their children in the 
Sunday school and preached to them in their rude church, hut he plans for 
the future a small shop in which they can construct their own furniture and 
where men and boys may be taught the use of tools whereby they may make 
things for their homes: a brass band will he organized and instruction pro- 
vided in domestic science, sewing, etc. Mr. Fisher has done a verv helpful 
and creditable work and he and his wife have suffered privations of which 
the people in Shelby county know but little. 


HON". H. \V. BYERS. 

One oi the former residents of Shelby county, who through native 
ability and hard work has achieved great distinction and brought honor upon 
the county. is Hon. H. W. Byers. present corporation counsel for the city 

of Des Moines. Mr. P.yers was born at Woodstock. Richland county. Wis- 
consin, December 25. 185''. His father. Andrew Clinton Byers. was a 
country doctor. His mother was Mary R. Byers. 

After some years' resilience in Hancock county, Iowa, Mr. Byers. in the 
fall of iSjj. came to visit a friend of his named Heath, then residing at the 
town of Shelby. Soon after his arrival there Mr. Byers was taken sick 
with typhoid fever for some weeks. He was so well treated by the people 
of Shelby that he decided to remain in the county: He taught the Mort 
Keenev country school, afterwards teaching other countrv schools, one or 
two of which were in Westphalia township. While teaching in Westphalia. 
Mr. Byers became acquainted with S. H. Watters. now practicing medicine 
at Irwin, and then running a little drug store on the north side of the square. 
Mr. Byers used to come in from Westphalia on Friday night and help in the 
drug store on Saturday, thus becoming acquainted with the Harlan business 
men. He also was clerk in the Bechtel hardware store, which was then 
where the Hansen & Hansen hardware store now is. He was clerk for 
Blotcky Brothers on Market -treet also, and later for French & True, in the 
store known as the "Golden Opportunity." located where the Shelby County 
Bank now stands. For some years Mr. Byers was in business in Fading, 
and while at Earling determined to stud} - law. which he did later, in the law 
office of Macy & Gammon at Harlan. He was admitted to the bar in May. 

In his early days of practice Mr. P.yer~ had charge of the defense in 
several very important and interesting criminal cases, including defense of a 
young Norwegian who was indicted for burning the barn of George Eokars : 
the defense of Cumberland, who murdered the Robertsons: and also the 
defense of Elmer Terrell. The young Norwegian was acquitted : Cumber- 
land was. after several years, finally hanged, and Terrell was finallv found 
insane and is still confined in one of the state hospitals for the insane. In 
the first trial of the Terrell case this defendant was found guilty of murder, 
but when the district judge came to pass sentence Mr. Byers objected to the 
sentence on the ground that Terrell was then insane, even if he was not at 
the time the jurv found him guilty. It is likelv that this is the first time that 


this question had ever been raised, and the district judge held it a proper 
objection and called a jury to try again the question of Terrell's sanity. On 
the second trial the jury found Terrell insane. 

The first political experience of Mr. Dyers was to run for justice of the 
peace in Westphalia township. He ran as a Republican and was probably 
the first as well as the last Republican ever elected to a township office in that 
township, lie also served as the first Republican delegate from that town- 
ship ever sent to a county convention. Mr. livers was a candidate for the 
lower house of the twenty- fourth General Assembly, hut was defeated by 
Hon. J. H. Louis. Running again for the twenty-fifth General Assembly, 
he was elected and had the honor in the organization of this assembly to he 
chosen speaker pro teni by the unanimous vote of both the Democratic and 
Republican members of the house, by virtue of which election Mr. Byers 
frequently presided during the absence of Speaker Stone. He was re-elected 
to the twenty-sixth General Assembly, at the opening of which he was elected 
speaker by the unanimous vote of both the Republicans and Democrats, this 
being the first time in the history of the state that a speaker was chosen by a 
unanimous vote. 

So fair and impartial was Mr. Byers in his rulings during that session 
of the Legislature that both the Democrats and Republicans, not only, as is 
the usual courtesy, voted him the gavel and chair used during the session, 
but also presented him with a magnificent gold watch as a token of their 
appreciation. In both sessions of the Legislature in which Mr. Byers served 
he introduced and pressed for passage many bills which became law and 
protected the best interests of the people in many ways, including anti-trust 
legislation; protecting consumers against the sale of impure meats; protect- 
ing the public against bad banking, and providing for the inspection of pri- 
vate banks, etc. 

As attorney-general of Iowa, Mr. Byers made a most enviable record 
as a leader of law enforcement. For instance, he put an end to the Sunday 
saloon, the all-night saloon, and sturdily fought the open gambling house. 
For the first time in the history of the state he appeared for the state in be- 
half of Iowa shippers before the inter-state commerce commission. He de- 
fended in the courts assaults made on the pure food law, the pure drug act, 
the stock food law. the hotel inspection law. the anti-pass law, and the in- 
determinate sentence act. the constitutionality of all of which was questioned. 
He forced payment to the state of approximately one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars of fees due it, more than had been collected by the office in 
all the previous years of its existence. He achieved much fame by his 


rigorous prosecution of the Mabray gang, the greatest "bunco gang" that 
ever existed. 

In 1908 Mr. Byers was chosen temporary chairman of the Republican 
state convention, held March 1. at Pes Moines. 

Since leaving the attorney-general's office. Mr. Byers has devoted his 
time to the important legal business of the city of Des Moines, as corpora- 
tion counsel, and to the general practice of law in Des Moines. Upon bis 
appointment he assisted in presenting to the supreme court the case involving 
the question as to whether the Des Moines Street Railway Company had a 
perpetual right to operate its system in the city. The supreme court finally 
rendered a decision in favor of the city, thus ending a controversy that had 
been on for nearly sixteen years. 

Next to the Consolidated Gas case of New York City, the gas case of 
Des Moines was probably the most important rate case tried in the United 
States, in which Mr. Byers represented the city of Des Moines. The city 
council of Des Moines reduced the price of gas from one dollar to ninety 
cents, whereupon the gas company sought to enjoin the enforcement of the 
ordinance. The hearing before Judge Sloan, as master of chancery, covered 
a period of nearly eight months. The gas company was represented in the 
trial by Judge Carr. William Reed and by Mr. Doughirt. of Philadelphia, 
and Mr. X. T. Guernsev. of Des Moines. Iowa. Mr. Guernsey is now general 
counsel for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. The trial 
resulted in a complete victory for the city of Des Moines. It was twice be- 
fore the supreme court of the United States, both times decided for the city, 
and for a third time is now finally pending there. 

Mr. Byers also had charge of the condemnation of the local water 
plant. It was tried by three district judges, the trial covering a period of 
several months, the company having first tried, through the federal courts, 
to enjoin the city from proceeding. The case in the federal court was first 
heard by three federal judges sitting at Council Bluffs, and later was heard 
by the circuit court of appeals sitting at St. Paul, the result in each instance 
being favorable to the city. The case is still pending, however, awaiting 
favorable vote of the people on the purchase of the water plant. 

An exciting case arose soon after Mr. Byers became corporation coun- 
sel, when the street railway company engaged in a controversy with its em- 
ployes over the discharge of a conductor. The fight became very bitter, 
ending in a strike that completely tied up the street railway. Mobs were 
surging through the streets and riot and bloodshed were imminent. Mr. 
(35) " 



Byers became convinced that a court oi equity had jurisdiction and power 
to deal with this situation and to compel the operation of the street railway. 
Petition was accordingly prepared and filed and presented to Judge DeGraff, 
who signed a writ carrying out the idea of Mr. Byers. Within thirty min- 
utes after the writ was signed and extra papers were on the streets an- 
nouncing the injunction order of the court, the mob had dispersed, the 
streets were clear and everything was quiet. The injunction order directed 
obeyance and compliance by a certain hour the following day. Promptly at 
that time the street cars began running all over Des Moines and no trouble 
has since occurred. Mr. Byers regards this as probably the most important 
service he ever rendered the city. The proceedings were entirely unusual and 
a great many good lawyers concluded that the court was entirely without 
jurisdiction. Mr. Byers. however, sustained his contention that at such 
times the city and public is an interested party, and that the business of the 
public may be protected by a court of equity. 

During the term of Mr. Byers as corporation counsel, he prepared the 
bill enacted into law having for its purpose the abatement of the smoke 
nuisance. He also prepared and is enforcing an ordinance requiring the 
telephone and telegraph companies to pay rental to the city for the space 
used by their poles and wires. 

For nearly twenty years the people of Des Moines living south of the 
Des Moines and Raccoon rivers have been asking for a safe way over the 
tracks of the railroads to the business part of the city. In order to reach the 
business portion of the city, ten thousand to fifteen thousand people must 
cross fifteen or twenty railroad tracks, over which travel is very dangerous. 
Nearly twenty years ago proceedings were brought to compel the railroads 
to build viaducts over their tracks, but for some reason the railroad com- 
mission of the state could never be brought to see the necessity of such via- 
ducts, except as to four or five of the new tracks. Shortly after the ap- 
pointment of Mr. Byers this viaduct matter was turned over to him, fol- 
lowing which several hearings were had before the railroad commission. 
Two members of the board. Ketchum and Palmer, decided against the city, 
and Clifford Thorne in fax or of the city. This dissenting opinion by Thome 
gave Mr. Byers courage to apply for a rehearing. Pending this rehearing, 
he was able to secure a compromise with the railroads, and the viaducts are 
now in course of construction. This is likely regarded by the people of Des 
Moines as a large accomplishment. 

Mr. Byers has found time to ally himself with the several commercial 
and civic leagues, and prepared petitions and ordinances providing for rest- 


rooms, ami, in a general way. has been devoting much time and energy to 
those things that tend to make Des Moines a better place in which to live. 


Rev. Alva \Y. Taylor is a son of .Mr. and Mrs. L. S. Taylor, pioneer 
residents of Lincoln township, but now residing in Harlan. Alter attending 
the countrv schools of Lincoln township and teaching one or two terms of 
country school in Shelby county, he entered Drake University in 189(1, from 
which he was graduated later. He took the degree of Master of Arts 
from the [University of Chicago, lie took part in the political campaign 
of 1S96, espousing the cause of "free silver." While in college he was es- 
pecially active in the work of the literary societies. To him belongs the 
honor of having, in conjunction with Prof. J. Amherst Ott and others, or- 
ganized the Midland Lyceum Bureau of Des Moines, which has become 
one of the great lecture course and chautauqna organizations of the country. 

Mr. Tavlor held pastorates of the Church of Christ, commonly known 
as the Christian church, in two different suburbs of Chicago. Later he was 
pastor of the Christian church at Norwood, Cincinnati, Ohio, and subse- 
quently at Eureka, Illinois. While pastor at Cincinnati he organized a 
school for boot-blacks and newsboys, and while at Eureka, Illinois. ,he 
helped to organize the first chautauqna held there, and also assisted in estab- 
lishing there a camp for poor children from Chicago, and brought out there 
and helped care for many of them during a period of two weeks. Mr. Tay- 
lor, together with another worker named Sharp, raised an endowment for a 
Bible college in the State University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, in 
which Bible college Mr. Taylor has been teaching ever since its organization. 
He conducts a department in a religious journal known as The Christian 
Evangelist, of St. Louis, to which he contributes articles on the general 
topic of "Social Service." He also furnishes social service applications of 
the Sunday school lesson for The Front Rank, the Sunday school paper of 
the Christian church. Mr. Taylor has also found time at intervals of his 
very busy life to bring out a book entitled, "Social Side of Christian Mis- 
sions," which has been adopted as one of the standard works by the Christ- 
ian Foreign Missionary Society. Mr. Taylor is an unusually ready and elo- 
quent speaker and frequently appears on chautauqna programs in various 
parts of the country. 



C. M. Christensen is a son of Mr. ami Mrs. Chris Christensen, of Har- 
lan, Iowa. Mr. Christensen served two terms as county recorder of Shelby 
county, after which he removed to Wayne, Nebraska, where he continued a 
real estate business, which he had developed, and also took charge of a dis- 
trict management for the Northwestern Life Insurance Company of Mil- 
waukee, covering a large number of counties in northeastern Nebraska, 
where he had charge of a large number of sub-agents. Mr. Christensen all 
of the time kept investing in land in Nebraska and in Minnesota. He has 
now relinquished the management of the insurance company business, owing 
to the fact that his other interests demanded his time. He now owns in the 
state of Minnesota eleven quarter sections of land. He has the land all leased 
and it is farmed according to his directions, which he executes through a 
graduate of the State Agricultural College of the Universitv of Nebraska. 
This director receives one hundred and fifty dollars per month and, in addi- 
tion, ten per cent, of the income from the farm. 


S. B. Morrissey, who is now a resident of Audubon. Iowa, spent his 
early life in Polk township. Shelby county, in what was then known as 
"Irish Ridge." He served as deputy clerk under O. V. YVyland and subse- 
quently was elected clerk, which office he filled for two terms. He has al- 
ways been active and prominent in the Democratic politic* of the state and, 
previously, of Shelby county. In 1904 he was elected chairman of the Demo- 
cratic state central committee. 


Miss Bessie Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Brown, of Harlan, 
is performing a very useful service in the deaconess work of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. She lectures extensively and is a pleasing speaker. Miss 
Brown, for some years, taught in the Navajo Indian schools of New Mexico. 


Mrs. Guy W. Sarvis, formerly Miss Pearle Taylor, a daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. L. S. Taylor, of Harlan, is now at Nankin, China, engaged, to- 


gether with her husband, in the work of missions. Her husband, by the way, 
who preached for some time in the Christian church at Harlan, had an in- 
teresting article in The Outlook, the well-known magazine, of some months 
ago, on a topic treating of conditions in China. Miss Grace Taylor has also 
begun missionary work in China. She is also a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
L. S. Taylor. 


Rev. P. C. Nelson, linguist and evangelist, was born at Ellits Hoi, Den- 
mark, January 28, 1868, and arrived with his parents at Avoca, Iowa, on 
August 2, 1872. The family first made their home in a cave in Cuppy's 
Grove just south of the place owned by Peter Hansen. Later the family 
removed to another cave in a hill just west of the place of Peter Jensen. 
Many a night were they awakened by the howling of wolves digging into the 
roof of the cave. They next lived in a little house built just west of Cuppy's 
bridge over the Nishnaholna river. This house was afterwards moved across 
that stream and later enlarged and became the permanent home of this fam- 
ily, which suffered much from poverty and adversity, the father dying by 
accident Jul}' 16, 1879, and other misfortunes following in quick succession. 
This was the home of T. K. Nelson, an inventive genius of whom Harlan 
has reason to be proud, organizer and president of the Nelson Gas Engine 
and Automobile Company; of Mrs. W. H. Adkins, of Minneapolis, wife of 
a noted violin maker and mother of a family gifted as professional musi- 
cians, and of Rev. P. C. Nelson (Christopher), now known all over this 
country as a linguist and evangelist. 

Mr. Nelson, in the summer of 1882, herded cattle for "Rill" M'oore on a 
ranch eight miles west of Audubon. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed 
to Cass & McArthur, of Harlan, to learn carriage and sign painting, the firm 
at that time doing a large business as manufacturers of buggies, carriages, 
wagons and all kinds of farm machinery. It was during this apprenticeship 
that Mr. Nelson became interested in education, in telegraphy, and later in 
religious matters. He went rapidly through the grades of the Harlan 
schools and then taught a term of school in the school house known as the 
Brown school, fourteen miles southeast of Harlan. In June. 1889, he 
preached his first sermon in the Trotter school house, five miles southeast of 
Harlan, and in the same summer preached several times in Cuppv's Grove, 
Bowman's Grove and Harlan, then going to the Baptist Seminary at Chicago. 
From Chicago in 1890 he went to Denison University, Granville. Ohio, re- 
ceiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Philosophy in 1897. 


In 1902 he graduated from the Rochester Theological Seminary at Roches- 
ter, New York. As a student he especially distinguished himself in the lan- 
guages, acquiring a good knowledge of Latin, Greek, French. German, 
Dutch, Spanish, Italian. Portuguese, Japanese. Hehrew, Aramaic, the Scan- 
dinavian languages, and others. lie has a reading knowledge of twenty- 
five languages and can conduct religious services in several of them. While 
at Rochester he was translator for the Yick Seed Company, which all pio- 
neers of Shelby county will remember and which at that time did a large 
business necessitating the use of fifteen foreign languages.- lie was tutor 
in Latin and Greek at Denison University and conducted a school of modern 
languages in one of the Xew York universities. For a number of years he 
took regularly more than a dozen foreign perodicals, receiving these in ex- 
change for a paper in which he conducted the department of missions. 

June 16, 1895, Mr. Nelson married Miss Myrtle Emma Garmong, a 
classmate, who afterwards attended Shepardson College at Granville. Ohio. 
Their daughter. May, has traveled with her father and is assistant as pianist 
in some of their big union meetings. Their eldest son. Merrill, is a student 
for the ministry. 

Mr. Nelson has been pastor of Baptist churches in Iowa. Ohio and 
Pennsylvania. He has given nearly eleven years to evangelistic work, in 
which he has been conspicuously successful in many of the widely separated 
states of the Union. During the summer he uses a large chautauqua tent with 
a seating capacity of one thousand five hundred. In the colder months he 
uses specially constructed tabernacles, opera houses and other large build- 
ings. His sermons are published far and wide, and he enjoys intimate ac- 
quaintance with thousands of the leading men in different walks of life all 
over the United States, tie ascribes his remarkable achievements to the 
grace of God and the grace of hard, incessant toil. 

It seems almost outside the realm of possibility that two Shelby county 
boys, at one time classmates in the Harlan public schools and for years 
making their homes within a block of each other, should become joined in a 
great life work, such as spreading the gospel to the multitudes by preaching 
and singing. And yet this has come to pass in the remarkable careers of 
Evangelist P. C. Nelson and Professor Garmong. 


J. P. Garmong, singer, traveler and lecturer, was born near Port Royal. 
Virginia, July 27, 1875, the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. YV. Garmong, of Des 


Moines, Iowa. He was educated in the Harlan schools, graduating from the 
Harlan high school June _\ 1893. The family moved to Des Moines the 
same year. There young Garmong ran a candy shop, was clerk in a grocery, 
also in a hardware store. He then worked at the carpenter trade with his 
father, who was a contractor and builder. In 1894-5 he taught school in 
Dallas and Madison counties. He entered Drake University in 189S and 
was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy in June, 1:902. hi 
the fall of 19OJ he entered, as a sophomore, the Denison and Gross Medi- 
cal College. He was converted while yet a hoy and united with the First 
Baptist church of Harlan, later identifying himself with the Des Moines 
churches. In music he was a pupil of Dean Howard, of Drake University, 
and of noted teachers in Chicago. Being a natural singer and reader, he 
was in great demand not only during his college days but afterwards as an 
evangelistic singer. As an organizer and inspirational leader of song he has 
few superiors and for more than twelve years he has labored as a singing 
evangelist from coast to coast and from the lakes to the gulf. With a noted 
evangelist he made, in 1906-1908, a tour around the world. One of his 
experiences was the great San Francisco earthquake. He went by way of 
Hawaii, the Philippines, and the Fiji islands. Of this time he spent one 
year in Xew Zealand: six months in Australia, and two months in India, 
visiting, enroute, Java, Singapore and Burmah, touring Egypt, Palestine. 
Asia Minor, Greece, Italy. Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France and the 
British Isles. He had thrilling experiences in Xew Zealand, Australia and 
Java. He was robbed at Jerusalem. He swam in the Dead Sea, in the sea 
of Galilee and in the Jordan. In Constantinople he was taken for a spy and 
arrested. Recently he has taken a course in the Moody Bible Institute of 
Chicago, and since September 1, 1914, has labored with his brother-in-law. 
Evangelist P. C. Nelson, a Cuppy's Grove boy. as director of music in evan- 
gelistic campaigns. 


Many citizens of Harlan will recall how many a time they saw a bright 
active boy marching a crowd of his fellows up and down the streets of Har- 
lan, putting them through various military evolutions. It is no wonder that 
this Ikjv subsecjuently achieved much distinction as a soldier. Captain Gibbs 
was born December 14, 187;. at Harlan and is a son of Mr. and Mrs. George 
S. Gibbs. who were both very early residents of Harlan. Mr. Gibbs being 
one of the best known pioneer merchants, also serving at one time as a mem- 
ber of the board of supervisors of Shelby county. Graduating from the 


Harlan high school in the class of 1892, Captain Gibbs entered the State Uni- 
versity of Iowa, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor 
of Science in 1897. This university gave him the degree of Master of 
Science in 1901. He became an associate of the American Institute of Elec- 
trical Engineers, ami is a graduate of the Army Signal School of 19 12. His 
first real military experience was in the cadet battalion at the State Uni- 
versity of Iowa, where he was a private, corporal, first sergeant and first 

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Captain Gibbs left 
Shelby county. May 3, 1898, for Camp McKinley, Des Moines, Iowa, in com- 
mand of a draft of recruits from Shelby county to join the Iowa volunteers. 
He, himself, enlisted as a private in Company C, Fifty-first Iowa Volunteer 
Infantry, being mustered May 30, 1S9S. He was promoted quartermaster 
sergeant on same date, and on June 3, 1S98, as a first-class sergeant and 
ordered to San Francisco, California. On June 26, 1898, he sailed for the 
Philippines as first sergeant United States Volunteer Signal Corps on the 
steamship "Indiana" as a member of General MacArthur's expedition, land- 
ing at Cavite, Philippine islands, July 31. He participated in the campaign 
against the Spanish forces at the battle of Manila, and was commended 
for "especially gallant and meritorious conduct in action.'" January 13, 
1899, he was promoted second lieutenant of volunteers and on June 8, 1900, 
as first lieutenant. He participated in twenty-nine battles and skirmishes of 
the Philippine insurrection, while engaged in building and operating military 
telegraph and cable lines. He had the honor of serving on the staffs of 
Brig.-Gen. Charles King, Major-Gen. Arthur MacArthur and Major-Gen. 
Henry W. Lawton. 

After two years and seven months of Philippine service. Captain Gibbs 
was returned to San Francisco, but at the end of three months he was selected 
to build the government telegraph line through north central Alaska, where 
he had many thrilling adventures and suffered many severe hardships, during 
which time he constructed some five hundred miles of line and traveled on 
foot with a dog team and sled over three thousand miles, the work occupving 
two years and two months' time. On February, 1901, he was appointed first 
lieutenant of the Signal Corps in the Regular Army, and was promoted to the 
grade of captain March 2, 1903. He was then ordered to Washington, D. 
C, and was on duty in the office of the chief signal officer of the army for 
nearly three years. 

When the disturbance arose in Cuba in 1906, Captain Gibbs was sent 


there in command of the signal troops of that army, and for two years, until 
April 1, 1909, was the chief signal officer of the Army of Cuban Pacification. 
As such he was adviser to the department of telegraphs of the provisional 
Cuban government and superintended the installation of a chain of high- 
power wireless telegraph stations. He then went to Fort Omaha as post and 
constructing epiartermaster, commissary, etc., for one year, followed by two 
years at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. When the Mexican situation became 
threatening in the spring of 191 1. he was sent to San Antonio, Texas, to 
command the field company of signal troops with General Carter's division. 
Returning from Texas in the fall of 191 1, he completed the course at the 
Army Signal School in the class of 1912. In September of the same year he 
was transferred to the command of the field company of signal troops at the 
Presidio of San Francisco. In May, 1913, that command was hurriedly trans- 
ferred to the Hawaiian islands for permanent station, and upon arrival at 
Honolulu Captain Gibbs, in addition to his duties as commander of the field 
signal troops, was detailed as department signal officer of the Hawaiian de- 
partment, and officer in charge of the fire control installation at the coast 
defense fortifications. 

For his skill in laying and concealing wires by means of which com- 
munication might be made between points of the field. Captain Gibbs was 
especially complimented by General Funston. It is safe to say that no one 
in the magnificent fortifications which the United States has established on 
the Hawaiian islands is better acquainted with them and their practical opera- 
tion than Captain Gibbs who once marched his boys' company on the streets of 


John Kuhl is the son of Valentine Kuhl and Clara ( Kramer) Kuhl, 
pioneers of Westphalia township, where they settled in 1874. John Kuhl 
was educated in the public schools of Harlan, and was graduated from the 
commercial department of St. John's University, and attended Xotre Dame 
University for one year. After his mother's death in 1885 he worked on 
the home farm and in the spring of [886 he accepted a position with a harness 
and implement dealer of Earling, buying the business in the fall of 1889 and 
selling it in 1891, immediately thereafter locating at Randolph, Nebraska. 
In company with others. -Mr. Kuhl operated a line of harness stores at Ran- 
dolph, Pender, Belden, Wausa and Bloomfield, Nebraska. After 1896 he 
gave his attention to buying and selling of farm land- and the supervision of 
his own lands in Nebraska and Oklahoma. He was elected director of the 


Randolph State Bank in i<)ii and director of the Indian Territory Building 
and Loan Association of Durant, Oklahoma. He was a passenger on the 
steamship "Carpathia," in April, 191 2, ami witnessed the rescue of the pas- 
sengers of the "Titanic," after which he continued his trip to Europe. He 
visited Brazil, Argentine, Chile, Peru and Panama in 1913. in the fall of 
1906 he was elected to the Nebraska State Legislature as a Democrat, the 
Legislature at that time being Republican. He was a member of the com- 
mittees on judiciary, revenue and taxation, and banks and banking. Subse- 
quently Mr. Kuhl was chairman of the committee on privileges and elections. 
While in the Legislature he was a member of the joint committee of the 
House and Senate to draft new banking laws, embodying the principle of 
guaranty of deposits, which feature had been promised in the Democratic 
platform of Nebraska. This law was subsequently upheld by the supreme 
court of the Lnited States without division. Mr. Kuhl also made a motion 
in caucus looking to the taking of appointment of standing committees from 
the speaker, and giving the selection of committees to a committee on com- 
mittees, selected by the caucus of the dominant party, a rule which was subse- 
quently adopted by the national House of Representatives and first suggested 
there by Senator Morris of Nebraska, then a member of the national house, 
following its adoption by the Legislature of Nebraska. His highest political 
honor came to him when he was chosen speaker of the thirty-second session 
of the House of Representatives of Nebraska. He organized the Nebraska 
Legislative League, was elected first president of the league, composed of 
members of territorial and state legislatures of Nebraska, past and present, 
also governors, past and present. The society holds a reunion every year and 
is in a flourishing condition. 


Rev. John \V. Geiger for a number of years was probably the best pulpit 
orator of Harlan, where he filled the pulpit of the Congregational church. 
Since leaving Harlan he has become very prominent in the Woodmen of the 
World, and in 191 2 was elected head consul for the state of Iowa. He has 
lectured widely. 


F. W. Hanna is the son of James S. Hanna, of Defiance, and brother 
of- Mavor James R. Hanna. of Des Moines. Mr. Hanna for a number of 
years was a resident of various parts of Shelby county, subsequently study- 


ing civil engineering'. He now holds a very important position as civil 
engineer in the United States reclamation service. 


C. Durant Jones for a number of years was a pastor at Irwin, Iowa, 
and soon became prominent in the national Prohibit inn partv, in jqij re- 
ceiving the nomination for governor of Iowa on that ticket. He is also 
largely interested and the leading spirit in a large system of chautauquas. 
which he manages successfully. There are four hundred of these, known 
as the '"Jones System." He now resides at Pern. - , Iowa. 


George A. Luxford. the son of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Luxford, of 
Harlan, was born in LaSalle county, Illinois, November 16, 1876. His edu- 
cation was received in the country schools of Shelby county and in the De- 
fiance town schools, one year of preparatory work at Drake University and 
in the State University of Iowa, where he was graduated from the law school 
in 1909, and from the liberal arts department in 1910. While in the uni- 
versity, Mr. Luxford took much interest in debating and was a member of 
two victorious teams, that which won the decision unanimously for Iowa 
against the University of Illinois in 1907 and that which won the debate 
unanimously for Iowa against the University of Wisconsin in 1908. Mr. 
Luxford was county superintendent of schools of Shelby county for two 
terms, following J- B. Shorett, now a prominent attorney of Seattle. Mr. 
Luxford is now assistant attorney of the city and county of Denver, Colorado. 


Hon. Guy H. Martin was born August 1, 1S66, in Lancaster. Keokuk 
county, Iowa. Pie is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Martin. Coming 
to Shelby county, he attended the country schools and did two years' work 
in the Harlan high school, working for his board in the Carl furniture store 
part of the time and teaching the sixth grade in the Harlan schools the re- 
mainder of the time that he attended school. He taught slightly more than 
five years in the schools of Shelby county. The last of his school work was 
as principal of the Irwin schools. 

Under the direction of attornevs Smith and Cullison, he devoted his 


spare time for a period of two years reading law. He afterwards engaged 
in the practice of law at Spencer, Iowa, becoming county attorney of Clay 
county, Iowa. From 1894 to 1899 he was mayor of Spencer, and in 1906 
he was candidate for district judge of the fourteenth judicial district of 
Iowa, and was defeated by the narrow margin of two votes. For the pur- 
pose of bettering the health of his family and of practicing law in a country 
where growth and development were on a large scale and where litigation 
promised greater remuneration, he removed to Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1907. 
In 1912 he assisted in the organization of the Progressive party in Idaho and 
became its candidate for governor of the state. Notwithstanding the fact 
that the supreme cuurt of Idaho denied the Progressive electors a place on 
the ballot, and despite the fact that there were no legislative and county 
tickets of the partv nominated, he pulled over 26,000 votes in a total of 
ninety thousand, carrying his own county by a handsome majority, and de- 
feating his Democratic opponent by a one thousand six hundred majority in 
the home count} - of this opponent, and his Republican opponent by a two 
thousand five hundred majority in his own county. His campaign extended 
over a period of thirty-eight days only and in it he championed particularly 
the creation of a public utilities commission, higher valuation of utility 
properties, the exemption from taxes on a part of the improvements upon real 
estate, the short ballot, the initiative, referendum and recall, and the one- 
house legislature, composed of a small number of legislators. 

Neither of the old parties in Idaho championed any of these reforms. 
He was confronted in the last part of the campaign with the combined fight 
against him of both the Democrats and Republicans. 


Edward P. Noble, now- a resident of Chicago, Illinois, has been long 
associated with many of the important movements having for their purpose 
the betterment of Harlan and Shelby county. He. for many years, bought 
grain in the county, and subsequently resided on his farm a mile south of 
Harlan. For many years he has shown unusual ability and skill as an artist. 
He it was who furnished all of the designs for the decorations on the Shelby 
county court house. For the last few years Mr. Noble has devuted himself 
exclusively to the designing of special letter heads, coats of arms, book plates, 
trade marks, monograms and lodge work, in all of which departments of art 
he excels. He now fills orders for many of the leading men of Chicago as 


well as for patrons all over the United States. The special design constitut- 
ing the frontispiece of this history is one furnished by Mr. Noble. 


Rev. H. F. Porterfield was for some time a few years ago pastor of 
the First Baptist church of Harlan. He subsequently became Democratic 
candidate for the Legislature in Page county, making an extraordinary good 
race. Having had some acquaintance in Indiana with Vice-President Mar- 
shall, he secured the appointment of deputy internal revenue collector for 
the southern district of Iowa, with headquarters at Council Bluffs. 


Chesley Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Rogers, of Harlan, was 
brought up in Harlan. He attended the Harlan schools and became inter- 
ested in drawing and art when these subjects began to be introduced in the 
schools. He followed up his special taste along these lines securing a posi- 
tion with a Cedar Rapids firm and subsequently going to the city of Des 
Moines, where he now resides. He is engaged in different phases of com- 
mercial art and is making a fine reputation for himself, doing work for many 
leading business men of Des Moines and for patrons widely scattered over 
the country. 


C. H. Whitney was brought up in Union township, Shelby county. He 
taught the country schools, subsequently entering the law department of the 
State University of Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1S90. He 
entered upon the practice of law at Harlan with his brother, J. B. Whitney, 
under the firm name of Whitney Brothers, later moving to Hartington, 
Nebraska. He became county judge, a position which he held for several 
years. He became prominent in Democratic politics of the state of Nebraska 
and was nominated for attorney-general of the state. He now resides in 


Ray Floyd Weirick, after graduation from the Harlan high school. 
entered the Iowa State College at Ames, where he took the degree of Bachelor 
of Science, later entering Harvard University, taking a specially arranged 


course in the post-graduate school of landscape architecture. In the spring 
of 1914 he was granted the professional degree of Civil Engineer by the 
Iowa State College. In 19U he made a tour of five and one-half months 
under commissions of the governor of the state and mayor of Des Moines, 
through practically all of Europe, to investigate the matter of city planning 
and landscape architecture. Previous to entering college, Mr. W'eirick spent 
most of his time in nurseries, part of the time with \V. M. Bomberger, of 
Harlan, and also in engineering service fur about a half dozen different rail- 
ways. Leaving college, he was employed for a time in the office of the park 
commission of Kansas City, Missouri. Later he was private secretary to Ira 
G. Hedrick, an eminent consulting engineer of Kansas City. One winter he 
spent traveling through the South, making investigations along the line of 
his work. For four years he served the city of Des Moines as consulting 
landscape architect, at the same time maintaining a private practice covering 
the entire state. At present he is engaged exclusively in private practice with 
offices in the Citizens National Bank building of Des Moines, Iowa. 


Demain Ledwich, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ledwich. was educated 
in the city schools of Harlan and in the Harlan high school. Mr. Ledwich 
early exhibited fine talent as a business man, accountant and bookkeeper, re- 
ceiving his training in the pioneer lumber yard of his father, Thomas Led- 
wich, at Harlan. Later he went to the city of Omaha, where he became 
the head of a verv large wholesale and retail lumber yard which he yet owns 
and manages. He has been very successful in his business, which he fol- 
lows steadily and with a broad view of its future. 


W. A. Yoder is a son of Rev. Yoder. a former pastor of the Dunkard 
church located about four miles east of Harlan. Mr. Yoder was brought up 
in Center township, attended the country schools and later l)ecame a student 
in the University of Nebraska, from which he graduated. Coming to Omaha, 
he was elected county superintendent of the schools of Douglas comity, in 
which the city of Omaha is situated. He has held the office successfully for 
ten years and was re-elected last fall. He started bis educational career by 
holding the position of superintendent of schools at Florence. Nebraska. 

shelby county. Iowa. 559 

miss flora groat. 

Miss Flora Groat is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Groat, of Irwin. 
Iowa. Miss Groat was brought up in Shelby county, attended the rural 
schools here, taught school in the country and in the city schools of Harlan. 
Subsequently she secured a position in the Seattle schools at the time that 
A. B. Warner was superintendent at Tacoma, Washington, and through 
whose efforts, to some extent, she secured her position. Miss Groat was 
recently re-elected.- at a salary of one thousand two hundred dollars per 
annum, to a position that is unique, at least so far as Iowa schools are con- 
cerned. She deals with delinquent and backward children only, who can not 
properlv be cared for in the regular departments of the city schools of Seattle. 
She has taken special work in Xew York City, and perhaps elsewhere, to fit 
her particularly for her duties. 

HON. H. r. BURKE. 

Hon. H. P. Burke, son of John T. and Clara J. Burke, was born in 
Monona county. Iowa. April 28, 1874. When six years old Judge Burke's 
parents came to Shelby county, where he grew to manhood. He attended 
the country schools of Douglas township until fifteen years of age, then 
entered the Harlan high school and graduated in the class of 1893. He. 
thereupon taught country schools in Shelby county in 1894-95 and at the same 
time read law in the office of Byers & Lockwood, of Harlan. In January, 
1896, he was admitted to the liar of Iowa and in July, 1896, to the bar of 
Colorado. He again taught school in Shelby county in 1S96-97. He was 
employed in the law offices of Byers & Lockwood and G. W Cullison until 
June 1, 1898, when he enlisted in Company Twelve, United States Volunteer 
Signal Corps, where he ^.eryed as corporal, until mustered out October 17, 
1898. at Lexington, Kentucky. He then came back to Mr. Cullison's office 
where he remained until July, when he was called to Rocky Ford, Colorado, 
by the death of his father. After arriving there, he began the practice' of 
law in December of that year. He was appointed clerk of the district court 
of Logan county, Colorado, in January, 190 1. and seryed until January, 
1903. when he returned to the practice of law. He was married on March 
6, 1904, to Miss Rose Sanner at Wyoming. Illinois. They haye no children. 

Mr. Burke soon attracted attention as an attorney and quickly made 
friends. In November. 1906. he was elected judge of the thirteenth district 
of Colorado, including the counties of Logan. Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, 


Washington and Yuma, for a term of six years. He was elected by one 
thousand three hundred majority on the Republican ticket, running far ahead 
of the other candidates and when he took his seat he had the honor of being 
the youngest judge in the state. He was re-elected in November, 191 2. run- 
ning three thousand votes ahead of his ticket. He ran on the Republican 
ticket, which was the minority ticket of the district, his opponent running on 
the Democratic and Progressive tickets. The three parties polled a total of 
12,502 votes in these counties, and only 3.6CX) of these were Republican, 
hence approximately 3.000 votes or one out of every three who voted either 
the Progressive or Democratic tickets, must have scratched for Judge Burke. 
In two counties his vote exceeded the combined strength of the Democrats 
and Progressives. He was elected by a majority of two hundred and forty- 
six. In 1910 and 1912. and in 1914, he was urged by many influential lead- 
ers of the Republican party to become a candidate of the party for governor 
of Colorado, and could undoubtedly have had the nomination. He abso- 
lutely refused, however, much preferring the work of a trial judge. It is 
also interesting to know that in a primary of its own held by the State Bar 
Association of Colorado to select a candidate for judge of the supreme 
court, out of eighty-four candidates voted for. Judge Burke, on the first 
ballot, stood seventh. As a judicial official he is noted for the great speed 
with which business is cared for consistent with justice and he is always 
"boss of the court.'" 


Dr. Thomas A. Burcham was born July 6, 1881, at Harlan, and is a 
son of Air. and Mrs. John Burcham, his mother being a daughter of J. \V. 
Chatburn, the famous pioneer miller of Shelby county, prominent in the early 
political and religious life of the county. Entering the Harlan high school, 
Doctor Burcham graduated in June, 1902, and in the fall of that year entered 
Drake University, from the medical department of which he was graduated 
in June, 1906. While Doctor Burcham was in Drake University, he was 
president of the freshman class and a famous member of the football teams 
of the university for four years, beginning in 1902. He began playing foot- 
ball on the Harlan high school team. In 1905 he was captain of the team. 
In one of the games against the University of Michigan he had the honor of 
making, by a drop kick from the field, the only score made by his team. 
He was a member of the spring track teams of the university for four years, 
beginning in 1903. After he graduated from the university he served one 
year in the Iowa Methodist Hospital as interne from June, 1906, to June, 


1907. Iii 1908-9 he served as county physician of Polk county and also did 
general practice in medicine and surgery. .After serving as county physician, 
lie pursued the general practice of medicine and surgery in the city of Des 
Moines. At the present time he has charge of the X-ray department at the 
.Iowa Methodist Hospital and is also a member of the staff of physicians of 
that hospital, which position he has had for three years. In 1911 he took 
the examination for the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States army 
and in June, 191 1, received a commission in the army. When the Sixth 
Cavalry, stationed at Fort Des Moines, was ordered to the Mexican border 
in February, 191 1, he was ordered on active duty as surgeon at Fort Des 
Moines, which position he yet holds. 

Following his graduation from Drake. Doctor Burcham studied in and 
visited the larger clinics in Chicago, and took some special work in X-ray at 
St. Mary's Hospital. Rochester, Minnesota, under the celebrated Doctors 
Mayo, and also attended their surgical clinics. Doctor Burcham is a member 
of the Polk Count} - . Iowa, and American Medical Associations, and is now- 
living at Ft. Des Moines as a surgeon of the United States army. 


B. S. Asquith, the son of Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Asquith, was brought up 
in Lincoln township and attended the country schools there. Subsequently 
he was graduated from the State Normal School at Cedar Falls, taught for 
some time in the Harlan schools and later in eastern Iowa. Entering the 
State University of Iowa, he was graduated from that institution, soon after 
being chosen to a position as teacher of history in the Council Bluffs high 
school. He was very successful in his work, so that in a few years he became 
principal of that high school, a position which he now holds successfully. 


Allan Peterson was born in Shelby county, October 11, 1877. and at- 
tended the rural schools of Shelby county and a normal school at Atlantic. 
In 1898 he began teaching in the rural schools in Monroe township. He 
taught two years in district Xo. 2 and three winters in district Xo. 3, his home 
district. In 1900 he entered the Iowa State Teachers' College at Cedar 
Falls, Iowa, and graduated there in 1903. He was then elected superintend- 
ent of schools at Randolph. Iowa, where he remained for three vears He 


came to Des Moines in the fall of 1906 to take charge of the de; 
of physics at East Des Moines high school, to which he had been ele 
which position he yet holds. This is one of the largest high schoo 
state, with an enrollment which this year will be over one thous 
hundred, in what is undoubtedly the finest high school building in t 
costing six hundred thousand dollars, and thoroughly equipped in t 


Elizabeth Reynolds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Reyn 
tended the public schools of Harlan and graduated from the Hai 
school in the class of 1891. She subsequently taught school and la 
to Washington, D. C where for some time she was secretary to a 
of the House of Representatives. At present she is employed in 
of the permanent headquarters of the Democratic national commits 
it is her duty to look after the office, take care of callers, dictate wo 
stenographers, plan their work for them, and in many other ways 11 
self useful in the work of the national committee. 


Bishop John Wesley Robinson is a son of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. 1 
early pioneers of Harlan and Shelby county. He was born January 
at Moulton, Iowa; attended the public schools of Harlan; later beca 
ested in journalism, entering the printing establishment of the Shclb 
Republican, where he became exceedingly skillful and useful in the 
ical department, holding the position of foreman for a number of 3 
earning for himself the reputation of being a very careful, earnest a 
trious workman. At eighteen years of age, he was converted, and a 
one, being firmly convinced that he was called to preach, he attendei 
Biblical Institute. In 1890 he was admitted to the Des Moines c< 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1890 he preached as a stude 
at Chapman, Nebraska, and in [891-2 at Cass, Illinois. Three y< 
he went to India, having in the meanwhile obtained his divinity di 
Northwestern University. Evanston, Illinois. Bishop Thoburn foi 
for him in north India, and he set sail for India from New York. 
1892. Eor eight years he preached in the English-speaking church 
now, at first assisting Bishop Parker in the work of the press, for i 
experiences at Harlan stood him in good stead, and later doing ev 


work in the vernacular and editing - the religious journal, The Star of India. 
He was also agent for the Methodist Publishing House at Lucknow, 1893-5, 
1905-6, 1907-S and 191 1. In 1900-02 he was the treasurer of the Mission's 
India Famine Relief Fund; secretary of the India Fpworth League, 1900-4; 
secretary of the Bishop Thoburn special fund, 1906-7, 1908-12; editor of 
Kaubab-i-Hind, 1896- 1898-01;. 1902-4, 1905-12; superintendent of the Oudh 
district, 1900-12; delegate to the general conference. 1904, 1908, 1912. At 
the general conference held in Minneapolis. Minnesota, in May, 1912, he was 
elected missionary bishop for southern Asia, the nominating speech for him 
being made by Dr. Adna B. Leonard. The nomination was seconded by M. 
K. Muskerjee, of the North India conference, in the following address, which 
well indicates the regard in which Bishop Robinson is held by the people of 
India, who know him : 

"I want to take the floor this afternoon to second the motion of Doctor 
Leonard. I want to second the name of John Wesley Robinson, district 
superintendent of one of the largest districts in Indian Methodism. 1 want 
to speak concerning the work he has done in India. When he went from 
America to India he was made the pastor of one of our largest English-speak- 
ing churches in India — Lucknow. The membership had diminished very 
greatly and Doctor Robinson was put in that position in that difficult place 
and he built up the church wonderfully. It was so filled that at the time of 
the second hymn you could not get a seat. He remained pastor eight years, 
was made a district superintendent, and has done that work very satisfactorily. 
He was the agent of one of our biggest plants in India, the publishing house 
in Lucknow. He has been for more than twenty years, if I am not mistaken, 
the editor of our church publishing interests, and you must bear in mind that 
he knows the vernacular very well indeed. He is truly a fluent speaker, and 
may I say that I voice the feelings of the ministerial and lay members of the 
North India and Northwest India conferences when I stand here and say 
that almost all the lav and clerical members wish that John Wesley Robinson 
be returned to India as a missionary bishop. And I wish to emphasize that 
point. I do not wish to make any comparisons, but I know how the men 
feel in India, and understand that if you send out a man he wants our con- 
fidence and love in every sense of the word. And I wish to make this further 
statement that John Wesley Robinson in India is looked upon not as an 
American, but as an Indian. (Laughter and much applause.) We are 
asking of you for a bishop who is to us as good as an Indian. ( Laughter 
continued.) And I beseech you in the name of the North India and North- 
west India conference to give us John Wesley Robinson." (Applause.) 


The total number of votes cast was seven hundred and thirty-nine, of 
which John Wesley Robinson received six hundred ami eighty-six. 

The territory over which Doctor Robinson has jurisdiction as a mission- 
ary bishop includes a large section of India, including the large city of Bom- 
bay, the city of Calcutta, the city of Lucknow, and the city of Rangoon. It 
also includes the Malay peninsula, the islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the 
Philippines, the Celebes and other islands. 


At one time J. G. Mverly was a resident of Harlan, where he practiced 
law. He has, however, resided for many years in the city of Des Moines, 
where he served for several years as postmaster of that city, and was a candi- 
date before the last primary for the Republican nomination for Congress. 


It is no small honor for Shelby county to have two of her young people 
engaged as instructors in what is probably the finest high school building in 
Iowa, the East Des Moines high school. Elsewhere, the author of this his- 
tory has referred to the work of Allan Peterson. Another department of the 
high school is now and has been for some time in the charge of Miss Eliza- 
beth Wvland. a graduate of the Harlan high school and of Grinnell College. 
She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Wvland. 


Lieut. Richard Booth is a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Booth, and grand- 
son of N. Booth. Lieutenant Booth, after graduation from the Harlan high 
school, was appointed to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and 
passed his examinations successfully for admission to this institution. He 
made a splendid record for himself as a student in the academy and is now 
an officer in the United States navy. 


Estella Wyland. the daughter of Hon. and Mrs. C. J. Wvland, attended 
the public schools of Harlan, and then spent one year in Wellesley College. 
Subsequently she taught in the Harlan high school very successfully. Some 


years later she was married to Mr. Chatterton, who subsequently became 
governor of Wyoming. 


H. P. Nielsen attended the public schools of* Shelbv county and subse- 
quently entered the University of Nebraska, from which he was graduated. 
He for several years held the principalship of the high school at Hastings, 
Nebraska, ami was president of one of the large teachers' associations of 
Nebraska. Subsequently he was city superintendent of the schools of Harlan 
and is now superintendent of the schools of Glemvood, Iowa. 


Douglas Rogers, the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. N. Rogers of Cuppy's 
Grove, and grandson of Dr. \Y. J. Johnston of Cuppy's Grove, attended the 
public schools of Monroe township and the Harlan high school, later entering 
the law department of the State University of Iowa, and was graduated. He 
began the practice of law at Manning, Iowa, and is now the Democratic 
candidate for the House at Des Moines, and will undoubtedly be elected. 


J. D. Caughran, who was born in Iowa, and came to the town of Shelby in 
1872. was for main - years a prominent citizen of the county and leader in 
the Republican party. Later he moved to the city of Tacoma, Washington, 
where he achieved much distinction. He became a member of the citv coun- 
cil of Tacoma and handled the first wheat shipped abroad from that point, 
consisting of one million bushels. He went into partnership with D. B. 
Sheller. a former resident of Harlan, in the abstract business. He was a 
member of the Washington Legislature during the years of i8qi-2. Mr. 
Caughran went to Tacoma in 1885. He previously to that time had been in 
the grain, lumber and banking business at Shelby for thirteen years. He 
had served as lieutenant in the Civil War. 


For the following splendid record of the young people of Shelby town- 
ship the author is indebted to Miss May Crown, herself a graduate of the 
Shelby high school and of the Iowa State College at Ames, and for several 
years a successful principal of the Harlan high school. The achievements 


of these young people certainly reflect great credit on the community and 
on the schools of Shelby. 

Albert Stevens was a member of the first graduating class of the Shelby 
high school. This was in 1886. After this he spent several years teaching 
school, lie then pursued a course in the Philadelphia Medical School, com- 
pleting it in iSqj. He located at Hancock. Iowa, and has been one of 
Pottawattamie county's successful physicians. 

Frank Allen, after finishing the course of the Shelby high school (1893), 
went to Iowa City and took a course in medicine at the State University of 
Iowa. He has practiced medicine in several different places with success. 
He is now located at Jordan. Iowa. 

William Bullock, another alumnus of the Shelby high school (1894), 
completed a course in medicine at the Iowa State Universitv and is a practic- 
ing physician at Lake View, Iowa. 

Adelaide Dutcher-Curtis attended school in Shelby. Before entirely 
completing the course, she entered the State University of Wisconsin at 
Madison and was graduated as a Bachelor of Science in 1897. She then 
took a four-year medical course at the Johns Hopkins Medical School of 
Baltimore, Maryland. After completing her hospital training she located in 
Syracuse, Xew York and is one of the successful physicians of Syracuse. 

Hugh Linn was a member of the class of 1898 from Shelby high school. 
He worked his way through Simpson College, then went to Chicago and 
worked his way through the medical school of Xorthwestern Universitv. 
After a year's hospital work, he sailed as a medical missionary to Bidar. 
India, where he is doing a wonderful work among the natives. 

Fred Buckley, of the Shelby high school, class of 1809. studied several 
years in the Iowa State University, completing his medical course at the 
Northwestern University of Chicago. He practiced several years at Broken 
Bow, Nebraska, then made his permanent location at Beatrice, Nebraska, 
where he has a large and growing practice. 

Julius C. Peters went to Colorado and entered the State University at 
Boulder. He made a special study of irrigation projects from a legal stand- 
point. After his graduation from the law department he located at Great 
Falls, Montana. 

William Pomerov finished the Shelby high school in 1896. He took a 
course in law at the State University of Iowa, receiving his diploma in 1903. 
He is located at Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Ralph Pryor, after graduation from Shelby high school entered the State 


University of Nebraska and lie was graduated from the law department in 
1904. He is now one of Shelby county's successful farmers. 

Ed Wunder is also an alumnus of the law department of Nebraska State 
University, lie is practicing at Fairbury, Nebraska. 

William Baer. of the class of 1904. completed a course in veterinary 
science and surgery at Kansas City Veterinary College in 191 .2 and is prac- 
ticing his profession at Malvern, Iowa. 

Roy Buckley, of Shelby high school, class of 1901. took a complete 
course of dentistry at Northwestern University. He is also located at 
Beatrice, Nebraska. 

Ray Morton completed a course in dentistry at the Iowa State University 
in 1901. He is a practicing dentist at Mason City, Iowa. He was a famous 
football player. 

Loren Pomeroy. of the class of 1S98 Shelby high school, took his work 
in the Chicago Dental School. He is a practicing dentist at Avoca, Iowa. 

Henry Wunder finished the Shelby high school in 1904. He studied in 
Iowa State University, Nebraska State University and University of Wis- 
consin. He is now count}" recorder of Shelby count}-. 

Elmer McCausland went from his father's farm near Shelbv to school 
at Cornell College. Mt. Vernon. After graduation here, he went to Cornell 
University at Ithaca, New York, where he took further work. For several 
years he was an instructor in the engineering department in this same school. 
He afterwards went to Seattle, Washington, as instructor in the State Uni- 
versity there. Several years ago he accepted a life deanship of the Engineer- 
ing College in the University of [Missouri, at Columbia. 

Watson Keeney finished the Shelby high school in 1894 and entered one 
of the state normal schools at Oneida. New York. After completing his 
normal training he began teaching in one of the many suburbs of New York 
City. He continued his special training in New York Universitv, from 
which he was given the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy. He holds a life 
position in the New York city schools. 

Bessie Benham. after completing the work of the Shelby high school, 
taught several terms in the rural schools of Shelbv county. She spent three 
years taking work in the College of Liberal Arts at Iowa State University. 
She then took special kindergarten and primary work at the Armour Institute 
in Chicago. For nearly ten years she has been a successful teacher in the 
schools of Seattle. Washington. 

Irene Savage completed practically all the work of the Shelby high 
school, but lacked a few weeks of graduation. She then went to Penn Col- 


lege at Oskaloosa where she continued her education about two years. After 
teaching awhile, she went to Cedar Fails and completed the primary training 
course there. After this she was elected to a position in the schools of Den- 
ver, Colorado. She has been a very successful teacher there for the past 
fourteen years and practically has a life position. 

.Minnie Krukenberg finished the Shelby high school in 1903 and that 
fall entered the University of Xehraska. She was graduated here from the 
College of Liberal Arts and from the Teachers' College. Since then she has 
taught successfully in several high schools of Nebraska. The past two years 
she has had charge of the normal training department in the Council Bluff's, 
Iowa, high school. 

Alice Frum after completing the work of the Shelby high school, studied 
two years in the State University of Iowa, then went to Nebraska State Uni- 
versity from which she was graduated (in 1910), as Bachelor of Arts. She 
also completed the work in the Teachers' College. She won Phi Beta Kappa 
honors, and carried off a scholarship in American history. After teaching 
one year she spent several month" in Europe. She is now teaching in the 
Shelby high school. 

Sadie Barrett was graduated from the Shelby high school in 1904. She 
then went to Cedar Falls where she completed a course in special primary 
work. After several years of successful teaching she was elected to the posi- 
tion of primary teacher in the Council Bluffs, Iowa, city schools. She is now 
doing her sixth year's work there. 

Marie Luers-Craven, of the class of 1893 of the Shelby high school, 
entered Simpson College. Before completing her work she went to Cali- 
fornia where she entered Leland Stanford University, graduating therefrom 
in 1903. She is now teaching in the high school of Canon City, Colorado. 

Mae Sutton-Walker, of the high school class of 1S93, completed a course 
in Battle Creek Sanitarium in 1905. She continued working in the hospital 
for several years. She is now located at Denver,' Colorado. 

Esther Jones, of the class of 191 1. has just finished her nurse's training 
course in the Methodist Episcopal hospital in Omaha. 

Grace Buckley, of the high school class of 1901, studied four years in 
Iowa State University, being graduated therefrom in 1907. After teaching 
several years, she entered the Presbyterian hospital at Chicago for special 
nurse's training course. She received her diploma in March, 191 4. 

M. E. Clapj). of the high school class of 1897. completed a course in 
the Liberal Arts College at Iowa State University in i9or. He then became 


a partner in his father's bank at Shelby. Me is now president of the Shelby 
County Savings Bank of Shelby, Iowa. 

A. C. Clapp finished his high school course in 1898. He also pursued a 
course in Liberal Arts at Iowa State University, being graduated therefrom. 
He is now president of the Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank, Harlan. Iowa. 

Hattie Plum-Williams was graduated from the University of Nebraska 
in 1902 as a Bachelor of Arts. She took her master's degree in 1909. For 
several years she has been working on a thesis on the "Historical and 
Social Study of the Russian German." The first part relates to this whole 
group of immigrants in the United States. The social part is based on a 
stud_\- of the Lincoln settlements. She will take her Doctor of Philosophy 
degree in June, 19 15. 

Arthur Buckley was graduated in 1904 from the electrical engineering 
department of Iowa State College at Ames. Iowa. He is a successful farmer 
or rancher on a large ranch near Colorado Springs. 

John F. Brown, of the high school class of 1S9S, finished his course in 
civil engineering at Iowa State College in 1903. He is now chief civil 
engineer of the South works of the Illinois Steel Company, Chicago, Illinois. 

Frank L. Brown completed a course in civil engineering at Iowa State 
•College in 1904. He became constructing engineer for the Des Moines 
Bridge and Iron Works. He is now chief draftsman in iron works at Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin. 

Lewis Cutchall, after finishing the course of the Shelby high school, 
entered Nebraska State University ami studied four years in the electrical 
engineering department. After receiving his diploma he went South and 
located at Dallas. Texas. 

John Dutcher was granted a diploma in civil engineering from Wis- 
consin State University in 1897. He is a civil engineer in Chicago. 

Murray Hadley, of the high school class of 1905. completed his course 
in mining engineering at Iowa State College in 19 12. He is a mining engineer 
at Ravensdale, Washington. 

Vern Plum, another Shelby high school alumnus, completed his work- 
in the electrical engineering department of Iowa State University in 1909. 
He is located at Gilman, Montana. 

Archie Scott finished his high school work in 1898. He later took up 
the work of mining engineering at Iowa State College, completing this work- 
in 1905. He is now superintendent and partner in the manufacturing plant 
of brick and tile at B<xjne. Iowa. 

Clifford Scott, after his high school work, spent one year in the Nebraska 


State University, lie then went to Ames, where he received a diploma 
several years later in mining engineering. He is at present in the employ 
of the Laclede Iron and Steel Works at St. Louis, Missouri. 

Ralph Fagan was graduated from Shelby high school in 1S99. ^ e 
took some work in the Liberal Arts College at Iowa State University. He 
soon after entered the ministry and is now pastor of the Methodist Episcopal 
church at Springfield, Nebraska. 

Charles Mayne, an alumnus of Shelby high school, spent several years 
in Cornell College. Mt. Vernon. From there he went to Garrett Biblical 
Institute. Before his entrance to Cornell he had planned to enter the min- 
istry. Through his collegiate course he usually served a small congregation. 
After completing his work at Garrett, he became a regular minister of the 
Des Moines conference. He is now pastor at Griswold. Iowa. 

Man - Scott, after completing her high school, turned her attention to 
the study of music. She studied in the Chicago Music School and has a 
large class of piano pupils in Pottawattamie county. 

Emma Brown also became a music student. She completed a four-year 
course of piano at Simpson. The Normal music work was taken at the 
same place. 

Clyde Williams, an alumnus of the Shelby high school, graduated from 
the dental department of the State University of Iowa. He became captain 
of one of the most famous football teams of the university, a team that de- 
feated the Universities of Chicago and Michigan. Williams was given credit 
for being the best field captain of the -Mississippi valley and of the entire 
West. He is now athletic director of the Iowa State College of Ames, Iowa. 

Mary Tate completed the high school course at Shelby in 1S93. She 
•then entered Grinnell College, from which she was later graduated. She has 
taught in the Shelby high school for about ten years. 

Hon. William F. Cleveland, of Harlan, one of the leading Democrats 
of Iowa, has been highly honored by his party. He served in the State Sen- 
ate, representing Shelby and Cass counties. In the last presidential cam- 
paign his name appeared on the ballot at the head of the Democratic column 
as candidate for presidential elector-at-large. He was elected together with 
the other Democratic electors and had the honor of carrying the vote of 
Iowa to Washington. Mr. Cleveland, by the way, is a distant relative of 
Grover Cleveland. 

Editor W. C. Campbell, of the Harlan Tribune, has been the nominee 
of his party for Congress from the ninth district of Iowa. 

N. Nielsen has served as president of the Jewelers' Association of Iowa 


and is the ninth district chairman of the Progressive party, and was its 
nominee for state senator at th elast election. 

Rush C. Benedict, for many terms in the Iowa House, was chief clerk. 
It is safe to say that no man in Iowa, during his time, was so familiar with 
the rules of procedure of the House at Des Moines as Mr. Benedict, and no 
officer more popular than he. 

Miss Ada Bomberger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. \V. M. Bomberger, 
of Harlan, has studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was for some 
time employed in a Chicago engraving house, where part of her work was 
to hand-paint and embellish the pages of a de luxe edition of work describ- 
ing a New York millionaire's farm. 

Among the young people of Shelby county who have shown particular 
talent in art is Miss Helen Kolb, formerly a resident of Clay township, daugh- 
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kolb. She is now engaged in commercial art. 
For some time she was a student at the Chicago Art Institute. For the last 
six or seven years she has been employed by the Osborn Company of Chicago. 

Miss Freda Noble, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Noble, now a 
resident of Chicago, is also engaged in doing various kinds of art work. She 
has done some work by way of illustrating magazine articles, designing 
fancy postal cards, etc. 

Chesley Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Rogers, of Harlan, has 
achieved success in commercial art. He lives in the city of Des Moines and 
has as his patrons many of the prominent business men of that city and of 
other business men over the country who desire fine advertising devices. 

Dr. Fred Brazie has been assistant state veterinarian. Dr. A. D. Kuhl 
has also been honored with a similar appointment. 

W. F. McNaughton is a soti of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. McNaughton, early 
settlers in Grove township. While a student in the University of Nebraska 
he distinguished himself in debate and represented the university in a contest 
with the University of Colorado. Mr. McNaughton is a brother of Sheriff- 
elect C. W. McNaughton, of Harlan, and is practicing law at Coeur d'Alene, 

A number of Shelby county young men have taken up the work of 
automobile manufacturing, and are employed in some of the great factories 
of the country. Among these young men are Robert Campbell, Frank Mc- 
Farland and Lynden Bagley. / 

Lawrence Nelson, who after graduation from the Harlan high school 
attended the Iowa State College of Agriculture at Ames, has a fine position 
on a great farm in Michigan, as manager in the employment of the wealthv 
owner of the farm. 




The two earliest pioneer families of Cuppy's Grove, that of Dr. \\ . J. 
Johnston and that of Adam Cuppy, who lived only a few hundred yards 
apart, seemed to have had trouble almost from the start of their settlement 
there. This disagreement between the members of these respective families 
sems to have reached, a culmination whn John Johnston was shot and killed 
in July, i860. 

On Jul_\- 21, 1S60, an information was filed with count}' judge William 
Wyland, charging William B. Cuppy with the alleged murder of John Johns- 
ton and charging Adam Cuppy with being accessory to the said crime. The 
two defendants were placed under arrest by Milton Stanton, sheriff, and 
brought before Judge Wyland, who fixed July 26, 1S60. for examination. 

In the meantime on July 24. i860. W. J. Johnston. Mary Ann Johnston 
and Braftord Johnston were arrested and brought before Judge W viand 
charged with having committed an assault with intent to kill William B. 
Cuppy. Judge Wyland fixed the 27th day of July. iSfio. for their prelim- 
inary hearing. 

On July 26, accordingly, the case of William B. Cuppy and Adam Cuppy 
came on for hearing with the result that Judge Wyland required them to give 
bonds in the sum of three thousand dollars for their appearance at the next 
term of the district court of Shelby county to answer to any charge that the 
grand jury might prefer against them, which bonds were duly given. On 
the 27th of July, 1800, Judge Wyland dismissed the defendants, W. J. Johns- 
ton. Mary Ann Johnston and Braftord Johnston. W. B. Cuppy and Adam 
Cuppy were eventually released, or acquitted, as I find no further record of 

the case. 



[D. S. Irwin, of Irwin. Iowa, in 1870. in the course of a series of articles 
recounting the history of Shelby county, wrote the following review of the 


death of Adam Ctippy, of Cuppy's Grove, and the circumstances leading 
up to it. This event was probably the most exciting episode that had oc- 
curred in Shelby county up to that date. Many of the most prominent 
citizens of Shell)}' county were interested or in some manner implicated. 
The editor of this history dues not undertake to do more in connection with 
this matter than to quote the following narrative written by Mr. Irwin but 
five years after the occurrence which ought to make it fairly reliable.] 

"On the 23d day of October. 1865, occurred the murder of Adam Cuppy. 
But little of the evidence given during the trial of those who were indicted 
for the murder has been preserved, so that the particulars of the case can 
only be ascertained from those who lived in the county at the time, and the 
accounts given by them are so conflicting that we will publish but few of 
them. But from the best authority that we can find, the causes which led 
to the murder are as follows : 

"A horse was stolen from Mrs. McConnell. of Bowman's Grove, and 
taken to Council Bluffs. The person who stole the horse is said to have been 
Charles Cuppy, son of Adam Cuppy. When he took the horse to Council 
Bluffs, he left him at a livery stable and was there told that he could not take 
him from the stable until he proved his property. He then left the stable and 
started toward the hotel, but instead of going into the house he left the city, 
and on Monday he stole another horse of one McKinzie, of Big Grove, and 
sold him to a man living in Lewis, Cass county. He then came home to 
Cuppy's Grove, when he was arrested and bound over for trial in Shelby 
county, although the horse was stolen in Pottawattamie county. On the day 
he was to be tried he did not appear for trial and after the case was dis- 
missed Adam Cuppy mounted a horse to go home, but was ordered to dis- 
mount, was tied, and taken into the court house. * * * 

"Adam Cuppy was bail for his son's appearance, and we are informed 
that the citizens told him that if he would give up his son for trial they would 
see that he received justice; but he refused to give him up. I do not give 
these statements as facts, but thev have been given to me by several of our 
most respectable citizens. Adam Cuppy was kept tied in and about the court 
house during the day; and some time after dark a crowd came and took him 
out and started northward. A short distance north of the court house he was 
shot. Five wounds were found on his person, only one of which was thought 
to be mortal. 

"The grand jury of Shelby county found a bill against five citizens of 
the county for assault with intent to kill Adam Cuppy and William B. Cuppy; 
but on the 15th day of May the district attorney filed his motion to dismiss 


the case; and it appeared, to the satisfaction of the court, that said indictment 
was found and presented by a jury consisting of only fourteen jurors, and 
that it charged two distinct offenses; the motion was therefore sustained, the 
defendants discharged ami their bail released. The grand jury then found 
a bill against the same five persons for assault with intent to commit murder; 
and also another bill for murder. The trial was postponed and the court 
adjourned till the following September. The cause then came up and was 
postponed until the first Monday of December, when it again came up and 
was postponed till in 1S68. One of the defendants had a change of venue 
to Harrison county, where he was tried and acquitted. The other four were 
tried in Shelby county and were also acquitted. The trial on the indictment 
for assault with intent to commit murder has been postponed from time to 
time and has not yet been tried. These suits have made a great deal of cost 
and confusion, and have involved some of the citizens in almost endless diffi- 
culty; but as the persons indicted for the murder of Adam Cuppy have estab- 
lished their innocence, it is likely that they will prove themselves innocent of 
the charge of assault with intent to kill William B. Cuppy. The horse that 
was stolen was not the property of either of the men who were indicted for 
the murder of Adam Cuppy, and therefore they were not the injured parties; 
and as the injured parties were present when he was killed and one of them 
has not since been heard of. it is hardly reasonable to suppose that he 
was killed by the citizens of the county. 

"Fortunately the citizens have seldom been horrified by murder com- 
mitted in the county. There was one other murder, the murder of John 
Johnston, committed at Cuppy's Grove, for which crime William B. Cuppy 
was tried and acquitted." 


On Saturday morning, July 14. 1SS3, a determined band of men, esti- 
mated at one thousand five hundred in number, surrounded two bandits and 
murderers in a grove lying in section 10. Clay township. In its early history 
this grove was known as Hamlin's Grove, but later "became known as Elk 
Horn Grove, by which name it is known today, although at this time but little 
of the timber, remains. It is located a little more than two miles southwest 
of the present town of Elk Horn. The following well-written narrative of 
the stirring events involved, the author is privileged to take from the Shelby 
County Republican of July 19, 1883 : 

"One of the most remarkable series of murders, and the pursuit and 


capture of the murderers, together with the shooting and lynching of one of 
them, that the state of Iowa has ever known, has come to pass with the past 
week, and to make the matter doubly exciting to the readers of the Repub- 
lican, the finale of the affair was in this county, in Clay township. Nothing 
equal to it in excitement and tragedy has occurred anywhere, with the excep- 
tion of the career of the noted James brothers. The daily press of the entire 
civilized world has been teeming with reports of the affair and thousands of 
people were engaged in the pursuit of the murderers and intensely inter- 
ested in all the details of the crimes and their retribution. The history of 
the affair, as we have gained it from the most authentic sources, including 
numerous persons engaged in the pursuit and capture, is as follows: 

"On Wednesday night, July 11, postmaster C. L. Clingan, of Polk City. 
Iowa, who was also a merchant there, in company with his clerk, Mr. Hanger, 
were about to leave the store for the night, it being quite late, when two 
masked men suddenly presented themselves and demanded their money. It 
seems that Mr. Clingan drew a revolver and was about to defend himself 
when one of the robbers fired, killing Clingan instantly, and they then fled. 
The alarm was given in a moment and soon the whole town, and little later 
the whole country, aroused in pursuit. For a day or two the affair was 
shrouded in mystery. Xo right clue could be obtained of the direction they 
had taken, and it was supposed that the parties who did the dastardly deed 
were the same ones who had murdered Stubbs, the mayor of the town, over 
a year ago. The murderers, immediately after the crime, had taken two 
horses out of a barn a short distance west of the store, to carry them away, 
and they made all haste to get out of the neighborhood. For a couple of days 
several trails were followed up and various parties were arrested on suspicion, 
in Dallas. Boone, Polk and Guthrie counties, but finally a lead was struck 
which eventuated in the capture. The general direction taken by the bandits 
was west, and they were evidently heading for Nebraska or northwestern 
Missouri. In the haste they made to get away they showed great daring, 
but very little discretion, for several times in their flight they changed horses 
by forcing farmers to give up their fresh animals and leaving them the jaded 
beasts instead, enforcing their trades at the muzzle of the revolver. Such a 
course only hastened their pursuers and enabled them to keep the trail, which 
was first discovered near Perry. Iowa: but the murderers were not sighted by 
the first pursuing party until after, the/ had passed into Audubon county. 
The Audubon Times of Friday, July 13. relates the circumstances of the chase 
in that vicinity as follows : 

"Farly this morning word came in over the Stuart & Musson telephone 


from about eight miles east of here, that two suspicious men had ridden up 
to Hugh McGill as lie was feeding his horses and. presenting revolvers, de- 
manded that he trade horses with them. He hesitated but they took his 
horses, two blacks, and left as fast as the horses could go, in a westerly direc- 
tion. It was at once surmised by parties here that they were the murderers 
of the Folk City postmaster, and four parties on fast horses started in pursuit. 
Soon after word came that they had passed through Lnccock's grove, east 
of here. About ten o'clock A. M., Cramer, who lives nine miles southwest 
of here in Sharon township, came in town and said when he had come about 
half a mile he met two men on black horses, one having a light mustache, the 
other a black one. and he surmised they were horse thieves, lint came along 
about two miles when he met the pursuers from Audubon, and says that they 
were about eight miles behind the thieves and on the right trail. When they 
took McGill's horses they told him they must have them as they were after 
some murderers. There is no doubt but that they were the murderers them- 
selves as they exactly answer the description given in the Register and the 
last report given in that paper says they had stolen some horses in Dallas 
county, and were headed for Coon Rapids. When last seen in Sharon town- 
ship, they were headed toward Bowman's grove in Shelby county. 

"From this time on the trail was an easv one. as the telegraph and 
messengers had sent hundreds of men from the numerous stations on the sup- 
posed route to intercept them. Men flocked to the scene from Audubon, 
Fxira, Atlantic. Walnut. Avoca. Marne, Shelby, Harlan and other towns, and 
the farmers turned out en masse. The last exchange of horses made by the 
flying robbers was near the edge of Shelby county, where they encountered 
a Daneman plowing with an old team, which they made him exchange. 

"The pursuers were then not far in the rear. The robbers had not gone 
far until they were compelled to abandon one of the horses, which was badly 
wind-broken, and they then rode quite a distance on one horse, until they 
neared Elkhorn Grove, in Clay township, this county, when they jumped off 
and sought shelter in the thickness of the underbrush, and to wait for ap- 
proaching night to still further conceal them. This was about five o'clock 
in the afternoon of last Friday. Among the band of determined murder- 
hunters who saw them enter the grove was young Willis Hallock, of Exira, 
brother of George Hallock, who shot and killed two of the "Crooked Creek" 
gang of roughs recently: he had just raised nis arm to fire when he was shot 
and badly wounded by the robbers. Special trains and other conveyances 
from all directions were rapidly bringing hundreds of men toward the scene 
of action, but no one ventured to follow the trail into the grove that night. 


The assembling crowds, armed with every conceivable weapon, were organ- 
ized into a regular picket line and the grove entirely surrounded. Passwords 
were established and everything got in readiness for the final closing in upon 
the quarry, which was to be done at nine o'clock on Saturday morning." 

The State Register, in speaking of the flight and pursuit up to this time, 
says : 

"The flight of the Polk City murderers was less swift than that of the 
Youngers, for the reason that the latter were assisted by their own thorough- 
bred horses, accustomed to long and rapid stretches of travel, but their pur- 
suers were not more determined than were the brave and faithful men of 
Polk, Audubon, Cass and Shelby counties who participated in the remarkable 
man-hunt which ended in such a pool of blood at Elkhorn Grove on Saturday 
last. A more determined set of men could not well be found anvw : here or 
for any purpose. They stood sentinel around that grove through the storm 
and darkness of Friday night, running the fearful danger of death from the 
bullets of the murderers, who could have crawled upon the guard like snakes 
in the grass and shot them down in the night. There was no time from the 
moment the fugitive murderers took refuge in the grove that death did not 
confront their pursuers. Every man of that determined crowd took his life 
in his hands when he volunteered to go forward. The intense thickness of 
the shrubbery which underlies the small scrub oak and hickorv trees com- 
prising Elkhorn Grove needs to be encountered to be fully comprehended. 
It was one tangled mass of bush and brambles and creeping and clinging 
vines. To march through it was impossible. The thick branches had to be 
slowly parted by the hand, or long weapons, such as shot guns or rifles, with 
which many of the crowd were armed, and progress through it was tedious 
as well as dangerous. It was an easy matter for the hidden desperadoes to 
seek a spot under cover, from which retreat could be easily made, and fire 
their deadly missiles with alarming accuracy at - the first pursuer who ap- 
proached. A person who stood within twenty feet of young Hallock when 
he was shot said that the smoke from the murderer's pistol was but dimly 
seen through the cover. The form of the murderer was not discernible at all. 

"At daybreak Saturday morning the picket line, in squads of ten men, 
each under command of a captain, the whole force being under orders of a 
marshal, began to close in on the murderers. The bandits were discovered 
in the northeast part of the grove early Saturday morning, and one of them 
suddenly raised up and shot J. \Y. Maddy, of Marne, a justice of the peace 
and prominent merchant there. He lived for several hours, but could not 


speak. Maddy's death was almost immediately avenged, for a number of 
shots were fired at the bandit, several of which took effect and gave mortal 
wounds. He lived long enough to make a confession, in which he said he 
was the one who had done all the killing, and claimed that his accomplice had 
not fired a shot. This is generally not believed, as it is supposed to be a 
story the} - had arranged beforehand. He gave his name as Gates. 'When 
asked if he knew anything about the murder of Mayor Stubbs. he said he did 
not. The remaining man was soon found and surrendered under cover of 
a large number of guns and revolvers. He was put in irons by the sheriffs of 
Polk and Cass counties, and also tied with ropes. He was soon surrounded 
by an excited and infuriated throng, a rope was put around his neck and he 
was led and dragged upwards of a mile to a bridge over Indian creek, north 
of the grove. Just as they were about to swing him off. the wretch plead for 
a chance to write to his mother, which was granted and he wrote with a 
firm hand the following : 

"Mrs. Ellen Crist, 

Butler, Bates Co., Mo. 
"Dear Mother : 

" 'As I am now on the gallows speaking for the last time to you. I will 
speak to you in sorrowful, although firm, tones. 1 am sorry I have come to 
such, an end. I know it will nearly kill you, but it is my fault, not yours. 
Mr. Griggs will see that I am decently buried and give you the details in the 
case. Your loving and dying son, I will send you what money I have and a 
lock of hair that will, I hope, have some future bearing on the life of the 

"William Hardy.' 

"He then turned over about fifteen dollars, which was all the money he 
had. and said: 'Gentlemen, T am ready.' Just at this juncture Sheriff Chat- 
burn, of this county, leaped upon the bridge and demanded the prisoner in 
the name of the state of Iowa, and called upon the crowd to let the law take 
its course. This was a very daring act. for hundreds of men demanded the 
life of the murderer, and many of the friends and relatives of the murdered 
men were also clamoring for vengeance. But to the credit of Iowa and 
especially- Shelby county, be it said, wisdom and coolness prevailed, and 
Sheriff Chatburn was allowed to bring him to Harlan, where he now- lies in 


He was immediately interviewed by a Republican reporter, with the fol- 
lowing result : 

"He is a young' man. about twenty-four years of age; is of slim build 
and weighs about one hundred and sixty pounds. He gave his name as 
William Hardy, alias Smith. His home is in Bates county, Missouri. He 
gives the name of his pal as Simpson Taylor Crawford, alias Eates. He 
confesses to stealing horses, but denies having killed Clingan. He admits 
being present at the killing of Clingan by Crawford, but savs that neither 
of them had anything to do with the murder of Stubbs. He says Crawford 
shot Clingan. Hallock and Maddy, and that the man Craig was wounded 
accidentally. He is a desperate character and takes the matter coolly and 
willingly converses with any who call to him from the jail window. He has 
a sister living at Atlantic, so we are informed by Sheriff Crane, of Cass, and 
his relatives are said to be quite respectable people. 

"On Monday he was arraigned before Esquire J. E. Weaver, charged 
with being an accomplice in the killing of Clingan and Maddy, and the shoot- 
ing of young Hallock. He waived examination and was taken back to jail 
to await the action of the grand jury. 

"A great deal of excitement has prevailed and a lynching partv from 
Marne or Polk City has nightly been anticipated, but it is now thought that 
the law will take its course. This is the better plan, for there is yet much 
mystery surrounding the murder of Stubbs that may be cleared up. besides 
it may be the means of bringing more guilty men to justice. 

"The body of the murderer. S. T. Crawford, who was killed at Elkhorn 
Grove, was buried by the coroner of Shelby county, J. W. Chathurn, on 
Sunday, after impanelling a jury and holding an inquest. The verdict of 
the jury was as follows : 

" 'State of Iowa, ss. Shelby County. 

" 'An inquisition holden at the house of Martin Peterson, Clay town- 
ship, Shelby county. Iowa, on the 15th day of July, 1883, before I. W. 
Chathurn, coroner of said county, upon the body of an unknown man then 
lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed. The said 
jurors, upon their oaths, do say that the deceased came to his death by gun- 
shot wounds caused by mnik person or persons unknown to them. In testi- 
mony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their hands the day and 
year aforesaid. 

" 'J. C. Cole. 

" 'Or.E C. Larson-, 

" 'Martin Peterson. 


" 'Witness my hand the day and year above written. 

" 'J- W. Chatburn, 

" 'Coroner.' " 

William Hardy, however, owing to the fact that the feeling in Marne. 
Iowa, and vicinity, including the southeastern part of Shelby county, was 
running high against him. on account of the death of Mr. J. W. Maddv, of 
Marne, and the severe injuries inflicted upon young Hallock. was not to 
have his guilt or innocence determined by regular trial. 

Within a few days following his being placed in the Harlan jail, a band 
of determined men, probably between fifty and one hundred in number, 
more or less disguised, overpowered the Harlan jailer and took Hardv from 
the jail late at night, led him to the old bridge across the Botna. near Chat- 
burn's mill and near the present city pumping station, and hanged him from 
the railing of the bridge, afterwards firing several volleys into his bodv. It is 
supposed that the lynching party was composed of men from Marne and 
vicinity, and that it probably included a few men from the southeastern part 
of Shelby county. One of the party afterwards wrote a short article for one 
of the county papers, giving some details of the tragedy. So far as is known 
the lynching of Hardy was the only instance of mob law in the history of the 


One of the startling events in Shelby county was the mysterious dis- 
appearance in August, 1896. of Francis Richardson, a wealthy bachelor, 
somewhat eccentric, who for a number of years went from place to place in 
the eastern part of Shelby county, loaning money to the farmers. At the 
time of his disappearance. Mr. Richardson was the owner of about one thou- 
sand nine hundred acres of land in Shelby and Audubon counties, and was in 
possession of probably forty thousand dollars in notes and securities, given 
mostly by the farmers of Shelby and Audubon counties. Mr. Richardson 
undoubtedly was murdered, but no satisfactory clue ever presented itself 
leading to the arrest and conviction of his murderer or murderers. There 
were many suspicions, but no proof that was satisfactory, although much 
investigation was conducted by the officers of Shelby county. The title to 
the property of Mr. Richardson was divested by a presumption of law that a 
person who disappears and is unheard of for seven years or more, is, legally 
considered, dead and his property subject to inheritance. The title, there- 


fore, to large tracts of land in the two counties contains a link in its chain 
based solely upon this legal presumption. 

Another person who mysteriously disappeared and who for more than 
twenty-eight years has not been seen or heard of, was Edgar R. Ottoway, of 
Kirkman, Iowa. He also owned certain property, the title to which has been 
divested by certain presumptions of law and by special statutes governing the 
title to property of absentees. Another man who left behind him no trail of 
his whereabouts and who has not been seen for more than ten years is \Y. B. 
Rowland, for one term county attorney of Shelby county. 

These instances show how easy it is for a single human being to drop 
absolutely out of the active current of life in which he had been so well 
known, and be known no more. 


About 1882 James Robertson and wife and their son. Jasper, came to 
Harlan from Montgomery county. They bought the forty acres of land 
just north of the Shelby county fair grounds and built a house there. They 
were industrious and inoffensive people and made a living by small farming 
and dairying. In 1889 Mrs. Robertson was given a divorce from her hus- 
band and went away, leaving James and Jasper Robertson the sole occupants 
of the little house where the tragedy hereafter mentioned occurred. 

In June, 1S89, Miss Josie Davidson, of Calaway county. Missouri, came 
to Shelby county to visit an aunt, Mrs. Bent Perfect, then living on the east 
of John Burke's. She was soon followed by J. K. Cumberland, of Mexico, 
Missouri, who had become acquainted with her in that state. On 
July 4, 1889, they were married at Harlan. They then made an arrangement 
with the Robertsons whereby they moved into the home of the Robertson 
and kept house for them. On September 24, 1880, the Robertsons sold their 
little property to George Paup. 

In the fall of 18S9 James Robertson and Jasper Robertson, after dis- 
posing of their farm near Harlan and also their personal property, prepared to 
leave. After the sale they lived with J. Kaiser Cumberland and wife, who 
for some time had occupied the Robertson premises and had bought most of 
their household goods from the Robertsons. About the first day of October 
the Robertsons made arrangements to go to Montgomery county to visit 
relatives, after which they intended to return to Harlan, and then go west. 
The Robertsons mysteriously disappeared and the Cumberlands left Harlan 
on October 23, their destination at that time unknown. Sheriff George S. 


Rainbow and Deputy C. C. Redfield began work upon what clues were ob- 
tainable and on Tuesday, April 28, 1891, the Cumberlands were arrested at 
Springfield. Missouri, where they had resided since October, 1890. 

Suspicion was not aroused until April, 1890. when R. P. Foss, attorney 
for James Robertson, began to think it strange that the Robertsons did not 
write concerning notes and money left at Harlan by them. In April Mr. 
Foss learned that they had never visited the relatives in Montgomery count}', 
nor had they gone to Wyoming, which was their ultimate destination. Mr. 
Foss at once began efforts to clear up the mystery of the disappearance of 
the Robertsons. Sheriff Rainbow was called in, and, together with Mr. 
Foss. Attorney D. O. Stuart and County Attorney J. B. Whitney, they 
traced the Cumberlands from Harlan through various towns to Springfield. 
Missouri. The Cumberlands were arrested as they were about to leave for 
an unknown destination. They expressed great surprise that the Robertsons 
had not turned up. They were brought to Harlan and were lodged in jail, 
the wife being confined for some time in the Avoca jail. 

During the investigation of the case by the grand jury, it is said that the 
wife stated she did not fear the results so far as she was concerned since her 
husband, she alleged, had made a statement in black and white that would 
exonerate her. The court then ordered that the officers search the trunks 
and effects of the Cumberlands, which was done, however, without result. 
They then searched Cumberland, himself, and after a terrible struggle suc- 
ceeded in finding in a pocket in his shirt a confession. After obtaining the 
paper the sheriff attempted to read the confession, but Cumberland sprang 
upon him, and tore the paper from his hands. He would have succeeded in 
destroying it had not those engaged in the search taken him by the throat, 
pushed him back against the cell and held the hand in which the confession 
was gripped so tightly also back against the cell, and choked him into sub- 
mission. The paper was torn into many fragments. The sheriff, however, 
pasted the fragments together. The confession was as follows : 

"A True Confession. Harlan. Iowa, September 21, 1S89. 

"Hear, hear, as I confess to the people a crime that my dear wife is in- 
nocent of, knowing or having anything to do with at all, and in which I hope 
they won't punish her any longer, and let her go home to her people. She is 
innocent as her poor little babe is. I can't say she knows anything, as she 
has never heard me say anything so she could learn anything. But she is 
like all the rest, she has her suspicion. So the poor woman is innocent. God 
knows, and can not tell you how this was done, or where they was put at. 
The preacher that married us, and his family, was going to be at Bent Per- 


feet's Ji^t of September, and we was invited to come and spend the day and 
take dinner with them. So we started up there about 9 o'clock and I went 
part way with my wife and then told her to go on, and 1 would go across to 
Hy Baughn's and see him, as I understood he had a small place to rent, and 
I would come back to Perfect's by noon. So I went to Hy Baughn's farm 
and came back by home, and Jap and the old man was there. The old man 
wanted to know if we could settle up our business now, as they wanted to 
leave as soon as possible. I said. I guess so. Well, I paid him $125 dollars 
a few days before, in which, when we undertook to settle, we got in a dispute 
over, and one word brought on another, until 1 called them d — d liars. Jap 
took it up by reaching in the trunk and getting his revolver, as T walked out in 
our room and got and put my pistol in my pocket, not with the intention to 
use it if I could help it. I stood in there meditating what to do, whether to 
finish paying them, or to let them have the team and all back again : but 
either way would cause me to be nut $25. So, while I was meditating about 
this there, they both went down to the barn. So I made up my mind to go 
and compromise with them and finish settling. So I started for the barn, 
and I guess them thinking I was coming for other purposes. Jap pulled his 
revolver again and discharged it twice. One of the shots struck the barn 
door and the other whistled by my head outside. I jumped back and came 
in at the other door, making the best use of myself and revolver, and in which 
I did kill and conceal them there in the barn until night, and never went to 
Perfect's at all. and my wife never got home until dusk, and when she came 
I told her they was gone away. T had their clothes all hid. so she would not 
think or suspicion anything else, and that night I slipped out and left her in 
the house and put them away, and she didn't know where I was or what I 
was doing. And their clothes. T burnt some of them and other things, un- 
knowing to my poor wife. So I say she is innocent as any woman or child 
in this countr\ r . I have never told her any better to this day. O. God know r s 
she is innocent of this, and for God's sake do not punish her for what I do. 
Let her go home to her people, for God's sake, and give her what belongs to 
us and let her go, God bless her! I hope and trust you all will, and don't 
punish the innocent, for she is innocent. I put those bodies across the 
bridge at the corner of the field, down over the bank, in the edge of the river, 
where thev throw trash over the bank. And my wife can't tell you nothing 
of this; it is all unknown to her. so let her go, will you please, for God's sake. 

"J. K. Cumberland. 

"I pronounce her and babe and all eternal farewell. May heaven bless 
her and baby." 


It will be noticed that the confession bears the date of September 1, 
1S89. It was in fact, however, written since the confinement of Cumber- 
land in jail. The paper on which it was written was a letter head of the 
sheriff's office. It was apparently written at a time when Cumberland feared 
mob law, which was threatened, and it was no doubt written to shield his 
wife and babe, for whom, in spite of his horrible depravity, Cumberland 
had feelings of affection. 

After the confession Cumberland broke down completely and told the 
officers all about the tragedy and gave, as near as he could, the location of 
the bodies. The bodies were buried in the soft ground on the bank of the 
Xishnabotna. just across the bridge situated north of the Shelby county fair 
ground. Cumberland also wrote a very pathetic letter to his wife. 

Shortly following the writing of this letter Cumberland was taken to 
Avoca by Deputy Sheriff Stone for safety and the next day, at Avoca, Dep- 
uty Stone, in company with Attorney F. A. Turner, induced Cumberland to 
dictate, sign and swear to a confession, which was substantially the same as 
the first, except that it located the bodies more definitely and had the ad- 
vantage of being witnessed by a notary public. In this confession, Mr. Cum- 
berland stated that he went from Harlan to Missouri Valley, and that after 
remaining there three or four days, he then went to Council Bluffs, from 
Council Bluffs to St. Joseph, and then went to work on a railroad, running 
from Fort Scott. Kansas, to Rich Hill, Missouri. He then went to Carthage, 
Missouri, where he worked on a railroad and then went to Springfield, 
Missouri, where he conducted a wood yard for some months, and then ran a 
job wagon, which he was still running when arrested. 

Search was soon instituted for the bodies. King Honeywell and \Y. R. 
Honeywell being particularly active in this 'work. The bodies were finally 
discovered by King Honeywell at a point very near that described in the 
confession. The exact location was two hundred and twenty feet northeast 
of the bridge over the 'Botna, on Robertson's farm, under the high bank of 
the creek which runs very close to the highway. This point had been fre- 
quently used as a dumping place for rubbish, which prevented the creek from 
encroaching further upon the highway. The bodies were found in a hole 
four and one-half feet deep and thirty feet from the river bed. The skull of 
Jasper contained two holes, one in the forehead and one at the base of the 
head, the condition of the bullet hole at the front of the skull showing that 
the shot had been fired from behind. James Robertson's skull had been 

The verdict of the coroner's jury was that James Robertson came to his 
death bv a blow on the head with some blunt instrument, and Jasper Robert- 


son probably by shooting through the head, all at the hands of J. K. Cum- 

People who knew the Robertsons placed no credence in Cumberland's 
claim that Jasper had shot at him. as both of the Robertsons were inoffensive, 
kindly men. The fact is the Robertsons had some money and Cumberland 
owed them for a team and wagon, thus by committing murder he paid his 
own debt and got their money. 

Much credit for the ferreting out of this terrible crime was due to At- 
torney R. P. Foss. Attorney U. O. Stuart. County Attorney J. B. Whitney 
and Sheriff George S. Rainbow, who for many years maintained a fine repu- 
tation for clever work in running down criminals. 

After some years of delay, occasioned by a hard-fought trial in the dis- 
trict court and by an effort to induce the governor of the state to intervene, 
as well as by an appeal to the state supreme court of Iowa, which affirmed 
the decision of the district court. Cumberland was sentenced to be hanged 
and was executed in 1891, at Fort Madison. The defendant was prosecuted 
by T. R. Mockler, county attorney, ami by Attorney D. O. Stuart. He was 
defended by Byers & Lockwood. 


Shelby county has produced many brave and adventurous spirits. Per- 
haps none of her young men ever had a more unusual or striking career than 
that of William H. Whisler. 

During the late seventies Mr. Whisler resided for several years in Shelby 
township and worked in the town of Shelby, and also on several of the 
farms in that vicinity. Apparently tiring of what must have appeared to 
him to be a somewhat monotonous life, he went to Omaha and enlisted as a 
private in Company F, of the Ninth Infantry of the United States Army, on 
August 13. 1879. 

In 1 88 1 Gen. A. W. Creel v. who is now a resident of Washington, D. C, 
was selected to command an American Arctic Expedition, known as the 
Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, which, in conjunction with twelve others, 
formed a circumpolar chain of scientific stations for meteorological and other 
observations in the Arctic regions. The expedition penetrated to the then 
farthest north, latitude of eighty-three degrees, twenty-four minutes, cross- 
ing Grinnell Land. Their supplies ran low and a majority of the men died 
of starvation. When rescued by the third relief expedition at Cape Sabine, 
under Commander W. S. Schley ( afterward a famous naval commander 
during the Spanish-American War), on June 23, 1884, the party was reduced 


by death to seven members, who were all on the point of starvation. General 
Greeley himself had practically abandoned hope of living, as indicated by 
entries in his diary. 

In his work, entitled "Three Years of Arctic Service.'" published in 
1885. descriptive of the Lady Franklin Bay expedition. General Greelv. in a 
diary kept by him and published in that work, details occurrences in the life 
of William H. Whisler. 

From the tragic record one learns that the fir-t birthday celebrated by 
the ill-fated expedition was that of Private Whisler. upon the completion of 
his twenty-fourth year. At this time the practice was inaugurated and in- 
variably followed of exempting from duty the man whose birthday was being 
celebrated, and allowing him to select a dinner from the entire list of pro- 
visions and dainties in stock. .Mr. Whisler was frequently chosen to do par- 
ticular work for the expedition. For instance, with Sergeant Ellison, he 
was sent to Cape Merchison with a dog sledge to repitch the tent and put it 
in good condition, for future travelers. General Greely sent Whisler with 
two other members of the party, and with two sledges, in an attempt to 
cross Grinnell Land coast to the westward to establish a cache for a future 
part}'. During the long, lonesome winter the men had a checker tournament, 
in which Whisler won a prize. 

When the last day of winter came and with it the long-expected return 
of the sun it was Private Whisler, with Lieutenant Kislingburv, who climbed 
Bellot island and saw the whole disk of the sun. when the temperature was 
forty-six and six one-hundredths degrees below zero. The rest of the partv 
contented themselves with a view of the upper limb of the disk, from the 

When General Greely found it necessary to make an exploration cover- 
ing fifteen or twenty days, Mr. Whisler was one of the three persons chosen 
to accompany the General. At this time Whisler and Greelv, himself, 
dragged one of the sledges. - 

General Greelv speaks of Whisler as having great energy. Pie appears. 
also, to have been a close observer, for Greelv mentions him as having seen 
small fish, as having shot a ptarmigan and a hare, and as having sighted 
some musk-oxen. One member of the party, named Sergeant Rice, had in- 
jured his shoulder badly and Whisler was placed in charge of him. General 
Greely speaks of this service in the following words, found in Volume 1. at 
page 168 of the work hereinl>efore referred to: "The latter C Whisler), in 
his extreme zeal to be of assistance, had left the station without orders, and 
was far too thinly clad for such exposure. The weather was moderatelv 


warm (29-33.90), but the over-exertion, followed by a reaction, so af- 
fected him physically and mentally that he would have perished from cold 
had it not been for Sergeant Rice's judicious and persistent efforts in his 
behalf. The success of his action was all the more creditable. The exposure 
affected Private Whisler's mental faculties in much the same manner as was 
vividly described by Kane in the experience of his party, in which several 
men eventually perished. It was several hours, after his return to the station 
before Whisler was entirely in his right mind.'' 

The last entries made by General Greely in his diary touching the last 
days ami death of Whisler were as follows: 

"May 9 (18S4) : I wrote out wills today for Whisler and Salar. 

"May 19: Isrel and Whisler have quite broken down. 

"May 23: Whisler managed to get up the hill alone. He became 
weaker, however, in the afternoon, and is unconscious this evening. [It ap- 
pears from the diairy that the tent in which the few survivors of the party 
were living was moved on this date.] 

"May 24 : Whisler was unconscious this morning and died about noon. 
I read the service over him and he was left outside near the tent where he had 
died, for the present. 

"May 26: The stronger of the party succeeded in burying Whisler this 
morning. One man was shot because of his persistence in stealing food. 
which at this time was so scarce that the whole party was in danger of 

It should be remembered at this time that the men alive were eating the 
oil-tan cover of a sleeping bag. and lichens and moss. One person ate his own 
boots, and seal >kin thongs were made into a stew. 

In his work, General Greely pays this tribute to Private Whisler : 
"Whisler was a man of fine physique, who had always labored his best to 
advance the interests of the expedition." On a map showing the Garfield 
mountains, there is a mountain, named Mt. Whisler. which is undoubtedly 
named for the brave Shelby county boy, who was one of the best explorers 
of the partv. energetic and faithful. One of the photographs or cuts shown 
in the work represents Long and Whisler returning from Archer Fiord. 

The funeral of Mr. Whisler occurred at Delphi, Carroll county, Indiana. 
August 13, 1884. A newspaper of that town contains the following account 
of the funeral, together with some additional information concerning the 
dead hero : 


whisler's funeral august 13, 18S4. 

"The body of William II. Whisler, the Carroll county boy, who perished 
in the Greely polar expedition, arrived in this city on Sunday last, and was 
immediately placet! in the corridor of the court house, where it lay in state, 
under guard, until Tuesday morning. Hundreds of visitors passed through 
the building, viewing the casket and a photograph of the Greely crew con- 
taining the likeness of the deceased. The entrance was decorated with the 
national colors. 

''Governor Porter arrived Monday evening and was taken to the resi- 
dence of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Rinehart. On Tuesday morning the Clinton 
Light Guards of Frankfort, and Company C, of Lafayette, also arrived. At 
nine o'clock the procession formed on the south side of the square. Preceding 
the body was a- martial band, carriage containing the governor. Col. John H. 
Gould and family, and following were the military companies: Company 
C, First Veteran Regiment, Lieutenant Bennett, commander; Company II, 
First Veteran Regiment. Lieutenant Gresham. commander; Clinton Light 
Guards, or Company K, Third Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Captain Hunt- 
singer, commander; and a long line of citizens, in carriages and on foot. The 
military companies formed a part of the cortege until beyond the city limits 
and, returning, took the regular train for the scene of the funeral services. 
The train was packed to its utmost capacity, even the baggage and express 
cars and platform being jammed. The railroad company had kindly ar- 
ranged for the comfort of the attendants on the funeral and accordingly the 
train stopped at the crossing near the place arranged for the ceremonies. 
Several hundred people left the cars here and marched to Shistler's woods, 
where the stand had been erected and handsomely decorated. Both in front 
and to the rear it was covered with the national colors. Immediately in front 
was a large picture of the entire Greely party, which was viewed with much 
interest by every one. At this time the grove contained an exceedingly large 
concourse of people. 

"The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. J. W. Hott, of Davton, 
Ohio. He chose as his text the thirty-sixth verse of the thirteenth chapter of 
Acts. 'After he had served his own generation he fell asleep.' 

"Addresses were also made by Rey. S. R. Seawright. Colonel Gould, 
and Rev. W. E. Loucks, of Logansport, Indiana. 

"Governor Porter, of Indiana, being present. Captain Gross next intro- 
duced him. He said that he had had no idea of taking active part in the 


ceremonies of the occasion, but was simply present as the chief executive of 
the state, to represent it in person upon so solemn and yet so great an occar 
sion. He said that the fame of the young- hero did not belong to the county 
alone, nor yet to the state, or even the nation, but to the world. The 'gov- 
ernor's remarks were dignified, fitting and appropriate. His presence, con- 
duct and remarks made an excellent impression. 

"The body was interred with full military honors, the companies form- 
ing on the south side of the open grave and firing three rounds. 

"Thus ended the solemn ceremonies. Today, just five years ago, William 
H. Whisler enlisted in the regular army, and his time would have expired on 
this, the 13th day of August, 1884. 

"Over three thousand people followed the remains to the cemetery. On 
the casket was the inscription: 'W. H. Whisler. Private Ninth Infantry, 
U. S. A., Died May 24, 1884, Age Twenty-seven.' 

"The casket containing the remains of Private Whisler was made of 
boiler iron, one-fourth of an inch in thickness, the bottom and sides being 
in one place. The ends and the top were bolted with half inch bolts, two 
inches long, and then sealed perfectly air tight. Strict orders were given 
prohibiting the opening of it. 

"The mother of William H. Whisler died in Shelby county. Iowa, May 
27, 1877. His father was C. C. Whisler, a native of Franklin county, Penn- 
sylvania, and his mother was Leah H. Catherine Whisler. His brother, 
Clarence J. Whisler. was famous as a wrestler, having died in Melbourne. 
Australia. February 15, 1885. 

"William H. Whisler was the second child. He was one of the five 
hundred men who volunteered to go with Lieutenant Greely's expedition to 
the Arctic regions. Being a young man of remarkably fine form and hand- 
some physique, he ranked highest in medical examination and was the first 
selected out of five hundred volunteers. The expedition sailed from St. 
John's, New Foundland. on July 7. r88l. From this point he wrote a letter 
to his friends, in which he realized the dangers that beset the enterprise. He 
asked the prayerful consideration of his friends and closed with a 'goodbve' 
that now seems sadly prophetic. He was the last of the seventeen to die. 
and passed away May 24. at Melville Bay. 1884. aged twenty-seven years.'' 

Perhaps no better tribute to William H. Whisler himself could be given 
than General Greely's dedication of his "Three Years of Arctic Service." in 
these words, laconic and stoical, in the literary style of the trained soldier: 

"To the Lady Franklin Bay Fxpedition, these volumes are dedicated : 
to its dead, who suffered much — to its living, who suffered more. Their 


energy accomplished the farthest north; their fidelity wrought out success; 
their courage laced death undauntedly: their loyalty and discipline in all the 
dark clays ensured that this record of their service should be given to the 


One of the great days in Shelly county history was Thursday, August 
4, 1892, on which the corner stone of the present court house was laid, in the 
presence of more than five thousand people. The dav was opened by a base- 
ball game between the stone cutters and brick masons working on the build- 
ing, which wa^ won by the former by a score of fourteen to twelve. A wheel- 
barrow race was won by Ed. Parker. A bicycle race was won by Fred Mills. 
The fat man's race was won by William Bartrug. R. L. Kent, of Monroe 
township, afterwards county recorder of Shelby county, won a foot race, 
with E. Philson, of Jackson township, second, lames Tague won an egg 
race, with Garfield Long second. Charles W'eiggart won a potato race, with 
William Fritz second. Charles Long took first prize in the second potato 
race, and Charles Potter second. The hundred-yard free-tor-all foot race 
was won by Gus Moore, now better known as Dr. E. A. Moore, George True, 
second, and John Quigg, third, all these persons being well known members 
of the famous W. L. Baughn Hose Team. A race for the old soldiers was 
won by T. M. Harford, of Irwin; second, John Honeywell, of Harlan. The 
two-hundred-yard foot race was won by Gus Moore, with Frank Hille, sec- 
ond. ■ Throughout the entire forenoon balloons were sent up and during the 
entire time between eight o'clock in the morning and noon, music was fur- 
nished by the half dozen bands present, among them the celebrated Earling 
German Cornet Band, which is now in existence, with a number of players 
who were present at the laying of the corner stone. 

The nine o'clock train brought up Masonic Grand Master Phelps and 
several other gentlemen from Atlantic, besides large delegations from Shelbv 
and elsewhere in the south part of the county. The incoming visitors were 
met at the stations by committees w ith carriages and by the band and escorted 
to the public square. 

At 11 :30 o'clock dinner was announced at YVyland's Park, which is now 
the Park School ground. Here a score or more of waiters looked after the 
needs of the hungry crowd. Everybody had enough to eat and an abundance 
was left. After dinner the crowd assembled on the public square, where a 
procession was formed in the following order: 

The Harlan Bicycle club, Earling band. Masons, Danish band of Har- 


Ian, Masons, officers of the Masonic Grand Lodge, Harlan cornet band. Har- 
lan hose team, Kirkman band, Knights of Pythias, Panama band, citizens, 
stone cutters and brick layers, ragamuffins. The procession marched south 
on Third street to Baldwin, and thence west to Second, where the line mi' 
march turned north t<> the square, and thence to the court house, where tin- 
laving of the corner stone tuck place. The ceremonies were opened with praver 
by Chaplain J. \Y. Chatburn, of the Latter-Day Saints church, following 
which the choir rendered music. "The stone was then hoisted into position 
ready for receiving the box containing the deposits, a description of which 
was given by Grand Secretary C. V. Swift, after which the box. hermetically 
sealed, was placed in the cavity prepared for it. and lowered to its place. 
After this the ceremonies were wholly Masonic, consisting of the application 
of the plumb, square and level to the stone, and the declaration that it was 
true and correct in all these particulars according to the Masonic ritual. 
After all these ceremonies were completed Grand Master Phelps delivered a 
short address, reciting the advance, growth and prosperity of our people in 
every material, art and science. This completed the ceremony of laying the 
corner stone of Shelby county's new court house. 

In the afternoon the people were entertained by different sports and 
exercises. A part of the immense crowd was entertained by a literarv pro- 
gram, at which Judge J. \Y. Chatburn acted as toastmaster. Mayor W. J. 
Davis, of Harlan, one of the well-known early settlers of the county, spoke 
of "Shelln County as It Has Been," in a five-minute speech. Attorney T. H. 
Smith, at present a pioneer attorney of Harlan, discussed the topic, "'What a 
Lawyer Should Be." J. \Y. White, of Jackson township, on behalf of the 
farmer, discussed the topic assigned to him. "Who Pays the Freight?" At- 
torney H. W. livers, later attorney-general of Jowa, discussed the topic. 
"What Shelby County Will Be." Attorney D. O. Stuart, also one of the 
pioneer lawyers, of Harlan, had for his subject, "The Town of Harlan" 
W. T. Shepherd responded to the toast, "The People of Shelby County." 
"Father" William McGinness, who had been assigned a place on the program. 
was unable to be present by reason of the infirmities of age. Attorney G. W. 
Cullison, also assigned a toast, had been called away on business, and Senator 
W. F. Cleveland was also prevented from speaking by the pressure of other 
business. In the evening there was a two-hours' display of fireworks. 

A committee, consisting of C. F. Swift. X. Booth and Prior Tin-ley. 
collected and had deposited in the corner stone, written and printed history. 
books, pamphlet-, etc.. as follows: 

A copy of the Holy Bible, donated by the American Society. 


A brief history of Shelby count}', containing its date of organization. 
an account of its early settlement-, its various resources, a list of the first 
and present officers. 

A copy of the proceedings of the board of supervisors relative to the 
submission of the question of voting a tax, to the qualified electors of the 
county, for the purpose of raising funds for the erection of a new court 
house, the returns of said election and the result. 

Deposit of Parian Lodge Xo. 321. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 
Harlan, Iowa, containing date of charter, charter members, first officers, pres- 
ent officers and present membership. 

Deposits in the corner stone were made by the following secret, civic, 
benevolent and miscellaneous organizations, etc.: Guardian Lodge Xo. 441. 
Free and Accepted Masons, Defiance. Iowa; Sardius Lodge Xo. 444, Free 
and Accepted Masons. Irwin. Iowa: Olivet Chapter Xo. 107, Royal Arch 
Masons, Harlan: Mt. Zion Commandery Xo. 48, Knights Templar. Harlan: 
Lebanon Chapter Xo. S, Order of the Eastern Star, Harlan: Shelby Chapter 
No. 67, Order of the Eastern Star. Shelby: Harlan Lodge Xo. 267, Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, Harlan: Canopy Lodge No. 401, Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, Shelby: Ellsworth Lodge Xo. 473. Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, "Irwin ; Defiance Lodge Xo. 90, Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, Defiance: Carthage Lodge Xo. 65, Knights of Pythias, Har- 
lan; Prudentia Lodge Xo. 258. Knights of Pythias, Shelby: Defiance Lodge 
No. 259, Knights of Pythias, Defiance: Dick Yates' Post Xo. 364. Grand 
Army of the Republic, Shelby; Gen. VY. T. Sherman's Camp Xo. 231, Iowa 
Division Sons of Veterans, Harlan: General Schofield Camp Xo. 162, Iowa 
Division Sons of Veterans. Harlan: Woman's Relief Corps Xo. 178. auxiliary 
to Harlan Post Xo. 197; Methodist Episcopal church of Defiance; Metho- 
dist Episcopal church of Kirknian ; Methodist Episcopal church, Shelby; 
Danish Baptist church of Harlan; First Baptist church of Harlan: Baptist 
church of Bowman's Grove: Congregational church of Harlan: Church of 
Christ of Harlan: Church of Latter-day Saints of Harlan: Church of Latter- 
day Saints of Galland's Grove; Presbyterian church of Shelby ; Evangelical 
church of Harlan; Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Harlan; Harlan 
Literary Club: Shelby County Alliance: Harlan Fire Department; the Shelby 
County Anti-Horse Thief Association: the publishers — one copy of the 
Harlan Tribune, Shelby County Republican. Industrial American, Shelby 
News, Panama Herald and the Defiance Enterprise, newspapers published 
in Shelbv county; Woman's Political Equality Club of Harlan': Methodist 


church of Panama : Panama Post Xo. 475, Iowa Department. Grand Army 
of the Republic, of Panama; W. L. Raughn Hose Team of Harlan. 

City council of Harlan. Photographs of city officials, early history of 
the town, an account of the electric light and water works system of Harlan, 
her manufacturing plants and public schools. 

A deposit by the committee on deposits, souvenir badges used upon the 
occasion of laying the corner stone. 

The Harlan public schools. Shelby county bar. Parian Lodge No. 321. 
A sample of silver coins then in circulation. 


Many years ago, in mid-winter, a religious revival was being held at the 
Philson school house near Bowman's Grove. One night during the revival, 
a number of the young fellows had been out helping themselves to some 
honev that probablv did not really belong to them. They then decided to 
attend the revival. In some manner, inadvertently or otherwise, they brought 
with them some bees, drowsy with the long sleep of winter. As the evening 
wore on, however, the bees, warmed up by the heat of the old drum stove 
fired red-hot. awoke from their natural stupor and "smote their enemies, hip 
and thigh." They divided time with the exhorter. They earnestly stirred 
up the feelings of all present. The boys had more fun than they expect ever 
again to have in this life. So good a Methodist and pioneer as M. H. Poling, 
of Harlan, tells me he believes this to have been the liveliest and warmest 
revival ever held in Shelby county, barring none. 


Captain Charles Kidd. who was the pioneer settler of Kidd's Grove, now 
known as Fountain's Grove, near Kirkman, was a very reticent man. He ap- 
parently disliked to talk of his past. He and Jabez Tuck, in the sixties, 
were employed by the American Emigrant Company, to construct drainage 
ditches in the county. After they had been working, side by side, for three 
or four days. Mr. Tuck tried to "break the ice" by asking Mr. Kidd. where 
he had come from to Shelby county. Captain' Kidd reflected a minute, then 
turned on Tuck and, looking him squarely in the eye, replied: "Mr. Tuck, 
I've known a lot of fellows who got rich just paying attention to their own 




One of the hard-working, self-made pioneer Methodist evangelists of the 
county was "Father'" William McGinnis, whose swinging, rhvmthical, im- 
pressive gestures of head, hands and body were characteristic features of his 
mode of public speech. His long white hair, waving with every turn of his 
head, added to the effect of his gestures. He spoke on many celebrations of 
the Fourth of July. He once remarked that he could tell a Methodist as far 
as he could see him "by the cut of his haar." In his zeal on one occasion he 
declared that he wished that he had "a mourner's bench reaching from Hud- 
son's Bay to the Gulf of Mexico full." and that he could be in the center of it. 

On one occasion, after several weeks of hard work in a revival at Mer- 
rill's Grove, Mr. McGinniss. upon his return home, reported fortv converts. 
When asked whether he thought the converts would "stick."' he replied: 
"About all we can do is to hang 'cm up green and allow for shrink." 


The Shelby County Record of November 20. 1873. voices the prevailing 
sentiment of that time and of the present with reference to horse trading, as 
follows : 

"One of the drvest things we have heard lately was to the effect that 
'when a man gets so that he can trade horses without lying, he had better 
pull out for the better land before he takes a relapse.' " 


Peter S . a rollicksome Scandinavian, borrowed a neighbor's 

rather unreliable horse and drove him to town hitched to a road-cart, a two- 
wheeled, one-horse vehicle that was much in vogue in the late eighties and 
nineties in Shelby county. On the return trip, the horse ran away, the cart 
fell to pieces like the historic "one-hoss shay," and Peter was spilled out and 
somewhat dazed. He had. however, sufficient presence of mind to lament 
over the loss of his "groceries" he had lost. Curious to know why the great 
regret, a friend asked what groceries he had lost. Pete replied : "Two quarts 
of whiskey and a pound of Battle Axe." 



In the early eighties a Dane was hunting over the prairie hills in the 
eastern part of the county. He nearly wore himself out walking over the 
rugged ridges. The steep hillsides looked like mountains to him, at last he 
declared sarcastically, with a flourish of his shot gun, "I wouldn't give this 
old gun for one hundred and sixty acres of this land." He now lives on a 
finely improved farm in these very hills and would not thank you for re- 
ferring to his "shot-gun*' land. 


"Attorney Joe Weaver and Joe Stiles went fishing Tuesday and in the 
evening Weaver was seen leaning against Squire Beems' office, with a clay 
pipe in his mouth, telling fish stories that would put a Nantucket fisherman to 
shame. He asserted that in throwing his line he caught the hook in that 
part of his trousers where there is the most slack, and the force was so great 
that he lifted himself clear across the river. Xot wishing to walk around by 
the bridge, having promised Mrs. Weaver to be home early, he took hold of 
his boot straps and lifted himself back again."' 



The Shelby County Record of January 12, 1876, states that Cuppy's 
Grove was excited over a ghost, that a man named Eli Frantz was troubled 
with visitations from the specter and that he had reported having seen it 
several times near the Rubendall school house and that it chased him on one 
occasion. The ghost was reported as having a large head, long white hair 
and whiskers, and great green eyes as large as a goose egg, and how many 
legs Eli could not be sure. 


Judge J. W. Chatburn used to tell, with evident enjoyment of a mar- 
riage ceremony he performed in the pioneer days of Shelby county, in which 
he inadvertentlv caused the bride and groom to take solemn oath that they 
would support the constitution of Iowa and of the United States. 



One of the men of far-reaching minds who came to Shelby county in the 
fifties was Jonathan Wyland, the patriarch of the Wyland family, who had 
been a man of wealth and influence in the state of Indiana, from which he 
came. Although well advanced in years when he came to Shelby county, he 
had the vision of youth. One day. when talking with his neighbor. Lysander 
Sweat, they fell to talking of the future of Shelby county. Wyland, looking 
out over the vast expanse of virgin prairie, unimproved, treeless, and without 
.roads or bridges, wild as wild could be, suddenly remarked, ''Sweat, do you 
know what I can see?'' Sweat replied that he did not. Wyland continued: 
"Well. I can see all of this wild country settled up, with fine houses and 
barns, trees planted, and roads and bridges everywhere." Mr. Sweat, who 
often related this story, said that as he listened to this talk from Mr. Wyland, 
he thought. "You're a darned old fool!" Sweat, however, lived to see this 
vision verified, and to appreciate the wisdom of his friend and neighbor who 
had pioneered in Indiana and who so clearly foresaw the foundation ele- 
ments for a great development in Shelby county. 



But few of the pioneers had enjoyed the advantages of scientific or 
mechanical training. That "necessity is the mother of invention" was well 
exemplified in their clever, original and useful devices which the needs of the 
hour evoked. Their minds were capable of doing a great deal of clear think- 
ing. They were able to improvise on the spur of the moment in many ways 
that entitle them to our admiration. Lack of means, distance from mechanics 
and other forms of stimulus made the pioneer farmar his own mechanic. He 
was a wizard with smooth wire when accident threw him suddenly upon his 
own resources, and the repairing that he could do with this material was truly 
marvelous. Of course when the sickle driver snapped in two in the tall 
tough slough grass, he had a job of welding for the blacksmith, who, in the 
early days, found work enough to justify him in maintaining a shop in the 
rural communities. But at first the pioneer farmer did in a very satisfactory 
way man)' of the things that now. under our complicated division of labor. 
are performed by a half dozen special mechanics. 

This genius for invention was, at least in Shelby county, not confined to 
the farmers, who. of course, had the greatest need for it. but it seems to have 
been in the air. Even the men in the towns "'dreamed dreams and saw vis- 
ions" of devices for doing things in a better way, and perhaps more than 
incidentally dreamed some dreams of personal wealth achieved by the happy 
stroke of a great idea. And one generation did not wholly usurp the field 
or close the avenue of invention or the need of it. Today the second genera- 
tion is also at it. 

It has been very difficult to secure information with reference to patents 
and inventions. The United States bureau of patents at Washington does not 
keep a geographical index of the names of patentee^. I have, however, secured 
the following information from various files of Shelby county newspapers 
and from other sources of information. 

Although he never applied for any patents. Thomas Leytham, a well- 
known pioneer of Cass township, is inclined to believe that as a boy he was 
probably the first person to invent a metal husking peg of the type which was 
in general use for very many years, and which is yet much the same. \\ hen 


a small boy in 1866 he observed that the husking pegs, of that time made of 
buckhorn or hickory wood soon became dull and soon blistered the hand. 
He touk a large mixing spoon handle and concluded that he could make a 
husking peg that would he flat in the hand and that, once sharpened, would 
remain sharp, and that might be fastened to two ringers instead of one. as 
was the early custom. lie found a small punch, belonging to his father, and 
kept working with this until he made a hole large enough for a good strap. 
He kept the shaft of the husking peg flat and then bent the point to face his 
thumb, afterwards sharpening the point as he preferred to have it. Being 
of an inventive turn of mind, he also made from clam shells, which were then 
thick in Mosquito creek, a row of buttons for his jacket, his mother at that 
time having no buttons. He also devised very early in his career, as a boy 
on his father's farm, an evener to be used with three horses and he believes 
that he was one of the first men to use three horses on farm implements in 
Shelby county. This evener was made of adi or hickory dressed down and, 
of course, was so constructed that the two horses had the shorter length of 
the double tree and the third horse the longer length. By means of this de- 
vice he worked three horses on a plow in 1875 ' n Cass township. After- 
wards finding that his evener caused the plow to work too much sideways, 
he made an upright evener to proportion the draft. 

In 1877, during the grasshopper days, a patent was granted to T. B. 
Burr, who had invented a device for destroying grasshoppers. In that year 
Mr. Burr was at Council Bluffs making arrangements for the manufacture 
of several thousand of these machines. In the same year R. M. Maxwell, 
of Douglas township, had sent to the patent office a model of a grasshopper 
catcher device somewhat similar to the Burr machine. The '"hoppers," how- 
ever, quit coming, and the inventors made no money from the sale of their 

In 1886 William Scarborough, a grain dealer of Irwin, patented a wagon 
box elevator and dump to be used for unloading grain, etc.. from farm 
wagons. It was portable and could also be used for the purpose of putting 
on and removing a wagon box. In the same year, Messrs. George and 
Horney, of Harlan, received a patent for their combined end-gate and chute 
for loading hogs, calves, or sheep into wagons, together with a rack for 
earning the animals to market or elsewhere. 

L. W. Osborne, in 1877. had invented a corn husker and was ready to 
secure a patent. 

In 1885 T. B. Kail a shoe dealer of Harlan, and John Dierks were al- 


lowed a patent on a paper cane. In 1S84 Mr. Kail had also applied for a 
patent on an automatic whistle attachment for railway engines, on which 
he had been working for several years. In 1884 \Y. M. Jenkins received a 
patent on a railway joint and nut lock for a railway rail. In 1S84 Robert 
Ford, of Earling, was granted a patent on his weed cutter attachment for 
cultivators. In 1NSS a patent was granted to W. E. George and John Coenen, 
of Harlan, fur a convertible stock wagon,.. consisting of a device easily con- 
verted from a stuck wagon into a hay rack, or manure wagon. 

In 1886 Dr. B. F. Eshelman, a Harlan dentist, patented a pencil holder 
which was intended to tit inside the vest pocket and to secure pen, pencil or 
tooth brush without danger of loss. In 1892 Doctor Eshelman again secured 
a patent on a spring appliance to he fastened on the inside of a rubber shoe 
which, by engaging the heel of the leather shoe, held the rubber securely in 
place. In 1SS8 George F. Colby, of Shelby, received a patent for a tongue 
and wagon pole attachment. This was a device for fitting on the end of the 
tongue to keep the neck yoke from coming off in case the tugs came loose. 
One of the early and most successful inventors of Shelby county was fames 
M. Deen, of Harlan, who invented a loom for weaving carpet. This loom is 
manufactured in Harlan and shipped all over the United States and to some 
foreign countries and is highly successful. 

Another young man with a genius for invention is H. G. Baker, of Har- 
lan, a son of J. K. P. Baker, a Shelby county pioneer. Mr. Baker has in- 
vented a number of devices, among them a pipe pusher for pushing water 
pipes and other like pipes through the ground by means of powerful levers; 
a husking peg; a carpet loom; a flying machine, etc. He has applications 
pending for patents on other inventions. 

On May 23, 191 1, Robert Campbell, son of Editor W. C. Campbell, of 
the Harlan Tribune, was granted a patent on a substitute for the inner air 
tube of auto tires and on the same date granted a patent on a machine for 
winding any number of strands, one over another, upon a circular core. 

J. E. Beebe, of Harlan, secured a patent on a garden weeder. Jerry 
Robertson, of Shelby, received a patent on a device for watering hogs. T. 
K. Xelson, of Harlan, has patented a very successful gas engine which is 
manufactured in Harlan and is widely used. R. R. Sandham, of Harlan, has 
received four patents, covering two different forms of shower-bath attach- 
ments which he has invented, and an automobile tire and rim, these patents 
having been issued during the years 1909 and 1910. He also has received, 
on the shower bath attachment, three Canadian patents during the same years. 


Dr. F. R. Lintleman, formerly a Harlan physician and surgeon, has received 
United States and foreign patents on an obstetrical pan. X. Xielson, a Har- 
lan jeweler, was granted a patent on a folding display case for the use of 
merchants. Otto R. Hammer, of Peter Hammer & Company, of Harlan, 
received a patent on a holder for paper hags used by merchants. 

C. C. Rasmussen, of the Harlan Roller Mills, invented an electrical de- 
vice to be attached to elevator belts for the purpose of warning an operator 
when a belt has slipped at some distance. 



The United States census of 1910 contains many interesting statistics 
of great interest to Shelby county people. From these statistics, contained 
in the special Iowa supplement published in 1913, this author gleans the 
following facts: The county lias an area of 589 square miles. Its increase 
in population from 1890 to 1900 was 1.8 per cent.; from 1900 to 1910 it had 
a decrease of y.j per cent. By way of comparison, it is interesting to learn 
from the same source that during the decade from 1900 to 191 o Cass ceunty 
suffered a loss of population of 10.5 per cent.; Crawford. 7.6 per cent.; 
Audubon, 7 per cent.; Carroll. 1 per cent.; Harrison, 9.5 per cent. The 
only county bordering on Shelby county having an increase was Pottawat- 
tamie, which of course contains the city of Council Bluffs, in which all of the 
increase occurred. 

In 1910 Shelby county had an average population per square mile of 28.1. 
and a rural population per square mile of 23.7. By way of comparison, it is 
worth while to note that Iowa as a whole in 1900 had an average population 
per square mile of 40 and the United States as a whole, a population per 
square mile of 30.9. 

Taking up the matter of rural population from 1900 to 1910. the United 
States census shows a decrease in Shelby county of 9.9 per cent.; in Craw- 
ford, 10.8 per cent.; Carroll, 5 per cent.; Audubon, 7 per cent.; Harrison. 
7.5 per cent.: Cass. 10.7 per cent.; and Pottawattamie, 7 per cent. 

The United States census figures also show; the following comparative 
figures for the townships and towns of the county: Population of Cas-, 
township in 1800 was 1,025, in 19CO was 1,073. * n T 9 10 xvas 9^7 : rnat "'" 
Portsmouth for the corresponding dates was 250, 31^1 and 347; that of Center 
for 1900 was 740. for 19 10 was 620: that of Clay fur the three dates above 
named was 1,080, 1,147 and 1,202; of Douglas, including Kirkman, was 925. 
S^7 and 802; that of Kirkman for 1900 was 203 and for 1910 was 180; that 
of Fairview for the three dates above named was ^jt,, 772 and 633: that of 
Greelev, including part of Irwin, for the three dates above named was SSj, 
781 and 653; that of Irwin in Greeley and Jefferson for 1900 was 293. and 
for 19 10 was 2~X; that of Grove for the three dates above named was 721. 



798 and 744; that of Harlan for 1910 for the first wan! was 629, for the 
second ward was Sio. for the third ward was 531, and for the fourth ward 
was 600; that of Jackson for the three dates above named was 1,009, n °6 
and S30; that of Jefferson ( part of town of Irwin) for the three dates above 
named was 993, 1,042 and 917; that of Lincoln for the three dates above 
named was 935, J25 and 614; that of Monroe for the three dates above named 
was 932, 894 and 77S; that of Polk for the three dates above named was 
S09, 835 and 802 : that of Shelby township and town, for the three dates 
above named was 1.457. J >443 an d i>339; that of Shelby town for the three 
dates above named was 5S2, 692 and 586; that of Union and Defiance for 
the three dates above named was 1,212, 1,209 aiK ' i- TI o: that of Defiance 
town, for the three dates above named, was 323, t,^j and 411; that of Wash- 
ington township and Panama was for the three dates above named, 952, 931 
and 843; that of Panama. T,yn. 221 and 27,2; that of Westphalia for the three 
dates above named was 1.265. 1,357 ani ' '• IO, ^> tnat 0I Earling for the year 
1900 was 340 and for the year 19 10 was 323. 

In 1900 Shelby county had 7,898 persons of native parentage, and in 
1910, 7, r 56. In 1900 Shelby comity had 6,(127 persons of foreign or mixed 
parentage, and in 1910, ( j.^t,j. In i<)oo Shelby county had 3.397 persons of 
foreign birth, and in 1910. 3.052. In 1900 44 per cent, of the population of 
the county was of native parentage, and in 1910, 43.2 per cent. 

In 1910 the number of persons of foreign birth and the respective 
countries of their birth were as follows: Austria, 94; Belgium, 1; Canada- 
French, 1 ; Canada-other, 64; Denmark, 1,427; England. ~2\ France, 3; Ger- 
many, 997; Greece, 51 ; Holland, 4; Hungary, 1 ; Ireland. 59; Italy, 1 : Nor- 
way, 148; Russia, 6; Scotland. 12; Sweden. 39; Switzerland. 11; Wales, 1; 
other countries, 60. 

In 1 910 there were in the county 8.717 males and J.^_^ females. In 
1900 there were males of voting age, 4,654. and in 1910, 4,766. Of these in 
1900, 1,778 were of foreign birth, and in 1910. 1,680. In 1910 there were 
239 aliens residing in the county. Of the voters residing in the county in 
19 10, 43 were unable to read or write, or nine-tenths of one per cent, were 
illiterate. Of these 43, 15 were of native birth and 28 of foreign birth. 

In 1910 there were in the county between the ages of 6 and 20 years. 
5,412 persons; of these, there were in attendance at school 3,673. or 67.9 
per cent. Of all persons between the ages of 6 and 14 years of age residing 
in the county, 92.6 per cent, were attending school. In 1910 there were 
3,575 dwellings and 3.602 families. 

The United States census collected special statistics with reference to 


all cities or town-; having a population of 2,500 or more. We have, there- 
fore, the following special statistics concerning Harlan: Male.-. 1,237; 
females, 1,333; persons of native or mixed parentage. S7-- persons of voting 
age. 7S2; of these. 446 were horn of native parents. 133 of foreign or mixed 
parentage, and 203 of foreign birth. There were hut eight persons in Harlan 
of voting age unable to read or write. 

The United States statistics for Iowa contain many interesting agricul- 
tural facts and figures. Shelbv county is placed in Iowa land areas of which 
03 to 100 per cent, are in farms. The count}" is placed in a list of counties 
the value of land in which runs from one hundred dollars to one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars per acre, the highest valuation in the state. This classifi- 
cation, by the way. includes the counties of Carroll, Audubon, Cass. Mont- 
gomery, Fremont and Page in southwestern Iowa; the counties of Sioux, 
Cherokee, Ida and Sac in northwestern Iowa; the counties of Grundy. Story. 
Marshall. Tama. Benton, Polk and Poweshiek, in what might he termed 
central Iowa, and the counties of Cedar, Scott. 'Washington ami Henry in 
the eastern or southeastern part of the state. It will he noticed that the 
second list of counties named, including Shelby, lie practically in the valleys 
of the 'Botna river. The above list of counties it will he observed number 

The average value of an Iowa farm in 1910 was $17,259, of which 
$15,008 represented land and buildings. $1,811 live stock, and $440 imple- 
ments and machinery. The average value of Shelby county farms is much 
in excess of the average for the state, and reaches the rather surprising sum 
of $24,357. This large value is due not simply to the high value of the land 
itself, but is also due to the fact that most of the farms of the county are 
well stocked with high-priced thoroughbred animals, and we'll improved. 

Shelbv county in 1900 had 2,387 farms and in 1910 had 2.213 farms. 
These figures indicate what everyone has observed, that the farms of Shelbv 
county have been for many years and are now, becoming larger. In 1910 
on these farms there were 1.373 native farmers, S38 farmers of foreign birth 
and two colored farmers. In 1900 60.3 per cent, of the farms of the county 
were operated by their owners and in 1910 58.5 per cent, were so operated: 
in the latter year there were 19 farms in the county operated by managers. 

The size of farms in Shelby county in 1910 is of interest, and it will 
no doubt be found somewhat surprising to see how many farms of more than 
160 acres there are in the county. The figures are as follows: Under three 
acres, 1 : 3 to 9 acres. 60: to to 19, 32: 20 to 49, 108: 50 to 99. t,^^; too to 


174. 888; 175 to 259, 479: 260 to 409. 285; 500 to 999, 26; and over 1.000. 
I. The average area of Shelby county farms in 191 o was 167.3 acres. 

In 19] o the approximate laud area of Shelby county was 376.1)33 acTes, 
of which there were in farms 370.317 acres. It is interesting to note that in 
this year there were but 10.060 acres of woodland in the farms of the county. 
The above figures indicate that 98.2 per cent, of the approximate land area 
of the county was in farms. 

The value of all farm property in Shelby county in 1910 was $^3,901,- 
139. The per cent, of increase in the value of farm property from 1900 to 
1910 was 162.7 per cent. Of the above total value of farm property, land 
constituted 77.4 per cent., buildings 10.3 per cent., implements and machinerv 
2.3 per cent, and domestic animals, poultry and bees 10 per cent. 

The total value of all domestic animals in Shelby county in 1910 was 
$5,245,562, of which sum the value of all cattle amounted to $1,768,104; 
horses. $2,199,101 ; mules, $80,743; swine. $1,164,365; sheep, $29,351 ; goats, 
$763; poultry, $123,0610. and bees, $4,228. 

In the year 1910 there were 59,685 head of cattle, of which 12,909 were 
dairy animals, or used for dairy purposes; 17.961 horses, 578 mules, 124,3^0 
swine, 5,714 sheep. 241 goats, 244,319 head of poultry and 1.642 colonies 
of bees. 

Iowa census, 1875. 

This time marks the beginning of the great development of the open 
prairie land in Shelby count}'. The population of the various townships was 
as follows; Cass. 116; Clay, 287; Douglas. 315; Fairview, 740; Grove, 
648; Greeley, jj; Harlan, 927: Jefferson, 114; Jackson, 271; Lincoln, 343; 
Monroe, 660; Polk. 181; Shelby, 390; Union. 183; Washington, 196; West- 
phalia, 207; Total, 6,654. Of this population, 2,072 were born in Iowa; 
2,737 born in the United States elsewhere, and 855 born in foreign countries. 

Of the voters at this time in the count} there were born in the United 
States, S'21 ; British America. 35; England and Wales, 59; Ireland, 30; Scot- 
land, 14; Germany, 50: Austria, including Hungary and Bohemia, 7; Nor- 
way, 2; Sweden, none; Denmark. 21 : France, none; all other countries, 19. 
Number of foreigners'not naturalized, 209. 

At this time there were in the county over sixteen years of age unable 
to read, only 17 persons. In 1874 there 4vere 243 births and 93 deaths in 
the county as shown by the census of 1S75. 



Number of acres improved land. 53,180; rods of fence, 138,437; 
acres in cultivation, 47,230; spring wheat, 22,029 acres: number of 
bushels spring wheat. 317.944; there was no winter wheat; 17,674 
acres of corn, 689,556 bushels: rye, 17 acres, 280 bushels: 2,254 acres of 
oats, 71,676 bushels; 667 acres barley, 15,078 bushels; 9 acres buckwheat, 89 
bushels : 40 acres of sorghum, 3,068 gallons : 91 acres tame grass, 309 tons hay ; 
16,276 tons wild hay; 39 bushels grass seed: no clover seed; 204 acres Hun- 
garian grass, 451 tons of hay; 332 acres of potatoes, 24,203 bushels: 2^ 
acres sweet potatoes. 240 bushels; 3 r ,_j acres onions, 643 bushels; 5,632 acres 
natural timber: 343 acres planted timber; 10,238 rods of hedge; 993 apple 
trees in bearing; 953 bushels in 1874: 1 pear tree; 2 peach trees in 1S74; 
22S cherry trees, 22 bushels in 1874; 22,652 fruit trees not in bearing; 2,432 
pounds of grapes gathered; 3,529 horses of all ages; 60 sold for export in 
1874; 192 mules, 4 sold for export; 3.176 milk cows; 2,305 pounds butter 
made in 1S74; 1,590 pounds cheese manufactured: number of cattle, not in- 
cluding work oxen, 7,137'; number of cattle slaughtered and sold for slaughter, 
1,221; number of thoroughbred Shorthorns, 17; number of hogs, 14,456; 
number of hogs slaughtered or sold for slaughter, 7.984; S28 sheep: 3.530 
pounds wool; 39 head killed by dogs; 1,121 dogs; 96 stands of bees: 2,620 
pounds honey and beeswax; value of products of farm, $573,046. 


Years. Population. Per Cent, of Increase 

1854 326 

1856 456 39- 

1859 784 72- 

i860 818 4.33 

1865 1.900 132.3 

1870 2,540 33.7 

. 1875 5.664 123.15 

1880 12,696 124.15 

1885 16.306 2S.43 

1890 17,611 8. 

1895 17,798 106 

1900 17-93 2 -75 




The Andreas' Historical Atlas of Iowa, published in 1S75. has this story 
of the first session of the district court of Shelby county, held at Galland's 
Grove : 

"Judge Samuel II. Riddle, held the first session of the district court for 
the three counties in the grocery of Solomon Hancock at Galland's Grove. 
The Judge charged the grand jury and then sent them into a smoke house to 
deliberate, and while they were absent it is reported that the lawyers joined 
the judge in a social game of cards 'for the drinks." In the meantime the 
grand jury issued subpoenas for witnesses as to the selling of intoxicating 
liquors by Solomon Hancock. One witness testified that he drank something 
in Solomon's grocery, but did not know whether it was really liquor or not ; 
it did not intoxicate him, but made him 'afful sick.' He said water had some- 
times served him the same way. 'That will do,' said the foreman, 'pass around 
the jug.' A two-gallon jug was immediately produced from a corner of the 
smoke house. After it had been passed around the grand jury returned to the 
grocery, reported that there was nothing before them, and they were thereupon 
discharged. At this first session of the district court, the following attorneys 
were present: H. P. Bennett, of Glenwood ; L. M. Cline, A. C. Ford and 
David Price, of Council Bluffs." 


Andreas' Historical Atlas of 1 8/5 also tells the following story of an 
early sheriff of the county : 

It so happened that the education of the sheriff had been sadly neglected. 

, and moreover he was in the habit of visiting Solomon Hancock's grocerv too 

often to maintain the reputation of a strict temperance man. Sometime before 

the first court convened, he, as a county official, received a copy of the code of 

1851. He could not read it, but had the good fortune of being the husband 


of a wife who could. When he would return home under the influence of 
Solomon Hancock's whiskey, she would read to him that section which makes 
habitual drunkenness a sufficient cause tor divorce. I Ii^ attention was so 
frequently called to this provision of the code, that it became monotonous to 
him, and having the impression that Judge Riddle had sent the volume, when 
he came around to hold the court, the 'high sheriff" seized the statute and car- 
ried it back to the judge ami. throwing the book down before him, he ex- 
claimed, "There, now; don't you dare send any more such nonsense to my 


The earliest pioneers of Shelby county, like the earliest pioneers every- 
where, sought a dwelling place in the woods, for there they could have shelter, 
fuel and material for their primitive log cabins. It is also true, no doubt, 
that many of them had been accustomed for generations to live in a timber 
country ami were more at home there. A story is told of William Henderson. 
a pioneer in the northeastern part of Pottawattamie county, who in the midst 
of a most beautiful prairie, nevertheless started to clear (ill a farm on a small 
tract of timber, in regular Hoosier style. P.eing asked why, when surrounded 
by such beautiful prairies, he was felling trees and removing stumps for the 
purpose of having a farm, he said: "I have always been accustomed to live 
in a timber country, and by the grace of God. I intend to die in the midst of 


One of the experiences of pioneer travelers in Shelby county is related by 
W. D. Fritz, a son of John Fritz, who came to Shelby county in 1859. Mr. 
FYitz and his two boys were driving a team of oxen on one of the ridges of 
Shelby county on a very hot day. during which it was impossible to secure 
water for the oxen to drink. Mr. Fritz was hauling a load of wheat in sacks. 
When the two yokes of oxen reached the Botna river, they, in spite of all that 
Mr. Fritz could do, plunged into the stream. Mr. Fritz and the bovs jumping 
to save themselves. The oxen upset the wheat in the river. Mr. Fritz was 
obliged to wade in and get out his wheat and dry it before he could return. 

About 1863 Jacob Tague, and his brother Ephraim Tague and his wife, 
picked in the vicinity of Bowman's Grove and along the 'Botna river there a 


fine load of wild plums, which they hauled to Council Bluffs, where they, to- 
gether with their team and wagon, were carried across to Omaha on the ferry ■ 
boat then operating on the Missouri river. .Arriving in Omaha, they ascer- 
tained that another well-known pioneer of Shelby county from another part 
of the county had been ahead of them with a load of plums, but that soon after 
arriving in Omaha had become intoxicated, so much so that he had torn the 
end-gate out of his wagon letting the plums run all over the street. The 
Tagues. however, sold out their entire load of plums for two dollars per bushel. 


''A novel scene was witnessed by some of our people last Monday morn- 
ing. A young lady made the remark on Saturday that if it grew much colder, 
she did not know how she would get to her school, about a mile distant. A 
young gentleman who was present jocosely replied that he would take her on a 
hand sled. The young lady then said that she would hold him to his agree- 
ment and the one to first back out should forfeit the oysters. To this the young 
man assented, and agreed to draw her over the mile and one-quarter in thirty 
minutes without stopping, causing her to alight, or otherwise annoying her. 
Monday morning found him promptly on hand with his little sled, and the 
school ma'am seated herself, and off they started, at eight-thirty, and at nine 
o'clock he had performed his task." 


One of the pioneer county officers, referring to some matter of local poli- 
tics, wrote a political friend as follows: "Tell H to keep cool. There 

is a hen on Sapp will attend to this as soon as he gets through to Washing- 
ton, so he promised me last Monday night. You l>et if I get a chance at any 
of those devils I give them the best I have. looks like a sheep- 
killing dog. he could not look at me last Mondav as I passed through Shelby." 
(The w riter of this letter wrote a post-script as follows : "Don't leave this in 


A story told in Shelby county for man}' years, which never grows less 
in the telling is this: In one of the earlv Democratic county conventions, a 
delegate from the west part of the county in the following words, spoken in a 
voice that rattled the rafters, nominated a well-known citizen for his third 


term as county superintendent of schools: "Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of 
this convention, I rise to place in nomination lor county superintendent a man 

known to all of you. , who has in the past performed the 

duties of his office with partiality, fidelity, ability and courage, unmoved bv 
friend, undaunted by foe, and regardless of qualifications or anything else." 


William W'ooster, of Jefferson township, recalls vividly an experience of 
his father and himself during the winter of 1SS0. On a particularly fine 
morning the father, John Wooster, remarked to his son, "Well this is a nice 
day; I'll go to town with you." The son sacked up the wheat and placed it 
in the wagon box — set on a sled, the runners of which had been made of a long 
plank cut in two and shaped up. About noon clouds suddenly gathered and 
it began to snow and grew very cold. The Woosters. therefore, hurriedly 
transacted their business in Harlan and about half past one started as rapidly 
as possible for home. Mr. Errett was then living on or near the place on 
which J. W. French afterwards resided, and offered to take the travelers in, 
but told them that he could not take their horses for lack of room. The 
Woosters, therefore, continued their journey with the snow driving thickly 
from the northeast. They were seated between two blankets without any hay 
in the sled, for the horses had eaten all of the hay at noon while they were in 
town. The snow became so thick that the son could not see a team ahead. 
He whipped up a little. Later the team suddenly slowed up and he dis- 
covered that he was beside another team hauling a load of wood. By this time 
the elder W'ooster was becoming very cold and said that they had better stop 
at George Eokar's, then residing northwest of Kirkman. They stopped, but 
found both house and barn full, therefore struck for Irwin, hoping to stop at 
the blacksmith shop and have the horses taken in. Arriving there, the elder 
Wooster looked into the shop and found it already full of horses so that the 
travelers continued their journey. Finally reaching the vicinity of Xo. 8 
school, in Jefferson township, they saw the tracks of school children and 
knew that it was shortly after four o'clock. They were able to follow the 
road. by means of the thick crusts of snow where the track lay. About this 
time they became uncertain as to where they were. The son thought surely 
they were south of their home. The father happened to turn around and 
wanted to know what those weeds were doing there. A clump of weeds in 
mowing the prairie grass had been left. They then discovered from the 

• j$ • ■ ■ 


location of these weeds that they were thirty rods out oi and west of the track. 
They then swung around and finally reached their hyme, which then con- 
sisted of a dug-out. During the night the drifts became piled perfectly level 
with the top of the dug-out and they were obliged to shovel their way out in 
the morning, it being the custom to take the shovel into the dug-out during 
the winter when snows were likely to fall. 


Men were frequently lost on the prairies of the county in an early day 
when there were few roads, irregularly laid out, few fences, and no farm 
houses, planted timber, or other landmarks by which one might get his bear- 
ings. In those days the hollows and hills, covered with prairie grass, had as 
little variation or distinctive appearance as the undulations of the sea. The 
author is indebted to Adam Schmitz, of Westphalia, for the facts of the 
following story : 

In 1873 a well-known German of Westphalia township went some miles 
from home over the trackless prairie to secure some willow poles which he 
might use in making a roof for his stable. During the afternoon and 
evening clouds came up rapidly and when this man started for home he 
became lost. During the early part of the night he wandered over hill and 
up ravine and across all of the creeks in the neighborhood, and at about 
midnight arrived in the vicinity of a farm in the township, then owned by 
T. D. Pratt, several miles from the home of the wanderer. He was for- 
tunate enough to hear dogs barking, and finally found a fence, which he 
followed, at last reaching the premises of Mr. Pratt. The door of the Pratt 
house was opened and the lost man asked if anyone there could talk German. 
It happened that Mr. Pratt's wife could speak German, thereby enabling 
the man in search of his own home to explain his plight. Mr. Pratt took 
the man in that night and brought him home next morning. He found that 
his friends were much alarmed over his absence and were out making a 
search for him. 

didn't expect pay. 

John B. Shorett, formerly county superintendent of schools in Shelby 
county, tells this story of pioneer days in Washington township : 

"To show the spirit of the times I remember of hearing Samuel Car- 
roll, father of Frank Carroll, tell a story on my father. He said he came 
into Washington township and had no money and that he came down to 


my father's place to get a load of corn. He told father that he wanted some 
corn, but he did not have any money to pay for it. but when he got the 
money he would make the payment. Father told him to go to the crib and 
get the corn. Some time thereafter Carroll paid my father and remarked 
that there must have been something about him to make father believe he 
was honest and he would certinly get the pay or he would not have let him 
(a stranger) have the corn, and father replied, 'Oh! that was not the reason. 
1 never expected to get the pay for it.' As you know, in those times people 
were more liberal than they are at this time, and every man. in order to play 
his part, was expected to lie liberal with those around him. They did not 
have very much, but what they did have they shared to a great extent with 
their neighbors." 


During the strenuous "Free Silver" campaign in Shelby county, when 
Republican speakers, from Leslie M. Shaw down, were trying hard to 
counteract the plausible propositions advanced by "Coin's Financial School," 
and were campaigning in almost every school district in the county, one of 
the Harlan Republican speakers had a crushing experience in the vicinity of 
Corley. He was telling his hearers, in a burst of eloquence, that we had but 
a few mints ami the great void that silver must fill after driving out gold 
would swamp them. And, waving his arms, he declared. "What would we 
do? What would we do?" He then waited for a reply. A little rascal, 
about as big as a pint of soap, sitting on the front seat, held up his hand and 
said, ''Sav, mister, we'd make more mints." 



John B. Shorett. son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Shorett, pioneers of Wash- 
ington township. Two terms, county superintendent of schools of Shelby 
county. Introduced the idea of township school picnics and rural school 
graduating exercises. Established many school libraries. Favored consolida- 
tion of country schools. Famous debater for the State University of Iowa, 
which he represented in several winning contests against neighboring state 
universities. Xow a practicing lawyer of Seattle, Washington, where he has 
especially distinguished himself in waterway and harbor law, in which he 
has been engaged in litigation involving many hundreds of thousands of 
dollars. Was Democratic candidate for the nomination for Congress from 
his district at the last primary in Washington. 

J. W. Shorett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Shorett, above named. 
Studied at the Woodbine Xormal School and the State University of Iowa. 
Practiced law at Everett, Washington, and now in partnership with his 
brother. John B., at Seattle, Washington. Was a delegate to the last Demo- 
cratic Xational convention from Washington. 

Shelby county teachers have been elected to and have filled with credit 
to themselves some of the best positions in the country. For instance, Miss 
Elizabeth Wyland, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. AVyland, a graduate of 
Grinnell College, is an instructor in the East Des Moines high school; her 
sister, Miss Mary J- Wyland, also a Grinnell graduate, has been principal of 
the Harlan, high school and of the high school at Aberdeen, South Dakota, 
and besides she has made herself one of the experts of the country on the 
problems of school and city playgrounds, lecturing extensively on these sub- 
jects and teaching in teachers' institutes; Miss Mignonette Cook, daughter of 
Dr. and Mrs. E. L. Cook, taught for several years in the city schools of 
Sioux City and of Omaha; Miss Winifred Cockerell has taught in the city 
schools of Council Bluffs. Iowa, and is now teaching in the city schools of 
Oklahoma City. Oklahoma: Miss Tina Anthony, one of the veteran teachers 
of Shelby county, in addition to having taught a number of years in the city 
schools of Harlan, taught for some time in the city schools of Red Oak, 
Iowa; Miss Lulu Pickard. daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Pickard, taught 


in the city schools of Boone, Iowa; Miss Lydia Keep for some years has 
taught in the city schools of Marshalltown, Iowa; Miss Mabel C. Smith, 
daughter of Hon. and Mrs. T. II. Smith, a graduate of the State University 
of Iowa, was teacher of Latin in the high schools of Lisbon, North Dakota, 
Xorth Yakima, 'Washington. Wenatchee. Washington, and McKinney, Texas. 
Her sister. Miss Orpha Smith, a graduate of Northwestern University, 
taught in the high school of Bismarck, Xorth Dakota; Rufus A. Obrecht, a 
son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Obrecht, pioneers of Center township, became 
a noted expert on the subject of horses, and for some years was a professor 
in the University of Illinois, and in Purdue University. Miss Frances Car- 
roll, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank S. Carroll, a graduate of the State Uni- 
versity of Iowa, held some excellent positions in the best high schools of 
California. Arthur Nelson taught for several years in the Philippines. Miss 
Lulu Lewis and Miss Bessie Brown taught in Indian schools, as also did 
Miss Katie Baker. Miss Lewis taught in the famous government school at 
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and Miss Brown taught among the Navajoes of the 
Southwest. Allan Shepherd, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Shepherd, while 
yet an undergraduate, was honored with a position in the department of 
English in the State University of Iowa. He, together with Miss Frances 
Carroll and Miss Hazel Poof, all students of the State University of Iowa, 
were elected to the honorary scholarship society of Phi Beta Kappa, an organ- 
ization devoted to literary culture and high scholarship, established before the 
Revolution in America, and to which many of the most famous men and 
women of America have belonged. The foregoing list is far from being 
complete, but it is sufficient to serve as encouragement to the young men and 
the vouns: women of the countv desirous of making the best of their talents. 









\ / / 




George \Y. Cullison. of Harlan. Iowa, was born in Henry county, Iowa. 
on a farm near New London, October 6, 1S4S. His father, Elisha Cullison, 
came to the territory of Iowa in the spring of 1842 from Rush county, Indi- 
ana. Elisha Cullison was born in Harrison count}', Kentucky. January 24, 
1808. When he was a young man, he went from there to Indiana and mar- 
ried Matilda McCabe. of Rush count)', in 1839. The mother, Mrs. Matilda 
(McCabe) Cullison, was born in Ireland, June 15, 1S1S, and was brought 
to America when an infant. 

On coming to Iowa. Elisha Cullison and wife settled on a farm of unim- 
proved land where George \V. Cullison was born. In 1S58 the family moved 
to Missouri and settled on a farm near the village of Paulville, on the eastern 
edge of Adair county. That part of Missouri does not have the rich soil 
of western Iowa, but it is a most beautiful country. The gently rolling 
prairies are from four to eight miles wide, sloping off to the southeast ; belted 
on both sides by most beautiful woodland in the midst of which may often 
be found a perpetually running stream, fringed to the water's edge with sand 
and gravel. The little village of Paulville was located upon the prairie just 
at the eastern fringe of one of the timber belts. It was a nice, clean little 
village of perhaps two hundred souls. Adjoining this village on the east. 
Elisba Cullison bought a farm and made his future home. In less than two 
years of peaceful life at his new home, the furies of war broke forth. The 
people of that locality were nearly evenly divided on the question involved 
and soon divided into hostile camps, one rebel, the other Union. Bitterness 
and hate took the place of friendship and love, and peace fled from the little 

Elisha Cullison was a courageous ■And determined man. He was born 
in the mountains of Kentucky, tall, straight, angular and active. He re- 
mained loyal to the Union and soon became a leader in organizing and help- 
ing to organize the Union forces in that part of the state. He thereby in- 


cttrred the flitter enmity of the rebels and lie and his family suffered many 
depredations at their hands. They were robbed twice during the war of all 
their cattle, horses, wagons, harness, flour, feed, grain and hay. The father 
was hunted and pursued by squads of rebels and rebel sympathizers. Thev 
never caught him. On one occasion, they chased him for nearly nine miles, 
but he eluded them and made his way to the Union lines. He was in the 
beginning of the war what was known as a '"lookout" and would find out 
the rebel camps, their forces, and their movements generally and convey the 
information to the Union forces. 

If he did not convey the information in person, he usually sent it by his 
son George \Y.. who was then a lad thirteen or fourteen years of age. The 
elder son, William, had previously enlisted in the Fourteenth Regiment Illi- 
nois Volunteer Infantry. The son, George \V., was sent many times on such 
errands. At one time, he was sent from Paulville to Macon, Missouri, a 
distance of forty miles. He left home at dusk and delivered his message 
the next morning. At another time he was sent to Lancaster, Missouri, a 
distance of thirty miles. He left home in the afternoon and reached his 
destination about midnight, aroused the Union officer and delivered his mes- 
sage. At still another time, the rebel general, Porter, had passed through 
Paulville and just as the dawn began to appear his father sent the lad with 
a dispatch to Edina, Missouri, a distance of twelve miles. The territory 
through which he passed was full of rebel scouts. His father delivered him 
the dispatch folded into a very small piece of paper and instructed him that 
if he were halted by rebels to swallow the dispatch: he was told to follow the 
road over which the rebels passed for about three miles and if at that point 
the trail showed the rebels had gone south, he was to take the east road for 
Edina; but if the trail showed the rebels went east, to return home quickly. 
This was the only time the lad felt fear. To use his own language in describ- 
ing his feelings, he said. "I never felt afraid to do what father told me to do 
but once. In fact, the danger in doing such things never occurred to me till 
I was sent to Edina. I knew the situation better then. Father had been 
watching, from his hiding place, the rebel army pa^s during the latter part 
of the night. I suppose he knew something unusual was on. He aroused 
me before daylight, told me what had happened and said he wanted me to 
take a dispatch to Edina. He said the country was full of rebels and they 
might be headed for Edina and asked me if I was afraid to go. I said no. 
He directed me to get a horse and go at once. When I was ready to mount, 
he handed me the little folded paper, gave me directions as to how to go and 
said, 'If the rebels halt you. swallow the paper.' That made me feel mighty 



chilly. I think I shook hut said nothing. I intended to rely on my horse. 
He was fleet and always willing and I knew every cow path on the way. As 
I rode away, father said. 'Go quickly and be brave." 

"His encouraging remark made me feel worse. I know as I rode away 
I trembled from head to foot. But the little horse was willing if the rider 
was not. He cantered along impatiently till I reached the forks of the road 
and by close looking, I could see in the dawn and darkness the trail of the 
rebels running south. I whirled the horse into the road running east and 
gave him more freedom from the rein. He seemed to leap to his task of a 
nine-mile race as if he was anxious to carry his trembling rider to safety. 
The further along the road I got. the better I felt, for I knew if the rebels 
were behind me, they would have to stay there (my horse had been tried 
before) and the chances rapidly decreased of their being in front of me. I 
reached the Union pickets just as the sun began to appear. 

"A moment of explanation to them and on I went. I rode up to the head- 
quarters in the old court house, handed my note to an officer. He read it, 
then frowned and looked up at me with a smile and said, 'Bub, have you been 
to breakfast'? Being told I had not, he told me where to go for breakfast 
and feed for my horse and sent a soldier with me, I suppose to give direc- 
tions. 1 ate my breakfast while others cared for my horse. After eating, 
I felt like a careless boy again. The fear had vanished. In a little while 
nearly all that Union force of between four and five thousand men (as it 
looked to me), moved out southwest in the direction where General Porter 
was supposed to be." 

At this time conditions in northern Missouri were most deplorable. 
Elisha Cullison and two of his associates. Dr. J. W. Lee and T. J. Lycan, had 
become the most hated Union men in that section and it was reported that 
the rebel authorities had offered five hundred dollars each for their capture. 
They had organized the Union League (a secret loyal organization that 
existed during the war), in that part of the country. George \Y. Cullison 
was admitted as a member although a mere boy. Every member of this 
league would report generally in the night time) to the league or its officers, 
every move of every rebel or rebel suspect that came to his knowledge. These 
officers in turn would report to the commanders of the Union troops, either at 
Edina or Kirksville. and by this means, the troopers were enabled to pick up 
rebels or rebel suspects in every part of that country. George YV. was often 
appointed to convey these reports to the Union forces. It was not so danger- 
ous but it often required an all-night ride, especially if the circumstances 
were urgent. 


Assassination became frequent. And it was generally the Union men 
that were assassinated. A judge, an ex-county officer, a sick, furloughed 
soldier and a farmer, all Union men. were assassinated. Besides, numerous 
attempts at assassination tailed. Elisha Cullison and his associates had more 
lo dread from that source than any other. He decided he would go with the 
regular army and send his family back to Iowa till the war was over. Ac- 
cordingly, the boy George \\\, was directed to take his mother and younger 
children to Iowa. 

They started, but after one day's travel in a wagon one of the small chil- 
dren took sick and the family returned to their home the next day and re- 
mained during the war. This dreadful condition continued from the begin- 
ning of the war till after the battle of Kirksville, August 6, 1863. 

From that time on, the Union forces held sway in North Missouri and 
peace again returned. Elisha Cullison died February 1. 1S65, and George 
W. started out to shift for himself. Nearly everything bad been lost during 
the war except the land and that was valueless. He hired out and worked 
on a farm from March till September. He had received no schooling and 
could scarcely read and write. In the fall of 1865, he started in school at 
Monroe City, Missouri, and remained there until January, 1866. During 
the year r866 and till August. 181.7, ' ie worked on a farm, generally receiving 
twenty dollars per month. In the fall of 1867, he enrolled as a student in 
the North Missouri Normal School, at Kirksville. It was a private school 
at that time and began September 4, 1867. Mr. Cullison was the second 
student enrolled. He studied, worked and taught school and in 1S70 was 
awarded a diploma. The school afterward became a state school and Mr. 
Cullison was given a diploma from the State school in 1874. Mr. Cullison 
taught school for ten years and for six years of that time he conducted schools 
of his own ; that is, private schools, and secured his income by charging 
tuition. He conducted a private school at Unionton, Missouri, from Septem- 
ber, 1S70, till June, 1 87 1. He then transferred his school to Troy, Davis 
county, Iowa, and conducted that school till June, 1875. He then went to 
Bloomfield and became one of the principals of the Southern Iowa Normal 
and Scientific Institute and remained there one year. He was then appointed 
superintendent of the school of Allerton. Iowa, and remained there till De- 
cember, 1880. 

During his career as teacher, he came to be recognized as one of the 
leading educators of the state. He conducted Normal Institutes in Davis. 
Appanoose, Wayne, Montgomery, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties in 
Iowa and held teachers' meetings in Clarke, Scotland, Putnam, Mercer and 


Grundy counties. Missouri. In this work lie was greatly admired and always 
received the highest salaries of the time. He is remembered now in love by 
the hundreds of the men and women in Iowa and Missouri, who were his 
pupils in those far-off days. 

Mr. Cullison from his boyhood wanted to be a lawyer. Notwithstand- 
ing the vicissitudes and deprivations of his early life, his hope to be a lawyer 
never dimmed and his determination never wavered. During his spare time 
while teaching, he studied law and in 1876 was admitted to the bar l>y the 
district court of Davis county. Iowa. Judge J. C. Knapp presiding". In 18S0. 
he formed a partnership with Hon. T. II. Smith, in Harlan. Iowa, under the 
firm name of Smith & Cullison. The new firm began Januarv 1, 1881, ami 
continued till January 1, 1805. In 1S99 ' le formed a partnership with Hon. 
L. B. Robinson under the firm name of Cullison & Robinson. In 1904, he 
was associated with H. V. Yackey under the firm name of Cullison & Yackey. 
In 1908, he became associated with his son, Shelby Cullison, under the firm 
name of Cullison & Cullison and that firm still continues. In 18S7, the firm 
of Smith & Cullison formed a partnership with F. A. Turner, at Avoca, under 
the firm name of Turner. Smith &- Cullison. In 1895. Mr. Smith withdrew 
from that firm and it exists now as Turner & Cullison. The firm of'Turner 
& Cullison is probably the oldest partnership in western Iowa 

Mr. Cullison has been a student ever since the war and is a great student 
now. An evening seldom comes that does not find him in his home library 
studying history, philosophy, literature, science, social problems or the Bible. 
He is recognized as one of the best educated men in the West. As a lawyer, 
he is regarded by all who know him, both bench and bar. as one among the 
best in the state. Few. if any. members stand higher in personal esteem of 
both the bench and the bar than Mr. Cullison. His arguments to the court 
are clear and concise and closely logical. The courts and lawyers listen 
attentivelv to what he says and it is generally thought something of impor- 
tance will be said when he speaks. His printed arguments and briefs for the 
appellate courts are models of clearness and usually are exhaustive of the 
subjects treated. His practice is very extensive in western Iowa and in both 
State and Federal courts. As a public speaker, he is pleasing and entertain- 
ing and unfolds his theme with great care and precision. His language is 
keen and apt, and his mode of speech is such as attracts instant attention. 

On July 11. 1872. Mr. Cullison married Jennie S. Gates, near Fairfield. 
Jefferson county, Iowa. At that time he was conducting his school at Troy. 
Iowa, and Miss Gates was one of the students. She was born in Fssex 
countv, Xew York, came to Iowa when a child and grew to womanhood in 


Jefferson county. Her father was a farmer and carpenter. She hecame a 
teacher in the country schools and was attending Mr. Cullison's school when 
he became acquainted with her. They were both poor in purse but rich in 
hoj>e and ambition. She had saved a few dollars while teaching and he had 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars. They began housekeeping with what 
they had and were contented and happy. She was gentle, kind, industrious 
and economical and he was ambitious and ceaseless in his endeavor to suc- 
ceed. They both studied and worked, she in the home and he in his schools. 
Life went pleasantly with them, not because of riches, emoluments and fame, 
but because of the happiness and contentment of their humble home. In 
1880, Mr. Cullison decided to quit school work and enter the practice of the 
law. At that time, they had a family of four children. When he told his 
wife his decision, she asked, "Do you think we have enough to support the 
family till you get started?" "Well," he replied, "We will use it all if need 
be, and exhaust my personal credit, and if I can't succeed by that time I will 
turn to something else." "I hope you can succeed and believe you will" was 
her only comment. Mr. Cullison did not use all his accumulation in begin- 
ning the practice of the law for he was fortunate enough to make a living 
from the start. 

They have had six children, four girls and two boys. One of the boys 
died when he was five years old and one of the girls after she reached woman- 
hood. Mrs. Jennie S. Cullison died November 18, 1S98, of tuberculosis. 
The attack was totally unexpected to both her and her husband. She was 
taken ill in June and lingered until November. She is buried in Harlan. 

On December 25, 1S99, at Boulder, Colorado, Mr. Cullison married 
Mary Iowa Gates, a sister of his first wife. His home life now is in all essen- 
tial respects the same as when he was first married. It is plain, frugal, un- 
ostentatious, economical and very pleasant. He has three children by the 
second wife, two girls and one boy. One of the marked features of their 
home life is the fact that it is still a real home for all his children whenever 
any of them choose to return. One would not know from their treatment 
of each other that they were not all full brothers and sisters. 

In politics, Mr. Cullison was first a Republican, then a Democrat and is 
now a Republican. Prior to 1872, he was a Republican, but in that year 
voted for "Horace Greeley. It was due more to the family love for Greeley 
than anything else, for the father had taken "Greeley's Tribune," as it was 
called by the people then, for many years. The paper was the only one re- 
ceived and it was read by all who could read. Greeley was looked upon as a 
real tribune of the common people and they loved him. When he became a 


candidate for President, all the voters in the Cullison family voted for him. 
Mr. Cullison remained a Democrat till 1900 when he voted for McKinley. 
In 1S96. he was not satisfied with the Democratic party's position on the silver 
question. He remained with the party, however, and believed the silver 
question would soon pass, but the Spanish war came on. The Philippine 
Islands came into the possession of the United States. In 1900, the Demo- 
cratic party declared itself opposed to their retention by the United States. 
and opposed the re-election of President McKinley on that ground. It also 
renewed its declaration in favor of the free and unlimited coinage of silver. 
Mr. Cullison made up his mind to vote for McKinley instead of Mr. Bryan, 
the Democratic nominee. When asked why he was opposing Bryan, he re- 
plied, "Mr. Brvan is in favor of inflation, opposed to expansion and that 
presages an explosion. - ' 

At that time Mr. Cullison went no farther than to vote for McKinley, 
but in 1904 he voted the Republican ticket and became a Republican in fact. 
During all his life, Mr. Cullison has advocated and actively supported all 
movements in the locality where he lived for its upbuilding and the better- 
ment of the people. Before he was of age. he subscribed for stock in the 
Normal School at Kirksville. Missouri, from which he afterward graduated. 
In 1869, he cast his first vote in favor of bonding Adair county. Missouri, in 
the sum of eighty thousand dollars to secure a state normal school at Kirks- 
ville. The bonds carried. He afterward was appointed and served on a 
committee to meet the state authorities and secure from them the location 
of a state normal school at Kirksville. They met at St. Louis and were 
before the locating committee three days. Kirksville won out by a bare 
majoritv of one and the school was located at Kirksville. It has grown to 
be one of the greatest educational institutions of the West and Kirksville has 
grown from a town of about one thousand five hundred to a city of over ten 

In 1874, Mr. Cullison subscribed to the fund to build the Southern Iowa 
Normal and Scientific Institute at Bloomfield, Iowa. It is a small college but 
has had such an elevating influence on that city that it has become one of the 
most beautiful and homelike little cities in the state. 

In March, 1SS1, and in less than three months after he moved to Harlan. 
he was elected a member of the school board and served on that board con- 
tinuously for twelve years and was president of the board most of that time. 
Later he was elected to the board and served for six years, making full 
eighteen years altogether. It is not too much to say that he has done more 
to shape the policy of the Harlan public schools than any other man. His 



loyalty to them and his unswerving purpose to make them at least equal to 
the best has been a constant force for their good and a blessing to the children, 
lie was never so busy he did not take time to attend to the wants and needs 
of the schools. He has often said that during his eighteen years on the 
school board, he has given at least one full year of time to the schools. 

In 1905, Mr. Cullison was one of the few men who established the Har- 
lan Chautauqua Association and his associates say that but for him the 
Chautauqua would have failed. He was superintendent and manager of the 
Chautauqua Assembly at Harlan for five years and is still a member of the 
board. He helped establish the Western Iowa Vocational College at Harlan, 
is a member of its board of trustees and was its general manager from its 
beginning till August I, 1 9 1 4 . He was one of the first advocates and chief 
supporters of the city's policy of erecting and maintaining a svstem of water 
works and electric lights, of cement walks, sewers and paving. He has often 
said, "Such things promote the health, happiness, comfort and well-being of 
the people and in all such things that the individual cannot do for himself, 
he, as a member of society, ought to help the public do." 


The gentleman whose name heads this biography is widely known in 
Lincoln township, Shelby county, Iowa, and is one of the honored citizens 
of his community, where he is living in honorable retirement after a strenu- 
ous life of activity in connection with agricultural pursuits. His well- 
directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his 
business interests and his sound judgment have brought to him prosperity, 
and his life demonstrates what may be accomplished by any man of energy 
and ambition who is not afraid to work and has the perseverance to con- 
tinue his labors in the face of any disaster or discouragement that may arise. 
In all the relations of life Mr. Robinson has commanded the confidence and 
respect of those with whom he has been brought into contact and a biograph- 
ical history of this locality would not be complete without a record of his 
career. " 

John W. Robinson, one of the most substantial farmers of Lincoln 
township, was born in Jones county, Iowa, in 1854. His father, Charles 
Robinson, was born in 1820. in Champaign county, Ohio, and his mother, 
Theresa Reynolds, was born in 1838, in \\ 'hiteside conntv, Illinois. Charles 


Robinson came to Iowa in 1835, and settled in Jones county, being one of 
the earliest settlers of the county. He came to Shelby county in 1875. ^ e 
was a man of great abilitv and recognized as a man of wide influence in the 
affairs of the county. He improved two farms in Jones county and lived the 
last two years of his life at Defiance, in Shelby county, where his death oc- 
curred in 1890. His wife passed away ten years later. 

John \V. Robinson was one of nine children born to his parents, and 
received a good common school education and at the age of twenty-two 
began farming for himself in this county. He first rented one hundred and 
ten acres of land and in 1879 bought his first farm in Lincoln township. 
Since that time he has bought and sold several farms in different places in 
the county, at one time having owned the farm which is now in the pos- 
session of John H. Clausen in this township. He has the honor of setting 
out the large shade trees on that farm, which attract attention from all of 
the passersby. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land in 
Lincoln township, upon which he has made extensive improvements. He 
has been an extensive breeder of high grade live stock for the past twenty- 
two years, making a particular specialty of Polled Durham cattle. He has 
won man_\- prizes on his cattle at fairs throughout the state. Mr. Robinson 
has always been a hard working man and is still active in the management 
of his farm. He can be seen during the plowing season behind a walking 
plow in the corn fields, while his son uses the riding plow. 

Mr. Robinson was married in 1S7S to Rachel Casey, who was born in 
Carroll county, Ohio, in 1859, and to this union have been born six children. 
of whom five are living and are the pride of their parents:** Dr. V. J., a 
graduate of the Chicago Veterinary College, who had previously attended 
the Iowa State College for two years, and is now practicing his profession 
at Atlantic, Cass county, Iowa; Maud, who married George A. Luxford, an 
attorney of Denver, Colorado; John, also a graduate of the Chicago Veter- 
inary College and practicing with his brother, V. J., at Atlantic ; Otis, a prac- 
ticing physician of Atlantic, Iowa, and a graduate of Creighton University, 
of Omaha, Nebraska; Clair, the only one of the children still at home with 
his parents: Paul, deceased. 

Politically, Mr. Robinson is a member of the Republican party and in 
the split which occurred in 1912, he/remained true to the old line wing of 
the party. He and his family are all members of the Christian church and 
have taken an active part in the various departments of church work in that 
denomination. Mr. Robinson has always been a very generous contributor 
to the support of his favorite denomination. His notable straightforward- 


ness lias gained for him the confidence and good will of all who know him 
best, and he is in every way deserving of the high esteem in which he is held 
by all classes. He has kept well abreast of the times and has always had 
the courage of his convictions, and while primarily engaged in the further- 
ance of his own interests, he has never lost sight of his larger duties to his 
count v and state and ever supported such measures as make for the general 


Singular and pronounced attainments on the part of an individual are 
always worthy of attention and there is likewise a recognized necessity for 
recording the same. Every man seems endowed by nature and fitted peculiarly 
for a certain task and the truth of the time-tried saying, "There is a niche 
for every man and a man for every niche," was never better exemplified than 
in the history of Edward Speer White. The point worthy of emphasis in 
writing of the career of Mr. White, the historian of this volume, is that he 
is naturally gifted with literary talents with a decided leaning toward his- 
torical writings. Readers of this history will agree with the foregoing state- 
ment without doubt. As he is one of the leading attorneys of the county and 
a lifelong citizen of this community it becomes the duty of the biographer 
to record the salient facts regarding Mr. White's career for insertion in the 
pages of the biographical department of this volume. 

Edward Speer White was born October 27, 1871, on a farm in Benton 
county, Iowa. He is a son of James W. and Eliza (Speer) White, residents 
of Jackson township, in Shelby county. James W. White was born in 
County Down, Ireland, and is a son of John and Mary (Copeland) White, 
both natives of County Down, Ireland. Eliza (Speer) White was born 
September 18, 1848, at Le Claire, Scott county, Iowa. Pier parents were 
James and Margaret (Crawford) Speer, both natives of Pennsylvania, who 
settled in Scott county, Iowa, in 1840. Mr. and Mrs. James W. White settled 
in Jackson township, Shelby county, in 1875, coming from Benton county, 
Iowa, and are yet residing on the land broken out by Mr. White. They are 
the parents of seven children: Edward S., Matie, Margaret (deceased), 
Lydie, wife of S. J. Philson, Nellie M., wife of E. E. Morris, John H. and 
Jessie F. 

E. S. White lived in Jackson township until he attained his majority. 
He attended the district schools and assisted on the home farm, later graduat- 




ing from the high school at Harlan in 1890, at that time under the supervision 
of that distinguished instructor, Professor A. B. Warner. Professor War- 
ner later became superintendent of the Tacoma, Washington, schools. At 
present he is a professor in the State Normal school at Kirksville, Missouri. 
Following his graduation from the Harlan high school. Mr. White entered 
the State University of Iowa where he pursued the classical course and grad- 
uated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1S94. While a student at the 
University he wa;* active in student affairs and was chosen editor of his 
college paper. He was also president of the athletic association and presi- 
dent of one of the literary societies. He was made a member of the honor 
scholastic fraternity. Phi Beta Kappa, and is also a member of the Sigma 
Nu Greek letter fraternity. After his graduation he became a teacher and 
taught his first school in the Fritz district in Jackson township. Later he 
taught the Copenhagen school in his home township. After teaching a year 
in the district schools he became an instructor in the high school at Cherokee, 
Iowa, and, though re-elected, decided to accept a position in the Harlan high 
school which had been offered him. For the next five vears he taught in 
the Harlan high school, being elected to the superintendency of the city 
schools in 1S98. He held this position for three years and then resigned 
to enter the law school of the University of Michigan, from which he gradu- 
ated in 1902 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In the fall of the same 
year he passed the bar examination at Des Moines, Iowa, and immediately 
began. the practice of his profession at Harlan, where he has since remained. 

While in the University of Michigan, Mr. White contributed a number 
of special articles to the Chicago Record-Herald on various phases of college 
life. Later he wrote special articles and sketches for the Register and Leader 
of Des Moines, the Council Bluffs Nonpareil, the Omaha Bee, the Sioux City 
Journal, and the Minneapolis Journal. The Midland Monthly of Des Moines 
accepted and published three or four articles written by him, one of which 
entitled, "Denmark in America," was commented on and excerpts therefrom 
republished in the department, "Leading Articles of the Month," of the 
American Review of Reviews edited by Dr. Albert Shaw. In a contest for 
prizes offered by Collier's Weekly for suggestions looking to the betterment 
of this magazine, he was fortunate enough to win three prizes in succession 
consisting of books and the sum of twenty-five dollars. 

Mr. White was married in 1898 to Clyde Beryl Cobb, the daughter of 
Dr. E. A. and Martha (Foster) Cobb. Mrs. White is a graduate of the high 
school at Harlan, class of 189}, as well as a graduate of the University of 


Iowa, class of 1898. She belongs to the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, the P. E. O. Society, the Harlan Literary Club, and the college sorority 
of Pi Beta Phi. Air. White and wife are the parents of two sons, Leland 
Cobb and Edward Speer, Jr. 

Air. White is a Republican in politics, active in the affairs of his party, 
and has served as county chairman. He has served three terms as county 
attornev and while in office was very active in the meetings of the state 
association of county attorneys, serving as secretary of the association. 
He appeared on the programs of the annual meetings and discussed various 
legal topics. He and his wife are members of the Congregational church. 
Air. White is one of the county's most useful and talented citizens and 
• enjoys the respect and esteem of a large number of friends and acquaintances. 
Those who know him have the kindest feelings and warmest friendship for 
him as a man and are ever read}- to assist his undertakings. Besides being a 
writer of recognized ability and a talented member of the Shelby county bar, 
he is an orator of more than local reputation. He is frequently called upon 
to give addresses at local gatherings and often beyond the borders of his 
county. He is gifted with a plenteous endowment of good common sense 
and judgment, qualities which go far to commend him in the eyes of those 
whom he meets. 


The history of the Bomberger family has been traced back several 
generations and the family is fortunate in having their history well pre- 
served. It is not possible in the space here allowed to follow the various 
branches of the family, now numbering several hundred members, and in 
the life of William Aloore Bomberger the genealogy will be but briefly re- 
viewed. The Till ic Zimmerman Record, of Shafferstown, Pennsylvania, gives 
a complete record of the Bomberger family for several generations. 

The first member of the family to come to this country from Germany, 
the ancestral home of the family, arrived here several years before the Revo- 
lutionary War. It seems that the first Bomberger located in the state of Xew 
York and later settled in southern Pennsylvania. Joseph Bomberger, the 
grandfather of William AI., with whom this narrative deals, was a common 
laborer in his boyhood days and, when a young man. found emplovment 
with John Andres, a wealthy farmer living near Lebanon, in the southern 
part of Pennsylvania. It so happened that Andres had a handsome daugh- 


tor and, as so often happens, the two young people were soon in love with 
each cither. They plighted their troth and were happily planning- on mar- 
riage when an unforeseen circumstance arose. When the youthful Joseph 
broached the question of marriage to his betrothed's father he found him 
utterly opposed to their union. He was not particularly opposed to voting 
Bomberger because of any unworthiness on the latter's part but for the rea- 
son that he had Hessian blood (lowing in his veins. At that time the Penn- 
sylvania Germans had very little love for the Hessians because thev had 
served England against the Colonies in the Revolutionary War. However, 
Mr. Andres overcame his scruples on this score, and knowing that the 
young man was in ever}' way worthy of his daughter, gave his consent to 
their union. 

The nuptials of Joseph Bomberger and Sarah Andres were solemnized 
with splendor and. to add to the happiness of the young couple, her father 
built a large brick house and a stone barn on a hundred-acre tract for them. 
He gave them the farm thus equipped on condition that they should pay for 
the improvements, which amounted to about eight thousand dollars. Her 
father felt that they would appreciate their home if they had to work somq 
for it, and in this he showed excellent judgment. They readily accepted the 
offer and on this farm the nineteen-year-old husband and seventeen-year- 
old wife began their married life. They soon paid the indebtedness on the 
farm, added to it and were in the course of time among the most substantial 
people of the community where they lived. Their place was one of the most 
beautiful in southern Pennsylvania and is still standing and occupied by 
their descendants. Joseph Bomberger and wife reared a family of several 
children, namely: Sarah Shirk (deceased), Andres J. (deceased). William, 
Joseph, Mrs. Emma Wells and Augusta (deceased), a soldier in the Union 

It is not possible to trace the children, since the limits of this article 
confine the historian to the line represented by William Moore Bomberger, 
the son of Andres John. The father of William M. was born in Pennsylvania. 
near the city of Lebanon, and reared in the home which had been in the 
family for nearly a century. Andres John Bomberger was married on 
November 19, 1850, to Henrietta Moore, the daughter of Fhillip and Mar- 
garetta (Winters) Moore. To this union were born four children, John, 
William Moore, Phillip and Ida May. The daughter died in infancy and 
the three sons grew to manhood. 

The Moore family are of German extraction, the first members of the 
family having come to this country from the Palatinate district in the year 


ij^v At the time the family came to America there were several other 
families, among them being the Misers, Stumps, Zellers, Fakes, Beckers and 
mam- others. The Moores landed in Xew York City and at mice went up 
the state and located in Schoharie county. Shortly afterwards, in the same 
year, the family accepted the liberal offer of William Penn and moved to 
southern Pennsylvania. Here the great-grandfather of William Moore 
Bomberger bought a large tract of land and lived the rest of his life. Nine 
children were the result of the marriage of this great-grandfather, three 
boys and six girls. One of the three boys was Phillip, who was born in 
Heidelberg, Lebanon county. Pennsylvania, on March 15. 1795. Phillip 
Moore married Margaretta Winters, who was born at Wintersville, Berks 
count v, Pennsylvania. To Phillip Moore and wife were born eight children, 
four of whom died in infancy. The four who grew to maturity were Sarah, 
Adaline, John B. and Henrietta, the mother of William Moore Bomberger. 
Henrietta was born in 1S33 and died in 1S64, shortly after she and her 
husband located in Missouri. As a girl she was strong and healthy but 
some time before her marriage she met with an unfortunate accident which 
ultimately resulted in her death. One evening, as she was bringing the cows 
from the pasture, she injured her ankle and this finally made her a cripple 
from which she never recovered. Her father. Phillip Moore, was a man of 
great strength and one of the most influential men of his community. He 
built all of the buildings on bis farm of stone and they are still standing and 
are in as good shape as they were when erected, a century ago. He was 
especially interested in horticulture, in trees, flowers, fruits and ornamental 
shrubs of all kinds. He had extensive orchards and sold thousands of 
bushels of apples to the distilleries for the purpose of making apple-jack, a 
drink which was used by everyone in his day and generation. 

The Bombergers and Moores have married and intermarried until the 
family histories are very much confused. The Tillie Zimmerman Record, 
which has been previously mentioned, contains much of the Moore history 
as well as that of the Bombergers. Much of the data has been gathered from 
tombstones in the family burying lots. The families have become so re- 
lated that there are no less than six John Bombergers in a limited neighbor- 
hood. In the settlement of one Moore estate there were sixty-seven heirs 
within the two families. Most of the members of both families have never 
left their native state, although there are members of the families now 
living in Illinois and Xevada, as well as Iowa. 

William Moore Bomberger was born in Lebanon county. Pennsylvania. 
May 28. 1S56, and was the second of four children born to his parents. He 


was born in a blue limestone house built by bis ancestors in 1735 and tbe 
house is still in an excellent state of preservation and occupied by members 
of tbe family. His father, Andres John, farmed and at the same time 
operated tbe hotel in the city of Lebanon. In 1861 tbe family went west and 
finally stopped at Quincy, Illinois, arriving there just at tbe time Fort Sum- 
ter was fired upon. After some discussion, Andres John decided to take his 
family farther west, and at once went into tbe state of Iowa, locating on a 
farm in Louisa count}', near Wapello. Tbe family remained here only a 
short time and then settled in Morning Sun, Iowa, where they remained 
until 1S65. Then they went to Missouri and there Andres John Bomberger 
managed the farm of an ex-slave bolder in Brunswick, Chariton county. 
Here tbe wife and mother died and the children were taken back to Penn- 
sylvania and placed in tbe hands of relatives for a time. At this time Will- 
iam M.. with whom this sketch deals, was a lad of eight. Tbe father re- 
married in Iowa and William M. then returned west and lived with bis 
father and step-mother. I lis step-mother died shortly afterward and the 
following spring his father died. From this time the youthful William 
was thrown on his own resources and he showed himself abundantly able to 
care for himself. 

William Moore Bomberge-r had lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa 
and Missouri before his mother died. After the death of his mother, in 
1864, he returned to his native state and lived one year with one grand- 
father and two years with the other grandfather. During this time he 
got a taste of fanning on stony soil and the experience was one which he has 
never forgotten. He returned to his father in Iowa, after his father's sec- 
ond marriage, and upon bis death was apprenticed by his guardian to the 
Bennet and Franz Carriage Company, of Burlington, Iowa. In less than a 
year the firm was burned nut and young William was out of employment. 
At this time be returned to Morning Sun, Iowa, and found work on the 
farms of the Scotch Covenanters near that place. He worked in the sum- 
mer, attended school in the winter time and was making a record as a stu- 
dent. While attending school the village postmaster took a liking to him 
and asked him to come into the office as bis deputy, and although be was 
only seventeen years of age at the time, be was made a full-fledged public 
official, his first taste of public life. 

This proved to be the turning point in the career of Mr. Bomberger, 
and the acquaintances and friendships which he formed the next three years 
in Morning Sun were destined to point him for his future career. Here he 
lived for three years, rooming and boarding with T. M. Findley, the super- 


intendent of the town schools, and all the time acting as deputy postmaster. 
He formed the acquaintance of Henry Wallace, who was just out of the 
seminary and preaching his first sermons in Morning Sun. It was this young 
minister who was later to become the editor of the Wallace Fanner and a 
man whose name and fame is known throughout the whole United States. 
The three years which Mr. Bomberger spent here under this environment 
determined largely his future and gave him a keen desire for an education. 
He spent every spare minute in study and when he left here, at the age of 
twenty-one, he had a good education. 

Jn 1S77 he went to Shelby county with two friends, R. M. Pomeroy 
and William Shirk, on a prospecting trip. He selected a tract in section 7. 
Shelby township, erected buildings upon it, rented the farm to a satisfactory 
tenant and in the fall went to Mount Vernon, Iowa, to attend Cornell Col- 
lege. However, he changed his mind and decided to enter the State Uni- 
versity at Iowa City, a decision largely influenced by the fact that he would 
have free tuition in the university. He spent two days at the university and 
in that time saw so many of the students file in and out of the saloons of 
the city that he decided it was not the place for him. He next went to 
Grinnell College, looked it over, but the place seemed too lonesome. He then 
returned to Cornell College and there he spent the next four years, years 
which gave him that broad education which has made him such a successful 
man in the affairs of the world. While he attended college, during the col- 
lege year, he worked on his farm in Shelby county every summer and thus 
was enabled to maintain himself in school the rest of the year. 

The year 1881 saw William M. Bomberger a graduate of Cornell Col- 
lege but with his health very much impaired as a result of hard manual as 
well as mental labor. He secured a teacher's certificate and in the fall of 
1881 began to teach the Gooding school in Center township, although a 
small-pox scare caused the school to be closed before the end of the school 
year. This proved to be the last service of Mr. Bomberger in the school 
room and the pedagogical profession lost an able instructor when he laid 
aside the ferule. During the summer of 1S82, R. M. Pomeroy was elected 
treasurer of Shelby county and he appointed Mr. Bomberger as his deputy, 
a position which he held for the next four years. The next county treasurer, 
W. F. Cleveland, although a Democrat, retained him as his deputy, and he 
remained with Mr. Cleveland for two years. 

In the year 18SS Mr. Bomberger decided he was wasting his time and 
energy by working for someone else, and one day informed Mr. Cleveland 
that he was going to quit as deputy treasurer. The treasurer wanted to 


know if anything was wrong but was told that the only reason why he 
wanted to get out was so he could work for himself. Instead of returning 
to his farm he sold it and invested all of his money in laud near Harlan. 
He had always been interested in horticulture and now had the opportunity 
to get into the business for which he felt that he had the most ability. This 
he has made his life work and has built up a reputation along this line 
which has extended far beyond the limits of his state. He has been identi- 
fied with the horticultural interests of Iowa for more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury in various ways. For twelve years he was the horticultural editor of the 
Iowa Homestead and for a similar length of time he was secretary of the 
Southwestern Iowa Horticultural Association. He was secretary of the 
Farmers" Institute Association of Shelby County for ten years and during 
this time was of great service to the farmers of his county. He was presi- 
dent of the Iowa State Horticultural Association for two years and treasurer 
of the same for a period of three years. At the Iowa State Fair he has 
won fifty-three first and second prizes on his fruits and a valuable trophy 
vase for the best display of boxed apples. He also received a prize for the 
second best display of boxed Jonathan apples. Enough has been said to in- 
dicate the standing- of Mr. Bomberger in the line of his chosen life work, a 
field in which he has been remarkably successful. 

It is pertinent to mention something of the college career of Mr. Bom- 
berger. While in college he was a classmate of Cato Sells, Robert G. Cousins 
and Charles Cummins, the eminent artist. The latter was one of the in- 
structors in his class and received the highest scores and marks given by the 
faculty. Mr. Bomberger was also an artist and received high marks for the 
excellence of his work. In his college course he achieved his greatest suc- 
cess in art, English, literature, history, Latin and Greek. Leslie Shaw, later 
governor of the state of Iowa and secretary of the treasury under President 
Roosevelt, completed his course in Cornell the year before Mr. Bomberger 
entered and was selling fruit trees for Professor J. L. Budd, of Shell-burg. 
Iowa. Mr. Shaw sold Mr. Bomberger the first fruit trees he planted in 
Shelby countv on his farm in Shelby township. Shaw made his way through 
school by selling fruit trees during his summer vacations. A deep friend- 
ship sprung up between Professor Budd and Mr. Bomberger and this had 
not a little influence on the later career of Mr. Bomberger. Professor Budd 
had charge of the department of horticulture in Ames College for many 
years and was regarded as one of the best informed men in the west along 
this line. 


In politics, Mr. Bomberger was a stanch Republican until 1912, when 
he affiliated with the newly organized Progressive party. Religiously, he 
was reared a German Lutheran and Presbyterian, although he is now a loyal 
member of the Congregational church of Harlan. 

Mr. Bomberger was' married in 1SS2 to Arbella DeButts, of Leaf 
River, Illinois, whom he met while attending college. She is the daughter 
of £nos and Catherine (Thomas) DeButts. Her grandparents on her 
father's side were Addison and Barbara (Coffrnan) DeButts; on her mother's 
side her grandparents were Elias and Susan ( Rice) Thomas, natives of 
Maryland. The Thomas family came overland to Leaf River, Illinois, in 
1835. Mr. and Mrs. Bomberger are the parents of two children, Arthur 
and Henrietta Ada. Both the children are graduates of Lake Forest Uni- 
versity and are now giving expert assistance to their father in his horticul- 
tural work. Henrietta is a student in the Art Institute in Chicago, where she 
is specializing in commercial art. 


In the largest and best sense of the term Hon. Levi Franklin Potter is 
distinctively one of the influential and notable men of his day and generation, 
and as such his life record is entitled to a conspicuous place in the annals of 
his county and state. As a citizen he has been public spirited and enterpris- 
ing. As a friend and neighbor he has combined the qualities of head and 
heart that have won confidence and commanded respect. As a banker he has 
achieved a notable success and won the highest recognition for his attain- 
ments in financial circles possible for an individual in the state of Iowa. As 
a legislator he became recognized throughout the state for his signal services 
in behalf of the people and won fame as a true representative of the people. 
His interests while in the halls of the state legislature as one of the law- 
makers for the people were purely and unselfishly impersonal and he sought 
only to accomplish what he deemed right and just. Eminent as a financier, 
useful as a progressive and enterprising citizen, esteemed highly as a friend, 
he is one of the valued members of the community in which he has resided for 
fifteen years or more and has rendered valued service as the fitting climax 
to a long and successful career in public life. 

Levi Franklin Potter is a son of Levi Brigham Potter, a descendant of 
an old New England family. In his veins flows the best blood of Xew Eng- 
land ancestors and he has had the inspiration given by the deeds of illustrious 

-- -■ ■- ... . . -— .„ — ,---. 


'--■■ ,-.- ,-^^-t,., ■■..-...■ - . ._ _.a,r.-^ ^,. ? ^-^^- „.^«s--^-;:A^j.--^.---wiSiy 


forbears who, far hack in the days of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods 
of the nation's history, rendered valiant service in behalf of the struggling 
Republic. He was horn in Wawatosa, Milwaukee county, Wisconsin, March 
27. 1855. His mother was Ilitty (Wenzel) Potter. Levi B. Potter, his 
father, was the grandson of Ebenezer Potter, a valiant soldier of the Revolu- 
tion. Col. Levi Brigham, his great-grandfather was also a veteran in the 
American war for independence. Levi B. Potter was the son of Ebenezer 
Potter, Jr. The maternal grandmother of Mr. Potter was Susanna Brig- 
ham, a daughter of Lieutenant Levi and Tabitha (Hardy) Brigham. She 
was a mother of Ebenezer Potter, Sr. 

In the year 1839, Levi B. Potter emigrated from his ancestral home in 
New England to the wilds of Wisconsin and there carved a home from the 
forest in Milwaukee count}'. He was one of the race of empire builders who 
broke the way and endured the hardships which were necessary for the de- 
velopment of the middle West. He lived and died on the homestead which 
he created with his own hands. He bequeathed to his country a family of 
eight children, only three of whom are now living: Milton B., residing at 
Wawatosa, Wisconsin; Mrs. Susan De Graff, a widow, formerly a resident 
of Colorado, but now making her home with Mr. Potter; Levi Franklin, with 
whom this narrative is directly concerned. 

L. F. Potter received his primary education in the public schools of his 
native county and attended the Ripon and Beloit colleges of Wisconsin. 
For a period of three years he taught school. While still a young man in 
years he hearkened to the call of the west and made a trip into Iowa as far 
as Pottawattamie county. Iowa, in 1876. The possibilities of attaining 
success in the new country impressed him apparently, for, in 1879, he came 
again to the state and here he has remained. He located in the town of 
Oakland and engaged in the mercantile business. He continued in business 
until March of 1884, when he became the cashier of the Citizens State Bank, 
of Oakland, and for the past thirty years has been connected with this institu- 
tion. Here it was that his latent ability for financial attainments found an 
opportunity for full play and he has since achieved high prestige in hanking 
circles. He resided in Oakland until 1899, when he came to Harlan for the 
purpose of having a wider field for his operations. 

During his residence in Oakland he was one of the leading citizens of 
the city and county. He was twice elected mayor of the city. Mr. Potter 
was there elected a member of the twenty-sixth General Assembly, represent- 
ing Pottawattamie county, which convened in 1896 and again in extra session 
in 1897 for the purpose of effecting a complete codification of the laws of 
the state. 


Mr. Potter made an enviable record for statesmanship while a member 
of the legislature. While serving in the twenty-sixth General Assembly, he 
was chairman of the committee on telegraph, telephone and express and was 
a member of the important committee on ways and means, and also a mem- 
ber of the code revision, hanks and banking, municipal corporations, police 
regulation and labor committees. His tine work on the ways and means com- 
mittee attracted the attention of chairman J. H. Funk, so that when Mr. 
Funk was elevated to the speakership of the house of representatives of the 
twenty-seventh General Assembly to which Mr. Potter was elected in 1898, 
he appointed Mr. Potter chairman of this committee. During the session 
of the twenty-seventh General Assembly he was a member of the following 
additional committees: Railroads and commerce, banks and hanking, tele- 
graph, telephone and express, municipal corporations, rules, labor, and was 
a member of the joint committee on retrenchment and reform. Mr. Potter 
introduced and was successful in having passed the following hills: House 
hill number 199, providing for shorter forms for assessment rolls and assess- 
ors' hooks, an important money-saving act and the operation of which has 
saved hundreds of dollars everv fiscal year to each county: house bill, num- 
ber 165. providing for the appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars (in 
addition to ten thousand dollars appropriated at the previous session), to 
defray the expenses of the Iowa exhibit at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition; 
house file number 101, extending the term of school treasurer, the merit of 
which measure is fully appreciated by those who have noticed the efforts of 
banks to control the school funds; house file number 147, providing severe 
penalties for the adulteration of candy. During his first session, Mr. Pot- 
ter had charge of and secured the passage in the house of the senate bill taxing 
express companies one per cent, on the gross amount of business annually 
done by them within the state. Prior to the passage of this bill, the express 
companies had avoided the payment of any considerable amount of taxes in 
the state. While a member of the twenty-seventh General Assembly, he 
supplemented this statute by introducing and securing the passage of house 
file, number 234, which doubled the taxes heretofore paid by the express 
companies. He was also interested in legislation having for its object the 
encouragement of the beet sugar industry within the state. 

When Mr. Potter took up his permanent residence in Harlan he organ- 
ized the First National Bank and served as the president of this concern until 
its merger with the Shelby County State Bank in January, 1906. Mr. Potter 
had previously secured the controlling interest in the Shelby County State 
Bank and the merger was the natural result of his financiering and the ail- 


mination of well-laid plans to establish in Harlan a strong and aggressive 
financial institution. He became president of this flourishing bank and its 
activities were considerably broadened while he occupied this responsible 
position. In June of 191 1, failing health compelled Air. Potter to relinquish 
the presidency of the Shelby County State Bank and he retired to make way 
for a younger man who would relieve him of the burden of directing its 
affairs. Since that time he has been devoting his time to the attending of his 
personal affairs and indulging in well-earned recreation. His elegant home 
on Baldwin street in Harlan is equipped with what is probably the most ex- 
tensive library in the county and one of the best and largest libraries in west- 
ern Iowa which is evidence of his educational and literary attainments. At 
the time of his retirement, Mr. Potter had considerable land holdings but 
has recently disposed of his Shelby county farm land. He is president of 
the Citizens State Bank of Oakland and of the Bank of Defiance in Shelby 
county. All of the hanks in which Mr. Potter is interested are members of 
the Iowa Bankers Association. Another great honor which came to Mr. 
Potter is the presidency of the Iowa Bankers Association, to which position 
he was elected in 1903, having previously served two years as treasurer and 
one year as vice-president. 

Mr. Potter was married in November. 1S81 to Martha J. Wood, a 
daughter of William Wood of Oakland, Iowa. He is a member of and 
liberal supporter of the Harlan Congregational church. He is fraternally 
connected with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and is a Knight 
Templar. Mr. Potter is president of the Harlan Country Club, an organiza- 
tion whose object is to provide recreation for its members. 

Mr. Potter has been a life-long Republican in his political preferment 
and has taken a rather active part in local and state politics. He was a dele- 
gate to the national convention of his party which nominated William H. 
Taft for the presidency in Chicago in 190S. His influence has been felt in 
various ways at different times along political lines. Besides attaining emin- 
ence as a financier and serving his state as an honored and capable member 
of the legislature his sense of civic responsibility has found outlet in the per- 
formance of those duties which are the part of the average citizen. He was 
one of the promoters of the Shelby County Chautauqua Association, an 
institution which has met with popular favor and been very successful each 
year. He was president of the Chautauqua Association for four years. He 
was one of the prime movers in the inception of the Harlan Commercial ex- 
change which numbers among its members the most progressive and hustling 
citizens of the city and has for its object "A greater and better Harlan." 


He filled the office of president of this organization for several years. Mr. 
Potter is also connected with the Shelby county Fine Live Stock Exchange 
as its treasurer. This is one of the first if nut the first organization of its 
kind in the United States and has accomplished wonders in advertising the 
greatness of Shelby county as a fine live stock producing center and bringing 
the producers together to work harmoniously. 

By virtue of his ancestry, Mr. Potter is a member of the Sons of the 
American Revolution. He is also a member of the Iowa State Historical 
Society. Another organization of which he is a contributing and active 
member is the famous Burbank corporation, composed principally of men of 
means who are banded together for the purpose of promoting publicity of 
the discoveries and propagations made by Luther Burbank, the California 
scientist and naturalist. 

Sufficient has been said to indicate the character of Mr. Potter and to 
show his high standing in the community which has been his residence for 
the past fifteen years, and it only remains to be said that throughout his entire 
financial and civic career he has been animated by good motives and made 
personal considerations subordinate to the claims of duty. Broad and liberal 
in his views, his associations with his fellowmen have been characterized by 
the best of fellowship and his record bears out the idea that a man gifted 
with talents supplemented with an educational training, can. with little or nc 
assistance other than that afforded by his hands and brain, overcome obstacles 
and achieve a high position and success even in the smaller communities. 
This review is intended as an appreciation of the accomplishments of Mr. 
Potter and will ultimately prove an inspiration to those of a younger genera- 
tion who are seeking to find a way to rise above the average. Of such men 
does history mainly treat. The historian records the acts accomplished by 
men, and the biographer chronicles the personal facts regarding the indi- 
vidual. Thus is a complete and concise history of any community created. 


There is no higher earthly calling than the ministry of the Gospel; no 
life more uplifting and grander than that which is devoted to the ameliora- 
tion of the human race; no life which demands more sacrifices. The true 
minister is willing to cast aside all earthly crowns and laurels of fame in 
order to follow in the footsteps of the lowly Xazarene. It is not possible 
to measure adequately the height, depth and breadth of such a life, for its 



influences continue to permeate the lives of others through succeeding gen- 
erations, so that the real power it lias can not be known until '"the last day 
when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall he raised incorruptible." 

One of the self-sacrificing, ardent, loyal and true men who has been a 
blessing to the community in which he has lived is Father Peter Brommen- 
schenkel, the pastor of St. Boniface church at Westphalia, in this county. 
He was born September 27, 1846. in Prussia, in the Rhine Province. \\\< 
parents were Nicholas and Catherine Brommenschenkel, who came to this 
country in June. 1850, and settled at Hennepin. Illinois. Two years later 
the family moved to Chicago and here the father pursued his usual occupa- 
tion for a short time. The family next went west and eventually located in 
Dubuque, Iowa, where Nicholas established a wagon shop of his own and 
managed it until his death. To Nicholas Brommenschenkel and wife were 
born nine children, all of whom are deceased except Father Brommen- 
schenkel and one sister, who is a nun in a convent at Ashland, \\ isconsin. 

Father Brommenschenkel was three and one-half years of age when his 
parents left Germany and came to this country, and, consequently, all of his 
education has been received in this country. He first attended the Catholic 
school at Dubuque, Iowa, and then entered St. Francis Seminary at -Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin, to study for the priesthood. He became a student in 
this excellent institution in 1S61 and remained in actual attendance until 
1869. He was ordained to the priesthood August 1, 1869, by Bishop Hen- 
nessey, of Dubuque, Iowa, receiving the ordination at St. Raphael's Cathe- 

Immediately after his ordination he was assigned to the St. Marys 
church parish at Iowa City, but remained there only a short time, being 
transferred to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to assist Father McMennomy, of St. 
Mary's church. He was stationed at Council Bluffs until July, 1S70. when 
he was put in charge of the church at Marshalltown. Iowa, remaining at that 
place until November, 1875. He was now assigned to the Holy Trinity 
church at Richmond, Iowa, and for the next five years ministered to the 
spiritual needs of his people at that place. In the fall of 18S0 he was sent 
to Riverside, Iowa, to assume the charge of St. Mary's church in that city. 
Nearly six years of zealous pastoral labor and devotion marked his career in 
• this place. 

For the past twenty-eight years (since May 20, 1886). Father Brom- 
menschenkel has been in charge of St. Boniface church at Westphalia, Iowa, 
having the mission at Harlan under his direction as well. During this time he 
has had the pleasure of seeing his church grow in power and influence and 


his people living lives in accordance with the teaching? of the church. He 
takes his share of the burden of civic life and is a firm and consistent advo- 
cate of good government, casting his ballot on election days for the best 
men irrespective of their political affiliations. Father Brommenschenkel is 
highly respected by all the people of the city where he has spent so many 
years of his active life, knowing, as they do, that he is a man who is working 
to raise the standard of civilization and thereby make this a better place in 
which to live. 


A good citizen, a widely known pioneer of Shelby county, and a valiant 
soldier of the Civil War, was the late Samuel G. Poole of Lincoln township. 
In the respect that is accorded to men who have fought their own way to 
success through unfavorable environment we find an unconscious recognition 
of the intrinsic worth of a Gharacter which could not only endure so rough 
a test as the Civil War but gain new strength through the discipline which 
carried him through the long years of warfare in behalf of his country and 
enabled him to carve a fortune for himself in Shelby county. Samuel G. 
Poole was not favored by inherited wealth or by the assistance of influential 
friends, but in spite of this, by perseverance, industry and wise economy, he 
had atttained a comfortable station in life and made his influence felt for 
good in his community in Lincoln township, where he had long maintained 
his home. His career was an honorable one of which his descendants can 
be justly proud, and they can also be proud of the fact that he was numbered 
among those patriotic sons of the Xorth who assisted in saving the nation's 
integrity in the dark days of the sixties. Xo man is more worthy of an 
honorable place in the annals of this county. 

Samuel G. Poole was born May 29, 1 841, in Delaware county, Ohio, 
and died in Shelby county. Iowa, September 24, 1914. His parents, Peter 
and Frances (Wilson) Poole, were born in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1800 and 1810. respectively. Peter Poole settled in Ohio in the 
early history of that state and lived the life of a simple farmer there until his 
death in 1865. They were the parents /of several children, two of whom, 
Mrs. William Southwick and Mrs. Marion Mittchell, are yet living. 

When Samuel G. Poole was eighteen months of age his parents moved 
to Washington county. Pennsylvania, where they resided for a time. They 
then went to Allegheny county, rennsvlvania, where thev lived until the 


son grew to manhood. Mr. Poole's father died when lie was yet a lad and 
he was reared on a farm and received his education in the district schools 

of the neighborhood. When he was seventeen years of age. he came to 
Davenport, Iowa, where he worked for eighteen months at the trade of 
carpenter. lie went from Davenport to St. Louis where he worked for a 
time. He was also employed in Alton. Illinois, and journeyed as far south 
as Xew Orleans, arriving in this city just before the outbreak of the Rebel- 
lion. It was in this far southern city that he heard a number of prominent 
southern men addressing the people, inciting them to revolt against the Wash- 
ington government and go to Washington- and kill President Lincoln. He 
returned to the north and went to Salem, Ohio, where his mother was re- 

He responded to President Lincoln's call for three hundred thousand 
men on August 13, 1861, and became a member of Company C, Eleventh 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served for three years, being honorably dis- 
charged at Chattanooga in 1864, his time of enlistment having expired. He 
again enlisted and joined General Hancock's veteran corps and served until 
his discharge in March of 1865. He participated in the great battles of 
Shell Mountain (Virginia), where he was first under fire. Gaily Ridge (Vir- 
ginia), Bull Run, Antietam, South Mountain, Xashville, Hooper's Gap, 
Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Dalton and Resaca, be- 
side many minor engagements. Mr. Poole received his final discharge from 
the service in Xew York city and at once returned to his old home in Ohio 
and worked at various occupations until the year 1870 when he came with 
his family to Shelby county, settling on the Rock Island railway land. He 
squatted on the railroad land for three years and then purchased a tract of 
one hundred and sixty acres at eight and ten dollars an acre in Lincoln town- 
ship. After making his first payment on this land he was too poor to buy 
horses to break it up. He hired it broken up for the first time and 
graduallv got a start, but it was many years before he could call himself a 
prosperous farmer. He put up a shanty with two rooms and lived in it until 
1892 when he built the present substantial home. The country at the time 
Mr. and Mrs. Poole came here was mostly an unbroken prairie and there 
was a time when Mr. Poole hauled his corn to a market twelve miles away 
and received only fifteen cents a bushel for it. He and his good wife met 
with manv discouragements and hardships, but they stayed with the farm 
and had the satisfaction of seeing it yield more satisfactory returns as tin- 
years went by. At the time of Mr. Poole's death September .24, 19 ! 4- he 
was the possessor of one of the best improved farms in the county. 


The funeral of Samuel G. Poole was held on the Sunday following his 
demise and the services were conducted by Rev. Hardaway, of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. A short talk was also made by D. O. Stuart. The body 
was interred in the city cemetery in the presence of a large assemblage of 
friends and relatives and members of the Grand Army post of which Mr. 
Poole was a member. 

Mr. Poole was married July 13, 1S60, to Mary (Tucker) Brown. To 
this union eight children were born. Joseph R.. William L., Xevada (wife of 
P. F. Wash), Rolla A.. Ralph E., Nellie (wife of R. W. Boardman), Pearl 
(wife of Clinton Hoover) and Mount Trevada, who died in infancy. Mrs. 
Poole is residing on the old home place in Lincoln township. She was born 
January, 22, 1841, in West Virginia, the daughter of Shertan and Julia 
(Tucker) Brown. 

Mr. Poole voted the Republican ticket for more than fifty years, hav- 
ing cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in the fall of iS'64. He was a 
member of the Grand Army post and took a deep interest in its affairs. 
For over forty-four years he was a resident of Shelby county and had the 
satisfaction of seeing it emerge from a broad and trackless waste of prairie 
land to its present prosperous condition and did no inconsiderable part in 
the bringing about of this wonderful transition. Xo man in the county is 
more deserving of a higher regard than he. and when he answered the last 
roll call, there was removed from the county one of its worthiest pioneers. 
He was a kind and true husband, a loving father, a good neighbor and was 
respected by all who knew him. 


The newspaper of today is the most powerful factor in the molding of 
public opinion that we have. Through the influence of its editorial ex- 
pressions men are made and unmade ; governments are created or over- 
thrown; new policies are exploited and the existing powers in control of the 
government for the time being are compelled to hearken to the voice of the 
people as expressed through the medium of the all-powerful press. The 
press, like many of our best institutions, has undergone a wonderful trans- 
formation for the better during the past decade and has grown in inde- 
pendence, prestige and financial strength owing to the adoption of pro- 
gressive business methods in the management of the hundreds of newspapers 



in the towns and cities of the country. It is now universally recognized and 
conceded that a newspaper located in a town or city is one oi the business 
institutions of the community and all of its activities must be conducted 
upon a firm business standpoint. While the times still call for adherence on 
the part of the editorial department to more or less editorial allegiance to 
one of the political parties, it is conceded that there should he more inde- 
pendence of thought and expression on the part of the editors than hereto- 
fore. We are living in a progressive age and the people are becoming more 
and more independent in their thinking as regards public questions of mo- 
ment. This change is undoubtedly due to the molding power of the news- 
papers of the present decade which have a decided influence toward develop- 
ing independent lines of thought in the minds of its readers. 

The Harlan Republican, edited by P. B. Brown, is an advanced type of 
the modern newspaper conducted along successful business lines and in such 
a manner as to serve best the people, of Shelby county. It is a high-class 
weekly newspaper, ably edited, and wielding a certain influence among the 
people of the county. Its development in late years is practically due to the 
activity and decided ability Lit its proprietor and editor, of whom it is our 
province to speak biographically. 

.Mr. Brown was born near the village of Oakfield. Perry countv, Ohio, 
on June 29. 1859. He is the son of David and Arminda Prances (Latta) 
Brown. David Brown was of Xew England ancestrv and his forbears were 
among the early pioneer settlers of the Xew England country. Mr. Brown's 
mother was of French descent. 

David Brown was a soldier of the Union army and fought in defense 
of the Union in the Civil War. He enlisted in 1861 in Company D, Thirtieth 
Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and died of typhoid fever at Sutton, 
West Virginia, after four months of service. Three brothers of David 
Brown also fought in the Union army, namely: William, Merrick and Joseph. 
David was the father of the following children, Perley Benton and Mary 
Elizabeth, the wife of Frank Okell of Morning Sun, Iowa. 

In 1863. the mother of Perley B. married Cyrus Green of Perrv county. 
Ohio, and migrated to Iowa shortly afterward and settled on a farm near 
Morning Sun. In his old age Mr. Green retired to a residence in Mt. 
Pleasant. Iowa, where his widow still resides at the advanced age of seventy- 
five vears. To this union were born the following children: James C. and 
Grant, of Iowa; Mrs. Frank Grow and Mrs. Albert Grow, of Brunswick. 
Nebraska: Mrs. David McCahan. of Kansas :-Mrs. David Rich of Mt. Pleas- 
ant, Iowa: and May, at home with her mother. 


married to Mary Lucas, who was horn in Ross county, Ohio, in 1835, and 
shortly afterward made the long overland trip to Iowa. He settled in Shelby 
county on the farm in Center township where his son, Charles, is now living. 
He took a very active part in the affairs of the county from the beginning 
and was connected with every movement which he thought would help his 
county in any way. He was one of the largest land owners of the county 
and at one time owned fourteen hundred acres of land in the county. He 
made a specialty of stock raising and kept large herds of cattle on his farms. 
He died in 1904 and his widow passed away five years later, both being laid 
to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Harlan. He was a man of the strictest 
integrity and highest ideas of honor, and in liis death the county lost one 
of its earliest pioneers and most useful citizens. 

Charles X. Sunderland received such education as was given by the 
rude schools of his boyhood davs and earl}- in life began hard labor upon his 
father's home farm. He was the only child and, since his father had plenty 
for him to do, he remained on the home farm after he was married in 1S91. 
At the death of his father he bought three hundred and sixty acres of the 
old home farm and continued to live on the same part of his father's farm 
where he was horn. He has given most of his attention to stock raising and 
as a breeder of Aberdeen Polled Angus cattle has won a reputation which 
extends far beyond the limits of his own state. He has shipped some of his 
best cattle to all parts of the United States and has been a frequent prize 
winner at county and state fairs. He also raises full blooded Percheron 
horses and a high grade of hogs, having found by experience that it pays to 
handle only the best grades of live stock. Pie has ten acres of highly prized 
natural timber on his farm and a profitable fruit orchard of three acres. 

Mr. Sunderland was married in 1891 to Mae Thomas. His wife was 
born in Indiana and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Absolem Thomas, her 
father having been a farmer and school teacher and a man of unusual ability. 
To this marriage have been born two children, Roy and Cecil. Roy is a 
graduate of the high school at Harlan and is now assisting his father on the 
home farm. Cecil is also a graduate of the Harlan high school and mar- 
ried Robert Henry, a farmer now living in Craw ford county, Iowa. 

The Democratic party has been the preference of Mr. Sunderland and 
he has' alwavs been interested in local political affairs. He has served in a 
creditable manner as the trustee of his township. Fraternally, he is a mem- 
ber of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of 
America. He and his family are consistent members of the Baptist church. 



The fame of Shelby county, Iowa, seems to base spread far and wide. 
Nearly every European country has sent some of its best citizens to this 
count}' and among these the people of Denmark occupy an important place. 
The present mayor of Elkhorn was born in Denmark and did not come to 
this county until he was twenty years old and, yet, in a comparatively short 
time he lias risen to a position where he takes his place among the leaders of 
his community. He has done this hecause he is a man of ability and energy 
and has applied himself with that perseverance which characterizes the people 
of his nation. 

Harold Johnson, mayor of Elkhorn and secretary and manager of the 
Elkhorn Telephone Company, was born in 1863 in Denmark. His parents, 
Jens and Mary Johnson, were born in Denmark in 1828 and 1830. respec- 
tively, and lived all their days in the land of their birth. Jens died in ]88S 
and his widow passed away in 1903. The the children born to them are- 
all living. 

Harold Johnson was given a good education in Denmark and worked 
with his father, who was a carpenter, until he was twenty years old. In that 
year (1883) his father died and he left his native country and came to 
America and settled in Elkhorn, Shelby county, Iowa. Some of his countrv- 
men had already located in this count}- and this had been the reason why he 
had come to Shell)}' county. For the first four years after coming to the 
county he worked on the farms near Elkhorn, but he was not satisfied to lie 
working for some one else. He wanted a farm of his own to operate, and 
not having the money to buy a farm, he rented one and started his inde- 
pendent career in Clay township. He lived on a rented farm until 1908, 
marrying in the meantime, and then moved to Elkhorn w here he ha^ since 
resided. Upon locating in this city he became the manager and secretarv of 
the local telephone company and has since been connected with the company 
in this capacity. He is a man of excellent business ability and has demon- 
strated his fitness for the responsible position which he holds. Within a 
year after moving to Elkhorn he was elected mayor of the city on the Repub- 
lican ticket and in this capacity has used his influence to further the welfare 
of the city in every possible way. His election to this important office by 
the citizens of the city is ample evidence of the high esteem in which he is 
held and the excellent service which he is giving the city full}' justifies his 
elevation to the position. 


Mr. Johnson was married in 1S97 to Aria Baird, who was born in 1S71. 
in Dcs Moines, Iowa. To this union there have been born three children: 
George, who is fanning in Monroe township; Woodman, who is farming 
in Jackson township; ami William, who is still living with his parents in 
Elkhorn. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have given their sons the benefit of a good 
education and have the satisfaction of seeing them ready to become useful 
members of the community where they live. 

Politically, Mr. Johnson has identified himself with the Republican partv 
since acquiring the right of suffrage and has always been interested in political 
matters. As mayor of his home city he is naturally the local leader of his 
partv and his leadership has been such as to merit the approbation of his 
party. He and his family are members of the Danish Lutheran church and 
in its welfare are deeply interested at all times. Fraternally, he is a member 
of the Woodmen of the World and the Danish Brotherhood. 


It is presumed that there is a niche for every man but observation dis- 
closes the fact that many men never find their proper niche. There are many 
trite sayings to this effect, probably the most famous being that of the late 
Senator Ingalls. who wrote the famous little poem entitled "Opportunity." 
In this he makes a special plea for every man to be on his guard constantly 
for the opportunity which "never knocks at your door but once." The great 
English poet, Shakespeare, iterates the same thought when he says, "There 
is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." 
In other words many men pass by their proper niche and fail to realize that 
jt was made for them. One of the men of Harlan who has found his niche 
and is filling it in a way to. indicate that he is a man of ability, is Charles A. 
Cockerell, the proprietor of a plumbing and heating establishment in this 

Charles A. Cockerell, the son of William and Eleanor (McMillian) 
Cockerell, was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, December 17, 1877. William 
Cockerell, the son of William and Elizabeth (Hoburn) Cockerell, was born 
in England, May 23, 1852. and came to this country when he was nineteen 
years of age and located in Chicago where he followed the brick maker's 
trade for a short time. He then went to Indiana and branched out as a 


contractor and 1 milder. While living in Indiana he married Eleanor Mc- 
Millian, who was born in Mishawaka. Indiana, January id. 1850. and died in 
Shell)y county, Iowa. March 30, 1906, Eleanor McMillian was the daughter 
of Alexander and Amanda ( Fransico) McMillian, born in Xew York state 
in 1820 and 1825, respectively. Mr. McMillian was a carpenter in Indiana 
many years before his death in 1880. his widow passing away in 1891. 

The grandfather of Charles A. Cockered on his father's side was horn 
in 1807 in England and his wife was horn in the same country in 18x2. They 
came to this country and lived with their daughter in Grand Rapids until 
his death in 1887, his widow living until 1904. They were the parents 01" six 
children, only one of whom i^ now living. In 1879, William Cockered ami 
his family moved to Harlan, Iowa, where he followed his business as a 
builder and contractor. He built the present courthouse of Harlan and most 
of the buildings around the square. He died November 29, 1895, and his 
widow passed away March 30, 1906. 

Charles A. Cockered was two years of age when his parents moved from 
Indiana to Harlan. Iowa, and, consequently his education has all been re- 
ceived in this county and state. After completing the course in the schools 
of Harlan he entered the college at Ames, Iowa, and took a course in 
mechanical engineering. After a two years' course he traveled over the 
western states for some time and then returned to Harlan in 1904. He at 
once engaged in the building and construction business and continued alone 
until iQio, when he went into partnership with \Y. \V. Simpson. They built 
the Vocational College building at Harlan, the Farmers and Merchants 
Bank building in Harlan and many fine buildings scattered all over the state. 
In 191 3 the firm dissolved partnership and Mr. Cockered bought out the 
Harlan Plumbing Company and placed O. E. Graves in charge of the plumb- 
ing establishment. Then he went to Atlantic, Iowa, and bought an interest 
in the City Investment Company and became the manager and vice-president 
of the company. Mr. Cockered remained in Atlantic as overseer of all of 
the improvements which were being made in an addition which this company 
made to the city of Atlantic during 1913-14. In the spring of 1 9 1 4 . he 
returned to Harlan and took active charge of his plumbing and heating 
establishment. He employs six men all the time and carries about three 
thousand dollars' worth of material on hands. 

Mr. Cockerel! was married October 20, 1904, to May Campbell, the 
daughter of William and Emma Campbell, and born in this county May 18. 


1879. To tli is union there have been born five children, Jean, Eleanor, 
Eloise. Charles, Jr.. and Robert II. 

Fraternally, Mr. Cockerell is a member of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. He is an independent voter and votes for the best men. He 
has always been active in city political matters and has held a number of 
citv offices. 


Shelby county is distinguished for the high type of county officials on 
whom falls the burden of administering the governmental affairs of the 
county. It requires a certain amount of intelligence and capability to per- 
form the duties of an elective county office and a definite amount of personal 
popularity is necessary for election thereto. Frequently some one individual 
stands out prominently among his fellows and is evidently gifted with 
qualities of leadership, which, combined with well-defined ability to serve the 
people, makes him a man prominent among his fellows. The office of county 
auditor is one of the most important and one of the most difficult to till: it is 
practically, and in a certain sense, the highest office within the gift of the 
people of an Iowa county, and is an office which distinguishes itself when 
held by an individual signallv equipped with education, intelligence and execu- 
tive ability. Ernest A. Schell, auditor of Shelby county has ably tilled this 
office for two successive terms ; his popularity is beyond question and he is 
held in high esteem in Shelby county by men of all political parties. His con- 
duct of the office for the past four years has been such as to commend him 
favorably to the entire population of the county. So ably and conscientiously 
did he perform the duties of his office that he was nominated and elected 
without opposition for his second term and is at present the candidate of his 
party for a third elective term. 

It is the province of biography to record the main events of the lives 
of good and useful citizens and Mr. Schell is a high and useful type of citizen 
of whom it is a pleasure to write. He was born at Montezuma, Io\va, on 
June 18, 1874. and i> the son of German parents. From them he has inherited 
those traits which have been a strong {actor in enabling him to achieve suc- 
cess in the adopted land of his parents. 

He is the son of August and Christena (Xauroth) Schell. both natives of 
Germany. August Schell was born on August 5. 1S32, at W'alkes, Saxony, 
Germanv, and came to America to seek his fortune in the early sixties. He 

--.- .-. 




first engaged in farming in Poweshiek county and in the year tS8o removed 
to Shelby county, .settling on a farm near Raiding, lie is now living a re- 
tired life with his son in the city of Harlan. The wife of August Schell was 
born in Moerlen, Nassau, Germany, in February of 1S44 and came to 
America in 1S68. locating in Poweshiek county. She and August Schell 
were married in 1S73 at Iowa City. Johnson county, Iowa. She came to 
Shelby county with ther husband and died December 23, 1903. She is buried 
in the cemetery at Westphalia. 

E. A. Schell was six years old when the family made a permanent home 
in Shelby county. He received a good common school education and 
studied for one year in the St. Lawrence College at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. 
graduating from the Commercial department of the college in June of 1894. 
He then took up teaching and for four years taught in the public schools of 
Westphalia. Washington and Cass townships. While teaching he spent some 
.time on his farm in Westphalia township thereby combining the two occupa- 
tions and making a fair success in both. 

Turning his attention to political affairs he became the candidate of the 
Democratic party for the office of county recorder in the fall of 1900 but 
was defeated by eight votes, notwithstanding the fact that the Republican 
party boasted a majority of over seven hundred votes at this time. He then 
became deputy auditor ami served four years in this capacity. In 19 10 he 
received the nomination for the office without opposition and was elected by 
a majority of seven hundred votes. So well did he serve the people and so 
satisfactory was his conduct of the office that he was nominated and re- 
elected without opposition in 19 12. He is now serving his fourth year in 
the office and is again the candidate of his party for re-election. 

Mr. Schell was married to Anna Mester, April 28, 1S98. His wife is 
the daughter of August and Regina Mester and the youngest of six children. 
To this union have been lxjrn six children. Olive, Irene. Edwin, Adeline, 
Vera and Richard, all of whom are at home with their parents. 

Mr. Schell is a live and progressive citizen in a live and hustling com- 
munity. He is keenly interested in every movement intended for the ad- 
vancement of the welfare of the people of his home city and county. He is 
blessed with the faculty of making and retaining warm friendships. He is 
obliging and accommodating to a high degree and is deservedly popular 
throughout the length and breadth of Shelby county. He is earnest and sin- 
cere in whatever he undertakes and performs the public duties intrusted to 
his care with exactness and painstaking care. 



One of the must enterprising young men of Tennant, Shelby county. 
Iowa, is Frank L. Hansen. He is now the manager of the Green Bay Lum- 
ber Company at Tennant. as well as the postmaster of the town. He has 
been working for himself since lie was fifteen years of age and has been 
known as one of the hardest working young men of his community. Starting 
in to learn the carpenter's trade when a mere youth, he soon became an ex- 
pert at this particular line of activity and within a few years was a valued 
employee of the Green Bay Lumber Company. He is a wide-awake and 
energetic young man and is well deserving of the success which lias come 
to him. 

Frank L. Hansen, the son of Hans A. and Christina (Hines) Flansen. 
was horn in Shelby county, Iowa. December 24, 1886. His father was born 
in Denmark in 1850 and his mother was born in Germany in i860. Hans A. 
Hansen left his native land when he was eighteen rears of age and came to 
America, locating in Chicago. He was foreman of a machine shop at the 
time of tbe great Chicago fire in iSjr and after the fire moved to Clinton. 
Iowa, and found employment in the large saw mills in that city. In 1S77. 
Hans A. Hansen moved to Kimballton, Iowa, where he was employed as a 
rural mail carrier to Audubon, Iowa. A few years later he bought three 
farms and sold one of one hundred and sixty acres. He still owns one hun- 
dred and sixty acres north of Tennant and ninety-nine acres in Audu- 
bon county. He engaged in farming until he retired and moved to Harlan 
in 191 2. Hans A. Hansen and wife reared a family of seven children, six 
of whom are still living. 

Frank I.. Hansen received a limited education in the public schools of 
Audubon, Shelby county. Iowa. At the age of fifteen he left school and 
started to learn the carpenter's trade. When he was eighteen rears of age. 
he was employed by the Green Bar Lumber Company at Walnut, Iowa, and 
for the next three years and one-half he worked for that company at that 
place. The company then sent him to Jacksonville, Iowa, and he remained 
there one year and from there went to Harlan. Iowa. While working for 
the company at Harlan, he did all of the bookkeeping for the company and 
such was his excellent work that the company appointed him manager in 
ioro of the branch at Tennant. On August 1, 1914, lie was appointed post- 
master at Tennant and now holds this position in connection with his other 


work. He owns property in the town of Tennant and also considerable land 
in the state of Florida. 

Mr. Hansen was married in 1911 in Harlan, Towa. to Alvina Madsen, 
who was born in [889. To this union one daughter, Maurine, has been 

Mr. Hansen is a Republican in politics and one of the leaders of his 
party in local political matters. He has taken an active interest in education 
and is now serving as treasurer of the school hoard of his township. He and 
his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Fra- 
ternally, he holds his membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
Mr. Hansen is an enthusiastic and energetic young man and the success 
which has attended his efforts so far presages a prosperous future for him. 


One of the youngest farmers of Shelby count}', Iowa, is Ralph \V. 
Miller, who is now operating his father's fine farm of three hundred and 
fort)' acres in Center township. He is a son of one of the oldest pioneers 
of the count}', the Miller family having lived in this count}- since 1857, a 
heritage which counts for a great deal in the life of a man, and for this 
reason the career of Ralph \V. Miller, which is now beginning, promises 
well for the future. He has not been strikingly identified with the history 
of his county long enough to make his mark, but it is safe to assume that in 
the course of a few years he will be taking a leading part in the various 
phases of the life of the count}'. 

Ralph \V. Miller, the sou of George H. and Mattie E. (Carter) Miller, 
was born in Center township in 1SS7. His father was born in the same 
township on October 10, 1858, while his grandfather, Jacob J. Miller, was 
born in Germanv on March 8. 1827. George H. Miller's wife was horn in 
Jones county, Iowa, and is a daughter of James Carter. George H. Miller 
was elected to the office of county treasurer in the fall of 1911, and moved 
to Harlan in December of that year for the purpose of assuming the duties 
of this office. He now owns four /hundred and forty acres of fine land in 
this county, on which he has two good sets of farm buildings. George H. 
Miller and wife are the parents of eight children: Charles J., a farmer of 
South Dakota; Mrs. Leba Kemp, of Douglas township: Ralph VY., with 
whom this narrative deals; Ira, a telephone manager in Harlan: Glenn, a 


student in the medical department of Xebraska State University, at Lin- 
coln; Myrtle, a milliner in Harlan: Veda, a student in Harlan high school, 
and Walter, who is also a student in the high school. 

Ralph \V. Miller received all of his education in the schools of Center 
township, and when nineteen years of age rented land from his father and 
hcgan farming for himself. When his father assumed the office of county 
treasurer, in the fall of 191 1. he took charge of his father's farm. In 1914 
he put out one hundred acres of corn and thirty acres in oats, and had a 
bountiful crop. He keeps high grade live stock of all kinds but makes a 
specialty of the breeding of Shorthorn cattle. Mr. Miller is still a young 
farmer and has barely had a chance to show what he can do. although the 
success which has attended his efforts so far indicates that he will one day 
rank with the leading farmers of the county. 

Mr. Miller was married to Krma Terrill. who was born in this county 
in 1886, and to this union have been born two daughters, Leda and Vera. 
Mr. Miller and his wife are genial young people, who have a host of friends 
throughout the county. 


The gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review needs no 
introduction to the people of Shelby county inasmuch as his whole life with 
the exceptions of a few years has been spent in the county. He is a young 
man of distinct promise and pronounced ability and is a member of the 
Shelby county bar. Mr. Cullison has had the advantage of having an ex- 
ample before him of an able and distinguished father who has attained high 
rank in the legal profession as well as in educational circles. His family is 
a very old one of Virginia stock. 

Shelby Cullison is the son of Hon. George W. Cullison. one of the 
prominent citizens of Shelby county and a strong representative of the legal 
profession in western Iowa who is widely and favorably known. He was 
born June 2. 1887. in Harlan. Here he was reared and received his public 
school education, graduating from the high school in 1904. He then fol- 
lowed farming for one year in Colfax, Jasper county. Iowa, after which he 
entered Iowa State University in the fall of 1905 and graduated from the 
law school in 1908. He received his degree of Bachelor of Laws on June 
id. 1908, and was soon afterward admitted to the bar. His partnership with 
his father beiran in the same year. 


. Arfuv^^a^v, ■- ■^^■iK^^k^^'^ ^l^^?aagiiat^^-^aaS 



Shelby Cullison was married April 8, 1914- to Myrtle Benedict, of Wood- 
bine, Iowa, a daughter of George Benedict. Mr. Cullison is a Republican in 
politics and takes an active interest in political affairs, lending his assistance 
to the party during the campaigns and in the interest of the party candidates. 
He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Harlan. He 
is a young man of whom much may be expected in the years to come, and has 
a host of friends who value his friendship highly. 


One of the best remembered men of a past generation in Shelby count}'. 
Iowa, is Matthias V. Best, who came to this county in 1S73. He took an 
active part in everv phase of the life of the county and frequently held vari- 
ous official positions. In fact, he was a leader in Shelby township from the 
time that he arrived here in 1873 until he retired to Harlan in igoo, and dur- 
ing that period of more than a quarter of a century, he gave his enthusiastic 
support to every movement which he felt would benefit his township in any 
way. He was an active worker in all worthy measures and was interested 
in educational, religious and civic development. He and his good wife reared 
a large family of children to lives of usefulness and honor and no better 
monument can a man leave behind him than this. 

Matthias V. Best, the son of Robert and Margaret (Van Horn) Best, 
was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, June 4, 1830. He was one of 
nine children, being the eldest of the family, and was reared to manhood in 
his native state and later went to Ohio, where he met his wife. Mary Mercer. 
She was born in Belmont county. Ohio, October 4, 1832. and was the daugh- 
ter of Elias and Mary (Randall) Mercer, both of whom were natives of 
Ohio and descended from old Virginia families. Mr. Best and Mary Mercer 
were married at Cadiz. Ohio, on New Year's Day, 1S5J, and in 1854 this 
young couple came to Muscatine county, Iowa, where they rented land until 
1873. In that vear they came to Shelby county and bought one hundred and 
sixty acres of unimproved land. They were among the first pioneers of the 
county and endured all of the hardships incident to life in a new country. 
They built a home and made many improvements and as the years went by 
thev found themselves prospering. Children came to bless their union, and 
while Mr. Best was giving his attention primarily to his own interests, yet 
he never failed to take an active part in the life of the community about him. 


lie Iit'ld one township office after another and such was his efficient adminis- 
tration <*i the duties of these various offices that the citizens, regardless of 
party, re-elected him time after time to township offices. His health became 
impaired and in 1900 he moved to Harlan in order to be relieved of all work 
on the farm. Two years later he sold his home in Harlan and moved to 
Shell))' although he lived but two years after locating in the latter city. 

Mr. Best was married January 1, 185-', to Mary Mercer, and to this 
union were born thirteen children, seven sons and six (.laughters: Mrs. Ella 
B. Tucker, deceased: Mrs. Sarah A. Robinson, of Shelby, Iowa; Mrs. Jennie 
I. Mowry, of Shelby, Iowa; Mr.-.. Xissai King, at home with her mother; 
Harry, of Manning. Iowa: Archie M., living at home; Ah in S., who is 
in Colorado; Ernest L., whose history is given elsewhere in this volume; 
Frank C, of Omaha, Nebraska; Arthur M., whose history is also given else- 
where in this volume; Charles \\'., of Shelby count}"; Martha 15. and Mary 
A., both deceased. 

The fine farm of Mr. Best is now managed by his sou. Ernest L. Mrs. 
Best has a beautiful residence in Shelby, where she is now living with her 
two children. She is a member of the Home Missionary Society and an 
active worker in all missionary movements. Mr. Best was an active worker 
in the Presbyterian church and was a generous contributor to its support. 
The Best family have always been on the right side of all good movements 
and their influence has always been cast for good government and the high- 
est ideals of American citizenship. Such people render valuable service to 
the community in which they live by the clean and wholesome method of 
their living. 

Matthias V. Best departed this life at his home on July 20. 1902, aged 
seventy two years, one month and sixteen days, and interment followed on 
July 23. The funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church. He 
was sincerely mourned by a large concourse of friends. An original poem 
follows in memory of this good man : 

Dearest husband, you have left me 

And my heart is sad tonight ; 
Oh ! that I again could see you, — 

All my dreams would be so bright. 

Father, dearest, thou has* left us, 

And with thee our joys have fled; 
Oh! 'tis hard to think our father. 

Good and kind and true, is dead. 



To be a native of the little kingdom of Denmark seems to be a guarantee 
of success as far as the Danish citizens of Shelby county. Iowa, are concerned. 
There is no nation in Europe where the people are mure thrifty and when 
they come to America thev become prosperous and substantial citizens where- 
ever they choose to locate. One of the valued citizens of that country who 
is making a pronounced success in Shelby county is Louis Christensen. an 
automobile and implement dealer of Harlan. Coming to this country with- 
out any capital and starting in to work for twelve dollars a month, he has 
by honest methods and strict attention to his business accumulated consider- 
able property and made himself a highly respected citizen of the county hon- 
ored by his residence. 

Louis Christensen. the son of Soren and Hedwig ( Sorensen I Christen- 
sen, was born in Denmark in 1869. His father, born in 18.20, was a lite-long 
farmer and sailor and died in his native land in 1904. His mother, who was 
born in 1830, was the mother of six children, by two marriages and died in 
Denmark in 1007. Louis Christensen being the only child by the last mar- 

The education of Louis Christensen was received in Denmark and when 
a mere youth began to learn the trade of a blacksmith. When he reached 
the age of twenty-three he decided to come to the United States where he 
felt that there were better opportunities for advancement. Accordingly, in 
the vear 1892 he came to America and at once went to Iowa where several 
of his countrymen had already settled. He located in Shelby county and 
worked for the first four months on a farm for the munificent salary of 
twelve dollars a month. He then permanently settled in Harlan where he 
has lived ever since. He took up his trade as a blacksmith in a shop in Har- 
lan and shortly afterward bought a half interest in the shop with H. P. 
Hansen. In 1895 they built a shop, forty- four by sixty-two feet, on East 
Market street, and in 1898 Mr. Christensen purchased the interest of his 
partner. At the same time he decided to add another building and engage 
in the implement business. Accordingly, he built a building, forty-four by 
eight}' feet, adjoining his blacksmith s:hop, and stocked it with a complete 
line of agricultural implements. Later he added an automobile department 
and now is the agent for the Studebaker automobile. He has built up a 
large trade by honest methods and close application and is recognized as one 
of the substantial business men of his citv. 


Mr. Christensen was married in [90S to Ella Brodersen, who was born 
in 1S79, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Brodersen. To this marriage 
have been born two children, Elva and Helen. Mr. Christensen and his 
family are consistent members of the Danish Lutheran church and contribute 
liberally of their means to its support. 

The Democratic party has claimed the heart}' support of Mr. Christensen 
since coming to this country, although he has never had any inclination to be 
a candidate for a political office. Fraternally, he is a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and takes an active interest in that fraternal 
organization. Fie is essentially a self-made man and deserves a great deal 
of credit for the success which has attended his efforts since becoming a 
resident of this countv. 


One of the men who have conferred honor and distinction on the city of 
Harlan, Iowa, is William Fiske Cleveland. A man who has now reached the 
allotted three score and ten years, he has been closely identified with the 
.history of Shelby county for the past thirty-seven years and in that time has 
been one of the leaders in everything pertaining to its welfare. A> a private 
citizen, as a public official and as a man interested in public spirited enter- 
prises of all kinds, he has made a record which has made his name known 
throughout the state of Iowa. It is not possible within the limits of this 
article to treat his life in detail but enough will be set forth to show the 
t important place he has occupied in the history of his county. 

William F. Cleveland, the son of George Washington and Almira (Bar- 
rett) Cleveland, was born August 30, 1844, al Waterville, Oneida county, 
Xew York. His father was born in 1808 in the same count}", at the town 
of Westmoreland, and died December 4. 1884. His grandparents were Anson 
and Mehitable (Hammond) Cleveland. Anson Cleveland was born in Mans- 
field county, Xew York, December 24, 1777, and died May 5. 1832. Mehit- 
able Hammond was born in Coventry, Connecticut. November 2, 1774, and 
died in 1868. When the wife of Anson Cleveland was a small girl she stood 
on the continental road and watched George Washington and his soldiers 
march by as they were on their way from Bpston to Xew \ ork. The mother 
of William F. Cleveland was born at Wilton. Xew Hampshire, August 2j, 
180S, and died March u. [886. 

George Washington Cleveland was educated in the schools of West- 

. - 


>Jlaf! & tsVZtZdfot/. 


moreland, New York, and then entered the University of New York from 
which he graduated with the degree of Doctor of .Medicine in the spring of 
1831. lie first practiced his profession at Homer, Michigan, lor two years, 
after which he removed to Sherburne, Xew York, lie practiced in this place 
a few years and then permanently located in YYaterville, Xew York, where 
he followed his profession until his death fifty years later. As a physician 
he ranked among the he^t in the state of Xew York and was called into 
consultation in all parts of the state. Dr. Cleveland was married October 
]o, 183J, to Almira Barrett, the daughter of Benjamin Fiske and Betsie 
(Garrish) Barrett. Mr. Barrett was born January 16, 1770, at Billerica, 
Middlesex county, Xew York, and died at Springfield, New York, October 
31, 1S44. Mrs. Barrett was burn in Westminster, Massachusetts, Novem- 
ber 10, 1774, and died December 17, 1830. Dr. Cleveland and wife were the 
parents of four children: Alice, George, William F. and Orlando. All of 
these children are now deceased except William F. 

The education of William F. Cleveland was received in the schools of 
Waterville and included the thorough training of the academy at that place. 
After leaving the academy .Mr. Cleveland clerked in a store in his native 
town until after the close of the Civil War. He then went to Xashville, 
Tennessee, and clerked in a clothing store for two years. By that time he 
had come to the conclusion that there were great possibilities in the South for 
business and decided to go to Xew Orleans and engage in the clothing busi- 
ness for himself. He went to the Crescent City and found employment in a 
clothing store as a clerk, thinking that he could in this way determine whether 
the city offered the opportunities which he had been led to think it had. In 
a short time he became a partner in the store where he first found employ- 
ment and was in a fair way to make a name for himself in the commercial 
life of that city. After living there eight years his health became impaired 
and he felt that he would have to seek more congenial climate on that account. 
Accordingly he sold out his interest in the store and secured a position with 
the United States government as a contractor. The government sent him to 
the state of Wyoming at his request and there he remained for the next two 
years during which time he recovered his health. Wishing to again engage 
in business for himself he resigned his position with the government and 
came to Shelby county, Iowa, where he opened up a general mercantile estab- 
lishment in the fall of 1877. He remained at Shelby until 1S85, when he 
was elected to the position of treasurer of Shelby county and was compelled 
to move to Harlan, the county seat. He was re-elected to the same office at 


the expiration of his first term and served until 18S9. He has now been in 
the county for twelve years and had so conducted his affairs as to win the 
unqualified endorsement of his fellow citizens. His education and wide ex- 
perience enabled him to take a broad and intelligent view of public policies 
and his party were insistent that he be nominated for, the important position 
of state senator. / 

The year 1SS9 marks the entry of Mr. Cleveland in politics and his sub- 
sequent career has rellected great credit on his county as well as his state, 
lie was elected as senator from the senatorial district of Shelby and Cass 
counties in that fall and in the following session of the General Assembly- 
took a leading part. He was made the chairman of the committee on appro- 
priations and was instrumental in getting the legislature to pass the one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand appropriation for the Iowa state building at the 
World's Fair which was held at Chicago in 1893. He introduced the bill 
which provided that all capital punishments should take place in the peniten- 
tiary but, owing to the house being Republican, the bill was defeated although 
supported by public opinion. The same bill was introduced by a Republican 
in the succeeding session and passed, a fact which does not take from Mr. 
Cleveland the honor of being very largely responsible for it being placed on 
the statute books of the state. 

While a member of the state legislature Mr. Cleveland was elected 
cashier of the Harlan Bank and, upon serving out his term as senator, he 
assumed the duties of that position. He filled the position of cashier for four 
years and then resigned to engage in the hardware business in Harlan. He 
continued in this business under the name of W. F. Cleveland & Company 
for the next eight years and then disposed of his interests in the company and 
entered the real estate field, where he has since made a pronounced success. 
He has been dealing largely in Arkansas land and has built up a big business 
in that state. 

In the year 1910, the Democratic party of his congressional district pre- 
vailed upon him to accept the nomination for Congress and, although the 
Republican majority in the district has always been overwhelming, yet he 
made the best light that has ever been made in his district. His opponent 
was Walter L. Smith and although he was elected, Mr. Cleveland reduced the 
normal Republican majority from nine thousand to less than two thousand, 
a fact which bears ample testimony as to his standing in his district. In 
191 2, Mr. Cleveland was a candidate for presidential elector in his district 
on the Democratic ticket and led his ticket by five thousand, being triumph- 
antly elected. He not only had the honor of carrying the election returns 


to Washington but was the first Democrat within the past sixty years to go 
to Washington to carry the Iowa vote for a Democratic president. 

The history of Mr. Cleveland would not be complete without mention 
of his connection with Masonry. He lias for many years been one of the 
leaders in the fraternity in his state and at the present time is devoting his 
time to the preparation of the Masonic history of the state of Iowa. In view 
of the fact that Mr. Cleveland is the leader of the Masonic fraternity in his 
state it seems eminently fitting to give his Masonic record in detail. 

He was initiated October 25, 1865; passed November 8, 1S65; raised 
December 12, 1865. These three degrees were conferred in Sanger Lodge 
No. 129, located at Waterville ( Xew York). In 1S66 he was affiliated with 
Phoenix Lodge, Xo. 131. at Nashville, Tennessee, and three years later trans- 
ferred his membership to Quitman Lodge, Xo. ~6, at Xew Orleans, being 
elected worshipful master of the latter lodge in 1S77. He was affiliated with 
Parian Lodge, X'o. 321, at Harlan, Iowa, in 18S7 and was elected worshipful 
master of that lodge in 1898. He was elected senior grand warden of the 
grand lodge of Iowa in 1901 and in iqo6 was made grand master of the 
grand lodge of Iowa. The grand lodge of the state of Iowa recognized him 
as peculiarly well fitted to write the Masonic history of the state and in 1909 
made him the official historian of the fraternity for the state of Iowa, and 
he completed the history June 10, 191 4. 

His connection with the Royal Arch began in 1867, when he was exalted 
in Cumberland Chapter. The Royal Arch was installed in Harlan in 1886 
and he then transferred his membership to Olivet Chapter, X'o. 107, at Har- 
lan. He was elected high priest of the Harlan Chapter in 1894 and in the 
following year (1895) was elected grand scribe of the grand Royal Arch 
chapter of Iowa. This honor was followed by his election as grand king in 
1896, deputy grand high priest in 1897 and grand high priest of the grand 
chapter in 1S98. He was president of the Order of High Priesthood from 
1900 to 1906, was re-elected to this position in 1908 and is still filling the office. 
He has served on the committee on correspondence of the grand chapter since 
1902. He has been the grand representative of the grand chapter of the 
District of Columbia since 1890. He was elected president of the corre- 
spondence round table of the United States at Indianapolis, Indiana, in the 
year 1912 and is still tilling this position. 

Mr. Cleveland became a member of the Council at Nashville, Tennessee, 
in 1868, that being the first council organized within the state of Tennessee. 
He organized Adaphi Council, No. 4. at Harlan, Iowa, in 1899 an d was thrice 
illustrious master for four years. He organized the grand council of Iowa 


in 1900 and in the same year was elected deputy grand master, being elevated 
to the grand mastership in the following year. He has been grand repre- 
sentative of the grand council in Xew York since 1901. lie was elected 
general grand steward of the general grand council in i«>),i and elevated to 
the office of general grand marshal in 1906. His election to the position of 
general grand conductor followed in 1909. In 1912 he was elected general 
grand captain of the guard at Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Mr. Cleveland became a member of the Order of Knights Templar at 
Xew Orleans, in 1872, becoming a member of the Indivisable Friends Com- 
mandery. Xo. 1. He organized Mt. Zion, Xo. 19. at Harlan, Iowa, in 1SS6, 
being the first eminent commander of the commandery. He was elected 
grand junior warden of the grand commandery of Iowa in iSSS, grand cap- 
tain general in 1880, deputy grand commander in 1S90 and grand commander 
in 1891. He was appointed grand representative of the grand commandery 
of Tennessee, in 1803. anJ still holds the position. He was chairman of the 
semi-centennial anniversary of the grand commandery of the state of Iowa 
which was held at Templar Park, Spirit Lake, Iowa, July 15, 1914. He was 
elected as an honorary member of the grand commandery of the state of Mis- 
souri at Springfield. Missouri, in May, 1913. 

Mr. Cleveland received the degrees from the fourth to the thirty-second 
in October, 1907. in the Zarepath Consistory, Scottish Rite, at Davenport, 
Iowa. He received the honorary degrees of the Knights Commander of the 
Court of Honor in the supreme council in October. 1913, at Washington. 
D. C. He received the degrees in Kalp Chapter of the Acacia fraternity at 
Ames. Iowa, April 20, 1912: He was appointed a member of the committee 
on grand lodge recognition by F. W. Craig, grand master, in February, 191 1. 

Mr. Cleveland was married October 2, 1871, to Kate L. Collins, the 
daughter of Eli A. and Anna Collins. She was born at Galena, Illinois: her 
father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother in Ohio. To this first union 
of Mr. Cleveland were born two children. William John and Anna. The son 
died in 1S76 and the daughter is the wife of W. XV. Belknap and makes her 
home in Xew York. The first wife of Mr. Cleveland died August 18, 1885, 
and on February 16, 1893, Mr. Cleveland was married to Mrs. Ella (Xoble) 
Pratt, the daughter of Peter and Susan Xoble. both natives of Clinton county, 
Ohio. Mr. Xoble was born June 11, 1831, his wife on June 18, 1836; he 
died October 7, 1913, and she passed away on June 3. 18S9. Mr. Xoble was 
a voung man when he moved from Ohio to Indiana and lived in the latter 
state for a number of vears on a farm south of Indianapolis. From there 
he moved to Plattsville, Wisconsin, where he was engaged in the implement 
business for several years. Mr. Xoble then removed to Walnut, Iowa, and 


became interested in the grain business and in 1S84 located in Harlan where 
he lived until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Xoble were the parents of six chil- 
dren: Edward P., Willard, Ella, Herman, Carrie and Leona. All of the 
children are still living. 

Mr. Cleveland and wife have two children, William Fiske and Dorothy, 
both of whom are still living- with their parents. They are being given the 
best education possible in order to become useful members of societv. The 
family home is one of the most beautiful in the city of Harlan and is located 
on West Baldwin street. Mr. Cleveland has one of the finest as well as the 
most valuable libraries in the county. The family are members of the Episco- 
pal church and interested in the work of their church. Mr. Cleveland has 
taken a hearty interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his citv. 
He and his family are connected with various societies and organizations in 
their city and have always given their unreserved support to all worthy meas- 
ures. Thus it may be seen that Mr. Cleveland has filled an important place 
in the history of his town, count}- and state, while as a Mason, he is known 
throughout the United States. In everything with which he has been con- 
nected he has conducted himself in such a way as to merit the high esteem of 
his fellow citizens and he has made a name for himself which is a credit to his 
home citv and an honor to his family. 


The many Danish people who have made Shelby county their permanent 
home have given the same loyal support to their adopted country that they 
did to their native land. The desire to give their children better oppor- 
tunities is the underlying reason why all of these people have come to 
America and the success which has been theirs since coming here fully 
justifies their decision to leave their native land. Of the many excellent 
citizens of Danish birth who have honored this county with their residence 
there is no one more worthy of mention in this volume than Chris Poldberg. 
a substantial farmer of Jackson township. 

Chris Poldberg, the son of Andrew C. and Karen (Christensen) Pold- 
berg, was born July 1, 1862, in Denmark. Andrew C. Poldberg was born 
in Denmark in 18.21 and his wife in 1823. He lived the simple life of a 
farmer all of his davs and died in his native land in 1876 without ever seeing 
this country. His widow came to this country and spent her declining years 



with her son, Chris, and died in iSSS, being buried at Bowman's Grove 

Chris Poldberg received a good education in the excellent schools of 
his native country, but his father dying when he was only sixteen years of 
age. he had to leave school, having attended high school one season, and work 
upon a neighboring farm. In 1SS5 he decided to come to America, where 
many of his countrymen had already settled. He came alone and at once 
went to Shelby county, Iowa, and located in Elkhorn. Five years later his 
mother joined him. lie found work as a farm hand for the first three years 
and then married and began farming on his wife's farm in Jackson town- 
ship. He was a successful farmer from the beginning and now owns a fine 
farm of two hundred and eighty acres of land in this township. He carries 
on a general system of farming, giving due attention to the raising of live 
stock, in which he has been very successful. 

Mr. Poldberg was married December 14, 1S8S. to Mrs. Mary (Hood- 
genson) Smith, the widow of Fred H. Smith. By her first marriage she 
had two children, Hans, whose history is found elsewhere in this volume, 
and Mrs. Katherine Lamer, of Clay township. To Mr. and Mrs. Poldberg 
have been born four children, Andrew, Xiels, Chris and Henry. Andrew 
is now farming for himself while all the other children arc still living with 
their parents. 

In politics, Mr. Poldberg has taken an active part in Democratic affairs 
since coming to this county and has frequently been honored by his partv 
with positions of trust and responsibility. In 1899 he was elected trustee 
of Jackson township and held the office for two years. He was elected to 
the same office in 1912 and is still filling this important position. He has also 
served as school director of his township and in this capacity gave his heart}' 
support to all measures which might help the schools of the township in any 

Before coming to this country Mr. Poldberg served two years in the 
Danish army. In 1S83 he was mustered in with the Second Regiment of 
Infantry and was made a corporal. The training he received while in the 
array has been of great benefit to him in his later life. Mr. Poldberg is a 
stanch member of the Danish Lutheran church and has served as the presi- 
dent of the church at Bowman's Grove. The career of Mr. Poldberg since 
coming to Shelby county is eminently to his credit in every way and no native 
born citizen takes a more active part in the affairs of his township and county. 
He has measured up to the highest ideals of American citizenship and is a 
true representative of his county. 



Shelln' county, Iowa, is essentially a farming community and one of 
the main industries of the county is the buying and selling of grain. Every 
town has an elevator, some of which are independent concerns and others 
belong to companies which operate elevators in a number of counties. One 
of the prominent grain buyers of Shelby county, Iowa, is Harry C. Hale, 
who is now the manager of the elevator at Shelby, owned by J. F. Dowe & 
Company, of Davenport, Iowa. He has been engaged in the elevator busi- 
ness since he reached his majority, and with this fine experience he is 
thoroughly acquainted with every phase of the grain business. 

Harry C. Hale, the son of George and Anna C. (Canfield) Hale, was 
born in Washington county, Iowa, in 1879. His father was born in Chelsea, 
Vermont, in 1835. and his mother was born in Connecticut in 1853. George 
Hale came from Vermont to Washington county, Iowa, with his parents 
when he was a child, and was living there when the Civil War opened. He 
enlisted in 1862 in Company A, Twenty-fifth Regiment Iowa Volunteer 
Infantry, and was in continuous service' until the close of the Civil War. 
After he was mustered out he returned to Washington, Iowa, and became a 
railroad contractor, following this business for several years. He then bought 
grain in Washington, Iowa, for thirty years, after which he retired to Des 
Moines, Iowa, where he lived for one year. He is now living at McClelland, 
Iowa. His wife died in 1893. There were four children born to George 
Hale and wife, three of whom are still living. 

Harry C. Hale received his education in the public schools of Washing- 
ton, Iowa, graduating from the high school at that place. He remained at 
home until he was twenty-one years of age and then started in business for 
hmiself by buying an elevator at Washington. He bought and sold grain 
and also handled coal. After he had been in business about eighteen months, 
a fire destroyed his elevator and he then came to Shelby, Iowa, where he be- 
came connected with the Des Moines Elevator Company, with which he re- 
mained for two years, and then became the manager of the J. F. Dowe & 
Company's elevator at Shelby. During the time that he has been connected 
with this company he has built up a large business for them in the farming 
community around Shelby, and such ha's been his success that he is regarded 
as one of the most competent grain experts in the county. 

Mr. Hale was married October 14, 1902, to Ethel Dillon, who was born 
in Washington county, Iowa, in 1879, and to this union one son, Hugh 
Dillon, has been born. 


Mr. Hale is progressive in his political belief ami should he clashed with 
the independent voters. He believes in voting for the best men. especially in 
local elections, feeling that in so doing he is best serving the interests of his 
community. He has a beautiful modern home in the eastern part of the city 
and takes an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of Shelby. 
Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Hale is a wide-awake business 
man and is the kind of a man who lends stability to the community in which 
he lives. All public-spirited enterprises receive his hearty support and his 
influence is always cast on the right side of every worthy measure. 


There is a lumber vard in every town of any size in the United States 
and the size of the yard and the amount of business transacted in which this 
commodity is involved are sure indications of the prosperity of the com- 
munity served by it. It has been predicted that the growing cement industry 
was going to revolutionize the building industry of the country ; that houses 
would soon all be constructed of cement and concrete and that the demand 
tor lumber would soon be curtailed in consequence. Whether this will ever 
be brought about can not definitely be foretold, but there has certainly been 
no diminution in the sale of lumber thus far. The northwestern part of 
Iowa is very scantily timbered and practically all of the lumber used has to 
be shipped in. One of the large and prosperous industries of Harlan is the 
luml>er business and one of the men who have been closely identified with this 
important industry for several years is William Thomas Shepherd, the effi- 
cient auditor of the Green Bay Lumber Company, of Harlan. 

William Thomas Shepherd was born May i6, 1863, near West Liberty. 
Iowa, the son of James Farquhar and Elizabeth Ann (Stouffer) Shepherd. 
His father was a descendant of a Scotch-Irish family which came to Pennsyl- 
vania with the Quakers in about the year 1700. The Shepherd family 
migrated to western Maryland in the year 1735. The ancestors of Elizabeth 
Ann fStoufferj Shepherd came into Pennsylvania from Switzerland in 1709 
and moved thence to western Maryland in 1734. In the early sixties or the 
late fifties, the family migrated to Iowa and located on a farm near West 
Liberty, Iowa. At the close of the Civil War. the family returned to the 
old home in Maryland where they resided for about six years and then made 
a permanent residence on the Iowa farm which had been previously improved. 


mi wattr-v - — ■■ '- ^-> i" * s v -' n ( . v ., - ., ,,■ ', ■' , ■ ■ iM-;,-jf*it i r l ir* 



In 1876 the Shepherds removed to Iowa City. James Farquhar Shepherd 
died in 1903, his wife having preceded him to the Great Beyond three years 

William T. Shepherd was educated in the schools of Iowa City and the 
State University, graduating from the latter institution in 1S83. He im- 
mediately entered the service of the Green Bay Lumber Company, serving 
as yard manager at Irwin, Stuart and Harlan until 1900, since which time 
he has been in charge of a system of twelve of the company's yards in the 
Botna Valley. He has been a stockholder in this corporation for several 
years as well as a director in the Finkbine Lumber Company of Wiggins. 
Mississippi, a sawmill concern owned by the Green Bay Lumber Company. 
For a number of years he has served as a director of the Shelby Count}- State 
Bank, of Harlan. 

Mr. Shepherd was married in 1S90 to Cora S. Ramsey of Harlan. Mr. 
and Mrs. Shepherd have one son, Allan Ramsey Shepherd, who is now a 
student at Columbia University. 

Fraternally, Mr. Shepherd is connected with the Free Masons and is a 
member of the Commandery ami Mystic Shrine. He has passed through all 
the chairs of the Masonic lodge as well as having filled all the chairs in the 
Odd Fellows in both the subordinate lodge and the encampment. He and the 
members of his family are members of the Fpiscopal church and have always 
taken an active interest in its welfare. 

Mr. Shepherd is politically allied with the Democratic partv and served 
as a Democratic member on the Iowa Commission at the World's Fair in 
St. Louis. He has never been a seeker after political preferment and has 
never been an active candidate for office. He has served his home city in 
practically all of the municipal, school and other minor offices of the com- 
munity. "He has been reasonably diligent and reasonably successful in busi- 
ness and is recognized as one of the men of affairs in Harlan. He has taken 
an active part in the affairs of the community and has usually been found at 
the forefront of those seeking to better conditions in the city and to push 
Harlan to the front. He has long been identified with the enterprising 
citizens who have been pushing Harlan to the front rank. He has supported 
his contentions and progressive ideas with both his time and his means. He 
is likewise blessed with a fair share of friends and enemies, to both of whom 
he tries to give due appreciation. In this respect he is like all men who have 
achieved success and have had the courage and determination to stand firm 
in support of their honest convictions. Such citizens are a distinct benefit to 
any community. 



C)nc of the first settlers to locate in Shelby county, Iowa, was the late 
Lorenzo D. Sunderland, who came to the county in 1S52. The career of 
tins interesting old settler and pioneer is full of the wild life of the West 
and there was crowded into his career more experiences than falls to the lot 
of the average man. During the course of a long and eventful life he 
traveled thousands of miles, went overland from his native state. Ohio, to 
California, and then made the return trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama 
and New York city. Me was the first man to firing gold dust from Cali- 
fornia to Xew York and the first gold coins made from California gold were 
made from the dust he brought back with him. 

This sturdy pioneer was born in Fayette county, in the state of Ohio, 
on June 24, 1825, and after a long career of usefulness and honor, died in 
Shelby county. Iowa, in April. 1904. His parents were Francis D. and 
Fcrmelia (Knight) Sunderland, natives of Virginia and early settlers in 
Fayette count}', Ohio. Shortly after his birth his father died and, when six 
years of age, Lorenzo was adopted by Nathan Coffman, who reared him to 

When Lorenzo D. Sunderland reached the age of twenty-four he joined 
a party of several friends who were going to make the long overland journey 
t<> California in search of gold. The start was made March 12, 1849. and 
the entire trip occupied one hundred and four days, during which time in- 
numerable hardships were endured. The first stop was made at St. Joseph. 
Missouri, where thev organized, laid in their supplies for the trip across the 
plains and left the frontiers of civilization. They left St. Joseph on May 1, 
'849, with one hundred and four men and owing to deaths and various other 
rauscs were compelled to reorganize twice before reaching their destination. 
The\ met with terrible storms, encountered the Indians on several occasions 
and were on the verge of total annihilation at times. They finally reached 
Auburn. California, with four mule teams and at once started in to prospect 
for the precious metal which had led them to make a perilous journey more 
than half way across the continent. P>y June of the following year, Mr. 
Sunderland had laid away considerable gold dust and was ready to return 
home. He went by steamer to the Isthmus of Panama, crossed the Isthmus 
on foot and embarked on a sailing vessel for Xew York. As has been before 
mentioned he brought back the first gold from California which the govern- 



ment coined. He finally reached his home in Fayette county, Ohio, where 
he remained until after his marriage in 1851. 

Shortly after his marriage, he and his young bride went to Howard 
county, Indiana, where he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. 
He lived on the farm only a short time and then, together with his father-;:, 
law's family, removed to Champaign count}', Illinois. Here he bought a 
farm of eighty acres, but remained on it only one year. In February, iS;_\ 
he went to Kanesville (now Council Bluffs), Iowa, and shortly afterward 
went on west and located in Shelby county, He made this prospecting trip 
alone, wishing to ascertain the most favorable land for settlement before 
bringing his wife away from her parents. He finally decided to locate in 
Shelby county and accordingly entered eight} - acres of government land on 
which he at once erected a rude cabin. In the spring of 1854 he brought his 
family to the new home and here he lived for the next half century. He at 
once entered two hundred and forty more acres of land and to this he added 
from year to year until at the time of his death in 1904 he owned seven 
hundred and eighty acres of well-improved land in the county. 

During the half century that Mr. Sunderland was identified with the 
history of Shelby county he was foremost in everything which would in any 
way benefit the county. He was the first school director in the county and 
was elected sheriff of the county in 1.S64. After the expiration of his term 
as sheriff, he served for several years as deputy sheriff and was a man who 
always stood for law enforcement. He was deeply interested in the agricul- 
tural life of his count}' and was the first man in the county to make a 
specialty of live stock breeding. He was a member of the Angus Breeder.*/ 
Association and brought the first Aberdeen Angus cattle to the county in 
• 1887. At the time of his death his herd was one of the finest in the state 
and consisted of the Pride and Blackbird families. He was one of the chiei 
promoters of the first agricultural society in the county and was a charter 
member and director, as well as first vice-president, of the Farmers Alliance 
in Shelby county. He was a lifelong Democrat and was one of his party's 
leaders, although he was never a seeker after political preferment. 

Mr. Sunderland was married June 29, 185 1, to Mary E. Lucas, the 
daughter of Rev. Richard and Mar}" E. (Kirkendall) Lucas, and a native "t 
Ross county, Ohio. To this union ywere born ten children: Nevada, the 
wife of William H. Errett; Leroy and Lcora. both deceased; Nancy Jane. 
the wife of Z. T. Errett; Julietta, the wife of Abner Bates; William, single; 
Lucy, the wife of Frank Firebaugh; Belle, the wife of O. D. Westrope: 


Charles D., whose history is represented elsewhere in this volume; Ida May. 
Mr. Sunderland was devoted to his family and assisted each of his children 
to secure farms of their own. 

The whole life of Mr. Sunderland was devoted to the service of his 
fellow men; no enterprise in Shelby county which was worthy failed to re- 
ceive his hearty support; no unfortunate person was ever turned from his 
dour. Fraternally, he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, holding his membership at Harlan. With his death there passed from 
the history of Shelby county one of its most distinguished pioneers and a 
man whose lite was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with him. 
Of Mich men there are only too few and it is eminently tilting that his life 
he recorded within the history of his county. 


A life of thirty-five years in Shelby county, Iowa, has identified Thomas 
J. Ryan with most of the history which this count}" has made. Coming here 
in the year 1879, he has played an important part in bringing about the 
present prosperity of the county. During his active life on the farm, he was 
a leader in agricultural affairs. When he came to this county, the nearest 
town was eighteen miles away. The present prosperous town of Harlan. 
which was his post office, was then but a mere village scattered out over the 
broad prairie. He was the first man to farm any of his land in Greeley 
township, and the first man to surround his farm with fencing. In fact, he 
was the first man to erect a building in Greeley township. 

Thomas J. Ryan, the son of Jeffrey and Sarah (Clark) Ryan, was born 
February 15, 1852, near Rochester, Xew York. His parents were both 
natives of Ireland, but were brought to this country when they were very 
small by their parents. Jeffrey Ryan was the son of Thomas Ryan, a life- 
long farmer of Ireland. Jeffrey Ryan and his family moved to Ogle county, 
Illinois, in 1858, and there they lived the remainder of their days. 

Thomas J. Ryan was educated in the schools of Ogle county. Illinois. 
going to school during the winter and working on his father's farm during 
the summer. In 1870 he went to Sonoma City, Sonoma county, Califor- 
nia, where he worked for his uncle, Mortimer Ryan, on a large fruit ranch. 
His uncle went around Cape Horn to San Francisco in an early day and 
was the first man to raise garden truck in that city. Thomas T. remained 



with his uncle one year, and then returned to Iowa and located near Vic- 
tor, where he bought a farm. While living there he was married at the 
age of twenty-two years, and began his farming career, which has since 
made him one of the most substantial men <>i Shelby county. His first 
appearance in Shelby county was in 1879, when he came here with two 
car loads of cattle which he intended to graze on the prairies. While herd- 
ing them from day to day in Greeley township he became convinced that 
the land was valuable farming soil land and bought eighty acres in section 
34 in Greeley township. In the spring of 1882 lie sold his farm in Powe- 
shiek countv in this state, and moved with his family to his farm in Shelby 
count}". That he prospered is shown by his future career in this county. 
Early and late he was found in the fields and the result of his patient labor 
made him one of the largest land owners in the county, owning five hun- 
dred and twenty acres of land at one time. His farm in Greeley township 
is now known ,as the "Pleasant View Stock Farm," and consists of thir- 
teen hundred and fifty acres, owned by the firm of Escher & Ryan, his 
son-in-law and son. Messrs. Escher & Ryan are the famous breeders of 
Aberdeen-Angus cattle. 

In the fall of 1902 Mr. Ryan retired from active farm life and moved 
to Irwin, where he had previously purchased property. He moved to the 
town in order to give his children the benefit of the town schools. Since 
moving to Irwin he ha^ taken a prominent part in Democratic politics, 
having been upon the town council of the city ever since moving there. 
At the present time he is serving his second term as mayor of the city, a 
position of honor and responsibility. Although he disposed of his large 
farm, now a part of the "Pleasant View Stock Farm," he also owned 
eighty acres of land in section 10. forty acres in section 9, and one hundred 
and twentv acres in section 21. of Greeley township. He still owns eighty 
acres within the corporation of Irwin. 

Mr. Ryan was married October 28, 1874, to Mary A. Grant, who was 
born October 18, 1855, in Victor. Iowa, the daughter of Henry and Helen 
(Plaggard) Grant. Henry Grant was a native of Glasgow. Scotland, and 
came to the United States when he was twenty-one years of age. He was 
a stone mason by trade in his native land, but never followed this vocation 
after coming to Iowa. He bought a y farm and eventually became a large 
land owner in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan are the parents of five chil- 
dren : Myrtle, Herbert, Earl G., Sarah E. and Mary Grace. Myrtle was 
born August 2, 1875. and married Charles Escher. Jr., of Jefferson town- 


ship. Herbert R., born February 3, 1S78, married Mabel Cobb, and lives 
in Sioux City, Iowa, and has four children: Mildred, born July 26, 1902; 
Margery, born May 5, 1904: Herbert C, born June 28. 1906; Roberta, born 
February 15, 1014. Karl G., the third child of Mr. Ryan, was born August 
2$, 1S84, married Bertha Sessions, and has two children. Charles T.. born 
October 17. 1907, and Myrtle Grace, born January 12. 1910. Sarah E., 
born January 31, t88y, is still living with her parents and is teaching 
school. She is a graduate of Drake University. Mary Grace, the young- 
est child of Mr. and Mrs. Ryan, was born October 20, 1S91, graduated 
from the musical department of Drake University and is now teaching 

Mr. Ryan is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as 
is his son, Earl. He is a charter member of the Irwin' lodge, and has 
always been actively interested in the affairs of his local lodge. Politicallv, 
he has always been a Democrat, and for twenty-five years, was a member 
of the school board of his township. His party has pressed honors upon 
him since coming to Irwin and he has faithfully discharged everv duty 
which has been imposed upon him. Mr. Ryan is a typical self-made man 
and one of the most representative citizens of a county which has produced 
many exceptional men. 


Fort}- years have elapsed since Robert M. Pomeroy and his young wife 
came to Shelby count}'. Iowa, and during this time he has so managed his 
affairs as to become one of the wealthiest men of Shelby. He has, during 
the course of a long and busy life, engaged in the mercantile business, has 
served as a civil engineer, while for a quarter of a century, he was one of the 
largest farmers and most successful stock dealers of Shelby county. Since 
September 1, 11)14. he has been in charge of the Farmers Savings Bank at 
Shelby, and in this capacity has demonstrated peculiar ability for this line 
of business. He has been prominently identified with every phase of his 
county's history during the time he has lived in it and has been in hearty 
sympathy with all public movements. He has served as township trustee, 
school director and county treasurer and in every official position he has 
demonstrated that he has the interest of his fellow-citizens at heart. 

Robert M. Pomeroy, the son of William R. and Elizabeth (Maclay) 
Pomerov, was born March 24. 1849, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania. His 


father was born in the same county in 1811 and his mother was born in Con- 
cord, Pennsylvania, in 1822. His parents were married in 1845 a,K ^ reared 
a family of six children. Mrs. Arabella Deihl, Henry, Robert M.. John. Eliza- 
beth and William R. Of these six children, Arabella and Henry are de- 
ceased, the former being buried in Adams county, Pennsylvania. John and 
William R. are living a retired life in Shelby, Iowa, while Elizabeth makes 
her home in Concord, • Pennsylvania. William R. Pomeroy conducted a 
general merchandise store in Concord, Pennsylvania, for fifty years and also 
had a large tannery in connection with his general merchandise business. He 
died in 1SS9 and his wife died in 1875. 

Robert M. Pomeroy received his elementary and high school education 
at Waterloo, Pennsylvania, and later attended the academy at that place until 
he was twenty years of age. After leaving school he clerked in a general 
merchandise store for three years in Parksburg, Pennsylvania, and then was 
connected with a civil engineer corps for one year. In 1872 he went west 
and settled in Louis count}'. Iowa, where he managed a store until 1875. 
He then sold out, married and came to Shelby, Iowa, where be has since 
lived. He went into partnership with Dr. Campbell in the general mer- 
chandise business and three years later sold his share and built a frame build- 
ing, twenty-two by eight}- feet. In this building he conducted his store until 
1895, when he sold out and moved to his farm of two hundred and sixty 
acres which he had purchased in Shelby township in 1891. He farmed this 
for twenty-two years and made extensive improvements upon it, so that he 
had one of the most valuable farms in the township. He was an extensive 
breeder of Clydesdale horses, Poland-China hog^ and Aberdeen Polled Angus 
cattle. He made manv exhibits at county fairs and won several premiums 
on his cattle, horses and hogs. He gave special attention to the raising of 
cattle and averaged one hundred head every year. In 19 12 Mr. Pomeroy 
sold out his farming interest, moved back to Shelby, Iowa, and took full 
possession of the Farmers Savings Bank. He owns twenty acres of land 
inside the corporate limits in addition to his beautiful city home. 

Mr. Pomeroy was married November 2, 1S76. to Mary McClurkin, who 
was born at Morning Sun. Iowa, in 1851, the daughter of Henry and Nancy 
Jane McClurkin was born in Indiana. To this union four children have 
been born: Elizabeth, a graduate of Grinnell College; William II., of Tulsa, 
Oklahoma, married Xorine Wilson and has one child, William Henry, Jr. : 
Loren, a graduate of the Dental College of Chicago, a dentist at Avoca, 
who married Mary Ethel Goodwin; Mrs. Alice Erum. of Dakota City. 


Politically. Mr. Pomeroy is a member of the Republican party and has 
been one of his party's leaders for many years. As tow nship trustee, as 
school director and as county treasurer (1882-86), he has served his fellow- 
citizens in a very efficient manner. The family are members of the Presby- 
terian church and have always taken an active part in all church work. 


There need be no introduction to the readers of this volume of the 
gentleman whose name heads this review. He was born in Shelby county; 
he has lived Ins entire life of fifty-six years within the borders of the 
county; he has been successful as an agriculturist and is one of the best 
known citizens of the county; he has received high honors from his fellow- 
citizens and has been elevated to a high position of trust and responsi- 
bility in recognition of his ability and integrity. Few lives are more suc- 
cessful when we endeavor to measure the success of the individual by group- 
ing the men of any community for the purpose of writing the individual 
life history of each as an adjunct to the history of the community in which 
they live. 

George II. Miller, treasurer of Shelby county, and the son of Jacob I. 
Miller, a pioneer settler of the county, was born on October 10, 18^8, on 
a farm in section thirteen of Center township, six miles east of Harlan. 
He first saw the light of day in a log cabin erected by his father in 1S57. 
Jacob J. Miller was born in Germany, March S, 1S27, and died in this 
county in February, 1910. He emigrated to America with his father when 
a boy and the family settled in Indiana when that state was still in the 
pioneer era of development. Jacob J. was the son of Jacob and Catharine 
Miller, natives of the province of Alsace. Germany. They came to this country 
to found a home for themselves and their children as early as 1828. They 
landed at Baltimore from a sailing vessel and lived there for one vear. 
For six years following their brief residence in Baltimore they resided 
on a farm near Hagerstown, Maryland, and in the year 1S34 the family 
removed - to Butler county, Ohio. In January. 1845, they again migrated 
westward and settled in Elkhart county. Indiana, where Jacob, Sr., bought 
eighty acres of timber land which he cleared with incredible labor and 
created therefrom a fine farm which remained his home until his death 



at the age of sixty years. His worthy wife died in June. 1855. They were 
the parents of ten children. 

Jacob J. was seventeen years of age when the family settled in Indiana. 
He remained under the parental roof for five years longer and was then 
married on May 30, 1850, to Jane McConnell, a native of the old Buckeye 
state and daughter of James .McConnell. The couple cleared a timber tract 
in Indiana and created a farm upon which they resided until 1857 when 
they moved to Iowa. It required twenty days for the family to make 
the trip overland with a team of horses. On his arrival in Shelby count}', 
he bought a farm of two hundred and twenty acres in Center township. 
Eleven acres of this land were cleared of brush and trees and a small log 
cabin erected, fourteen by sixteen feet in size. It was in this cabin that 
George H. was born not mam - months after the arrival of the family in 
Iowa. A part of the Miller farm had been previously entered or filed 
upon by a man named Dalton and forty acres of the Miller tract in section 
twelve had been filed upon by Dwight Terrill. Jacob J. was a large stock 
raiser and became very wealthy, at one time owning over one thousand 
acres of land. A considerable part of his extensive acreage was divided 
among his children, each child receiving eighty acres of land. He was a 
prominent figure in Shelby county for over fifty years and resided on 
his farm during all this period. In the years from 1S62 to 1864 he served 
as a member of the board of county supervisors. He was a Democrat 
in politics. In February, 1910, this eminent pioneer citizen died. A few- 
months later, in June, his faithful wife passed away. They were the par- 
ents of the following children: Mrs. Mary Catharine Philson, of Jackson 
township; Charles C, who died at the age of twenty-one years, May 7, 
1874: Mrs. Susan P. Philson, deceased; George II.; Samuel L., deceased; 
Demiris I. Littleton, of Center township; John C, a well-known stock breeder 
of Jackson township. 

George H. Miller received his primary education in the neighborhood 
school which was a small affair erected jointly by the heads of families who 
desired to educate their children. Even the seats in this primitive school 
house were furnished by the parents of the children. Mr. Miller attended 
this school with O. P. Wyland and his brother John. He went to school 
during the winter months and assisted with the farm work during the 
spring and summer. At the age of twenty years (1878) he began 
farming for himself on his own farm of eighty acres received as a 
gift from his father. He broke up this tract of prairie land and placed it 

674 sheLby COUNTY, IOWA. 

under cultivation. He soon afterward built a house and married when 
twenty-four years of age. In the year 1SS0 he bought a farm in Jefferson 
township which he later sold and bought an additional eighty acres in 
Center township in 1S82 at a cost of thirty-one dollars an acre. In 1883 
he added forty acres more at a cost of twenty dollars an acre and in 1891 
lie added one hundred acres which cost him thirty-two dollars an acre. 
.Mr. Miller's holdings total four hundred and forty acres of fine land, lie 
was a breeder of Shorthorn cattle for a number of years. He resided on 
his large farm until December of 1911, at which time he moved to Harlan 
for the purpose of taking up his duties of county treasurer. There are two 
good sets of farm buildings on his land which are kept in a good state of 
repair. He also owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Defi- 
ance, which he bought in 1910. 

Mr. Miller was united in marriage on February 22, 1882, to Mattie E. 
Carter, who was born in Jones count}', and is a daughter of James Carter. 
Mr. and Airs. Miller have eight children: Charles J., a farmer in South 
Dakota, married and has a family of six children; Mrs. Lena Kemp, of 
Douglas township, who is the mother of three children; Ralph, who is till- 
ing the home farm in Center township and is the father of two children; 
Ira, the telephone manager in Harlan; Glenn, a student in the medical de- 
partment of the Nebraska State University at Lincoln, and who is pursuing 
a six-years' course to be finished in 1 9 1 7 ; Myrtle, a milliner, and residing 
at home; Verda. a student in Harlan high school, class of 1915; Walter, 
also in high school, class of 1917. 

Mr. Miller belongs to no lodges or fraternal organizations but is a 
staunch member of the Christian church, in which denomination he takes 
considerable interest and lends it his moral and financial support. Polit- 
ically, he has always been allied with the Republican party which became 
his choice on the attainment of his majority. He has held many local 
offices and positions of trust and responsibility, having been administrator 
of several large estates, among them being the Westrope estate, which was 
at the time of Mr. Westrope's demise the largest in Shelby county. He has 
filled various township offices, having served as assessor of Center town- 
ship. He was elected county treasurer in 1910 by the narrow margin of 
twelve votes and was again elected in the fall of 1912. The fact that his 
second election to this important office came without any opposition what- 
ever from either of the political parties is evidence of the high esteem in 
which Mr. Miller is universally held throughout the county. 


The influence of such a life as that of George II. Miller can not be 
properly estimated by earthly standards. His friends and associates know 
him in his outward life as a man of sterling worth, whose deeds have gen- 
erally been actuated by the highest and best motives and whose successful 
career is blameless. 


Prominent in the affairs of Shelby county and distinguished as a citizen 
whose influence is extended far beyond the limits of the community honored 
by his residence, the name of Charles Escher, Jr., stands out a conspicuous 
figure among the successful farmers and live stock breeders of the localitv 
of which this volume treats. All of his undertakings have been actuated 
by noble motives and high resolves and characterized by breadth of wisdom 
and strong individuality. His success and achievements but represent the 
result of fit utilization of innate talent in directing his efforts along those 
lines where mature judgment and rare discrimination lead the way. 

Charles Escher, Jr., a prominent farmer and live stock breeder of Jeffer- 
son township, Shelby count}", Iowa, was born September 4, 187-', in Iowa 
county, Iowa. He is the son of Charles and Louise (Reisland) Escher, 
both of whom were natives of Germany. Charles Escher, Sr., came to this 
country with his parents, John Escher and wife, when lie was twelve vears 
of age. Mr. and Mrs. John Escher and their family first settled in Berks 
county, Pennsylvania. Here Charles Escher, Sr., lived until after he was 
married and in 1867 he moved to Linn county. Iowa, where he lived fur a 
time. He then moved to Jones county and later to Iowa county, where 
his son, Charles, whose history is here given, was born. He first owned 
eighty acres of land in Iowa count} - , which he sold later, moving to Shelby 
county in 1876 when Charles, Jr., was four years old. He then purchased 
two hundred and forty acres of land six miles west of Harlan. He kept 
adding to his land in Shelby and Audubon counties, until he owned about one 
thousand one hundred and twenty acres of land by the fall of 1906. In 
January, 1884, the wife of Charles Escher, Sr.. died, after which he moved 
with his family to Harlan, where he lived until the spring of 1891. He then 
moved to the "Longbranch Farm,' - near Botna, where he lived until 1906. 
He next went to Manning in Carroll county, where he lived for four years, 
and thence to Des Moines, where he is now living. Charles, Sr., was the 


father of six children, Edwin P.. Mrs. Emma Deri', Mrs. Clara McLaughlin, 
George W., Charles. Jr. (whose history is here set forth) and Samuel C. 
Charles Escher, Jr., remained with his parents until he was married. 
He was given a good education in the common schools and later attended 
the Harlan high school, after which he entered Cornell College, where he re- 
mained for one and one-half years. The father then desiring him to become 
actively engaged with him in his extensive farming interests, he gave up his 
college career and in 1892 became his father's partner when he was twenty 
"years of age. That year they began raising high grade live stuck. In 1S92 
Mr. Escher moved to Irwin, in Jefferson township, where he lived until 1908. 
He had five farms, containing about fourteen hundred acres of land, under 
his charge near this town. He improved these farms and put them in good 
shape and bought his father's old home farm of four hundred acres, known 
as the "Long Branch Farm." He has acquired eighteen hundred acres of 
land paying from forty to one hundred and fortv-six dollars and a half an 
acre for his land and now owns more land than any young man in the county. 
He has made all of this himself and deserves a great deal of credit for the 
remarable career which he has made since becoming identified with the 
agricultural and stock raiding interests of this county. He carries more in- 
surance on farm buildings than any other one man in Shelby count}'. He 
has made a specialty of Aberdeen-Angus cattle and is the foremost breeder 
of this class in the I nited States, and is known throughout the world as an 
Aberdeen-Angus breeder of cattle. The following quotation from a souvenir 
issued by Mr. P^cher is here given: 

"We began breeding Aberdeen-Angus in 1892. and in the period that 
has intervened we have bred, bought and sold a great many cattle — prob- 
ably more than any other breeder or firm in the Aberdeen-Angus cattle breed- 
ing business in America today. Our foundation herd numbered close to one 
hundred head and when you consider from that time on we have made Aber- 
deen-Angus cattle breeding and steer feeding a practical farm work you 
will better understand how. by honest dealing and never tiring effort, we 
have attained our present station. We have endeavored to keep step with 
the march of progress, and the degree with which we have succeeded is best 
evidenced by the work we have performed. Our transactions reveal a large 
volume of business but our record is>tintainted and our cattle have been mak- 
ing good. Our customers remain our warmest friends. We have made 
four importations from Scotland in the past ten years and these importations 
aggregate one hundred and fifty head and in the judgment of Britain's great 
authorities. 'She gave up her best." Our record as purchasers of 'tops' at 




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America's leading sales in the past twenty years stands without a peer in 
Aberdeen-Angus history today. Our continued purchases at home and 
abroad, along with the natural increase gives us the largest herd of strictly 
high-class cattle in this country. If we were making a grand parade we 
could pass the judge's stand with a string of Doddies one and one-half miles 
long by allowing each of the cattle a space of ten feet. There have been 
fourteen international shows and we have shown at seven of them and have 
never been lower than second place. We have won more championships than 
any other exhibitor and are the only exhibitors who have produced a grand 
champion car load and held the reserve champion load at the same show 
and this we did twice in succession, in 191 1 and 1913" 

Mr. Escher has an annual sale, usually in the spring, which is attended 
by buyers from all over the United States. In the spring of 1914 the sale 
was held on Wednesday and Thursday, April first and second. 

Mr. Escher ha^ sold animals singly or in car load lots to the following 
states: Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho. Xevada. New Mexico, Okla- 
homa, Texas, Kansas, Xebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, 
Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee. Xorth Carolina, South Carolina, 
Pennsylvania, Xew York, Illinois, Indiana. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, 
Maine and Canada. The Aberdeen-Angus Association records reveal the 
facts that Mr. Escher and his father have raised, recorded, bought and sold 
more registered Aberdeen-Angus cattle than any breeder or firm in the busi- 
ness today. They have made four importations from Scotland as follows : 
1900, 1902, 1906 and 1909, and during those years have imported a grand 
total of one hundred and fifty head of cattle and in the words of Great 
Britain's authorities along this line. "We purchased their best at prices as high 
as one thousand to one thousand five hundred dollars each for prize winning 
animals." Mr. Escher has twice been director of the National Aberdeen- 
Angus Breeders' Association. 

Mr. Escher is a Democrat in politics and is a man of great influence in 
his partv in county and state affairs. He was county supervisor for one 
term and was a member of the state legislature of Iowa at the thirty-fourth 
general assembly. While in the legislature, he introduced a bill creating an 
appropriation for the encouragement of the beef cattle industry in Iowa. 
He succeeded in getting the bill passed. Subsequently, he was elected presi- 
dent of the Iowa Beef Producers' Association, an organization which he 
helped to establish. He has been elected president of this association at each 
annual session since its organization and has always taken an active interest 


in everything pertaining to its welfare. He has served as judge on numerous 
occasions at the Chicago International, Des .Moines, Lincoln, Denver, Fort 
Worth, St. Paul and Huron, South Dakota, stock shows. He was ap- 
pointed a delegate by Governor Shaw to represent Iowa at the National Live 
Stock Association's meeting at Fort Worth in 1901. In 1905 he was re- 
appointed by Governor Albeit Cummings to represent Iowa at the same 
association's annual meeting in Denver. 

Mr. Escher was married November 21, 1S94, to Myrtle Ryan. She 
was born August 2, 1875, in Poweshiek county, Iowa, and is the daughter 
of Thomas and Mary (Grant) Ryan, natives of New York and Iowa, re- 
spectively. Mary Grant was the daughter of Henry Grant, a native of 
Glasgow, Scotland, and an early settler of Iowa. Mr. ami Mrs. Thomas 
Ryan are the parents of five children. Myrtle (the wife of Mr. Escher), 
Robert R., Earl C., Voda and Grace. 

Mr. Escher ami his wife are loyal supporters of the Methodist Episcopal 
church and one of his brothers, George \Y., is a minister of that denomina- 
tion. Mr. Escher is a man of genial personality and one of the best known 
men, not only in his own home county but throughout the state of Iowa. 
He has a beautiful residence site and is planning the erection of a handsome 
home in the near future. 


It is generally considered by those in the habit of superficial thinking 
that the history of so-called great men only is worthy of preservation, and 
that little merit exists among the masses to call forth the praises of the his- 
torian or the cheers and the appreciation of mankind. A greater mistake 
was never made. No man is great in all things. Many, by a lucky stroke, 
achieve lasting fame who before that had no reputation beyond the limits 
of their immediate neighborhoods. It is not a history of the lucky stroke 
which benefits humanity most, but the long study and effort which made the 
luck)- stroke possible. It is the preliminary work, the method, that serves 
as a guide for the success of others. Among those in Shelby county who 
have achieved success along steady lines of action is Ne!s Bisgard, of 

Among the hundreds of Danish emigrants who have attained to a defi- 
nite prosperity in this county there is no one more worthy of mention in this 


volume than Nels Bisgard, who was born in the little peninsula of Jutland 
in 1SS8. His parents, Christ and Mary (Justisen) Bisgard, were born in 
Denmark in 1835 and 1843. respectively, and lived in the land of their birth 
until 1890. Christ Bisgard was a farmer in his own country, and the glow- 
ing reports which he received from his countrymen in the United States 
regarding the fortunes which were to be made here, induced him to bring 
his family to this country and settle in Shelby county. Iowa. Upon coming 
here he commenced farming in Monroe township, and later purchased land 
in Lincoln township. During the years that he managed his farming inter- 
ests in this count} - he proved to be very successful, and in 1910 he retired 
from active farm life and moved to Harlan, where he is now living. Christ 
Bisgard and wife are the parents of eleven children, six of whom are still 

Xels Bisgard was only two years of age when his parents left Denmark 
and came to the United States, and consequently has but very little remem- 
brance of his native land. He also has the distinctive advantage of being 
brought up in this country and thereby acquiring a knowledge of the English 
language and American customs. His parents gave him an excellent educa- 
tion and after graduating from the high school at Harlan he went to the 
State University at Iowa City. Iowa, where he took a course in liberal arts. 
When twenty-three years of age he embarked in the grocery and queensware 
business in Harlan, and although engaged in this business onlv three Years. 
yet he has demonstrated that he has peculiar fitness for a business career. 
He has a modern store, equipped with all the latest fixtures for the displav 
of his goods in an effective manner. He carries a large stock of all goods 
which are usually found in an establishment of this character, and by his 
deferential treatment of his customers and his strict business integritv, he 
has built up a large and lucrative trade. Starting in with a small stock he 
has gradually increased it until he now carries about six thousand dollars' 
worth of stock on hand at all times. 

Mr. Bisgard was married in 1913 to Lillie Mae Sorensen, who was 1890 in Nebraska, the daughter of James G. Sorensen. Mr. Bisgard 
and wife are both loyal and earnest members of the Baptist church at Har- 
lan, and are in hearty sympathy with the good work done by this denomina- 
tion and help it in every way possible-. 

In politic^, Mr. Bisgard identifies himself with the Republican party, 
but owing to his heavy business interests, he is not enabled to take an active 
part in political affairs. He is still a young man with a bright future before 


him, and the energy and ability which lie has displayed since engaging in 
business for himself, shows that he has a lung and prosperous career before 
him. Xo young man of the city is more interested in the growth and de- 
velopment of his community and every enterprise which lie feels will benefit 
in any way receives his hearty endorsement. 


The Ruffcorn family have been prominent members of the various 
communities in which they have lived in the United States from Colonial 
times. Pressley H. Ruffcorn, whose history is here presented, was a dis- 
tinguished soldier of the Civil war. His grandfather. Lewis Ruffcorn, was 
a member of a Pennsylvania regiment in the War of 1812, while his great- 
grandfather, Simon, fought throughout the Revolutionary war. It is no 
small honor to be a member of such a distinguished family and Pressley II. 
Ruffcorn is a worthy scion of a family which has performed such a promi- 
nent part in the history of his country from the time of its organization. 
As a resident of this county for the past thirty years he has given the com- 
munity in which he lives the benefit of his talents, not only in the way of 
adding to its material prosperity, but as a member of the body of officials 
which has administered its civic duties. 

Pressley H. Ruffcorn was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, March 
26, 1844, and is the son of John and Eunice (Smith) Ruffcorn. John 
Ruffcorn, the son of Lewis Ruffcorn, the son of Simon Ruffcorn, was born 
in Pennsylvania in the latter part of the eighteenth century and was reared 
to manhood in his native state. He was married December 6, 1S32, to 
Eunice Smith, a native of Maryland. He lived in Pennsylvania until 1867, 
when he moved to Adams county, Illinois, where he died in 1S83. The 
first wife of John •Ruffcorn died February 13, 185S, and he then married 
Susan Dawson, but there were no children by his second marriage. By his 
first marriage John Ruffcorn became the father of fourteen children: Simon, 
Elizabeth. George W., Henry, Catherine, James, Pressley, Mary, Lewis, 
Leander, Susan, Nancy, Ellen and John. All of these children are de- 
ceased with the exception of Lewis, Lpander, John, Pressley and Ellen. 

Pressley H. Ruffcorn was educated in the schools of his native state 
and remained at home until the opening of the Civil war, when he enlisted 

\. - 

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September 21, 1S61, as a member of Company B, Eighty-fifth Regiment 
Pennsylvania Infantry, and served for three years. lie was mustered out 
November 22, 1804, at Petersburg, Virginia, after having participated in 
many of the bloodiest battles of that memorable conflict. After being mus- 
tered out he was sent to Savannah as a detail from Portsmouth, Virginia, 
guarding provisions and did mil get home until December. His record 
in the war may be briefly summed up as follows: He left home in De- 
cember, 1861, and camped in winter of 1S61 at Washington, D. C. In 
March, 1802, he marched to Alexandria, and embarked for Old Point Com- 
fort, landing April 1, 1802. He then marched to Yorktown and got his 
first introduction to warfare; fought at Williamsburg in General McClelian's 
Peninsular Campaign of 1S62 and fell back to Fair Oaks or Seven Pines 
and fought a battle May 30. 1862. He participated in the Seven Days' bat- 
tle and retired to Malvern 11 ill. Harrison's Landing, where his division 
lay behind fortifications until August \(>. Then he marched against Fort- 
ress Monroe. In October, 1802, he went to Suffolk on Hampton Roads, 
fighting many skirmishes on the way. 

December 5, 1862, he marched to Chowan River and took transports to 
Newborn, South Carolina. He went on an eighteen-day expedition across 
North Carolina and fought battles at Kentstown and Goldsboro Bridge 
across Neuse River. In February, 1863, be was transported to Fort Royal, 
St. Helena Island. South Carolina. In March he was taken to Folly Island, 
south of Charleston, a fortified island, and on July 16, 1863. took posses- 
sion of the south end of Manis Island. July iS, 1863, his regiment was 
badly repulsed at Ft. Wayne. Until April, 1864, he guarded islands and 
was then returned to Fortress Monroe. They landed on transports and run 
up James River to Bermuda Hundred, arriving there May 6, 1864. Under 
General O. A. Gilmore, thev began siege of fortifications and were attacked 
by Generals Beauregard and Longstreet and driven back. Gilmore's army 
remained there during May and June, fighting many battles. They spent the 
rest of the summer in Petersburg campaign. He enlisted when seventeen years 
of age. He was never sick for a day. always with his company and on duty 
and on the firing line. Immediately after the close of his enlistment he re- 
turned to his home in Pennsylvania and remained there until February, 
1S66. At that time he went to Illinois and worked as a farm hand for one 
man until 1870. He saved his money and with the small amount which he 
had accumulated during his four years as a farm hand he went to Iowa 
and located in Dubuque county. He married while living in the latter county 


and lived there until 1884, when lie came to Shelby county, Iowa, and 
located in Union township. lie first bought cue hundred and sixty 
acres of land and has since increased his laud holdings to two hundred 
and eighty acres, all of which is well improved and in a high state of culti- 
vation. He continued to work upon the farm until 1912, when he retired 
from active farm life ami moved to Defiance, where he and his family are now 
living, surrounded by all the comforts and conveniences of modern life. 

Mr. Ruftcorn has been twice married, his first marriage occurring May 
S, 1873, to Josephine Hooper, the daughter of James and Sarah Hooper, 
and to this first union four children were born: Frank, Mary. William and 
Elmer. Frank is single; Mary is the wife of Henry Davis; William married 
Laura Scott, and they have one daughter, Vera ; Elmer married Fossie Cox, and 
has one daughter, Elsie. The mother of these four children died in October, 
1880, and a few years later Mr. Runcorn married Flora Batchelder, the 
daughter of Daniel Webster ami Myra (Wooster) Batchelder, and to this 
second union five children were born: Ohn, -Albert, Everett, Wayne and 
Alice. Olin married Floy Wickersham ; Albert married May Hunter, and 
has one son. Howard Gayle. The history of Albert is given elsewhere in this 
volume. Everett, Wayne and Alice are still single. 

Mrs. Ruffcorn's parents were natives of New Hampshire and early 
settlers in Jones county, Iowa. Her father was a stone mason by trade and 
was working in the gold mines of Colorado when he was killed by falling 
timbers in the mine. His widow and her children then moved to Dubuque 
county, Iowa, and lived there for several years. Mrs. Batchelder is now liv- 
ing in Sacramento, California. Eight children were born to Daniel W. 
Batchelder and wife: Xarcissus. Flora, Caroline. Mary. Francis, Eunice, 
Webster. Albert and Emery. 

Mr. RurTcorn has always been identified with the interests of the Re- 
publican party,, and has given it his unswerving support since he cast his 
first vote in 1865. Since coming to this county he has served four vears on 
the board of supervisors, and previously filled the important office of trustee 
of Union township for six years. He has always been interested in everv 
movement which promises to benefit his community, and has taken a lead- 
ing part in the various activities connected with the growth of his town- 
ship and county. He is a man of sterling integrity and rugged honesty. 
and is well deserving of the high esteem in which he is universally held 
throughout the county. 



A prosperous merchant and public spirited citizen of Elkhorn, Iowa, is 
Jens P. Nielsen, a native of Denmark and a resident of this city for the past 
twenty-two years. Coming to this country at the age of twenty, he has 
labored to a definite end and with a success which indicates that he is a man 
of more than ordinary ability. He had no resources to start with, but with 
a determination born of necessity, he commenced to work at any kind of 
honest labor he could find to do. A very interesting feature of -Mr. Nielsen's 
career is the fact that he attended Elkhorn College for two years although he 
was twenty-two at the time he entered. He felt the need of a better educa- 
tion and his future career shows that be profited by his course in the college. 
His life since coming to this county has been such as to merit the hearty 
commendation of every one with whom he has been thrown in contact. 

lens P. Nielsen, the proprietor of a general mercantile establishment at 
Elkhorn, was born in 1808, in Denmark. His father, Peter Nielsen, was 
born in 1837 and spent his whole life as a farmer in his native land, dying 
in 1909.- His mother, Marie Jensen, was born in Denmark in 1844 and is 
still living on the old home place in the land of her birth. Of the nine chil- 
dren born to Peter Nielsen and wife, four are still living. 

lens P. Nielsen attended the country schools of Denmark and helped his 
father on the farm until he was twenty years old. He then decided to come 
to the United States to seek his fortune, feeling that this country offered 
much better opportunities than his native land. He first located in Council 
Bluffs, Iowa, where he found work as a section hand on a railroad. Being 
offered a better place as a farm laborer he left the employ of the railroad 
and started to work on a farm in the vicinity of Council Blurts. Two 
months later he left the farm and went to Chicago where he worked at differ- 
ent occupations for less than a year, after which he came to Shelby county. 
Iowa. He worked on a farm in this county for a year and in the fall enrolled 
as a student in Elkhorn College. He was in attendance at this excellent insti- 
tution for two full vears and has always felt that the training which he re- 
ceived there was of inestimable benefit to him. After leaving college he be- 
came interested in the making of butter and for the next fifteen years was 
engaged in the creamery and butter business in different parts of Iowa. In 
1907 he returned to Elkhorn and purchased a half interest in a general mer- 
cantile store with Toseph James and five years later Mr. Nielsen bought out 
his partner's share. Since acquiring the store he has increased the stock and 


now lias about fifteen thousand dollars worth of goods in the store. He 
has his stock arranged in an attractive manner and has a large trade in the 
city and surrounding country. In addition to his interest in the store he is a 
stock holder in the Atlantic Northern railroad and the Farmers' Lumber 
Yard of Elkhorn and Brayton, Iowa. 

Mr. Nielsen was married in 1896 to Kattie Johnson. She is the daugh- 
ter of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Johnson and was born in Illinois in 1S74. To 
this marriage have been born two daughters, Agnes and Anna. Agnes 
graduated from the common school of Elkhorn and is now clerking in her 
father's store. 

Politically, Mr. Nielsen is a member of the Progressive party and takes 
a deep interest in its success. He has always been interested in local politics 
and is now serving as a member of the city council of Elkhorn. He and his 
family are loyal members of the Danish Lutheran church and in its welfare 
the_\- are very much interested. Mr. Nielsen deserves a great deal of credit 
for the success which he has attained for it is solely due to his own efforts. 
He has a winning personality and is one of the best known and most highly 
respected men of his community. 


A residence of thirty-two years in Shelby county, Iowa, has given 
George \Y. Ilarne-s the opportunity to accumulate a fine farm of five hun- 
dred and twenty-three acres in L'nion township. His career has been won- 
derfully successful and has been marked throughout by careful and consci- 
entious attention to his agricultural interests. He has found that the rais- 
ing of stock is the best method by which the farmer in this count}' can se- 
cure the greatest returns from his land, and his record along this line has 
been as successful as that of any farmer in the county. However, he has 
not been negligent of his duties as a true American citizen and has filled 
various official positions with a degree of efficiency which stamps him as 
a man of exceptional executive and administrative ability. As township 
trustee, school director and assessor, he has given his fellow citizens faithful 
service, and no charge of maladministration has ever been brought against 
him. In view of the fact that he has played such an important part in the 
history of his township and county, it seems peculiarly fitting that his his- 
torv be recorded in the annals of his countv. 

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I! II! 



George \V. Harness, the sun of James A. and Mary (Bethurum) Har- 
ness, was born in Lincoln county. Kentucky, December 6, 1S55. His par- 
ents were both born in Kentucky and his father was a distiller in his native 
state for several years. Subsequently James A. Harness disposed of his 
interests in the distillery and engaged in farming with his father, David 
Harness, in which he continued until the time of his marriage. He then 
bought a farm in Kentucky, which he operated for himself until 1863, 
when he moved to Mercer county, Illinois. Within a short time he removed 
from the farm to Reynolds, Illinois, and lived there until his death in Au- 
gust, 1908. His wife died in 1912. There were six children born to James 
A. Harness and wife: William, Elizabeth, David, James II., George W". 
and John. Three of these children are still living, James II., William and 
George W. 

The education of George W. Harness was received in the schools of 
Mercer county, Illinois, as he was but seven years of age when his parents 
moved from Kentucky to that state. He grew to maturity and married in 
Illinois, after which he purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty-three 
acres in Mercer county and began farming for himself. In 1883 he re- 
moved with his familv to Shelby county, Iowa, and bought one hundred and 
sixty acres of land in Union township. He came to this count}" after the 
grasshopper period had passed and at a time when conditions were such 
that any man of energy and ability could get a good start. With the quarter 
of a section which he fust purchased he began a career of successful farm- 
ing which has had few equals in the county. Year by year found him more 
prosperous and with an increased acreage, until he owned five hundred and 
twenty-three acres of excellent farming land at the time of his retirement 
from the farm in 191 2. As has been stated he has made his greatest success 
in the raising of live stock, and in the management of his live stock he has 
become an expert. His career strikinglv exemplifies what the possibilities 
of farming are in this county and shows what can be accomplished by a 
farmer who devotes himself to his work with enthusiasm and energy. 

Mr. Harness was married on January 22, 187''), to Xancy Boulting- 
house, the daughter of John and Diana (Williams) Boultinghouse, and to 
this union ten children have been born : Xancy, Mar_\- C.. Clara B., Martha 
E., John S., Sarah A., George I.. William H, Catherine D. and Elsie M. 
All of these children, with the exception of George, William and Elsie M.. 
are married. Nancy is the wife of Patrick McCorcl, and has three children. 
Cleo, Verne and Ivan ; one of Xancy's children, Cleo, is married, being the 
wife of Luther Brasel, and has one son, Verne. Mary C. is the wife of 


Joseph Kay. and has four children, Paul. Bella, Mildred, and Leo, de- 
ceased. Clara B. is the widow of II. J. McKnight, and has two children, 
Howard and Harold. Martha is the wife of Edward Chris, and has six 
children, Edna, George, Robert, Mae. Melvin and William. John S. mar- 
ried Martha Wickersham, and has three children, Bernice, Zella and Will- 
iam. Sarah is the wife of Alfred Hulsebus, and has one son. Leonard, 
living, and one who died in infancy. Catherine is the wife of Arthur Berg. 

The parents of Mrs. Harness were natives of Indiana and Kentucky, 
respectively, the father following the occupation of a farmer all his life. 
Mr. Boultinghouse moved from Indiana to Rock Island county, Illinois, 
later in life, where he farmed for three or four years. Subsequently, the 
Boultinghouse family removed to Mercer county, Illinois, where the parents 
lived until their death. Seven children were born to John Boultinghouse 
and wife: James. Isaac, Elizabeth. John, Mary, Xancy and Caroline. Mr. 
Boultinghouse died in joo6 and his wife in 18S9. 

Mr. Harness has not spent all of his career on the farm, having lived in 
Defiance from 18X7 until 1S92. Luring the time he was living in that city 
he managed a general mercantile establishment, hut the call of the farm in- 
duced him to dispose of his store and return to agricultural life. In 1909 
Mr. Harness and his wife went to California and lived in San Liego for 
four years, having gone there on account of ill health, and in the salubrious 
climate of the Pacific coast he recovered his usual health and is now enjoy- 
ing life on his farm in this county to its fullest extent. He has no desire to 
move to the city, preferring to spend his declining years on the farm where 
he and his wife have made such a successful record. 

Mr. Harness and his family are consistent members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. Politically, he has always been identified with the Demo- 
cratic party, and has been one of his party's leaders for many years. At 
different times his party has nominated and elected him to the office of 
township trustee, school director and assessor, and in each of these official 
positions he showed himself a faithful servant of his fellow citizens. The 
career of Mr. Harness shows him to be a true American citizen of the high- 
est type. In his personal affairs he has been successful, while in the ad- 
ministration of the civic duties which he has performed, he has been no 
less successful than in the administration of his private interests. He and 
his wife have reared a large family ot children to lives of usefulness and 
honor, and in turn have Seen their children building homes of their own. 
Thus, in every capacity where he has been found, Mr. Harness has lived 
up to the highest ideal of American citizenship. 



The place which a minister holds in civilization entitles him to every 
consideration at the hands of his fellow citizens. - There is no profession 
which is so exacting, which calls for such diversified talent as that of the 
minister of the Gospel. They come into touch with every phase of lite, with 
men in all occupations, and he who does the work of the Master the most 
efficiently is the man who is the most cosmopolitan in his appeal to humanity. 
The successful minister must he able to talk not only to the business man. 
but to the laborer in the trenches, lie must have that breadth of sympathy 
which enables him to make the appeal to the cultured woman and again to 
the woman who has become an outcast from society. It is not too much to 
sav that one reason why the church has failed to appeal to humanity better 
than it has. is the fact that the men who are representing the church are not 
as catholic in their tastes and in their appeals as they should he. One of the 
men of Shelby county, Iowa, who is doing his share in the amelioration of 
the spiritual needs of the people is the Rev. Charles Y. Burkhiser, the pastor 
of the St. Patrick's church of Defiance. 

Rev. Charles Y. Burkhiser, the son of John and Mary (Eigleman) 
Burkhiser, was horn in Fremont county. Iowa, on March 30. 1877. John 
Burkhiser was born in Bavaria, Germany, and came to this country when a 
young man and found employment upon a farm. At the opening of the 
Civil War he enlisted and served for three years. After the close of the war 
he married and moved to Indiana, where he remained for only a short time. 
He then moved with his family to Putnam county. Missouri, where he 
bought a farm and remained for two years. He then traded his farm in 
Missouri for a farm of eighty acres in Fremont county, Iowa, and by hard 
work and honest methods he increased his land holdings in Fremont county 
until he was the owner of one thousand one hundred and forty acres of ex- 
cellent land. He continued in active charge of his farm work until 1909, 
when be retired from active life and moved to Shenandoah. Iowa, where he 
is still living, his wife having died on May 25, 1913. John Burkhiser and 
wife were the parents of eleven children: Conde F., who married Kath- 
rine Roach; Matilda, the wife of William Swiff. Sylvester, who died at the 
age of three; Dorothy, the wife of Charles O'Brien: Annie, unmarried; 
Laura, the wife of Joseph Hilger; Mary, who became the wife of Louis 
Hilger; John, a Catholic priest at Des Moines. Iowa: Ernest, who is un- 
married; Agnes, who died at the age of eighteen months: Charles Y.. the 
immediate subject of this sketch. 


Charles V. Burkhiser received his common school education in the 
schools of Fremont county. Iowa, and then entered the Christian Brothers 
College, at St. Joseph. Missouri, where lie remained for six months, after 
which lie returned to his father's farm and worked for two years, when lie 
became a student for one term in St. Ambrosia College at Davenport, Iowa. 
He next entered St. Benedict's College at Atchison, Kansas, and spent a year 
in this school. He then returned to St. Ambrosia College at Davenport, 
where he remained for six years. He finished his course of training for the 
priesthood in St. Francis Academy at Milwaukee. Wisconsin, remaining 
there for three years, and was ordained to the priesthood on Tune 14, 190S. 

Rev. Charles Burkhiser read his tirst mass at Hamburg, Iowa, [line 24, 
190S, in St. Mary's church of that place. His first appointment was as as- 
sistant to Father McMannis at St. Francis church. Council Bluffs, Iowa, and 
there he was stationed for the first two years. He then was sent to Missouri 
Valley, Towa, where he was stationed until November 1, 1910. His next 
assignment took him to Harlan, Iowa, where he had charge of the churches 
at Harlan and Defiance. He remained at Harlan until July 1, 191 1, when 
Defiance became a regular parish and he was given the full charge of the 
church at this place. Although he has been here but three years, he has had 
the satisfaction of seeing his church increase in membership until it now has 
sixty families. 

Father Burkhiser is a man of active mind and thoroughly devoted to his 
chosen life work. He takes an intelligent interest in public matters and in 
local politics always casts his ballot for the best man. He is a member of the 
Roman Catholic Mutual Protective Society and also of the Knights of Col- 


To make a success of agriculture it is necessary to be something more 
than a hard worker. A farmer might labor from dawn to twilight every- 
day in the year and yet fail to accomplish much. There must be sound 
judgment and discretion exercised at the same time; a knowledge of soils. 
drainage, live stock, and a multitude of details which never concerned the 
farmer of fifty years ago. The man who accomplishes much as a tiller 
of the soil and manager of a landed estate in these days should be accorded 
a place along with the men who succeed in other walks of life, for often it 
requires more ingenuity and courage to be a farmer than anything else that 


claims the attention of men in the world of affairs. The history of Joseph 
Gross indicates that he has achieved success in his life work, not only 
because he has worked for it. but because he has been a good manager and 
has directed his energies in such a way as to command the greatest returns. 

Joseph Gross, the son of Adam and Joanna (Kramer) Gross, was born 
in Wisconsin February 12, 1871. His parents were both natives of Ger- 
many and came to America with their parents when they were children. 
The parents of both settled in Wisconsin, and here they grew to manhood 
and womanhood and were married. The Gross family first settled in Racine 
county, Wisconsin, but about a year later moved to Walworth county, in 
that state, where the father of Adam Gross bought a farm of one hundred 
and twenty acres. The father of Adam Gross passed away shortly after 
the family came to Wisconsin, and upon Adam then fell the responsibility 
of caring for the family. After marrying in that state, Adam Gross lived 
upon the old heme place until 1874, and in that year brought his family to 
Mills county, Iowa, reaching that county on the 4th day of February, 1874. 
However, he decided not to settle in Mills county, and a month later per- 
manently located in Westphalia township, Shelby county, where he pur- 
chased a farm of forty acres and on which he lived until 1880, when he 
retired from active farm life and moved to Westphalia, where he and his 
wife are now: living. To Adam Gross and wife were born eleven children: 
Frank. Louisa, Mary, Joseph, Aloyious, Kate, Frederick, Mary, Josephine, 
Gertrude and George. 

Joseph Gross attended the Catholic school at Westphalia until he was 
fourteen years of age and then began to work upon the farms in his neigh- 
borhood by the day. He worked as a farm hand until 1900 and then 
married and bought eighty acres of land in Westphalia township, where he 
lived for eight vears. He then disposed of it and bought his present farm 
in In ion township, which he has greatly improved within the past five years. 
He has built new and commodious barns and has erected one of the most 
substantial silos in the county. He devotes most of his farm of one hun- 
dred and twenty acres to the raising of corn and hogs, marketing about 
seventy head of hogs each year. In his various agricultural duties he keeps 
fully abreast of the- latest methods and holds an enviable position among the 
progressive farmers of his township and county. 

Mr. Gross was married on February 22, 1900, to Mary Engel, the 
daughter of John and Kununda (Dusel) Engel, and to this union have 
been born nine children: Annie, Michael, Clara, Andrew% Leonard, Werner, 


Norwood, Emil and Alban. The parents of Mrs. Gross were both natives 
of Germany and came to this country when young. Mr. and Mrs. Engel 
were the parents of ten children: Michael, who married Kate Kaufman; 
Annie, the wife of William Foxhoven; Mary, the wife of Mr. Gross: 
Johanna, the wife of John Sunday; Albert, who married Mary Schmitz; 
Barbara, the wife of Matthew Domitrich: Kununda, the wife of Frank 
YVeis; Rosa, the wife of Fred Gaul; Cecelia and Kate, who are still single. 
Mr. Engel died in 1897 in his old home in Westphalia. 

Politically, Mr. Gross is a member of the Democratic part}' and gives 
it his hearty support at all times, lie has served as school director in 
Sheridan district, Westphalia township, and favored all measures which he 
felt would benefit the schools of his home township. He and his family are 
all loyal members of the Catholic church. Mr. Gross is essentially a self- 
made man, having had to work hard for all he has. and consequently is de- 
serving of a great deal of credit for the success which he has made in life. 


A worthy citizen of Shelby county, Iowa, is Franklin B. Linn, who has 
met with definite success in his agricultural career. He came to this county 
forty years ago, when he was a babe in arms, and consequently has been 
identified with the history of the county for a long time. He is a man of 
splendid education and is a wide reader of everything which pertains to his 
own chosen profession, and thus keeps in close touch with the latest ad- 
vances in agriculture. He is a man who is deeply interested in the welfare 
of his community, and by his upright conduct and correct principles of life 
he has endeared himself to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. 

Franklin B. Linn, the son of Jacob B. and Hester Ann (Chilcoat) 
Linn, was born in Huntington county, Pennsylvania. July 16. 1873. His 
father was born in the same county on March 16, 1839, and his mother was 
born on December 15, 1835, and was a native also of Huntington county. 
They were married on October 7, 1864. immediately after his father's re- 
turn from the Civil War. Jacob B. Linn was attending school in his home 
county when the war broke out in 1861. Jacob B. Linn enlisted on April 23, 
1861, in response to President Lincoln's call for fifty thousand volunteers, 
in Company F, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserve. He served for three years. 
He foueht at Gainesville and in the Seven Days' Peninsular Cam- 


paign battles, was taken prisoner June 2~, 1861, and was sent to Libby prison. 
He spent sixty days here and at Belle Isle, experiencing all the horrors of 
these terrible prisons. After his exchange he was unfit for duty and was 
sent to the United States Hospital in New Jersey, but escaped from the 
hospital and joined his regiment at Sharpsburg, Maryland. Other battles 
participated in by Mr. Linn were Sharpsburg. Antietam, Fredericksburg, 
Battle of the Wilderness, and Seven Days - Battle before Richmond. 

He returned to his father's farm in Huntington county, Pennsylvania, 
married and lived in his native county until 1S74. in which vear he came to 
Shelby county, Iowa, and bought one hundred and twenty acres of unim- 
proved land in Shelby township. His first home was a rude cabin, fourteen 
by sixteen feet, and a barn of still smaller dimensions. That he succeeded 
is shown by the fact that when he died, in 1893, he was the owner of seven 
hundred and sixty acres of well-improved land in Shelby county and South 
Dakota. There were eight children born to Jacob B. Linn and wife. Am- 
brose B., Kenny, Anna Laura (Best), Roy S., Walter. Franklin B. and Dr. 
Hugh H. Of these children two are deceased, Anna Laura (Best) and 
Walter. Dr. Hugh H. Linn is a physician and minister in the southern 
part of India, where he is serving as a physician and missionary for the 
Methodist Episcopal church. The mother of these children is now living 
with her son, Franklin B. 

The education of Franklin B. Linn was received in the district 
schools and in the high school at Shelby. He has always remained on the 
farm and managed a part of his father's estate from the time of his mar- 
riage, in 1S99, until 1908. In that year he bought one hundred and sixty 
acres of his father's farm and at once erected a beautiful country home and 
a large and commodious barn. He has placed other improvements upon the 
farm and has brought it to a high state of cultivation and productivitv. He 
keeps only the best grades of horses, cattle and hogs, and is known through- 
out the county as one of its most progressive farmers. 

Mr. Linn was married on December 7, 1899, to Elizabeth Walker, who 
was born in Johnson county, Iowa, on January 10, 1875. She was the 
daughter of John Walker, who was born in Johnson county, Iowa, in 185 1, 
and Sarah Woodruff, who was born in Ohio in 1855. To this union have 
been born nine children, Harry, Dwight, Gladys, Laura, Hugh, Jacob. Fern, 
Frank and Leslie. All of these children are still living and at home with the 
exception of Laura, who is deceased. Mrs. Linn's parents came to 
Shelby county in 1890 and located on a farm in Shelby township. John 
Walker removed to Oklahoma in 1894, where Mrs. Walker died in 1905. 


They were the parents of tour children. Sherman (in Oklahoma), Mrs. 
Elizabeth Linn. Samuel (Oklahoma), and Mrs. llattie Egnew (Oklahoma). 
Politically, Mr. Linn is allied with the Republican party and has been 
one of his party's leaders for many years. lie is now the able incumbent of 
the office of trustee in his township and has held this position for the past 
four years. He and his family are loyal and consistent members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church and give it their heart} - support at all times. 
Mr. Linn is a man of genial personality and is highly respected by everyone 
with whom he is associated. 


A safe and conservative bank in any community is one of the most 
valuable assets in the life of the community. It not only serves as a safe 
depository for the funds of the citizens which make up the community, but 
when properly officered, the bank becomes the patron saint, as it were, of 
the various enterprises in which the community is interested. The Panama 
Savings Bank, of Panama, Iowa, is an institution which is a vital part of the 
life of the community which it serves, and under the able and efficient man- 
agement of Eugene Sullivan it is filling a distinct place in the life of Panama 
and the surrounding territory. Mr. Sullivan has been connected with the 
bank for the past seventeen years, and has seen it grow from a small con- 
cern with deposits of forty-six hundred dollars to a thriving institution with 
one hundred and forty thousand dollars on deposit. 

Eugene Sullivan, the cashier of the Panama Savings Bank, was born 
in Jones county, Iowa, Eebruary 24, i§6j. His parents. Eugene and Mary 
( Ratigan ) Sullivan, were both natives of Ireland, his father being born in 
County Cork, and his mother in County Galway. They came to this country 
before their marriage and were married in Norwich, Connecticut. Eugene 
Sullivan, St\, was given a fine education in his native land, and after leaving 
school taught in Ireland for a time and then took up the study of civil engi- 
neering, devoting his time and attention to that profession until he left Ire- 
land for America. Upon coming to this country, several years before the 
Civil War, he followed his profession of civil engineering in Jones county, 
Iowa, where he settled with his family. He laid out many of the roads in 
the countv, taught school and was a man of great influence. Before locating 
in Tones countv. Iowa, he had taught in the parochial school of Norwich, 


Connecticut, for eight years, and from there had gone to McHenry county, 
Illinois, where he also taught school. He came to Jones county, Iowa, about 
the close of the Civil War and bought a farm of one hundred and sixtv 
acres, on which he lived until about 1884. In the latter year he came to 
Shelby county and settled in Washington township, where he purchased 
three hundred and twenty acres of land. He continued to increase his land 
holdings from time to time until at the time of his death. December 13. 
1895, he was the owner of eleven hundred and eighty acres of well-improved 
land. He was probably the largest stock raiser in the county at that time, 
selling his cattle and hugs by the carload each year. He and his wife, who 
died June 2~. 1872. were the parents of ten children: John, deceased; Julia, 
the wife of Thomas Keane ; Lawrence, deceased; John, who married Mary 
Herman; Mary, single: Anna, deceased; Michael, deceased; Eugene, the 
subject of this review: Bridget, the wife of Joseph R. White; Dennis, who 
married Ida McAllister. 

Eugene Sullivan, Jr., received his education in the schools of Jones 
county, although the most of his education was received under the excellent 
instruction of his father at home. He remained at home assisting his father 
in the management of his large estate until he was twenty-eight vcars of age. 
and then began farming for himself. In 1S97 he engaged in the banking 
business in the bank of which he is now tltv cashier. In 1906 he and his 
brother, Dennis L., who is now president of the bank, reorganized it with a 
capital of twenty thousand dollars. They changed the name of the bank 
from the Bank of Panama to the Panama Savings Bank. This bank has 
had a successful career from the time of its organization and is now recog- 
nized as one of the sound financial institutions of a county which is noted for 
its excellent banks. 

Mr. Sullivan was married on May 16, 1900, to Mary I.chan, the daugh- 
ter of Edward and Margaret (McDonald) Lehan, and to this union four 
children have been born. Edward, Elizabeth, Robert and Edward. The 
oldest son, Edward, died, and the last son born to Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan 
was then given the same name of Edward. Mrs. Sullivan's parents were 
both natives of County Cork, Ireland, and came to this country when they 
were quite young and were married in Dunlap, Iowa. Her father was a 
railroad engineer and is now living in Dunlap, while her mother died Tune 
9. I9I3- 

Mr. Sullivan and all of his family are devout members of the Catholic 
church, while he holds his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Politi- 
cally, he is identified with the Democratic party, but owing to his financial 


interests has never taken an active part in political matters, since it has not 
been possible for him to be active and remain in charge of the affairs of the 
bank. Consequently, he lias left political questions to others more fortun- 
ately situated to handle them. He is a man who is deeply interested in the 
welfare of his community and gives his enthusiastic support to all public- 
spirited measures. 


It is no small honor to be the editor and publisher of the leading Danish 
newspaper of the United States, ami yet this honor belongs to one of the 
citizens of Harlan, Iowa. Jens C. Lunn is not only a newspaper man of 
wide and varied experience but he is also a minister of the Danish Baptist 
denomination and still carries on his ministerial duties occasionally in addi- 
tion to handling the newspaper. The paper, The Yaegteren, is the official 
organ of the Danish Baptist Conference of America and has a subscription 
list which extends throughout the world. 

Jens Christiansen Lunn. the son of Christian and Maren Dorothy 
(Larsen) Hausen, was born in 1861 in Denmark. His parents were born 
in 1826 and 182S, respectively, and lived in their native land until 1S84, when 
they came to .America and settled in Shelby county, Iowa. Christian Hansen 
bought a farm of eighty acres near Harlan and leased it out until his death, 
in 1894. His wife passed away in 1905. Christian Hausen and wife were 
the parents of a large family of children, Hans C, Michael C, Charles C, 
Vibecca F., Carrie. Jens and two who died in infancy. 

Jens C. Lunn was nineteen vears of age when he came to this country, 
and consequently received the most of his education in his native land. 
However, he wished to follow the ministry and after coming to this country 
entered the Danish Theological Seminary at Chicago. He graduated from 
that institution in the spring of 1891 and at once entered the ministry and 
has been preaching ever since, although he gives the larger part of his time 
to his newspaper duties. 

He became connected with The Yaegteren, as associate editor, in 1897 
and became publisher as well as editor on January 1, 191 t. This paper is the 
leading Danish paper of the United States and is controlled by the Danish 
Baptist churches of America. It was established at Chicago in 1876 and 
removed to Harlan in 1897 and it was at that time that Mr. Lunn became 
connected with it in an editorial capacity. The printing plant has been im- 


proved from time to time and is now one of the best equipped printing 
offices in the state. In 1914 an international typesetting" machine was in- 
stalled and other equipment added, which put the plant in a position to do all 
kinds of printing. It is one of the important points of interest in Harlan 
and the people are justly proud oi the enterprise. 

Mr. Lunn is an able and convincing writer and is well equipped for the 
manifold duties of his position. Possessing a ready flow of language and 
an easy and fluent means of expression, he gives a certain literary distinc- 
tion to everything which passes through his hands. His paper, catering to 
the Danish people throughout the country, carries the name of Harlan from 
coast to coast as well as into foreign lands, and thus is the means of making 
the name and fame of the city extensively known to the Danish people of 
this country. 


It is probable that the youngest business man of Shelby, Iowa, is 
Everette Starner, the manager of the Shelby Lumber Company. Although 
he is merely past his majority, yet he has exhibited business qualities of a 
high degree and has already made his impress upon the business life of his 
community. He is a young man of high educational qualifications and has 
made a study of the business to which he proposes to devote his career. 

Everette Starner, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Maude (Foster) 
Starner, was born in Shelby county, Iowa, in 1892. His father was born in 
Monroe county, Pennsylvania, in 1861, and his mother was born in Wis- 
consin in 1S71. Benjamin F. Starner was reared and educated in his native 
state and in 1886 came to Iowa and settled in Pottawattamie county. He 
first worked as a farm hand and after his marriage rented a farm in that 
count) - . Subsequently, he bought a farm on which he lived for six years, 
after which he sold his farm and bought another near the city of Atlantic, 
Iowa. He lived on this farm for two years, after which he moved to 
Shelby county, Iowa, and bought a farm in Shelby township. He improved 
his farm and successfully tilled it for twelve years and then sold it and 
moved to Grant county, Minnesota, where he is now farming. Fight chil- 
dren were born to Benjamin F. Starner and wife, Everette, Lee, Jesse. 
Herbert, Hazel, Viola, Ruth and Allen. Xone of these children are yet 
married but all are living with their parents with the exception of Everette. 

The education of Everette Starner was received in the common and 


high schools of Shelby. After graduating from the high school, he spent 
one year at the Western Vocational College at Harlan, where he took the 
commercial course offered by that institution. After graduating from the 
college at Harlan, in 191 1, lie at once began to work for the Shelby Lumber 
Company. So rapidly did he learn the business, that within two years he 
was appointed manager of the company and is now one of its stockholders. 
This company carries about fifteen thousand dollars' worth of general 
building material and also handles coal in connection with its other stock. 
Mr. Starner is independent in his political belief, but on account of his 
age has not taken an active part in political matters. He is a member of the 
Presbyterian church and gives it his hearty support. Fraternally, he is a 
member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Modern Wood- 
men of America. 


Thousands ot the native sons of Germany, appreciating the blessings 
of liberty and the unlimited opportunities for advancement to be found in 
America, were not slow to recognize the possibilities that opened out before 
their view in this republic. Accordingly, ever since the beginning of our 
government large numbers of these sturdy, thrifty citizens have crossed the 
Atlantic and sought homes in various parts of the United States, and here 
their descendants have become among the most intelligent, patriotic and in- 
dustrious citizens of our great cosmopolitan population. During the Civil 
War thousands of them enlisted in the Union army and performed gallant 
service for their adopted country. Among the many German citizens who 
have honored Shelby county. Iowa, with their residence, none stand higher 
in popular esteem than John Schmieding, the proprietor of one thousand 
acres of land. 

- John Schmieding, the son of John and Elizabeth (Springer) Schmied- 
ing, was born in Westphalia, Germany, January 9. 1853. His parents were 
born, reared and married in Germany and lived there until 1858. In that 
year John Schmieding. Sr., and his family came to America and located in 
Delaware county, Iowa, on a farm. 

The sea voyage which was made by the Schmieding family when they 
came to America was an eventful one for the children and occupied the 
long and weary time of fifty-eight days in all. They set sail from Liver- 
pool, England, after crossing the channel from the mainland early in the 

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spring and eventually landed at New Orleans in the month of June. They 
then boarded a Mississippi river steamboat and went up the river, arriving 
at Delaware county, Iowa, on June 20, 1858. They lived with Conrad 
Wardeoff until the spring and then rented eight acres of land. The second 
year tliev rented fourteen acres and put it in crops for a .Mr. Schultz, 
whose land was located seven miles northwest of Dyersville. In the spring 
of 1862 they were able to break up fourteen acres of their own land. This 
was the beginning of the fortunes of this German family in America. They 
were very poor when they first came here and practically every member of 
the family is now wealthy. 

After renting four years he bought a farm on which he lived until his 
death, July 0. 1870. [ohn Schmiedifig and wife were the parents 
of eight children: Theresa, the wife of Anton Krogmann ; Casper, who 
married Marv Phelsheim. and after her death, Josephine Mormann; John, 
with whom this narrative deals; Elizabeth, the wife of Barney Xiehus; 
Katherine, the wife of John Ocken : Anna, the wife of August Schafer, 
and two, Mary and Henry, who arc deceased. 

John Schmieding was five years of age when his parents came from 
Germany to Delaware county, Iowa, ami in that county he received his 
education. He assisted bis father on the home farm until the latter's death, 
in 1870, ant! then he remained with bis mother, who removed to West- 
phalia township, Shelby county, in 1S7S. He took charge of the home farm 
until be was thirty-six years old. when he married and traded farms with 
his mother, securing the farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he 
is now living. He has placed ten thousand dollars in improvements on this 
farm in such a way as to make it one of the most productive farms of the 
township and he devotes his attention to the handling of live stock and the 
raising of such crops as are common to this locality. He also owns forty 
acres adjacent to the town of Westphalia which cost him two hundred and 
twenty dollars an acre. He has eight hundred acres of good land in South 

Mr. Schmieding was married February 25, 1889. to .Mary Reilander, 
the daughter of Christian and Anna (I nks ) Reilander. and to this union 
ten children have been l>orn : Anna, John, Christian, Joseph, Henry. Peter, 
Casper, Elizabeth. William and one who died in infancy. All of the children 
are still single. Anna, John and Christian are living in South Dakota on 
their father's eight-hundred-acre farm. Mrs. Schmieding was born April 
22, 1868, in Dubuque county, Iowa. Her parents were born in Germany, in 
Prussia and Luxemburg, respectively, and came to the United States in 


1876, settling' in Dubuque county, Iowa. They lived on a farm in that 
county for thirty-one years and then moved to Exira. Audubon county, 
Iowa, where her father died in 190G. His widow then moved to Dunlap, 
Iowa, where her death occurred in 1913. To Mr. and Mrs. Reilander were 
born eight children: Henry. Mary. Clara. Sophia, Maggie, Elizabeth, Lena 
and Anna. By a first marriage with a Mr. Clements the mother of Mrs. 
Schmieding had four children : John, Susie, Peter and Katherine. 

Mr. Schmieding and all his family are loyal members of the Catholic 
church. Politically, he is a Democrat, hut his extensive agricultural interests 
have prevented him from taking an active part in political matters. Mr. 
Schmieding has hail remarkable success, as is indicated by his large holdings 
of a thousand acres. He has always kept fully ahreast of the latest de- 
velopments in agricultural methods and keeps his farm stocked with the 
latest improved machinery, so that he is able to secure a maximum result 
from the soil. In his residence of more than thirty-six vears in this countv, 
he has so lived as to merit the hearty approbation which is given him by his 
fellow citizens, and being a man of genial personalitv and kindly disposition, 
has earned the high respect and esteem of all who know him. 


The proprietor of the largest merchandise store in Shell)}', Iowa, is 
Joseph B. Reams, who was formerly a merchant in Defiance, Iowa. His 
father was one of the first merchants of Defiance, ami Mr. Reams has had 
the benefit of being connected with the mercantile business since his earliest 
boyhood days. His father was a verv successful business man and one of 
the wealthiest men of his town at the time of his death. Samuel Reams 
was a man of great energy and enterprise and was not only one of the most 
successful merchants of Shelby county but one of the largest land owners of 
the count}' as well. 

Joseph B. Reams, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Bowlin) Reams, 
was born in Monroe count}-, Iowa, on February 20. 1S72. His parents were 
both born in Pennsylvania, his father in 1 83 1 . and his mother in 1835. 
Samuel Reams learned the carpenterV trade in his native state and fifteen 
years after his marriage moved to Wapello count}-, Iowa, where he worked 
at his trade until the Civil War began. He enlisted in August, 1862, at 
Keokuk, Iowa, and was a. member of Company II. Thirty-sixth Regiment. 


Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war. His com- 
pany saw the most of its service along the lower Mississippi river, engaging 
in many battles and skirmishes of more or less importance until the close 
of the war. He was not wounded in the service, but came hack very much 
broken down in health on account of exposure and sickness. 

After he was mustered out of the service, Samuel Reams returned to 
Iowa and located in Monroe county in 1S70, where he engaged in farming 
until 1SS1. In that year he moved to Shelby county, Iowa, and started one 
of the first general merchandise stores at Defiance. He continued in busi- 
ness at that [dace until some years before his death, in 1908. He owned 
three hundred and twenty acres of land in Union township and was not only 
one of the wealthiest men of the county, but one of the most highly re- 
spected. The wife of Samuel Reams died in 1909. There were born to 
Samuel Reams and wife seven children, five of whom are still living. 

Joseph B. Reams was nine years of age when his parents moved from 
Monroe county, Iowa, to Shelby county and consequently his education was 
received in both counties. He attended the high school at Defiance and at 
the same time worked in his father's store. When his father retired he and 
his brother, Elmer, purchased the store and managed it together for six 
years. In 1900 Mr. Reams sold his interest in the store to his brother and 
moved to Shelby, where he bought a small stock of merchandise from 
Newell & Company. Mr. Reams at once proceeded to rent a large building, 
fort)- by eighty feet, erected first by the Bohfanders, in order to put in a 
larger stock of goods. This building has a basement which he uses for 
storing and heating purposes, a hall in the upper story and is known as the 
Opera House block. Mr. Reams purchased it in 1905. His store is now 
the largest in Shelby and carries a full line of general merchandise goods, 
such as are found in department stores of cities of much larger size. He- 
employs five and six clerks the year round and his business is rapidly in- 
creasing. Mr. Reams has a beautiful residence in the eastern part of the 
city, which is equipped with all of the latest conveniences. In addition to 
his city property he owns land in Iowa. Minnesota and South Dakota. 

Mr. Reams was married on December 9, 1896, to Lettie Lathrop, who 
was born in Greeley township, in this county, on November 9, 1S76. She is 
the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Wilfong) Lathrop, early settlers of 
Shelbv county, and now deceased. Benjamin Lathrop was born in Union 
countv, Ohio, on June 10, 1S43, and died at Manning, Iowa, on September 
8, 18S2. He was married in 1S70 to Sarah Wilfong. who survived him 
until 189G. He enlisted in Company H, Eighth Regiment. Iowa Volunteer 


Infantry, in 1S61, at Davenport, Iowa, and served until the close of the war. 
He participated in many important battles, such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jack- 
son (Mississippi), and many skirmishes, coming out of all the active service 
without being wounded 

Mr. Reams is a stanch Republican in politics. Owing to his extensive 
business and agricultural interest.-, he has always taken a passive part in 
political matters, lie and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist 
church, while fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons. Mr. Reams is a wide-awake business man and although he has 
been in Shelby but a comparatively short time, he has already won the con- 
fidence of all with whom he has been associated. 


The 1910 census showed that there were more than ten million German 
citizens in the United States, who were either born in German}' or de- 
scendants of German parents, which means that one-tenth of the total popu- 
lation of the United States is of German descent. The great German 
migration to this country began in 1848, during the time of the great upris- 
ing in German}- of that year, and has continued uninterruptedly down to 
the present time. Thousands of the best farmers in Iowa were born in 
Germany, and in Shelby county may be found several hundred who left their 
native land for this prosperous section of the state of Iowa. Without ex- 
ception the German citizens of this county have been thrifty and have ac- 
cumulated land and property, while at the same time they have assumed the 
duties of American citizenship in a way which makes them American citi- 
zens of the highest type. Among the many German farmers of Union 
township who have prospered exceedingly, Frank Gross, the owner of two 
hundred acres, has an honorable place. 

Frank Gross, the son of Adam and Joanna (Kramer) Gross, was born 
in Walworth county, Wisconsin, May 9, 1866. Roth of his parents were 
born in Germany and came to America when they were children with their 
parents and settled in Wisconsin. Adam Gross received his education in 
Germany and worked in his father's brick yard there until he came to this 
country at the age of eighteen with his parents. The Gross family first 
settled in Racine county. Wisconsin, but a year later located in Walworth 
county, where they bought one hundred and twenty acres of land. The 


father of Adam Gross died shortly after the family came to Wisconsin, 
and Adam managed the farm and assumed the responsibility for the caring 
of the other children. He married in that state, bought the old homestead 
and farmed it until 1874. In that year Adam Gross brought his family to 
Mills county. Iowa, landing there on the 4th day of February, 1874. A 
month later he settled in Westphalia township, in Shelby county, where he 
bought forty acres of land and lived on this farm until 1880, when he 
retired from active farm life to Westphalia, where he and his wife are now 
living. Adam Gross and wife were the parents of eleven children: Frank. 
whose history is subsequently recorded in this connection: Louisa, the wife 
of Matthew Kool; Mary, who died at the age of six months; Joseph, who 
married Mary Engel: Aloyious, single: Kate, the wife of Matthew Schleier; 
Frederick, who married Mary Allers; .Mary, the wife of Emil Zimmerman; 
Josephine, the wife of Frank A. Jacobs; Gertrude, the wife of Matthew- 
Miller, and George, who married Clara Kinman. 

Frank Gross, the oldest child of his parents, was seven vears of age 
when the family moved to Shelby county, Iowa, and consequently received 
all of his education in Shelby county. After leaving the school room he 
worked as a hired hand on the farms in the township until he was twentv- 
three years of age. He then learned the carpenter trade and followed this 
vocation for five years, when he married and began the life of a farmr on a 
rented farm. He and his wife lived economically, and were soon able to 
buy a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Union township, where 
they now live. In 1909 Mr. Gross added eighty acres to his farm and built 
a fine modern home, new barn and various outbuildings, so that he now has 
one of the most attractive farms in his township. On his farm of two 
hundred acres he raises good crops and handles a large amount of live 
stock each year. He is thoroughly up-to-date in his farming methods and 
has all of the latest improved machinery, so that he gets the maximum 
results with the least effort. 

Mr. Gross was married September 7, 1893, to Bertha Rueshenberg. the 
daughter of Joseph and Josephine (Sasse) Rueshenberg. The reader is 
referred to the history of Joseph Rueshenberg, which is found elsewhere in 
this volume, for further information concerning the family. Mr. and Mrs. 
Gross are the parents of fourteen children: Joseph, Bertha, Frank, Mary, 
Francis, William, John, Magdalena, Eleanor, Matthew. Alphonso, Raymond 
and Alvin. Frank, Mary. Magdalena and Alphonso died in infancy, while 
Bertha died at the age of eight. All of the other children are single and 
still living with their parents. 


Politically, Mr. Gross is allied with the Democratic party, and take^ an 
intelligent interest in local political matters, lie has served as supervisor 
of Westphalia township, and is now a school director in Union township, 
where he resides. lie is a firm believer in good education and lends his 
hearty support to all measures which he feels will benefit the schools in any 
way. He and his family are consistent members of the Catholic church, in 
whose welfare they are intensely interested, and to whose support they 
are generous contributors. Mr. Gross is a member of the Knights of Col- 
umbus and the Catholic Knights of America, two Catholic fraternal or- 
ganizations which embrace practically all of the Catholics of this county. 
Mr. Gross is a man of genial disposition, and a man who, by his clean and 
wholesome life, has commanded the respect and admiration of his fellow 
citizens. He and his good wife have reared a large family and are prepar- 
ing them to become useful members of society. 


The fertility of the land in Shelby county, Iowa, has attracted men 
from all over the United States as well as from many foreign countries. 
Far away Denmark has sent to this county many sterling citizens and they 
and their descendants are prominent factors in the county's development. 
Andrew H. Kroman was born in this county of Danish parentage, and has 
met with that success which characterizes all of the Danish farmers of this 

Andrew H. Kroman, the son of Peter II. and Katherine (Andersen) 
Kroman, was born in Jackson township, Shelby county, Iowa, in 1878. 
Peter H. Kroman was a native of Denmark, born in 1841, and was the son 
of Andrew and Johannah Kroman. Andrew Kroman, Sr., was born in 
Denmark in 1S00 and died in his native land in 1878. Johannah Kroman 
died in Denmark in 1S43. Five children were born to Andrew and Johannah 
Kroman, two of whom are deceased. 

Peter H. Kroman was reared in his native land and in 1870 came to 
America and settled in Illinois. He worked in that state as a farm hand 
for seven years and as soon a^ lie was married, to Katherine Andersen, in 
1S77, he brought his young bride to Shelby county, Iowa, where he pur- 
chased eighty ac~res of land in Jackson township. He set out two acres of 


fruit and forest trees and made extensive improvements upon his land. By 
good management and strict economy he was able to add to his holdings 
from year to year until, when he retired, in 1910, he was the owner c>t three 
hundred and eighty acre.- of excellent farming land in Clay and Jackson 
townships. Upon the marriage of his sou, Andrew H., in 1910. he retired 
from the farm and moved to Elkhom, where he and his wife are now living. 
There were two children horn to Peter II. Kroman and wife, Johannah 
(deceased) and Andrew H. 

The education of Andrew 11. Kroman was received in the district 
schools of Jackson township, and later he became a student in the High- 
land Park College at Des Moines, Iowa. He took a normal course in this 
excellent institution in order to gain a good education. However, the fact 
that his father had a large farm and he was the only son caused him to give 
up his idea of a professional career and return to his father's farm. I pon 
his marriage, in 1910, his father left the farm and Andrew H. took active 
charge of part of the large estate of his father. He is now farming two 
hundred and twenty acres in such a way as to bring in a handsome revenue 
for himself and father. The farm is stocked with only the hest grades of 
live stock and he feeds most of his grain to the stock, having found In- 
experience that this is more remunerative than selling the grain. He is a 
progressive farmer, keeps in close touch with the latest methods of agricul- 
ture, and by his good management has risen to a place of prominence among 
the progressive and enterprising farmers of his county. 

Mr. Kroman was married in 1910 to Christina- Christensen, who was 
born in Jackson township in 1S84. She was the daughter of the late Alhert 
Christensen, one of the early settlers of Shelby county. Mr. Kroman and 
wife are the parents of one son. Peter M. They are loyal and consistent 
members of the Danish Lutheran church and give their hearty support to 
the denomination of their fatherland. Politically, he gives his support to 
the Republican party, and although he is one of the best informed men in his 
township on the political issues of the day. he has not taken an active part 
in political matters. The management of his large farm requires the most 
of his time and attention and, consequently, he has left political matters to 
others, although his advice is frequently sought by the leaders of his party. 
Mr. Kroman is a man who is deeply interested in the welfare of his town- 
ship and countv and all public-spirited measures find in him an enthusiastic 
supporter. He is a man of genial and kindly manner, and he and his wife 
are held in high esteem by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. 



The German element in Shelby county has been responsible for much 
ot' the prosperity of the county, due to the fact that the citizens of German 
parentage are excellent fanners and business men. The habits of thrift, 
industry and economy are a part and parcel of the daily life of every Ger- 
man and. for this reason, the county is greatly indebted to these sterling- 
people. They have not only been interested in the material growth of the 
count}', but have taken an active part in educational, moral and civic affairs 
as well. Among the German families who have long been prominently 
identified with the history of this county, the Rook family has borne an 
honorable part. 

Joseph Book, the owner of "Maple 'Grove Stock Farm," the son of 
Peter and Elizabeth (Fogel) Book, was born at Oltendorn, in Germany, his 
parents both being natives of Germany. Peter Book was given a good Ger- 
man education and after leaving school took up the trade of a mason. He 
also farmed for a while but gave most of bis attention to his regular trade. 
In 1851 he came, with his family, to this country and first settled in Xew 
Orleans, but shortly afterward located in St. Louis, Missouri. The trade of 
a mason not offering the opportunity which he desired, he left St. Louis and 
moved to Clayton county, Iowa, where he followed his trade only long 
enough to save enough money to make a payment upon a farm, lie first 
bought a farm of eighty acres in Clayton county and after making some im- 
provements upon it. sold it at a good profit, and purchased another farm of 
one hundred and twenty acres in the same county. He remained on this 
second farm for several years and then sold it and came to Shelby county, 
where he bought a farm in Westphalia township, the same now being owned 
by his son, Joseph. He continued to farm this until his death, March 14, 
1906, his wife having passed away December 16. 1887. They were the 
parents of four children: John P., who married Katherine Crowley: 
Charles, who married Anna Kuhl ; Mary, the wife of Joseph Kramer, and 
Joseph, whose history is given in this connection. 

Joseph Book attended school in Clayton county, low-a. and after leaving 
school worked with his father upon the home farm until his marriage, in 
1886. At that time hi^ father gave him some land and he began farming for 
himself. Success has attended his efforts to a marked ! ree and by bard 
work and good management he has accumulated a fine farm of three hun- 
dred and twentv acres. He raises registered Polled Angus. Hereford and 

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Shorthorn cattle. He has spent li is whole life upon the farm and now has 
one of the most attractive farms in the county. He keeps fully abreast of 
the latest advances in agricultural methods and has the satisfaction of seeing 
his farm yield handsome returns each year. 

Mr. Book was married November 9, iS'86, to Hulda Huebner, the 
daughter of Herman and Bertha (Rahn) Huebner. To this union there 
have been born six children: Clara, the wife of Nicholas Bissen, and the 
mother of three children — Hilda E., Marie and Adelia; Annie, the wife of 
Car! Luetticke, and the mother of two children, Joseph Edward and Nina E. ; 
Dora and Joseph, single; Emma, who was drowned in a tank of water on 
the farm June 24, 1S97, being a babe of a year and eight months at the 
time; Mary, the youngest child, who died in infancy. 

The Huebner family came from Germany, Herman Huebner serving in 
the Franco-Prussian War of 1S1V1-1S71. In 18S1 Herman Huebner brought 
his family to this country ami at once located in Westphalia township, in 
this county. He bought a farm of one hundred and forty acres, but a year 
later disposed Of the farm and moved to Crawford county, in this state, and 
purchased a farm of two hundred and fort}' acres. The family spent eight 
years in this latter county and then moved to Charter Oak. in the same 
county, where Mrs. Huebner died January S. 1906. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Huebner were born eight children: Hulda, Albert, Charles, Bertha. Emma, 
Otto, Augusta and Mary. 

Mr. Book and all his family are members of the Catholic church, Mrs. 
Book joining the church at the time of her marriage. Politically, he is a 
Democrat, and has been honored by his party on more than one occasion. 
He was a member of the school board of his township as well as township 
trustee for eight vears, filling these positions to the entire satisfaction of the 
citizens of his community. He has always been interested in all measures of 
public welfare and has long been one of the leaders in his community.. 


One of the most progressive young men of Shelby county today is 
Earl Ryan, who i> a member of the stockbreeding firm of Escher & Ryan. 
He has shown a knowledge of the stock breeding business which places him 
among the first rank of stock breeders in the country, and in fact, he is 
regarded as one of the best judges of cattle in the United States. The 


Aberdeen Angus Stock Farm, now owned by Messrs. Escher &■ Ryan, has not 
only a national but an international reputation for its cattle. 

Earl Ryan, the son of Thomas J. and Mary A. (Grant) Ryan, was 
born on August 23, 1884. on the farm where he is now living. His father 
was horn on February 15. 1S52, near Rochester. New York, and is the son 
of Jeffrey and Sarah (Clark) Ryan. His mother was horn on October 2S, 
1855, in Victor, Iowa, and is the daughter of Henry and Helen (Haggard) 
Grant. Thomas J. Ryan is one of the largest land holders of the county and 
at present is the mayor of Irwin. Iowa. His history appears elsewhere in 
this volume and the reader is referred to it for further information con- 
cerning his career. 

Earl Ryan was educated in the schools of this county and then took a 
business course at Omaha. Nebraska. When lie was seventeen years of age 
his parents moved to Irwin, where he remained until he was married in 
1907. He then moved hack to the old home place and hecame a partner with 
Charles Escher in the management of the Aberdeen-Angus Stock Farm. 
This farm is known as the ''Pleasant View" farm, and is one of the most 
interesting farms to he found in the state of Iowa. Among one of the 
many notable newspaper and magazine accounts which have appeared concern- 
ing this farm, the following paragraph from the "Review and Allium" of 
the International Live Stock Exposition is here given in full: 

"Picking the grand championship was no difficult ta^k this year. The 
crowd on the board walks overhead had made the award in a popular sense 
long before it was officially confirmed. The cattle had barely been penned 
before it was apparent that it would clearly be an Angus vear, and that 
these master breeders and feeders, Charles Escher. Jr.. and Earl Ryan, had 
left little room for competition. Of thirty-one loads shown from all over 
the United States, they had seven of the best." 

This statement, which appeared in the 19 13 International Stock Show- 
Review, gives some indication of the wide reputation of this firm. They, 
keep from five hundred to seven hundred head of full-blooded Aberdeen- 
Angus cattle the year round. The farm consists of fourteen hundred acres 
of land in Greek-}- and Douglas townships ami is well adapted to the purpose 
for which it is used. 

Earl Ryan was married on January 22. 1907. to Bertha M. Sessions, 
who was born Septeml>er 27. 1886, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, the daughter of 
Edward and Hulda (Richardson) Sessions, natives of Xew York state. 
They came to Iowa about 1879 am ' were married after coming to this state. 


In 1900 they moved to Shelby county and located in Polk township, where 
they lived until 1907, when they moved to Wyoming. In iui 1 they moved 
to California, where they are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Sessions are the 
parents of four children: Mrs. Grace Dobler, of Beverton, Wyoming; Mrs. 
Georgiana Purcell. of Irwin, lnwa; Edward, of Los Angeles, California. 
and Bertha, the wife of Earl Ryan. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have two children: 
Charles Thomas, horn October 17, 1908. and Myrtle Grace, born January 
12, 1910. Mr. Ryan has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows for several years. Politically, he is a Democrat but the demands of 
business have prevented him from taking an active part in political affairs. 
Mr. Ryan is still a young man with a promising future before him and the 
success which has attended his efforts in the past bespeak for him a more 
successful future. 


A citizen of Shelby county, Iowa, who has spent forty-five years in this 
county has lived throughout practically the whole of its history. Will- 
iam M. Young', the present postmaster of Defiance, came to this county with 
his parents in 1S70 and has spent the remainder of his life within the limits 
of this county, ami more than a quarter of a century in the town of De- 
fiance. He is essentially a self-made man, having been compelled to fight 
his own battles from boyhood to the present time. He farmed for a few 
year^. after his marriage and then worked for a grain elevator in Defiance, 
having lived in that place since 1887. Being recognized by the citizens as a 
capable man be was recommended for the position of postmaster ami has 
held that responsible place for the past five years. He is a man who is in 
everv way worthy of the respect and high esteem in which he is held by bis 
fellow citizens. 

William M. Young, the son of William and Mary A. ('Marshall) 
Young, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, on June 2, 1857. 
His parents were natives of the same count}" and lived there until several 
years after their marriage. William Young, Sr., was a shoemaker by trade, 
followed this occupation while living in Pennsylvania and aLo for two years 
after he settled in Des Moines county, Iowa. In 1870 William Young. Sr.. 
brought his family to Shelby count}- and located near Kirkman. where he 
bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. He lived upon this farm 
until ten Years ago, when he retired to Harlan, where he is now living. 


William Young, Sr., and wife were the parents of eight children, Elizabeth. 
Jackson, Catherine, Hannah, William, Robert, Wilson and Effie. 

William M. Young received most of his education in the schools of 
this county and worked on the farm with his father until he was grown to 
manhood. He then hired out to work by the day upon farms in this county 
and worked this way for several years. In 1887 he moved to Defiance and 
became an employe of the grain firm of Hancock. Tibbals & Company and 
worked for this company for twenty-two years. He resigned his position 
upon his appointment to the postmastership of Defiance, on December 2. 
1909, and has since been conducting the affairs of this office m a manner 
which has proven entirely satisfactory to all the citizens of the community. 

William M. Young was married on Deceml>er 16, 1880. to Charlotte 
L. Hannon, the daughter of Thomas J. and Elizabeth Hannon, and to this 
union have been born nine children, Melvin, Earl, Lee, Fred, Kate. William, 
Harris, Ella and Burns. Melvin married Maude Lallard and has two chil- 
dren. Maxine and Irene. Lee married Estella Ferguson. Kate is the wife of 
E. J. Hulsebus and has two children, Lois and Charlotte. Ella is the wife 
of Rudolph Hulsebus. Earl and Harris are deceased, while the rest of the 
children are unmarried and living with their parents. 

Politicallv, Mr. Young classes himself with the independent voters, pre- 
ferring to cast his ballot at all times for men rather than for platforms. He 
has always taken an active part in the civic life of Defiance and has held 
various official positions. He has been school director for thirteen years. 


Every nation on the earth has contributed its quota to the population 
of the United States, and no nation has furnished better citizens for our 
country than has the little kingdom of Denmark. Thousands of the best 
citizens of that country have come to the Cnited States and have become the 
most substantia] citizens of the various localities in which they have settled. 
Fortunate, indeed, is the locality which has Danish descendants numbered 
among its citizens, for wherever they are found, they are .always among 
the most substantial people of the community. The habits of thrift and 
frugality which they inherited from their ancestors always makes them val- 
uable assets to the community at large. It is unquestioned that the example 
set bv thriftv Danish citizens has been verv beneficial not onlv to our native 


Americans, but to the citizens of other countries as well. Among the citi- 
zens of Danish extraction who are now substantial men of the county then- 
is no one who has attained more definite success than Marius Mickelson. a 
successful farmer of Douglas township. 

Marius Mickelson. the son of Christian and Marie (Peterson) Mickel- 
son, was born on March 4, 1853, nl Denmark. His father was a miller by 
trade, his mill being operated by wind power. In 1865 Christian Mickelson 
came to the United States with his family and located in Nebraska City, 
Nebraska. For some years he was a day laborer and then started a brick 
yard, which he operated for several years. He then engaged in the grocery 
business in Nebraska City, but three years later was unfortunate enough to 
lose everything he had by tire. He had small insurance and consequently 
was left almost penniless, having invested all of his money in his store, lie 
continued to live in Nebraska City until his death, October 13, 1880. Christ- 
ian Mickelson and wife were the parents of three children, Anna, who mar- 
ried Andrew Jensen, and lives in Terre Haute. Indiana; Jennie, who died 
soon after the family came to the United States, and Marius, whose history 
is here presented. 

Marius Mickelson was about twelve years of age when his parents came 
to this country, and consequently received most of his education in hi.- native 
land. He remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age and then 
went to Avoca. Iowa, where he clerked in a store for Messrs. Uhden & 
Nelson, remaining with this firm for fourteen years. In 1889 he moved to a 
one hundred and sixty-acre farm in section 12, Douglas township in this 
county, which he and his wife had previously purchased with their savings. 
He had never been on a farm before and knew absolutely nothing about 
farming. His first experiences as a farmer he now recalls with a great deal 
of amusement. When they first started to plow, his wife led the horses and 
he tried to handle the plow. He planted potatoes but planted them so deep 
that thev never came up. Things were very discouraging for the first year 
or two until thev found out how to carry on the simplest kind of farming. 
However, thev persevered with true Danish courage and in the course ot 
time were the owners of four hundred acres of excellent land, all of which 
was paid for. At the marriage of their son they gave him eighty acres, and 
have since sold one hundred and twenty acres more. They still have two 
hundred acres of land, which is highly improved and one of the most pro- 
ductive farms of the county. He raises Shorthorn cattle and a good grade 
of hogs and horses. 


Mr. Mickelson was married February jo. 1880. to Olina Erickson, who 
was born March 26. 1852. in I.aSalle county. Illinois, the daughter of Erick 
and Esther (Olson) Erickson, natives of Norway and early settlers of Illi- 
nois, coming to that state in 1841). Mr. and Mrs. Erickson were the parents 
of eleven children, three of whom are now living, Erick, Jr.. Mrs. Martha 
Johnson and Olina. the wife of Mr. Mickelson. The deceased children are 
Martha, Henry, Erick. Ole, Nicholas and three who died in infancy. Mr. 
and Mrs. Mickelson have one son, Carl Marion, of their own and one adopted 
child. Carl M. was horn August 14, 1881. married Mary Ethel Reynolds 
and has two children. Normal and Ralph: Esther Elizabeth, the adopted 
child of Mr. and Mrs. Mickelson, was horn September 7. 1000. and is still 
living with her foster parents. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mickelson are not active members of any church, although 
Mrs. Mickelson was brought up in the Methodist church and he in the 
Lutheran faith. Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons at Irwin, while both he and his wife are members of the 
Order of Eastern Star. He has also taken the Chapter degree and is a mem- 
ber of the Royal Arch, Olivet Chapter, No. 107. In politics Mr. Mickelson 
is a Republican but has newer held any office other than that of school director. 


The United States is the most cosmopolitan nation of the earth. Her 
citizens are drawn from every country and clime, and a residence of a few 
years in this country so imbues them with the American spirit that they 
become among our best citizens. No nation has furnished better or more 
patriotic citizens to this country than has the little island of Ireland. From 
the Emerald Isle has come many a family which ha^ won an honored place 
in the community in which they chose to settle. Among the many families 
of Irish descent two have come to Shelby count}', Iowa, there is none who 
is more loyal to this country than the Woods family. 

Joseph Woods, the son of Feter and Agnes ( Walker) Woods, was born 
May 23. 1866, in county Down, Ireland. Peter Woods was a farmer by 
occupation and owned a small farm in Ireland before coming to the United 
States. In 188 1 he came to this country and settled in Illinois with his 
family, where he lived for one year. He then moved to Mitchellville, Iowa, 
where he remained two years and then in the spring of 1884 permanently 


located in Shelby county. He rented land for several years and then pur- 
chased eight}' acres of land in section 36 of Greeley township. Here he 
lived for three years, when he purchased three hundred and twelve acres of 
land in partnership with his two sons, James and Joseph. This land was in 
section 1, of Douglas township, and on this farm he lived until his death in 
December, 1906. at the age of seventy-five. Peter Woods and wife were the 
parents of nine children, six of whom are living, the other three having died 
in the old country. 

Joseph Woods was thirteen years of age when his parents came to this 
country and consequently received part of his education in his native land and 
completed it in Greely township in this count}-. He assisted his father on 
the home farm and remained with his parents until he was married in 1S97, 
when he built a house on a part of the three hundred and twelve acres of land 
which he owned in partnership with his father and brother, taking one hun- 
dred and four acres for his share. He has since lxmght one hundred and 
four acres of land in section _', of Douglas township, and fifty-two acres of 
his father's estate, making a total of two hundred and fifty-six acres of good 
land. His buildings are all of the best quality, and he has a system of piping 
the water over his buildings which is a model of ingenuity as well as con- 
venience. His farm buildings are also lighted with gas lights. He has 
always done general farming and stock raising, and keeps full blooded Short- 
horn cattle on his farm at all times. He feeds from six to eight car loads 
of cattle for the market each year. In the fall of 1914. Mr. Woods erected 
a granary and corn crib combined, thirty-four by forty-eight by sixteen feet, 
with a high cement foundation. It will hold seven thousand bushels of ear 
corn. There are seven bins in the second story, each ten feet deep. 

Mr. Woods was married April 7, 1S97. to Efne Y. Bigler, who was born 
January 1, 1S77, in Poweshiek county, Iowa, and is the daughter of Edw-ard 
and Maggie (Grant) Bigler. natives of Ohio and of German and Scotch 
descent, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Bigler were the parents of five children, 
of whom Effie is the oldest. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have four children living: 
Lester L., born October 1. 1899; Bernice M., horn June 19, 1903: Walter 
Glen, born February 11, 1907 and Robert J., born June 3, 1911. The oldest 
child, Ethel G., born March 9, 1898, died at the age of one month. 

Politically. Mr. Woods is a Republican. He was school director of 
his township for several terms and favored every measure which would 
benefit the schools in any way. Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient 
Free and Accepted Masons at Irwin, and he and his wife are both members 



of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Woods was reared in the Presby- 
terian church, but he and his family are now loyal members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and take an active part in all church and Sunday school 
work. Mr. Woods is a stockholder in the Farmers Mutual Telephone Com- 
pany of this county. 1 1; 1912 lie made a trip to Ireland to visit bis old home 
and returned with many interesting mementoes of his native land. He is 
held in high esteem by every one with whom be has been connected in any 
way, and he is a man of sterling honesty and high character. . 


This land of ours owes a debt of gratitude to the stalwart and sturdy 
European races whose sons have come in large numbers, especiallv during 
the past half century, when there was a crying need of sterling men to assist 
in the work of winning and developing the western states from their primi- 
tive wildness. The people of Germany have formed a large contingent and 
have ever been most welcome owing to their willingness to give their best 
efforts to this work. Almost without exception they have been industrious, 
law abiding, willing to upbuild and support our institutions and while hold- 
ing their native land in grateful remembrance, yet at the same time they 
cherish their adopted country. Among the hundreds of German citizens 
who have made Shelby count}'. Iowa, their permanent home, there is no one 
more worthv of mention than Xicholas Langenfeld, one of the most sub- 
stantial farmers of Shelby county. 

Xicholas Langenfeld. the proprietor of five hundred acres of farming 
land in Union township, was born January 20, 1855, in Germany. He is a 
son of Christian and Johanna ( Eckes) Langenfeld and received all of his 
education in his native land. Christian Langenfeld farmed with his father 
until he was married and then his father gave him a small tract of land, 
which, in addition to a farm which he bought, made him a very respectable 
tract. He continued farming successfully in his native country until 1S69, 
when he felt that he would be able to give his children much better oppor- 
tunities in the United States than they could ever receive in their native 
land. At that time there were hundreds and thousands of Germans coming 
to the United States, and a great majority of them at that time were settling 
in Wisconsin. Accordingly, in that year, Christian Langenfeld came to this 
countrv and settled in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where he purchased 


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a farm of eighty acres, and here he lived until 18S5, when he moved to 
Shelby county, Iowa, and located in Lincoln township. He bought a farm 
here of eighty acres and lived upon it until all of his children were married, 
lie then retired from the active labor of the farm and moved to Earling, 
where he lived until his death, in 1906, his widow surviving him until 1909. 
Christian Langenfeld and wife were the parents of nine children : Kate. 
the wife of Joseph Goeser : Jacob, who married Katherine Leffelman; Annie, 
the wife of Fred Loehr ; Nicholas, whose history is here presented; August", 
who married Katherine Freund; Katherine. who became the wife of John 
Schimeroski ; John, who married .Mary YVieland ; Michael, who married 
Joseph Lackman. and Mary, the wife of F. \Y. Wilwerding. 

Nicholas Langenfeld attended school in his native land and when his 
parents came to the United States, in 1869, was fourteen years of age. Me 
worked upon the farm of his father in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, 
until 18S1, and then went to North Dakota, where he worked for two years. 
In 1883 he came to Shelby count}', Iowa, and rented a farm. living upon it 
for four vears. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres, on which 
he is now living, and by frugal and thrifty habits, has increased his land 
holdings until he now has five hundred acres of fine farming land in this 
county. He has two large barns, erected in 189 1 and 1898. In 1905 he 
built a modern resilience, at a cost of six thousand dollars, of twelve rooms. 
with hot water, bath room, gas and every modern convenience. He raises 
large crops of all kinds of grain common to this section of the state, and 
makes heavy shipments of live stock each year. 

Mr. Langenfeld was married on February 10, 1SS4. in Fond du Lac 
county, Wisconsin, to Katherine Krupp, the daughter of John and Clare 
Krupp, and to this union have been born ten children: Casper. Clara (died 
at the age of six and one-half years). George. John. Dora, William, Wil- 
helmina, Francis, Frederick and Odelia. Casper married Annie Petsche, 
and has two children, Felix and Alma; George J. married Anna Schmitz, 
and has one son. Leo. The reader is referred to the sketch of George J. 
Langenfeld. which is found elsewhere in this volume. The rest of the 
children are still unmarried and living with their parents. The Krupp 
family was also a German family and came to this country and settled in 
Calumet county. Wisconsin, in the early sixties. They lived there the re- 
mainder of their lives, rearing a family of five children: Bernard. Casper, 
Jacob, John and Katherine, the wife of Mr. Langenfeld. 

Politicallv, Mr. Langenfeld is a member of the Democratic party and 


has always been more or less interested in local politics, lie lias served a> 
township trustee and also on the school board of his township, giving uni- 
versal satisfaction in both capacities. He and his family are earnest mem- 
bers of the Catholic church, while Mr. Langenfeld holds membership in the 
Knights of Columbus. 


The German immigrants to this country have been distinguished above 
all others for their thrift, economy and perseverance, qualities which have 
gained for them success almost without fail in whatever situation they have 
been placed. Our country can boast of no better or more law-abiding class 
of citizens than the great number oi German people who have found homes 
within her borders. Though holding dear and sacred their beloved mother 
country they are none the less devoted to the fair country of their adoption. 
Wherever they settle they do their full share in the work of progress and 
their frugality and industry have often proven an incentive to less indus- 
trious citizens. 

Paul K. Paulsen, son of Jens and Anna (Boysen) Paulsen, was burn 
August 1, 1861, in Langenhorn. German)'. He was given a good educa- 
tion in the schools of his home country and when twenty-one years of age. 
decided to come to this coitntry where he might find better opportunities for 
advancement. He at once located in Crawford county, Iowa, and a year 
later came to Shelby county and worked at Irwin for about three months in 
the hardware store of Clinton W'alrod. after which he started to work for 
Fred Cold in a general merchandise store. He worked here for about four 
and one-half years, and then succeeded him in the business in partnership 
with A. C. Allen. This partnership lasted for one year, when Peter Steen- 
husen bought out the interest of Mr. Allen. The firm of Paulsen & Steen- 
husen continued for the next five years, at which time Mr. Paulsen bought 
out the interest of his partner and took over the entire store, and has since 
1893 managed it alone. He increased the stock in order to meet the rapidly 
growing demands of his trade, with the result that in 1900 he was compelled 
to erect a new building in order to care for his trade properly. Accordingly 
he put up a large twenty-five by ninety foot brick building with basement, 
and is now using this entire building for his stock of general merchandise. 
He carries a complete line of those goods which are usually handled in de- 
partment stores in towns of this size, and has a large trade in Irwin and the 


surrounding community. Mr. Paulsen lias also invested in land in this 
county an<J now owns two hundred and seven acres of tine farming land in 
Polk and Jefferson townships. In 1893 he built a large, twelve-room, mod- 
ern house in Irwin, and in [912 remodeled this home and made it one of the 
largest and most attractive homes in the city. 

Mr. Paulsen was married February 26, 1S88, to Marie Gorichs, who was 
born in Westphalia, Germany, on March 29, 1870. Her parents, Andreas 
and Katrina (Kampman) Gorichs reared a family of eight children. George, 
Andreas (deceased), William. August. Mrs. I.isette Fonken, Mrs. Dina 
Schwab and Carl. Mrs. Paulsen's father died in Germain- in iSSo, at the 
age of fifty-six. The Gorichs family with the exception of one son. Carl, 
came to the United States in 1883. '1 he mother died in IQ02 at the age of 
seventy-six. Mrs. Paulsen's father was a railroad man in Germany. George 
is living in Meriden, Kansas. Mrs. Fonken is living in Clark county. South 
Dakota. Mrs. Schwab makes her home in Harlan and Carl is still living in 
Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Paulsen are the parents of eight children, all of 
whom are still living with their parents hut the oldest son. These children 
in the order of their birth are as follows: August,' born March 22, iS8q; 
Carl, horn May 29, 1891 ; Anna, born December 2^, 1892; William, born 
March 13, 1897; Elsie, born July 2^. 1898; Alfred, born February 10. 1901 ; 
Theodore, born June 11, 1903; Alice, born August 21, 1905. -August, the 
eldest son, is a graduate of the civil engineering department of Ames Col- 
lege 1912. and is now working for the Iowa Highway Commission. Carl is 
a graduate of the Harlan high school 19-10, took a course in the Iowa Busi- 
ness College and is now assisting his father in the store. All of the other 
children are now in the public schools but Anna who is assisting in the store 
of her father. She is a graduate of the Harlan high school 1912 and has 
passed the teachers' examination in the state but has never taught school. 
Mr. and Mrs. Paulsen are justly proud of their interesting family of chil- 
dren and have given them every educational advantage. 

Mr. Paulsen has two sisters who are now living in this country, Mrs. 
Kline Page, Manning. Iowa, and Mrs. Margarete A. Zabel, Omaha, Neb- 
raska. In 1885, Mr. Paulsen's parents came to this country, where they re- 
sided with their children until the death of the father in 1902. The mother 
is now living at Manning, Iowa. y 

On June 2, 1014, Mr. PauPen, his wife and Alice and Theodore started 
on a trip to Germain" for the purpose of visiting relatives and seeing the old 
world as a part of the children's education. It is needless to say that the 
trip was very enjoyable in every particular. Politically, Mr. Paulsen is a 


standi Republican in politics, but his political service has been confined to 
his membership in the town council of Irwin. He and his family are all 
loyal members of the German Lutheran church and contribute generously 
of their means to its support. Mr. Paulsen is a tine example of the self-made 

German citizen, a man who started at the foot of the ladder, and by his own 
exertions has attained a position of prominence in his county. He is a man 
of remarkable business ability and by the application of those German char- 
acteristics of frugality and honesty, he has built up a very lucrative trade in 
Irwin and the surrounding' territory. 


It would be a tine thing if every citizen of the United States would 
have the thrift and good judgment to lay aside enough of this world's goods 
to support him in comfort during his declining years. In England the gov- 
ernment has provided old age pensions, but in the United States we are told 
that every man should be able to provide for himself after he passes the 
meridian of life and is no longer able to work. Eor such as have not suffi- 
ciently pn ivided for themselves in their old age our government provides 
beautiful homes and takes good care of those who are unable to care for 
themselves. It is .surprising to note in Shelby county, Iowa, the large 
number of men, and especially farmers, who have retired from active life 
and moved to the towns. Every town in this countv has a large number of 
retired farmers living in it and each one of them is a living proof that 
farming in this county pays. 

Gustavus A. Justice, who is now living a retired life in Defiance. Iowa, 
was born in Linn county, Iowa, December 31, 1857. His parents, John and 
Margaret A. (Alsworth) Justice, were both natives of Pennsylvania, mar- 
ried in that state and then moved to Linn county, Iowa. They located in 
this state several years before the Civil War and were able to purchase their 
land at that time for one dollar and a quarter an acre. They lived in Linn 
countv until 1S65, and then moved to Jones county, in this state, where 
they purchased one hundred and sixty acres, paying twenty-five dollars an 
acre for it. In 1881 the wife of John Justice died and he then sold his farm 
in Jones county and came to Shelby county, where he has since made his 
home with his son, Gustavus, who was living in this county at the time. 

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John Justice and wife were the parents of four children: Edwin, Gustavus, 
Albert and George. 

Gustavus A. Justice was educated in the common schools of Jones 
county, Iowa, and completed his education by taking the course in the high 
school at Mechanicsville, Cedar county. Iowa. After leaving school he 
went to the southern part of Nebraska, where he worked on a farm for one 
year. He then returned to Shelby county, bought some stock and farm 
tools and rented a farm southeast of Harlan, in Fairview township, living 
on this place for two year-.. He then rented a farm in Lincoln township two 
years. He next purchased eighty acres of land near Panama, in Washing- 
ton township, and seven years later added a tract of similar acreage. Upon 
this farm he lived for the next nineteen years, during which time he bought 
two hundred acres more land, making three hundred and sixty acres. lie 
has now retired from active farm life and is living in Defiance. As a farmer 
he was considered one of the best stock raisers in the county and handled a 
large amount of Tolled Angus cattle. He has since sold his farm in Wash- 
ington township and bought two hundred and twenty acres in Union town- 
ship and one hundred and sixty acres in Greelev township. 

Mr. Justice was married on October 13, 1881, to Clara E. Miller, the 
daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Grauel) Miller, and to this union have 
been born five children: One, who died in infa'ney: F.ffie. who married 
Fred Kolbe, and has two children. Mildred and bred M. : Maude, the wife 
of F. P. Hulsebus; Lillie Fern, who died May 21, 1907, and Ralph, who 
married Aha Chamberlain, and has three children. Kenneth C Earl and 
Harold E. 

The Miller family were natives of Ohio. Joseph Miller was twice 
married. His first wife. Rebecca Grauel, died in 1S72, at the age of forty- 
one, leaving seven children living and three deceased. The seven living 
children are William H., Su^-an, Clare, Addie, Katherine, Minnie F., Jennie 
M. After the death of his first wife, Joseph Miller married Margaret Mc- 
Connaughev, and to this second marriage six children were born: Charles. 
Clancy, Clifford. Anna. Donia and one who died in infancy. Mr. Miller 
died in iSqj, at the age of seventy-two years. 

Mr. Justice has been a life-long Republican and has held several honors 
at the hands of his party. He is now a member of the Republican Central 
Committee of Shelby county. While living in Washington township, he was 
treasurer of the school board, and since moving to Defiance he has been city 
treasurer, as well as a member of the school board. He was also a member 
of the board of supervisors' for Shelby county for five years, during which 


time he favored every measure which he felt would benefit the county in any 
way. Religiously, he and the members of his family arc affiliated with the 
Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Justice is a trustee of the denomination 
at the present time. Fraternally, lie is a member of the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons at Harlan. Mr. Justice is the kind of a man who worked 
for the good of his county, having always given his influence to all worthy 
measures and movements and done everything within his power to make the 
county a better one in which to live. 


Among the most successful citizens of Shelby county, Iowa, is he whose 
name heads this sketch. Mr. Armentrout has for many years been a resi- 
dent of Shellw' county, where he is one of the largest land owners and stock 
raisers. Closely associated with him is his voungest son, Marion, one or 
the most widely known auctioneers in this section of the country. Having 
been brought up on the farm and in close touch with his father's business, 
he early acquired a knowledge of all relating to agricultural life and became 
an expert in his ability to properly jtidge live stock. Therefore, it is not 
surprising that in his business he makes a specialtv of this class of sales and 
while he has barely attained his majority, he lias a reputation as an expert 
in his line which might well be coveted by many an older man. He cried his 
first sale when but seventeen years of age, has attended the Missouri Auc- 
tion School at Kansas City, Missouri, and thus early in his career has cried 
sales in nine different state. 

Philip Armentrout was born on February 28, 1847. hi Richland county. 
Ohio, being the son of Jacob and Mary (Hammond) Armentrout, both of 
whom were natives of Rockingham county, Virginia. Jacob Armentrout 
was born in the year 1800, of Pennsylvania-Dutch parentage. There are 
no family records available showing when the first Armentrouts came to this 
country or from whence they came. Mr. Armentrout is one of a family of 
twelve children, but four of whom have passed into the great beyond. Their 
names are Allen (deceased), Nancy (Mrs. Armentrout, deceased), Annis 
(deceased). Annamelia (Mrs. McKibben), Anita (Mrs. Wise), Catherine 
( Mr;>. Rhodes). George, Abraham (deceased), Ansel, Albro, Dallas and 
Philip, the youngest of the family. 

Mr. Armentrout remained w ith his parents in the family home in Ohio 


until the year 1872, when he came westward into Iowa and located in Shelby 
count\'. ' After being here about a year he purchased one hundred and twenty 
acres of land in Jackson township and added to this from time to time until 
he possessed some four hundred acres. There he made his home for about 
thirty years, prospering in his affairs. In 1908 he disposed of his holdings 
in Jackson township and purchased six hundred and eighty acres located in 
sections 14, 22. 23 and 2j of Jefferson township and in 1913 he added two 
hundred and forty acres located in sections 10 ami 15 of the same township, 
making his total acreage at this time nine hundred and twenty acres. Mr. 
Armentrout has retired from the active management of the farm, leaving 
this work to his efficient mhis whom he has so well trained. Marion is quite 
successful in raising live stock and lias an excellent herd of full blooded 
Hereford cattle. He also raises a great number of Chester White hogs. 

On December 28, 1876. Mr. Armentrout was united in marriage with 
Alice Ross, born in Ohio on April 6. [859, the daughter of Hugh \V. and 
Millie (Baber) Ross, both being native- of Ohio. The} had a family of six 
children, the eldest of whom is Mrs. Armentrout. The others are Elizabeth 
(Mrs Ephart). Archibald, Joseph. Hugh and James, deceased. To Mr. and 
Mrs .Vrmentrout has been born a family of seven children, namely: Lonie I 7 ., 
born February 27, 1878. He chose as his wife Elsie Brown and they are 
tiie parents of four children. Everett. Lawrence, Lloyd and Amorette. Will- 
iam O., the second son. was born March 21. 1880. On November 30. 1904, 
be was united in marriage with Maude Simmons who has borne him six 
children, Dallas. Lois. Helen. Ansel. Wilbur and Woodrow. Eldoras, the 
third son, was born July [8, 1882, and was married on March 5. 1906, to 
Bertha Slates. They have two children. Ival D. and Dorris F. Ralph I... 
born December 20, 1S84, married Laura Peterson in 1900 and has one child. 
Lvle. Robert, born July 24, 1887, married Rosa Peterson and has one child. 
Bernice. Cassie was born on Xovember 31. 18S9, and on January 28. 1913. 
was united in marriage with Lilly Silverwood. Marion, the youngest of 
this interesting family of six sons, was born September 9. 1893 and remains 

Politically, Mr. Armentrout is a Democrat and being a wide-awake man 
of affairs, has always taken more than a passing interest in the affairs of his 
parlv. He has served Jackson township as trustee for eiglit terms and has 
been active in other lines of public service. His fraternal affiliation is with 
the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Marion also is a Democrat, pro- 
gressive in his views and gives promise of being one of the active men of 
the partv in this section in time to come. His business engrosses most of 


h;s time and he has now established an office in Manning, Iowa, which he 
maintains during the winter season.-. Altogether, he is a worthy son of 
his excellent father, possessing many of his attributes of character and ability. 
Since Mr. Armentrout first came to this locality many marked changes 
have taken place, the section having passed from the pioneer stage into the 
era of modern improvements and advantages of every description. He has 
kept abreast of the times in every particular and during the years of his 
residence here has been considered one <>i the leading citizens, taking a keen 
and abiding interest in all that related to the welfare and advancement of 
various community interests. The manner in which he has built up his 
interests since coming to this section marks him as a man possessing unusual 
business ability and his manner of living is such as to win for him the highest 
degree of admiration and respect from all with whom he has been associated. 
Mr. Armentrout is a man of marked domestic trails, taking great pleasure 
in his home and family, especially delighting in the growing circle of grand- 
children, and among all the residents of Shelby count}-, there are none more 
deserving than he of honorable mention in a work of the character of the 
one in hand. 


The history of Shelby count}- is replete with the successes which have 
attended the citizens of German birth. Xo other foreign country is so well 
represented in this count} and without exception they have become prosper- 
ous and substantial citizens of their adopted country. The habits of thrift 
and industry which always mark the peoples of German extraction have 
made them welcome additions to the various communities in this country 
which have been honored by their residence. Probably no family has had 
more marked success in this county than the Schechinger family, one of 
whose representatives, Joseph Schechinger. is one of the largest land owners 
in the county. 

Mr. Schechinger, the son of Martin and Katherine (Reedel) Schechin- 
ger, was born April 29, 1866, in Altbrein, German}'. Martin started to 
work out as a farm hand after leaving school and upon his marriage bought 
a small farm of twelve acres. He increased this to forty-four acres and 
then decided to sell it and permanently locate in the United States. In 1875 
he came to this country with his large family and at once located in West- 
phalia township, in Shelby county, Iowa, where he bought eighty acres of 

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land for eleven dollars an acre. A few months later he bought eighty acres 
more for eighteen dollars an acre. By thrifty methods and the valuable as- 
sistance of his four worthy sons he accumulated four hundred acres of 
land, which he divided among his four sons a few years before his death. 
To Martin Schechinger and wife were born eleven children: Katherine, the 
wife of Joseph Fromm; Crazens. the wife of Barttell Stoll ; Martin, who 
married Anna Book; Mary, the wife of Valentine Flintner; Frances, the wife 
of Peter Kauffman; Theresa, the wife of Benjamin Blum; George, who 
married Elizabeth Blum; Caroline, the wife of Michael Schiltz; Joseph: 
Anastasia (deceased), who was the wife of Jacob Cooker; Vitus, who mar- 
ried Barbara Hennis. 

Joseph Schechinger attended school for three years in Germany and « 
completed his education in this county. Fie was nine vears of age when 
his parents moved to Iowa and worked on the home farm while attending 
school, remaining at home until he was twenty-four. He then married and 
commenced farming on one hundred and sixty acres which has father gave 
him in Lincoln township and lived on this one hundred and sixty for the 
first three years after his marriage. In 1S93 he bought two hundred and 
eighty acres of land in Westphalia township (the Joseph Smith farm), and 
by hard work along the most approved lines has accumulated additional 
land from time to time until he now has seven hundred and forty-six acres 
of land in this county. For four or five years before his marriage he and 
his brothers operated a corn sheller and threshing machine for their father. 
He is a breeder of Shorthorn and Hereford cattle and has about one hundred 
head of cattle on the farm. 

Mr. Schechinger was married in 1S90 to Katherine Hennis. the daugh- 
ter of John and Elizabeth Hennis, and to this union there have been born 
seven children : Martin, Elizabeth, Barbara, John, Cecelia, Cunnie and 
Katherine. Martin and Elizabeth are deceased: Barbara is the wife of 
Charles Wageman and has two children, Anthony and Cecelia; all the rest 
of the children are single and living with their father. The mother of these 
seven children died November 13, 1910, at the age of forty years. She was 
born in Arcadia, Iowa, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Hennis, natives 
of Luxemberg. Germany. 

The Hennis family came from Germany to America in 1S73 and located 
in Arcadia, Iowa, but shortly afterward permanently settled in Shelby 
countv. John Hennis became a prosperous farmer and at the time of his 


death was one of the substantial men of his township. He and his wife 
have both been dead many years. They reared a family of three children: 
Katherine, the wife of Mr. Schechinger; Barbara, the wife of Vitus Schech- 
inger, and Elizabeth, the wife of Henry Ebert. 

Mr. Schechinger and all his family are loyal members of the West- 
phalia Catholic church. He is a member of the Catholic Knights of America. 
In politics he is identified with the Democratic party but has never been 
active in political affairs. He is an independent voter and believes in sup- 
porting the best men for office regardless of politics. 


The sons of Denmark are found in many different enterprises in Shelby 
count}', Iowa, and in whatever business they enter they are sure to be suc- 
cessful. The Danish citizens of this county are known as hard workers 
and whatever they undertake, they give to their business close attention and 
invariably make a success of it. Carl T. Anderson has been engaged in the 
creamery business for the past ten years in Shelby, Iowa, and has a 
pronounced success in this line of activity. In addition to his creamer} - 
interests he is also engaged in the grocery business and has a well-equipped 
grocery in Shelby. He is interested in many different enterprises in the 
city and is one of its most enterprising men. 

Carl T. Anderson, the son of Anders Otto and Nettie (Andersdatter) 
Larson, was born in Denmark on October 5, 1S60. His father was born in 
Norway in 1834 and his mother was born in Sweden in 1S20. After their 
marriage they moved to Denmark, where the father died in 1902 and the 
mother in 1910. There were seven children born to Anders Otto Larson 
and wife, five of whom are living. Only one sister is in this country, Mrs. 
Marie Martinson, who is living in Shelby township. 

Carl T. Anderson received a common school education in his native 
laud, and immediately after his marriage, in 1SS7, he came to America and 
located in Shelby, Iowa. He worked on the railroad for the first three 
years after coming to this country and then began to rent land in this 
county. He first had eighty acres and two years later assumed the manage- 
ment of a farm of two hundred and seventeen acres in Shelby township. 
In 1899 he bought eighty acres of land in Adair county, Iowa, but rented it 
out for two years and then sold it. He then bought one hundred and eighty 


acres in Shelby township and later sold that and bought eighty acres in 
Harrison county, which he still owns. In 1901 he moved to Shelby and 
became identified with the Waterloo Creamery Company, traveling for this 
company for two years. After this be became the manager of the Shelby 
Creamery Company and was soon connected with this company, assuming a 
half interest in the business, his partner being D. Cole. In 191 1 'Mr. Ander- 
son started a grocery store in Shelby and has given part of his time to its 
management since that year. He owns three business blocks in the city, is a 
stockholder in the banners Rank, the Shelby Lumber Company and the Tele- 
phone and Electric Light Company of Shelby. In fact, he is one of the 
leading business men of his city and by his enterprise has become recognized 
as one of its leaders. 

Mr. Anderson was married in 1SS6 in Denmark to Marie K. Olsen, 
who was born in that country in i8f>2. To this union has been born one 
daughter, Olena, who is now the manager of her father's interests in the 
Shelby Creamery Company. 

The Anderson family are devout members of the Danish Lutheran 
church. Politically, lie is a stanch Republican and has taken an active part 
in the civic life of his city. He has been a member of the council for four 
years, giving his fellow citizens efficient service in this capacity. He is 
truly one of the representative men of his city and is. undoubtedly, deserving 
of a place among the representative men of the county. 


One of the most prominent bankers and business men of Shelby county, 
Iowa, is Nicholas V. Kuhl, cashier of the German Savings Rank, of Earling. 
He comes of German parentage, his parents being among the early settlers of 
this county. 

The first bank in Earling was established in 1890 and was a private bank 
owned by J. P. Huntoon. and known as the Rank of Earling. In 1S92 the 
bank was incorporated under the state law and rechristened the German 
Savings Rank, of Earling. The original stockholders were P. J. Korth. J. 
E. Huntoon, J. H. Kuhl. J. C. Heese. August Schnuettegen. Fred Scheel and 
Wenzel Hahn. Some of the original incorporators are still residents of 
Earling and continue to be interested in the bank, while others have moved 
away or passed to their reward. The bank is located in a locality peopled 


largely by citizens of German birth and parentage, from which fact the bank 
gets its name. From the thrifty habits of these same sturdy Germans comes 
the large patronage which the bank enjoys. At the present time its deposits 
aggregate mure than two hundred thousand dollars with gross assets of more 
than two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The growth of this and 
other banks in the county is a thoroughly good index to the prosperity which 
has come to the people of the county. In 1896 the deposits in this bank 
averaged about forty thousand dollars, so it can be seen that they have in- 
creased five-fold since that time. This bank owns its own building in which 
all the accessories necessary to safe and successful banking are installed. 
The present officers are as follows: P. J. Korth, president: J. C. Heese, vice- 
president; Nicholas V. Kuhl, cashier. The first charter of the bank expired 
in 1912. but it was at once renewed and the bank is now enjoying a period 
of prosperity which speaks well for its future career. 

Nicholas \ . Kuhl, the sun of Joseph II. and Mary (Finken) Kuni, was 
born August 11, 1873, in [Mills county, Iowa. Joseph Kuhl was a son of 
Matthew and Margaret (Glason) Kuhl, both natives of the Rhine province 
in Germany, and early settlers in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where 
they located in the early forties. Eight children were born to Matthew Kuhl 
and wife: Joseph. Peter, Michael, Matthew. Nicholas, Margaret and Lena. 
Joseph Kuhl was married January 9. 1870, to Mary Finken, the daughter of 
Matthew and Katherine (Gans) Finken, and to this union were born ten 
children, Kate. Nicholas, John, Mary, Michael, Edward, Anna, Clara, Joseph 
and Matthew. Kate is the wife of J. J. Weiland; John married Mary 
Schcuring; Mary is the wife of Chris Weiland; Michael married Minnie 
Tucker; Edward married Rella Fans; Anna is the wife of John Foxhoven ; 
.Clara is unmarried and is living with her mother: Joseph and Matthew died 
in childhood. 

Joseph H. Kuhl was born in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, and when 
a young man his parents moved to Mills county, Iowa, where he farmed with 
his 'father. After his marriage he rented a farm for two years and then 
moved to Shelby county, arriving here in the summer of 1872. Cpon com- 
ing to this county Joseph H. Kuhl purchased a farm of eighty acres in West- 
phalia township, and by thrift and economy increased his land holdings to 
two hundred and forty acres. He was the first postmaster at Westphalia and 
later became the first postmaster at Earling. He served as county super- 
visor for two terms and as county treasurer for three terms. For a num- 
ber of years he was the agent for the Milwaukee Land Company and had 
charge of all of their land sales from Council Bluffs to Manning, Iowa. He 


was probably the most prominent man in the county during the early days 
of its history and never failed to give his best efforts to the advancement of 

his adopted county. 

Nicholas Y. Kuhl attended the Catholic school at Westphalia and later 
at Earling. After leaving school he fanned with his father until he was 
twenty-one years of age, and then attended a business college for two years. 
Upon leaving the business college he became a clerk in the German Savings 
Bank of Earling. and in October, ro.02, was elected cashier of the bank, a 
position which he has since held. He has demonstrated his fitness to fill this 
position by his genial manner and well recognized ability and has won the 
confidence of the patrons of the bank. 

Mr. Kuhl was married June 15, 1807. to Katherine Kelleher, the daugh- 
ter of John Kelleher, and to this union have been born three children, Marie, 
Edmund and Leona. Mrs. Kuhl's parents were born in Ireland and were 
early settlers of Audubon county, Iowa, where he father was a section fore- 
man on the Rock Island railroad. Mrs. Kuhl's father died in March, 1900. 
while Mr. Kuhl's father passed away April 2. 1900. Eight children were 
born to John Kelleher and wife, Elizabeth, Ellen, Alice, Kate, Xora. Julia, 
Dennis and Jeremiah. 

Politically, Mr. Kuhl is a Democrat and has always been active in local 
politics. He has served as councilman and mayor of Earling and in both 
capacities rendered faithful and efficient service to his fellow citizens. The 
family are all devout members of the Catholic church. Mr. Kuhl is the 
Grand Knight of the Earling Council of Knights of Columbus. 


There is one man, born in Denmark, with whom everv child in America 
is acquainted and it is safe to say that the name of Hans Andersen is 
destined to live in the hearts of the children until the end of time. The 
country which produced this famous man has sent thousands of excellent 
citizens to America and they have been welcome in every community where 
they have settled. The name Anderson is one of the most honored in the 
annals of Danish history and is upheld in Shelby county Greger G. Ander- 
son, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Clay township. The Danes who 
have made this county their home have proved to be men of worth and 
without exception they have become substantial citizens. They know how 


to work and, what is more essential, they know how to save. The native- 
born American is not as thrifty as his foreign-horn brother and often is 
compelled to call on the latter for help. It is said that it falls to the lot of 
the adopted citizens of many counties in the state of Iowa to support the 
native-born citizens in the poor huuse, certainly a sad commentary on the 
people who were born in this countrv. 

Greger G. Anderson, the son of Andrew Williamson and Mary ( Christ- 
ensen) Anderson, was born on October j8, 1874, in Denmark. His father 
was born in Denmark in 1S36 and lived the life of a farmer until his death, 
in the land of his birth in 1S76. His mother, who was born in 1S34. was a 
woman of unusual force and ability and reared her family to lives of use- 
fulness and honor. She was left with ten children and all but one of them 
are still living. In 1S92 she came with them to America and located in 
Kimbalhon, Iowa, where she lived until her death, in 1910. 

Greger G. Anderson was only two years of age when his father died 
and consequently never knew what it was to have a father's care. His 
mother gave him the best education which she could afford in the schools of 
his native country and he has since supplemented this with wide reading. 
He was seventeen years old when his mother came to America with her 
children, on May 25 of 1892, and immediately began to work on a farm in 
Cass county. He worked as a farm hand for four years and then married 
and rented a farm in Shelby county for the next eight years. In 1908 he 
bought the farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Clay township, where 
he is now living. He has made many improvements on the farm since 
acquiring it and has brought it to a high state of productivity. He carries 
on a general system of farming, but gives the most of his attention to the 
raising of a high grade of horses, cattle and hogs. He feeds all of his grain, 
having found that it pays to feed rather than sell it. 

Mr. Anderson was married on October 3, 1900. to Martha E. Peterson. 
She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Peterson and was born in 
Shelby county on June 24, 1871. To this union there have been born five 
children, Martin, Mary, Andrew, Grace and Harvey. All of the children are 
still living with their parents and are being given a good education. 

Politically. Mr. Anderson is identified with the Republican partv and 
takes a hearty interest in the success of his party. At the present time he is 
serving as one of the trustees of his township, a position which he has held 
for the past four years. He and his family are devoted members of the 
Danish Lutheran church, in whose welfare thev are verv much interested. 



There are two institutions which go hand in hand with civilization and 
are to be found in every community throughout the United States where 
men settle. These two institutions stand for civilization and in the great 
plans of men both serve the same purpose and have for their function the 
same end. The church and the school are the twin handmaidens of civiliza- 
tion and their work should be found side by side in every community. The 
object of both institutions is to make men better and to make the community 
in which men live a place where harmony, peace and love may dwell. Shelby 
county. Iowa, is the home of many Catholics, a large number of whom have 
come from Germany, and wherever these good people have settled they have 
promptly erected churches and school houses and contributed generously of 
their means to the support of both. Portsmouth is proud of its churches 
and schools, and the Catholics of the city and community, who have con- 
tributed so generously of their substance to the building of the St. Mary's 
church, the parochial school and the sisters' home in that city, are deserving 
of great credit. The pastor of St. Mary's church at Portsmouth, Iowa, is 
Rev. Julius Failenschmid. who has been the moving spirit in his church and 
school in this place for the past ten years. 

Rev. Julius Failenschmid was born in Ravensburg, Germany, November 
17, 1875, and is a son of George and Josepha (Eoscher) Failenschmid. His 
parents lived and died in their native land. His father was a tailor and fol- 
lowed that occupation until his death in 1907, his wife having died in 1904. 
George Failenschmid and wife were the parents of four children, Mary, 
Julius. Josephine and Louise. Mary is the wife of Peter Gubbels, and has 
two sons, Julius 'and Rudolph. Josephine is the wife of William Doffing, 
and has six children, Julius, Evelyn, Edward. Louis. Guadalupe and Melania. 
Louise is single and makes her home with her brother in Portsmouth. 

Rev. Julius Failenschmid attended school at Ravensburg, Germany, and 
when a young man came to America and located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 
where he resumed his studies for the priesthood in St. Francis Seminary. 
He was ordained to the priesthood June 19, 1S9S, and read his first mass 
on Line 26, iS<j8,'at the Holy Trinity church, at La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

The first appointment of Father Failenschmid was as assistant at Keo- 
kuk, and from there he was transferred to Exira, Iowa, to take charge of 
the St. Boniface church at that place. He built a new church at Exira and 
changed the name to the Holv Trinity church. His service at Exira extended 


from August 15, 1S9S, to December 30, 1904. For the past ten years he 
has been in charge of St. Mary's church at Portsmouth and since coming 
here he has made a number of hue improvements. He has built a new school 
building, and without doubt it is second to none in the county, for it is the 
most handsome building in the city of Portsmouth. He has also erected a 
new Sisters' house, which is also a handsome building, well equipped and one 
which serves well the purpose for which it was built. 

Father Failenschmid is a man of broad ideas and takes a deep interest 
in the welfare of his community. He is loved by his parishioners and is 
highly respected by every one in the community with whom he has come 
in contact. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is deeply inter- 
ested in the work of that fraternal organization. Politically, he classes him- 
self with the independent voters, preferring to cast his ballot for the best 
men, irrespective of their politics, feeling that in so doing he is best serving 
the interests of societv and the cause of good government. 


The life history of Joseph Rueschenberg is full oi many interesting inci- 
dents. A native of Germany, a veteran of two of the greatest wars of 
modern Europe, a merchant and farmer of Shelby county, Iowa, for more 
than forty years, his life has been one of ceaseless activity and he is now 
justly entitled to a rest from the cares of worldly affairs. Pie is one of the 
pioneer settlers of this county and has borne no inconsiderable part in mak- 
ing this county what it is today. He has carried forward to successful com- 
pletion whatever he has undertaken, and his business methods have ever 
been in strict conformity with the standard ethics of commercal life. He 
has taken an intelligent interest in the civic life of his adopted country and 
has earned the high esteem in which he is held by all who know him. 

Joseph Rueschenberg, the son of Frank and Theresa ( Hense) Rueschen- 
berg, was born January 10, 1841, in Westphalia. Germany. His father was 
a farmer in German}' and had a small farm of thirty-three acres, on which 
he lived until his death in 1862, his widow passing away two years later. 
Frank Rueschenberg* and wife were the parents of five children: Peter, John, 
Joseph, Frank anil Lazetta. All of the children are deceased now except 
Joseph and Peter, the latter living on the old homestead in Germany at the 
advanced age of ninety-seven. 




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Joseph Rueschenberg was given a good common school education in the 
schools of his native land and after leaving school assisted his father on the 
farm for one year and then took up the shoe-making trade, lie was ap- 
prenticed li.i a shoe maker for three years and then worked at his trade for 
three years in different cities in Germany, lie had by this time reached the 
age when he must serve in the German army, and for the next three years 
he passed through the military experience which is common to every German 
youth even to this dav. lie completed his service, returned home, but within 
three months his country was engaged in war with Austria and he was again 
mustered into the army. It was this so-called Seven Weeks War of 1S66 
which gave Prussia her independence, the battle of Sadowa which terminated 
this war. being comparable to the battle of Yorktown in this country. Four 
years later the Franco-Prussian War opened and Mr. Rueschenberg served 
his country gallantly and well. It was this war which resulted in the utter 
defeat of France, the cession of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, together 
with the payment of 5,000.000.000 francs as additional indemnity for the 
expense of the war. It must he a great satisfaction to Mr. Rueschenberg to 
know that he fought in the two wars which placed his native land where it 
is today. 

After the cio^e of this memorable conflict, Mr. Rueschenberg returned 
home and resumed his trade as a shoe maker, hut wishing to give his children 
better opportunities than they could get in their native land, he decided to 
come to America. He had married in 1867 and in 1874 he severed all old 
ties, gathered together his belongings and came t>> this country with his 
family. He came direct to Shelby county. Iowa, and settled in Westphalia, 
his family being the first to locate in the town. He opened a grocery store 
and at the same time followed his trade as a shoe maker. He continued this 
dual line of activity for three years and then traded his store for a farm of 
one hundred and twenty acres in the immediate vicinity of the town. Ik- 
was a successful farmer from the beginning and in the course of time he- 
came the possessor of three hundred and twenty acres in this county and 
one hundred and sixty acres in South Dakota. He continued farming for 
seventeen years and then bought a general merchandise store at Westphalia, 
which he managed for the next thirteen years. He then traded the store for 
land and retired from active work, although still maintaining his home in 

Mr. Rueschenberg was married October 17. 1S07. to Josephine Sasse. 
the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sasse, of Germany. To this union 
there have been born eleven children : Frank, who married Mary Ruden ; 


Robert, who married Kate Mumchrad; Joseph, \\ lio married Edith Hin- 
richs; Ernest, who married Xell Corbett; Christenia, the wife of Albert 
Mayes; Bertha, the wile of Prank Gross; Annie, the wife of Frank Mages: 
Elizabeth, the wife of John Bloom; Clara, single; and two who died in 
infancy. The mother of these children was horn December 26, 1844. and 
died March 10, 1 914. 

Mr. Ruescbenberg ha- been a Democrat since coming to this country and 
has always been interested in local politics. He served for four and a half 
years as postmaster of Westphalia and was for several years a member of 
the school board. He was the first secretary of the Westphalia Mutual Fire- 
Insurance Company and was one of the main men to organize the company. 
He and all his family are loyal members of the Catholic church and con- 
tribute liberally of their time and sulistance to its support. Mr. Ruescbenberg 
has lived such a life since coming to this county as to win the hearty com- 
mendation of every one with whom he has been in any way associated. He 
has a very extensive acquaintance throughout the county and no man has 
more loyal friends, a tribute to his .sterling integrity and worth as a citizen. 
It is such men who have brought Shelby county to the front and no one is 
more justly entitled to he called a representative citizen of this county. 


The two score years which Theodore Schnuettegen has spent in Shelby 
county, Iowa, since arriving in this country from German)', have made him 
one of the substantial men of the township in which he settled. The forty 
years which he has spent in Westphalia township have been years of lalxir 
and that they have been fruitful is shown by the fact that Mr. Schnuettegen 
started in with nothing and now owns a tine farm of four hundred and eighty 
acres. He arrived in this countv when he was twenty-four years of age and 
by good management, close economy and persistent energy and industry, 
has arisen from a place of penury to a position of pecuniar)- independence. 
His career is like that of many other excellent German farmers who have 
come to "this country and strikingly shows that the Cerman citizens of our 
country have played an important part in every phase of its development. 

Theodore Schnuettegen, the son of Anton and Marie Anna ( Hitzboth) 
Schnuettegen, was born in Westphalia, Germany, February 7, 1850. His 
parents lived all their lives in Germany, his father's death occurring March 


17, lS59, aiK ' his mother's in July, [883. His lather was a farmer in his 
native land and followed that occupation all of his days. Seven children 
were born to Anton Schnuettegen and wife. Anton. Frank, Joseph. Marie. 
Theodore, August ami John. Of these children. Frank, August and Anton 
are deceased. John married Mary Weiland, while Joseph is still living in 

Theodore Schnuettegen received a good common school education in 
the schools of his native land and after leaving school, took up the carpenter 
trade and followed that occupation until he came to America in 1S74. lie 
arrived at New York harbor August 1, 1874. with just enough money to take 
him to Iowa. Upon arriving in Shelby county in the fall of 1874. he found 
employment as a carpenter and continued to follow this occupation for the 
first five years after coming to this country. lie saved his money and in 
1879 bought a farm of one hundred and seventy acres near Westphalia. He 
worked hard and divided his attention between carpentering and farming 
with the result that he prospered to an extreme degree, and as the years 
rolled by was able to add to his possessions from time to time. When he 
retired to Fading in 19/2 his farm had increased to four hundred and eighty 
acres. Upon this farm he has erected handsome and substantial buildings 
so that its value today is more than fifty thousand dollars. Such is the record 
of an honest German emigrant who came to this country as a young man of 
twenty-four, and his history sets forth in a clear manner what good ability 
and hard work will do on the land in Shelby county. 

Mr. Schnuettegen was married at Westphalia, Iowa, March 9, 1S86, 
to Fredericka Koester, and to this union six children have been born: 
Marie, the wife of Anton Workman; August, who married Chrystine 
Schochinger; Louise, the wife of John Workman; Odelia. the wife of John 
Gaul; Antonia, who died in 1892; Emma, who is single and living at home. 

Mrs. Schnuettegen's parents were Joseph and Brigta Koester. natives 
of Germany. They reared a family of eight children. Kasper. Anton, John, 
Robert, Joseph, Hubert. Richard and Fredericka. The history of Anton 
Koester, which appears elsewhere in this volume, gives the family history 
of the Koester family. 

Mr. Schnuettegen is a Democrat in politics and has always been inter- 
ested in local affairs. He takes a deep interest in educational matters and 
is a member of the school board of Westphalia township at the present time. 
He and his family are all devout members of the Catholic church, in whose 
welfare they are interested and to the support of which they are generous 



The man who has spent tony years in this county is justly entitled to 
the honorable title of pioneer, and the historian of this volume is glad to find 
so nian_\' of the early settlers of Shelby county represented in the list of 
citizen- presented in this hook. A life of forty years in this county covers 
practically all the active history of the county, and Benedict Leuschen has 
been a participant in the various activities here for that length of time. 
Coming to Westphalia town-hip in 1874, he has had the satisfaction of tak- 
ing an active part in every movement which promised to benefit the county, 
and that he has done his part well is evidenced in the high esteem in which 
he is held by his fellow citizens. 

Benedict Leuschen, the son of Nicholas and Anna Mary (Mullitor) 
Leuschen. was burn June 7. 184s, in Schoenecken, German}'. Mis father 
was a school teacher for four or five years and then learned the cabinet 
maker's trade, following it the remainder of his life. To Nicholas Leuschen 
and wife were born eight children: Benedict, whose interesting career is 
here briefly set forth: Elizabeth, the wife of John Schmitz ; Valentine; Mag- 
dalena, the wife of John Hansen: Katherine, the wife of Nicholas Thielan ; 
Frank: Susan, who is still living in Germany on the old homestead: and 
Nicholas, who died young. The mother of these children died in 1850 and 
the father in 18S1. 

Benedict Leuschen attended school in his home town of Schienecken 
and, being a young man of much more than ordinarv ability, taught school 
for a few years, as his father had done before him. He then learned the 
cabinet maker's trade with his father and followed this until he was married 
in the summer of 1875. He decided to come to America in 1871 and with 
high hopes and enthusiasm he set out on the voyage across the broad Atlantic. 
That was a memorable June when he came across and first settled in Chicago. 
where he spent the first eight months working at his trade. Benedict fol- 
lowed his trade of cabinet making in Chicago and then went to Mattoon, 
Illinois, where he and five other men engaged in the furniture making busi- 
ness, but the panic of 1S73 put them out of business. 

He then came to Shelby county. Iowa, and bought a small farm of 
forty acres in Westphalia township. There were no improvements upon the 
land and he put up a rude cabin until such a time as he could afford a better 
home. That he prospered as the years went by is shown by his present farm 
of two hundred and eighty acres, which is one of the best improved farms 

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in the county. Not only has Mr. Leuschen prospered materially but he has 
at the same time taken a prominent part in the various communal activities 
of hi^ township. For ten years he was a school director and he was one of 
the organizers of the Westphalia Fire Insurance Company, a mutual com- 
pany which has been of great benefit to the citizens of this county. Me has 
been the secretary of the company since its incorporation, twelve years ago. 

Mr. Leuschen was married Ma}' 22, 1875, to Anna Mary Xolles. the 
daughter of Joseph and Anna Mary (Finken) Xolles, and to this union 
there have been born eight children: Joseph, who married Susan Schwery, 
and has seven children, Beatrice, Benedict, Adelaide, Leonard, Dorothy. 
Walter, and an infant; Nicholas, who married Elizabeth Thielan. and has 
three children. Llilda, Henrietta and Mary; Lena, the wife of Henry Thomas 
(deceased, 10,11), and the mother of two children, Benedict and Henrietta; 
Mary, the wife of William Hargarten, of Saskatchewan, Canada, and the 
mother of one son, Benedict; Frank, who married Rosa Pulvemacher, of 
Canada, and has two children, Loretta and Winifred: Matthew ami Benedict, 
both single: Katherine. the wife of Anthony Gosser. The mother of these 
children died March 16, 191 1. Her parents were both natives of German}', 
and after the death of her mother in her native land, her father and the 
children came to this country, arriving here in 1872. He located in Mills 
county, in this state, witli his four children: Lena. John. Valentine and 
•Barbara. The fifth and other child was Mrs. Leuschen. Mr. Xolles died in 

Mr. Leuschen has supported the Democratic party since coming to this 
country. He and all the family are devout Catholics and he is a member 
of the Knights of Columbus. 


The treatment of the diseases of animals has made great advances 
within the past few vears. Many of our state colleges are giving courses in 
veterinarv science and there are several other colleges which are giving such 
instruction. One (if the best courses in this new science is given by the 
Iowa State College at Ames and its graduates are recognized as being pecul- 
iarly well equipped for this line of work. It is a fact that the farmers of 
the country are being saved thousands of dollars each year because of 
skilled veterinarv surgeons and no locality should be without a man who is 


trained in the treatment of animal diseases. One of the best veterinary 
surgeons of this section of Iowa is Dr. James P. Jorgensen, who is prac- 
ticing his profession in Elkhorn. 

Dr. James P. Jorgensen, the son of Hans J. and Agnes (Petersen) 
Jorgensen. was burn in r8Si, in Kimballton, Iowa. His father was born in 
Denmark in 1833 and was a farmer and stock raiser in Denmark until 
1874. In that year he came to America and settled in Illinois, where he 
worked as a farm hand for about four years. He then moved to Audubon 
county, Iowa, bought unimproved land ami farmed until 191.?. He then 
retired from active farm work but continued to live on the farm until his 
death, in 1914. Hans J. Jorgensen was twice married. His first wife, 
Agnes Petersen, was born in Denmark in 1856 and died in Audubon county, 
Iowa, in 1892. Seven of the ten children born to this first marriage are 
still living. In 1898 Mr. Jorgensen was again married, his second wife being 
Anna K. Anderson, who was burn in Denmark in 1859. To this second 
union three children were horn, two of whom are living. The widow of 
Mr. Jorgensen is now living at Kimballton, Iowa. 

Doctor Jorgensen was educated in the schools of Kimballton and then 
entered Iowa State College at Ames, where he took the four years' course 
in veterinary science. .After his graduation he returned to Kimballton and 
commenced to practice his profession. He remained there until his mar- 
riage, in 1907, when he came to Elkhorn, where he is now residing. lie has 
bought fifteen acres in the northern part of the city, where he is raising 
some pure-bred Duroc Jersey hogs. Since locating in this county, Doctor 
Jorgensen has built up a large and lucrative practice and has had the gratifi- 
cation of feeling that his services have been altogether satisfactory. 

Doctor Jorgensen was married on June 26, 1907, to Minnie Rasmussen, 
who was born in this county in 1883. Mrs. Jorgensen is a daughter of 
Peter M. and Karen (Miller) Rasmussen, natives of Denmark. Both came 
to America when young and located at Port Amboy, Xew Jersey, where 
they were married. Later they moved to Shelby county, Iowa, and located 
in Clay township, where they lived the rest of their lives. Six children were 
born to Mr. Rasmussen and wife, Jens M. and Rasmussen (twins), Minnie, 
Yiggio and two deceased. To Doctor Jorgensen and wife there have been 
born two children. Hans J. and Alvin P. The family are members of the 
Danish Lutheran church, in whose welfare they are deeply interested. Po- 
liticallv, the Doctor is allied with the Progressive party, but the nature of 
his business precludes him from taking an active part in political affairs. 



An enterprising and successful business man of Fading. Iowa, is Joseph 
Bruck, the manager of the Earling Mutual Creamery Company. He lias 
been a resident of this county for the past fourteen years, during which time 
he has been actively identified with the business life of Earling'. and such lias 
been the excellent management of his business interests that he has come to 
be regarded as one of the substantial men of his community. Born of Ger- 
man parentage he has inherited those qualities which bave made the Germans 
successful men in whatever line of activity they chose to enter. 

Jacob A. Bruck. the son of Anton and Mary Katherine ( Schmitz) 
Bruck, was born December 27, 1882, in Luxemburg, Germany. Anton 
Bruck was the son of Nicholas anil Mary ( Diederich ) Bruck, and was a 
farmer in his native land all of his life. Nicholas Bruck and wife had three 
children, John, who married Margaret Schmitz; Anton, the father of Joseph, 
and Mai}-, the wife of John D. Dewatcher. Anton Bruck was educated in 
German v. and after leaving school worked out as a farm hand until his 
marriage. He then began farming for himself in bis native land and In 
1892 came to America and located in Stone City, Jones county, Iowa, where 
he worked in the stone quarry for eight years. In 1900 he moved to Shelby 
county and located in Westphalia township, where he rented a farm for the 
first five years and in 1905 bought the farm on which he is now residing. 
He is a man who is enterprising and thrifty and has met with more than 
usual success in his agricultural operations. Anton Bruck was married in 
1881, in Wicherding, Germany, to Mary Katherine Schmitz, the daughter 
of Anton and Margaret (Fogan) Schmitz, and to this union six children 
were born, Jacob A.. John, Fred, William. Charles and Susan. John and 
Charles are single. Fred married Cecelia Funk and has one son, Anthony. 
William married Sarah Winderhausen. Susan is the wife of Aloyious Wil- 
werding and has one daughter, Elizabeth. Mary Katherine Schmitz was one 
of three children, the other two being Margaret and Susan. Margaret be- 
came the wife of John Bruck, while Susan married C. Leider. 

lacob A. Bruck was ten years of age when his parents came to Jones 
county, Iowa, from Germany, and consequently he received part of his edu- 
cation in his native land and completed it ifl the schools of Jones City, Iowa. 
After leaving school he worked in the stone quarry with bis father. He 
operated a hoisting and drilling machine and continued working in the stone 
quarry until his parents moved to Shelby county in 1900. He was then 


eighteen years of age and after coming to this county he found employment 
upon the farms in Westphalia township. In 1901 he began working for his 
father on the home farm, remaining with his three years, after which he 
moved to Earling and engaged in the livery business. He continued in this 
business until 1907. when he and Paul Kenkel bought the Earling Mutual 
Creamer)- Company's plant and in its management have made a remarkable 

Mr. Bruck was married July i_', 1909, to Barbara Betz, the daughter 
of Michael and Mary Betz, and to this union mie daughter. Lucile, has been 
born. Mrs. Bruck's parents were natives of Germany and came to this 
country and located in Stone City, Iowa, where they lived the remainder of 
their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Betz were the parents of two children, Barbara, 
the wife of Mr. Bruck and Matthew, who died in young manhood. 

Mr. Bruck and his family are loyal members of the Catholic church and 
he is a member of the Roman Catholic Mutual Protective Society and is now 
the secretary of the organization. Politically, he is a Democrat, but owing 
to his business interests, has never taken an active part in political affairs. 


The citizens who have come to Shelby county, Iowa, from the little 
kingdom of Denmark have contributed in no small measure to the material, 
moral and educational prosperity of the county. Conditions in their native 
land are such that it requires the strictest economy and the application of 
the closest attention to one's business in order to succeed. The fanner of 
Denmark is fortunate if he has a tract of ten acres, and it can be readilv 
seen if the farmer in Denmark can make a living on a farm of ten acres 
that he would soon become wealthy in Shelby county, Iowa, where he had 
the opportunities to secure hundreds of acres of good land at a low price. 
One of the many excellent Danish citizens of Harlan, Iowa, is Chris ]. 
Han-en, who has been engaged in the implement business in the county 
seventeen years and for the past eleven years in Harlan. Previous to that 
time Mr. Hansen had been engaged in fanning and in the implement business 
in Clay township and had met with no 7 inconsiderable success in the tilling 
of the soil. In fact, at the time that he retired from the farm, in 11)03. he 
was the owner of over one thousand acres of excellent land, six hundred 
and fortv acres of which was in Shelbv countv. 

/ V 


; . 


Chris J. Hansen, the sun of Peter Carl and Marie Hansen, was born 
March 14, 1S71. in Denmark. His father was a small farmer in his native 
land and came to America in 1873, bringing his family. Five children were 
born to Peter Carl Hansen and wife: Mans Jergen. who died at the age of 
four years; one who died in infancy; Chris J., the subject of this brief re- 
view; Mar_\-, the wife of C. X. Christensen, and Alfred, who died in 1912, 
at the age of thirty-three. He was single and a farmer of the county. 

Chris J. Hansen was only two years old when his parents came to 
America from Denmark and consequently all of his education, which was 
limited, has been received in the district schools of this county. Mr. Han- 
sen farmed with his father in Clay town-hip and helped his father increase 
the paternal estate to four hundred acres. His father then retired to Har- 
lan, where his death occurred in 191 1, his mother still being a resident of 
Harlan. Both of his parents were members of the Danish Lutheran church. 

Chris J. Hansen began farming for himself at the time of his marriage, 
in 1896, by buying one hundred and twenty acres of land in Clay township. 
As a farmer he has been remarkably successful and now owns not only six 
hundred and forty acres of land in Shelby county, but also three hundred and 
twenty in Saskatchewan, Canada, and eighty acres in Missouri. While he 
has been actively engaged in the implement business for seventeen years, yet 
he still maintains a close supervision over his extensive estate. He moved to 
Harlan in 1903 and has since devoted the major portion of his time to the 
conduct of his implement business. His store is well stocked with farm 
implements, automobiles, vehicles, harness, hardware, pumps, gas engines, 
seeds, oils, etc., and by his courteous treatment of his customers and his 
honest methods of dealing, he has built up a large trade with the farmers of 
the county. 

Mr. Hansen was married January 2S, 1S96, to Dorothy Friedricksen, 
the daughter of Andrew P. Friedricksen and wife, Kjerstine, and to this 
union seven children have been born, all of whom are still living with their 
parents: Etna, born February 11, 1897: Fred, born May 15, 1899: Otto, 
born April 24, 1901 ; Chester, born October 19, 1904; Ruby, born February 9, 
1907; Alice, born July 24, 1909; and Emery, born May 3, 1912. Mrs. Han- 
sen's parents were also natives of Denmark and came to America in the 
early seventies, locating in Shelby county, Iowa, first in Monroe and later in 
Clay township. They died several years ago, leaving two children, Nicholas, 
of Guthrie Center, Iowa, and Mrs. Hansen. 

The Democratic party has claimed the loyal support of Mr. Hansen 



since reaching his majority, but his extensive business and agricultural in- 
terests have been such as to require all of his time and attention. He has 
served as a township officer in Clay township while living there, but since 
residing in Harlan has not sought for any political honors. He is a member 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Harlan. He is a man of pleas- 
ing address and his genial manner and whole-souled hospitality have en- 
deared him to a large circle of friends and acquaintances. 


Among the prosperous farmers who are living a retired life in Harlan, 
Iowa, is Levi Green, who has a well improved farm of two hundred acres in 
this county. He started agricultural life by buying a farm of eighty acres, 
and as he prospered from year to year added to his land holdings until he 
accumulated two hundred acres of fine land before he retired from active 
farm life and moved to the county seat. He has maintained his home in 
Shelby county for many years and has won a definite success by means of his 
agricultural industries. His career has been without a shadow of wrong or 
suspicion of evil and he has ever commanded the confidence and esteem of 
his fellow men in every way. 

Levi Green was born in Illinois in 1857. He was educated in the schools 
of Jasper county, Iowa, coming to this count}- when a small lad with his 
parents. He grew to manhood in Colfax, Iowa, and early in life began to 
work out' on the farms in his immediate neighborhood in that county. At 
the age of twenty he rented a farm and began to work for himself, and for 
four years operated a farm alone. He then married and moved to Shelby 
count}-, where he bought eighty acres to which he has since added one hun- 
dred and twenty acres. His farm is well improved and ranks among the 
most productive of the county. He was in active service on the farm until 
1909, when he retired and moved to Harlan, where he is now living. 

Mr. Green was married March 28, 1880, to Julia Border, the daughter 
of George and Delilah (Moore) Border, and to this union have been born 
five children, Iva. Maude, William, Xellie and Mary. Iva is the wife of 
William Martindale and has five children, Ethel, Ivan, Pearl, Harold and 
one infant. Maude, the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Green, is deceased. 
William married Hannah Jensen and has two sons, Earl and Virgil. Xellie 
is the wife of Francis Snyder and has three children, Cecil, Dale and Goldie. 


Mary became the wife of Homer Martindale and has two children, Eva and 

one infant. 

The parents of Mrs. Green were natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, 
respectively, and came to Jasper county, Iowa, early in its history. George 
Border enlisted for service in the Civil War at the age of twenty and served 
throughout that struggle. At the close of the war he came to Jasper county, 
Iowa, and followed agricultural pursuits for several years. He is now living 
a retired life at Sedalia, Missouri. Eleven children were born to George 
Border and wife, nine of whom are living, William. George, Edward, Charles, 
Lee, Mary, Pearl. Delilah, and Julia, the wife of Mr. Green. 

Politically, Mr. Green has always given his loyal support to the Repub- 
lican party and has always taken an intelligent interest in its welfare. He 
has served as school director in his township and gave universal satisfaction 
to the citizens of the township. He is now enjoying a well deserved rest 
after a long period of active farm labor. He has always lived such a life 
as to command the respect of his fellow citizens. 


One of the youngest farmers of Monroe township, Shelby county, Iowa, 
is Harry J. Malick, who was born in this county thirty-one years ago in the 
same hou^e in which he is now living. His father was one of the many 
Civil War veterans who located in Shelby county immediately after the close 
of that war when land was to be purchased very cheaply. Mr. Malick is an 
enterprising and progressive young man and handles his farm in such a way 
as to secure the best results. He gives all of his attention to his own agri- 
cultural interests and has never been inclined to take an active part in 
political matters, although he gives his heart}' support to all public-spirited 

Harry J. Malick, the son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Lewis) Malick, 
was born in Monroe township, Shelby county, Iowa, April II, 1883. His 
parents were both natives of Snyder county, Pennsylvania, his father's birth 
occurring on July 6, 1836, and his mother's in 1S41. They both grew to 
maturity in their native state and were married there several years before the 
opening of the Civil War. As a young man Jeremiah Malick learned the 
milling trade and was engaged in that occupation when the Civil War opened. 
He enlisted in 1862 in Company G, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regi- 


nient Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in as a corporal. 
He served nine months and was then discharged on account of disability 
arising from a severe attack of the typhoid fever. His hrave young wife 
was with him much of the time for the nine months he was in the service, 
and even traveled with the army for a time in order to be near her husband. 
While he was in the hospital she nursed him back to health. After remain- 
ing home about six months he again enlisted in the Two Hundred and Eighth 
Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and served as a corporal until 
the close of the war. He was with the Army of the Potomac and partici- 
pated in the siege of Petersburg for nine months and was present at the 
Grand Review at Washington, D. C. 

Immediately after the close of the war Jeremiah Malick moved with his 
family to the west, and in the fall of 1S65 located in Iowa. They came by 
rail as far as Booncsboro and then went by stage to Harlan. From that 
place they walked twelve miles southeast to his brother's farm in Monroe 
township and located on an adjoining farm. They built a log cabin that 
fall in which they lived until they were able to provide a better bouse. Jere- 
miah Malick first bought fifty acres of land in Monroe township from the 
government for one dollar and a quarter an acre, and later added eighty acres 
to this for which he paid three dollars and a half an acre. He farmed this 
for a short time and then bought one hundred and sixty acres in Fairview 
township, this being part of the farm of two hundred and twenty acres which 
Harry J. Malick now owns. Subsequently. Jeremiah Malick increased his 
holdings until he was the owner of two hundred and twenty acres at the time 
of his death, January 28, IQ13. There were six children born to Jeremiah 
Malick and wife: Clement, who married Elizabeth Forgotter; Fred, who 
married Fannie Hurles; Blanche, the wife of John Findley; Aikron, who 
married Bashie Anstine; Mae, the wife of Edward Campbell, and Harry J. 

The education of Harry J. Malick was received in the schools of Mon- 
roe township, and after leaving school he assisted his father on the home 
farm for six vears. His father then retired and moved to Harlan and Harry 
J. took charge of the home place. The farm has sixty-five acres of native 
timber, a feature which adds not a little to the value of the farm in view of 
the fact that timber is very scarce in this section of the state. He devotes 
most of his attention to the raising of corn and hogs. In the summer of 
1914 he had one hundred and thirty head of hogs on the farm. 

Mr. Malick was married September 14, 190S, to Meta Cook, and to this 
union two children have been born, Gaither and Gerald. Mrs. Malick was 


born in German}' and came to this country when twelve years of age to make 
her home with her uncle. William Cook, of Harlan, Iowa. Mr. Malick*s 
mother is still living. 

Politically-. Mr. Malick is a Democrat hut is not a partisan in any sense 
of the word. He prefers to be classed as an independent Democrat, feeling 
that it is to the best interests of his township and county to cast his ballot 
for the best men, irrespective of their political affiliations. Successful in his 
own private affairs. Mr. Malick is also interested in the welfare of his com- 
munity, and gives his unreserved support to every enterprise looking to the 
advancement and welfare of his fellow citizen. 


Man} - nations are represented in the cosmopolitan population of Shelby 
county, but a preponderance of the number of foreign born citizens are of 
Germanic descent. These citizens have been large contributors to the ma- 
terial, moral, educational and religious advancement of the count}', and have 
rendered their adopted country as true devotion as have the native born 
citizens. One of these German settlers who has been actively engaged in 
farming in Clay township is Jesse P. Eengtson. who has taken an active part 
in the life of his community since he came here more than twenty years ago. 
He has filled various township offices, and in the administration of the duties 
connected with them, has shown that rare citizenship which is the stamp 
of the true American citizen. 

Jesse P. Bengtson, the son of Andrew P. and Ellen ( Lange) Bengtson, 
was born in Schleswig. German}', in 1S73. His father was a native of 
Sweden, born in 1849, an ^ his mother was born in Denmark in the same 
year. His father was a merchant and real estate dealer in Sweden and died 
in that country in 19 14. Andrew P. Bengtson was twice married. His first 
wife, the mother of Jesse P.. died in 1SS0. and the four children born to this 
first marriage are now all deceased with the exception of Jesse P. In 1893 
Andrew r P. Bengtson was married to Bernardine Carlson, who was born in 
Sweden in' 1864. and is still living in her native land. Two children were 
born to this second union, one of whom is deceased. 

Jesse P. Bengtson was educated in his native land and when he reached 
the age of eighteen, came to America and settled in Shelby county, Iowa. 
He worked as a farm laborer in Clay township for two years and then rented 


a farm for six years, after which he bought a farm of eighty-one acres, lie 
planted a grove oi fruit and forest trees on this farm and in 1912 disposed 
of it at a good profit and bought his present farm in the same township of 
one hundred and twenty acres. He has made many improvements on this 
farm and has just completed a beautiful country home at a cost of thirty-five 
hundred dollars. 

Mr. Bengtson was married in 1906 to Caroline Seymour, who was born 
in Clay township, in 1SS1. Her father, Monroe Seymour, was a veteran of 
the Civil War. He was born in the state of New York in 1845 and is now 
living a retired life in Atlantic. Iowa. Mr. Bengtson and wife have two 
children, Lloyd and Gladys, both of whom are still living with their parents. 

The principles and policies of the Republican party have always found 
in Mr. Bengtson a loyal supporter. His party has called upon him upon 
frequent occasions to serve in an official capacity and he has never been 
found wanting. He served as assessor for six years, and filled the important 
position of justice of the peace for a period of four years. He and his family- 
are loyal and consistent members of the Danish Lutheran church, in whose 
welfare they are deeply interested and to whose support they are liberal 


An enterprising and progressive young farmer of Jackson township, 
Shelby count}', Iowa, is Hans P. Hanson, who is now living on the farm 
where he was born in 1S78. His parents were both natives of Denmark and 
he has inherited those characteristics which have made the Danish people 
such successful farmers in this county. As a farmer he ranks among the 
best in the county and by progressive methods and close application to his 
business, he has one of the best improved as well as one of the most pro- 
ductive farms in this community. He takes an active interest in the civic 
life of his community and while a member of the school board, took an inter- 
est in the educational advancement of his locality. 

H. P. Hanson, the son of Hans J. and Mary (Erickson) Hanson, was 
born in Jackson township, Shelby county, Iowa, February 26, 187S. His 
parents were both born in Denmark, his father being born March 4, 1839, and 
his mother May 8. 1835. His father was educated in his native land and 
when twenty-three years of age enlisted in the Danish army and fought 
through the German and Danish War of 1S64. After the war, he returned 


to his home and farmed until 1S70 in the locality where he was born. In that 
year he came to America alone and first located in Iowa but a short time 
afterwards went to Michigan and worked in the lumber camps of that state. 
He also worked for the railroad companies of that state for several years 
before returning to Iowa. When he came to Iowa the second time, he located 
in Cass county and worked for the Rock Island Railroad Company. Later 
he located in Shelby county and purchased a farm, although he had previously 
bought some land in this count)'. He was married in 1S77 and at once per- 
manently located in Shelby county, where he is still living. Only one son 
was born to Mr. and Mrs. Hans J. Hanson, H. P., whose history is here pre- 

The education of H. P. Hanson was received in Jackson township and 
after leaving the school room, he farmed with his father until his marriage 
in 1904. He now manages and operates his father's farm of one hundred 
and forty-three acres and has placed about ten thousand dollars worth of im- 
provements upon it since taking charge of it. He has a beautiful country 
home which is strictly modern in every respect. The house is placed upon 
elevation about twenty-five feet above the level of the road and has a beauti- 
ful lawn surrounding it. He has excellent barns and out-buildings and 
everything about the place bespeaks the taste and thrift of the manager. He 
is a large raiser of hogs and cattle and in 1914 had eighty head of hogs and 
forty-two head of cattle upon his farm. 

Mr. Hanson was married May 4, 1904, to Ella Peterson, the daughter 
of George H. and Ella Peterson. To this union two children have been 
born: Petrea. who is now nine years of age and Edward, who died in 
infancv. Mrs. Hanson's parents were born in Denmark, and Mrs. Hanson 
was born in this township. Her parents came to America before their mar- 
riage and were married in this county. They retired from the farm some 
years ago and are now living at Elkhorn. Iowa. They reared a family of 
eleven children, Harry, Alma, Olga, Jennie. Ella, Annie, Petrea, Peter, 
Matthew, Arthur and Andrew. All of these children are still living with 
the exception of Petrea. 

Mr. Hanson is a Republican in politics with Progressive tendencies. 
The only official position which he has ever held is that of school director, a 
position which he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to his fellow 
citizens. Mr. Hanson is a man of high ideals and has so managed his affairs 
and conducted his daily life as to merit the high e>teem in which he is held 
by his fellow citizens. 



In the year 1S7S an ambitious, young Danish lad had just reached his 
majority. He had a rugged constitution and an ambition to do something. 
and as there appeared to be very little opportunities in his native land, he 
finally induced one of his brothers to loan him enough money to come from 
Denmark to America, where many of his countrymen had already settled. 
Upon coming to America he immedialelv went to Iowa and located in 
Shelby county, where he found employment. It had taken all of his bor- 
rowed money to get to this country, and this same young man who arrived 
here in 187S, penniless, is now the owner of five hundred acres of fine farm- 
ing land in Clay township, and four hundred and eighty acres of land in 
Canada. Such, in brief, is the history of Peter Pedersen, than whom there 
is no more enterprising and successful farmer in Shelby county. 

Peder Pedersen, the sun of Teder and Christina (Christensen) Peder- 
sen, was born in Denmark on October 14, 1S57. His father was born in 
1815 and his mother in 1S22, and neither of them ever left the land of their 
birth, his father dying in 1S67 and his mother in 1909. Peder Pedersen, 
Sr., followed the trade of a blacksmith in Denmark all of his days. He and 
his wife reared a family of twelve children, five of whom are deceased. 

Peder Pedersen left his native land in 187S to seek his fortune in 
America. He came to Shelby county, Iowa, where many of his fellow 
countrymen had previously located and found employment as a farm hand 
on the farms in this county. He then married and rented a farm of sixty- 
two acres in Clay township, but was soon in a position to buy a farm of one 
hundred acres in the same township. Because of his unceasing industry and 
good management, success met him at every turn, and the one hundred 
acres grew to five hundred acres, while at the same time he has been able to 
keep his land well improved. Xo less than ten thousand dollars' worth of 
improvements have been placed by Air. Pedersen upon his land, and the 
once penniless youth is now one of the wealthiest men of the county. He 
has also invested in land in Canada, and one of his sons is now managing 
his four hundred and eighty-acre farm in that country. This son also owns 
four hundred and eighty acres adjoining his father's tract, making nine 
hundred and sixty acres in all. It seems like a fairy tale when it is recalled 
that Mr. Pedersen was glad to work for thirteen dollars a month when he 
came to this country in 1878, and yet handicapped as he was by not having 
any money to invest, he has prospered beyond his expectations. With good 

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judgment he lias stocked his farm with only the best grade of stock and has 
been especially interested in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle. It is safe to 
say that he is interested in everything pertaining to the development and ad- 
vancement of his county's welfare, and to this end he has given his hearty 
support to all public-spirited measures. 

Mr. Pedersen was married in 18S1 to Anna C. Xesbv, who was bom 
in Denmark on October _\ 1861, the daughter of Jens C. Xcsby, and to this 
union fourteen children have been born. Of these children four are de- 
ceased, Edna, Lillie, and two were named Tenia. Seven of the children are 
still living with their parents: Ida, Henry, Tharval. Agnes. Esther, George 
and .Wilford. One of the sons, William, is living on his father's farm 
in Canada. Peder also lives on a half section of land in Canada, which he 
owns. James also owns and tills one hundred and sixtv acres of land in 

In politics, Mr. Pedersen gives his hearty support to the principles and 
policies of the Republican party, and while interested in everything per- 
taining to his community's welfare, yet has never been an aspirant fur public 
office. His advice on political matters has frequently been sought by the 
leaders of his party, but he has preferred to give his entire time and attention 
to his own interests and leave the management of politics to those who have 
more time to devote to it. He and his family are loval and consistent mem- 
bers of the Baptist church and give it their unreserved support at all times. 
Fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. 


The German farmers of Shelby county outnumber those of any other 
foreign country and in some of the townships constitute a majority of the 
population. Without exception these German farmers are thrifty and sub- 
stantial men of affairs and have become worthy citizens of their adopted 
country. One of the many German farmers of Grove township is Joseph 
Fahn, who bv the exercise of his abilities, has accumulated a farm of three 
hundred and twenty acres of the best land in the county. As a farmer he 
keeps thoroughly abreast of the times and his farm is one of the best equipped 
and most productive farms of the county. 

Joseph Fahn. the son of Peter and Katherine (Brown) Fahn, was born 
March 15, 1S73, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. His parents were both natives 


of German}', his father's birth having occurred in Bavaria, ami his mother's 
in the Rhine Province. Peter Fahn worked on a farm in his native land 
until he was old enough to join the German army and then enlisted and served 
the full time required of every German male. After leaving the army he 
resumed farming until 1855, when he married and came to America and 
located at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where he worked as a farm hand until 
the opening of the Civil War. He then enlisted in Company A. Seventeenth 
Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and served for four years, fie 
had a distinguished record in the Civil War and while he had many narrow 
escapes, yet he never failed to he with his regiment for duty. 

After the close of the war Mr. Fahn returned to Wisconsin and worked 
at farm labor for a few years. He then bought a small farm in Wisconsin 
on which he lived until 1S73. In the latter year he came to Shelby county, 
Iowa, with his family and located in Grove township, where he bought a 
farm of one hundred and twenty acres. By hard work and good manage- 
ment he increased his land holdings until he was the owner of three hundred 
and live acres at the time he retired in 1894. He is now making his home 
with his daughter. Mrs. A. Assman, in Grove township. His wife died in 
1895 at Earling, Iowa, leaving her husband and six children, Mary. Anna. 
Katie, Emma. Rosa and Joseph, to mourn her loss. 

Joseph Fahn received his education in the common schools of Grove 
township, and after leaving school assisted his father in the work on the home 
farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then rented land from his 
father two years, and upon his marriage his father gave him eighty acres of 
land on which to establish a home of his own. Being a very progressive 
young man he made the best of his opportunities, and within a few years 
owned a half section of the best land in Grove and Washington townships. 
lie has made extensive improvements upon his land and now has one of the 
most beautiful country homes in the county. His barns and outbuildings are 
equal to the best and everything about the place speaks the thriftiness of its 
owner. He feeds most of his grain to hogs and cattle and markets one hun- 
dred and twenty-live head of hogs annually. 

Mr. Fahn was married in 1899 at Westphalia, Towa, to Margaret Lee- 
nan, the daughter of Henry and Thresia Leenan. and to this union seven 
children have been born, all of whom are still living with their parents, 
Lawrence, Leo. Albert, Edmund. Mildred, Hilda and Leonard. 

Mrs. Fahn's parents were natives of Germany and came to this 
country in an early day and were among the first who located in Dubuque 


county. Iowa. They remained there for some years and then moved to 
Shelby county and located in Lincoln township, where they bought a farm 
on which they lived until a tew years ago. They then moved to Earling 
where they are now living. They are among the most highly respected and 
honored citizens of the county, and have always been stanch members of the 
Catholic church. Air. and Airs. Leenan are the parents of fourteen children, 
of whom ten are living. 

Air. Fahn and his family are all devout members of the Catholic church 
and are greatly interested in even-thing pertaining to its welfare. Politically, 
Mr. Fahn is identified with the Democratic party, but has never been an aspir- 
ant for any public office. He has preferred to devote his energies to the de- 
velopment of his farm, lie is a man of genial manner and has won a host 
of friends throughout the community because of the clean and wholesome 
life which he lives. 


The soil is the basis of all life both animal and vegetable, and the great- 
est civilizations have arisen from that soil which is the best adapted for 
human existence. The greatest nations are not found in the Arctic regions, 
neither do they flourish in the tropics, but the greatest men of the world live 
along a narrow belt of latitude in the temperate zone, where there are neither 
extremes of heat nor cold. The United States is embraced within this 
favored region and here are found the finest fiber of brain and nerve. A 
man is more or less a creature of his environment and a man who is placed in 
the tropic zone where he needs no shelter, little clothing and no labor in order 
to provide himself with plenty to eat, never becomes great. Such conditions 
hold in the Arctic regions, where the extremes of low temperature are such 
as to inhibit all advance in civilization. Xo more favored spot in the United 
States for agricultural purposes is to be found than within the limits of 
Shelby county, Iowa, and here men and women from every corner of the 
globe have gathered. Denmark has contributed its quota, and among these 
worthv men, Martin J. Larson, of Fainiew township, holds an honorable 

Martin J. Larson was born December 24, 1S51, in the little kingdom 
of Denmark. He was given a good education in the schools of his native 
land and early in life decided to come to America, where better opportunities 
awaited the young man. In 1872 he left his home for America and on 


reaching this country immediately went to Shelby county, Iowa. For the 
first two year.- he worked on a farm and then bought a team and broke 
prairie land for farmers in the county for the next two years. With the 
money which he saved he bought forty acres in Fairview township, and has 
since added to it until he is now the owner of one hundred and twenty acres 
of excellent farming land. There being running water upon his farm, it is 
well adapted to stock raising and he realizes the major portion of his profits 
from the sale of his stock each year. He has a good residence, commodious 
barns and out buildings which he has built, and has always been particular 
in keeping his place in good repair. He has out a large orchard with an 
abundance of different kinds of fruit trees and takes excellent care of his 

Mr Larson was married in 1875 to Laura Nelson, who was born in 
Denmark, and to this union have been born twelve children, Louise, Minnie, 
Nels, Ida, Lena. Lawrence, Marie, Edna, Olga, Clarence, Lillian and Harry. 
All of these children are still living except Xels, who died at the age of 
eighteen, and Harry, who died at the age of nine. Mrs. Larson was the 
widow of Xels Jesperson, and was the mother of three children by her first 
marriage, Emma, Carrie and Louise, who died in infancy. 

Mr. Larson is a Democrat but has not taken an active part in politics. 
He and his family are members of the Lutheran church. 


The thirty years which Henry Claussen has spent in Shelby county, 
Iowa, have been sufficient to enable him to acquire a comfortable competence 
for his declining years. He is now living a retired life in Shelby, Iowa, al- 
though he still retains his farm in the county. The Claussen family have 
been prosperous farmers in this county for many years, and three of them 
have been prominently identified with the agricultural life of their respective 
communities. They have never neglected to take their share of the burdens 
of civic life, and are truly loyal to their adopted country. 

Henry Claussen. the son of Clans and Katrina (Tauck) Claussen, was 
horn in Germanv on September 16, 1S60. Clans Claussen was born on 
February 21, 1825, in Germany and came to this country with his family in 
1884, although some of his sons had come here in 1881 and settled in Shelby 
count v, Iowa. Katrina Tauck. the wife of Clans Claussen, was born in 



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Germany on May 24, 1828. and died in Shelby county, Iowa. January 1, 
1900. The father is still living with his son, Henry, in Shelby, and is now 
past ninety years of age and is the oldest living' settler in Shelby countv. 
Claus Clanssen and his wife reared a family of five children, four of whom 
are living, Peter, John H., Henry and Katharine, all of whom are living in 
this county. 

Henry Clanssen left Germany in 18S4 with his parents and consequently 
was tw r enty-four years of age when he arrived in this country. He received 
a good common school education in his native land and upon arriving in 
Shelby county, Iowa, began working for himself at once. He rented two 
hundred and forty acres of laud in Shelby township, and in 1900 bought two 
hundred and forty acres. He operated this farm until 1909 and then 
bought one hundred and sixty acres in the northeastern part of Shelbv 
township, which he still owns. Here he has put out a grove of fruit and 
forest trees of five acres, which is one of the largest groves in the township. 
In 1908 he retired from active farm life and moved to Shelby, Iowa, where 
he is now living. He has three lots on which he has built a beautiful, mod- 
ern home at a cost of five thousand dollars. He is not married, and his 
sister, Katharine, keeps house for him and his aged father. 

Politically, Air. Clanssen has always been affiliated with the Demo- 
cratic party since acquiring the right to vote in this country. He has not 
been active in political affairs, although he is interested in everything which 
pertains to the welfare of his fellow citizens. He maintains his membership 
in the German Lutheran church, while, fraternally, he belongs to the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows. 


One of the largest, if not the largest, farm in Shelby county owned by a 
farmer of Irish parentage, is the farm of six hundred and twenty acres 
owned by Michael O'Day. Starting out as a renter soon after reaching 
his majority, he has become one of the largest land owners in the countv and 
has accumulated this large farm solely through his own individual efforts. 
Year by year has seen him more prosperous, yet he has not neglected to take 
the time as opportunity presented itself to assist in the material and civic 
development of his county. Too much credit cannot he given to a man who 
acquires such a farm through his own initiative, and the fact that Mr. O'Day 


retains the good 'will and respect of his fellow citizens, shows that his suc- 
cess has been well earned. 

Michael O'Day, the son of Thomas and (O'Connor) O'Day, 

was born in Washington count}', Pennsylvania, in 1S67. His father was 
born in Ireland in 1S34, ami remained in his native land until he was twenty- 
one years of age. In 1855 he crossed the broad Atlantic and settled in 
Pennsylvania, where he farmed until the opening of the Civil War. He 
enlisted at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1S62, in the cavalry service, and re- 
mained at the front until the close of the war. He made a gallant record 
as a soldier and with his regiment participated in many of the hardest fought 
battles of the Civil War. After the close of the war Thomas O'Day re- 
turned to Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he followed farming 
pursuits for about a year. In 1866 he came to Shelby county, Iowa, and 
purchased forty acres of land, part of which was covered with a good growth 
of timber. He cleared twenty acres of this tract and then returned to 
Pennsylvania, where he remained a year. He had married immediately 
after the close of the war and upon returning to Shelby county, in 1867, he 
brought his wife and family with him. He had built a log cabin on his forty 
acres and in this he lived for about fifteen years. As the times grew better 
he added to his farm and at the time of his death in 1894, was the owner 
of one hundred and twenty acres of good farming land in Grove township. 
His wife was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1839, and died 
in Shelby county, Iowa, in 191 1. 

Michael O'Day is one of ten children born to his parents, six of whom 
are still living. Michael received his education in the schools of Shelby 
county, and due to the fact that the schools were hardly organized in his boy- 
hood days, his education was necessarily limited. However, he has been 
a reader all of his life and today is one of the best informed men of his 
township, When he was twenty-two years of age he started fanning for 
himself by renting eighty acres from his father. Two years later he bought 
eighty acres in Grove township, and with this as a nucleus, he has accumu- 
lated an estate of six hundred and twenty acres, all of which is in one tract. 
On this farm he has placed buildings which alone cost him eight thousand 
dollars. . In addition to this he has built several miles of fencing and put in a 
large amount of drainage. He is one of the largest and most extensive stock 
breeders of the county and several car loads of stock are sold from his farm 
each year. His success has been little short of remarkable, considering the 
opportunities he had as a young man. 


Mr. O'Dav was married in K)02 to Jessie Jenkins, who was born in this 
township in 18S2, and to this union six children have been born. Thomas, 
Lerov, Maurice. Lorenzo, Hubert and Margrette. All of these children are 
still living' except Lorenzo. 

Politically. Mr. O'Dav has long been allied with the Republican party, 
but the affairs of his large farm have been sufficient to occupy all of his 
attention and he has never felt inclined to act as a candidate for any public 
office, although his advice on political subjects is frequently sought bv the 
leaders of his party. lie ami his family are devout members of the Catholic 
church to whose support they are generous contributors. 


The handling of the large grain crop of Shelby count}- has made it neces- 
sary to establish grain elevators in various parts of the county. Some of 
these elevators are in the hands of companies from outside counties, while 
others are independent concerns owned by citizens living within the count}-. 
Such a plant is established at Earling, Iowa, and is owned by Emil Miller, 
one of the keenest young business men of the county. He has been buying 
and selling grain for the past six years and in that time has learned the grain 
business thoroughly. 

Emil M. Miller, the son of John P. and Lena (Berger) Miller, was born 
November 6, 1883. in Westphalia township, Shelby county, Iowa. His 
father was a native of German}-, educated in his native land and came to 
America at the age of twenty-one. John P. Miller first located in Cascade 
county, Iowa, where he rented a farm for five years, after which he moved 
to Westphalia township. Shell)}- count}-, and purchased a farm of eighty 
acres. He was married in Cascade county, Iowa, to Lena Berger, who was 
born in this state. In 191 1 John P. Miller and his wife moved to Earling. 
where they are now living a retired life. Six children were born to John P. 
Miller and wife: Matthew, who married Gertrude Gross; Lena, deceased; 
Katherine. the wife of Ulrich Albers; Emil, the subject of this review; 
Charles, who married Julia Dresen, and Nicholas, who married Agnes Tuffel- 

Emil M. Miller was educated in the Catholic school at Earling, and after 
leaving school he farmed with his father until 1908. In that year he entered 
the employ of the Wright & McWhinney Company, grain dealers at Earling. 


and bought grain for them for five years. He hail charge of the elevator at 
Earling and proved an efficient manager for his employers. However, Mr. 
Miller wished to engage in business for himself, and on July 2y, 1914. he 
bought the grain elevator of the Loltz Brothers, and is now in active charge 
of his own plant. He is one of the brightest and keenest young business 
men of the county and because he has always dealt honestly with his patrons, 
he has won their confidence and consequently their business. 

Politically, Mr. Miller is a loyal Democrat, but the extent of his 
business interests has so far prevented him from taking an active part in 
political matters. He is a member of the Catholic church and a generous 
contributor to its support. Mr. Miller is a voting man right at the very 
threshold of his career and his success so far indicates a prosperous future 
for him. 

william h. Mclaughlin. 

Few farmers in Shelby county, Iowa, have attained greater success in 
the stock raising business than William H. McLaughlin, of Shelby township. 
Starting in as a renter in 1892, be has become one of the largest land owners 
in this township, owning more than five hundred acres of land, and has also 
become one of the largest cattle and hog raisers. His barn is one of the 
largest and finest in the state of Iowa and was built to accommodate his 
large herds of live stock. He has not only taken an active interest in the 
material prosperity of the county, but has also served as township trustee 
and given bis hearty support to every worth}' measure advanced for the 
welfare of his community. 

William H. McLaughlin, the son of Charles James and Martha (Camp- 
bell) McLaughlin, was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, September 
21, 1S61. His father was born in the same county in 1832, while his mother 
was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1835. After his marriage, 
Charles James McLaughlin, with his brother, became interested in the tan- 
nery business in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and followed that until 1S69. 
In that year he went west alone on a prospecting trip, intending to purchase 
a tract of land in some of the western states where good land was to be 
secured at a low price. He went directly from Germantown, Pennsylvania, 
to Lanark, Illinois, and from there to Davenport, Iowa, where he met a 
party of three men: D. B. Pierce and his son Frank and Nathaniel Lawson. 


._ -^»^^ai,.i^^^^.^, J ^.w»y-...^ .., . JJJ . r ,,.:.— :.. J ^-:.-.. i~- 

william ii. Mclaughlin. 


These four men traveled in a covered wagon and started to drive across 
the state with a view of securing land in a most favorable location. They 
traveled nearly across the .state and finally came to Shelby county, and the 
sight which here met their eyes was such that they determined to locate in this 
county. Mr. McLaughlin at once bought three hundred and twenty acres 
of unimproved land and also forty acres additional a little later for which 
he paid eight dollars an acre, and this same land today is worth more than 
two hundred dollars an acre. He at once built a house and this same house 
is now occupied by his son, William H. Charles James McLaughlin now 
returned to his home in Pennsylvania and moved his family to Shelby 
county, Iowa. He set out an orchard of five acres and was soon raising not 
only all the fruit he could use but was able to sell a considerable amount 
each year. As early as 1872 his trees were bearing and he made an exhibi- 
tion of his apples at the Silver Creek Fair, winning prizes on several of his 

Charles James McLaughlin was one of the best known of the early 
pioneer farmers. Xot even the grasshopper scourge could discourage him 
and, despite the fact that the grasshoppers drove more than half of the 
pioneers out of the county, he stayed and took advantage of the cheap land 
which was placed on the market at that time. When the grasshopper plague 
struck Kansas he and one of his sons drove to that state and bought one 
hundred and fifty head of cattle. They drove the cattle from the northern 
boundary of Kansas to Shelby county, Iowa. When they struck the Mis- 
souri river at Omaha, they swam the entire herd of one hundred and fifty 
across the river. It is needless to say that a farmer who would have the 
courage to buy cattle at such a time would succeed, and when he died, in 
1897, his extensive holdings of eighteen hundred and forty acres were 
sufficient proof that he had been successful. When William II. was a lad 
of fourteen, he and his brother. Ellsworth, aged eleven, herded a large 
drove of cattle in the northern part of Westphalia township. During the 
summers from 1875 to 1879 the two brothers herded their father's cattle 
there all during the summer, driving them home each fall for the winter 
season. The wife of Charles James McLaughlin was a worthy helpmate 
in the new prairie home and no small share of the success which attended 
her husband should l>e given to her. Nine children were born to Charles 
James McLaughlin and wife: John L., Robert. Mrs. Sarah J. Boget, Eph- 
riam, William II. , Martha. Ellsworth, Mrs. Laura Ennis, and one who died 
in infancy. Of these children, John L., Robert, Sarah and Martha are 


deceased. Robert attended school at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and later at 
Glenwood, Iowa. He started to teach school in Shelby township in 1S70 
and was the first teacher in the township. He taught school in his parent's 
home and used the front room for the school room. He later taught school 
at Shelby. Iowa. He died in Denver, Colorado, in 191 1. Ephriam is a 
prosperous grocery merchant of Boise, Idaho. Ellsworth is a substantial 
farmer and real estate agent now living in Canada. Mrs. Laura Ennis, the 
only one of the daughters living, is now a resident of Denver, Colorado. 
Charles James McLaughlin and his wife were loyal members of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church and were two of the first six who organized the 
Methodist church of Shelby. Mrs. Mclaughlin died in 1906. 

William H. McLaughlin was nine years of age when his parents moved 
from Pennsylvania to Shelby count}', Iowa,, and here he has made his home 
for the past forty-five years. He received all of his education in one term, 
and this was received in the front room of his father's house. When he 
reached his majority, he rented two hundred and forty acres of his father's 
farm and farmed it for three years, then took charge of the home place and, 
subsequently, bought a portion of it. After his marriage, in 1S9S, he began 
to add to his land holdings and now owns five hundred and thirty-two acres 
of well-improved land in Shelby township. He has given particular atten- 
tion to the raising of registered Shorthorn cattle, although he also handles 
Poland-China hogs and Percheron horses. His barn, which cost him four 
thousand dollars, is ninety by thirty- four feet and has two wings, thirty- 
eight by fifty-six feet. This barn is one of the most complete barns for live 
stock purposes to be found in the state of Iowa. It is probable that there is 
not a barn on any farm in the state which can shelter as much live stock. 

Mr. McLaughlin was married in 189S to Myrtle Buckley, who was 
born in Shelby county, Iowa, in 1S74. She was a daughter of Harry H. and 
Maggie ( Chestnut) Buckley, natives of Pennsylvania, who located in Lanark 
county, Illinois, and later settled in Iowa. To this union five children have 
been born, three of whom are living and two who died in infancy. Yeta, 
Ralph and Willard are living with their parents, the latter two being twins. 

Mr. McLaughlin has been a stanch member of the Republican party and 
served his party as trustee of Shelby township from 1910 to 1912. He and 
his family are enthusiastic members of the Methodist Episcopal church and 
give it their hearty support at all times. Mr. McLaughlin is one of the most 
highly respected men of his township and a man who has always held the 
interest of his community at heart. 



A successful farmer and stock raiser of Shelby count}-. Iowa, is Bal- 
thaser Thillen, who is the owner of a large tract of land in Washington and 
Westphalia townships. He is descended from German parentage, and has 
inherited those characteristics which have brought success to every German 
settler in this county. Mr. Thillen started in as a renter and by his own 
industry and good management has accumulated a farm of two hundred and 
sixty-four acres within a period of sixteen years, and has paid for it all from 
the earnings of his land. It will be admitted that a man who can accom- 
plish this in such a short length of time is deserving of a great deal of credit. 

Balthaser Thillen. son of Nicholas and Barbara Thillen, was born May 
9, 1874. in Clayton county, Iowa. His parents were both born in Germany. 
His father worked as a farm hand in France for three years, and in 1S55 
came to America and located in Dubuque county. Iowa, where be worked for 
a short time. He then moved to Elkader. in Clayton county, Iowa, where 
he purchased timber land, cleared it and farmed the same until bis death, 
August 27, 1892. Nicholas Thillen was married in Clayton county, Iowa, 
in 1860, and to this union were born three children, Balthaser, John and 
Elizabeth. John died when he was eleven years of age and Elizabeth mar- 
ried Nicholas Miller, and now lives in Clayton county. 

Balthaser Thillen received all of his education in the district schools of 
Clayton count}-. Iowa, and after leaving school farmed with his father until 
he was eighteen years of age. At this time bis father died and he rented the 
home farm for three years. In 1896 he went to Shelby county and located in 
Lincoln township. He rented land for the first two years after coming to 
this count}', and in 189S bought one hundred and twenty acres in Washing- 
ton township, where he lived until 1910. He then purchased one hundred 
and four acres adjoining Panama, in this county, moved there and is now 
living in the town of Panama. He devotes most of his attention to the 
raising of Chester White and Poland China hogs and has achieved pro- 
nounced success in the handling of swine. 

Mr. Thillen was married August 31, 1897, at Westphalia, Iowa, to 
Katherine Stoll, the daughter of Bartol and Crysanthia Stoll, and to this union 
one daughter. Marie, has been born. Mrs, Tfiillen's parents were both natives 
of Germany and came to this country before their marriage, locating at Peru, 
Illinois. They were subsequently married in that place, and immediately 
came to Shelby count}'. Iowa, and located in Lincoln township, where they 


rented a farm for a few years. Mr. Stoll then bought eighty acres of land 
and at the time of his death, in 1905. he was the owner of a tract of seven 
hundred and eighty acres of fine farming land in this county. Mrs. Stoll is 
still living in Westphalia. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stoll: 
Katherine, the wife of Mr. Thillen; Mary, the wife of Peter YVillmes; Caro- 
line, the wife of Henry Schomers; Joseph, who married Margaret Coenen; 
Louis, who married Cecelia Betshie; Vitus, who is a Catholic priest at Rose- 
mount, Iowa: Agnes and Clara, who arc living with their mother, and three, 
Martin. Cecelia and Jacob, who are deceased. 

Politicallv. Mr. Thillen is a Democrat, and has been active in political 
affairs, having served as township master eight years and on the council of 
Panama. He and liis family are members of the Catholic church at Panama. 
Pie is a member of the Knights of Columbus, belonging to the Dunlap Coun- 
cil at Dunlap, Iowa. 


Xo profession has made greater advancement in the last half century 
than the agricultural profession ami today the farmer is making more money 
with less effort than ever before in the history of the world. The agricul- 
tural colleges which are springing up all over the United States are doing an 
incalculable amount of good for the fanners and the young man who takes 
a course in one of these schools is in a position to make farming a paying 
proposition. Every year finds an ever increasing number of bright young 
men in agricultural schools and the future history of farming is going to 
tell a different story as a result. The career of Francis L. Kerr shows what 
may be accomplished by a scientifically trained young farmer and the course 
in animal husbandry which he has taken in college will make him a leader in 
his county along stock raising lines. 

Francis L. Kerr, the son of Calvin and Carrie (Lambert) Kerr, was 
born June 8, 1887, in Jasper county, Iowa. His parents were both born in 
Ohio. His father went to Missouri with his parents in 1866 and in about 
1873 or 1874 located with them in Jasper county, Iowa. In 1S79 Calvin 
went to Saunders count}'. Nebraska, where he had entered a piece of railroad 
land and on this he lived for the next five years. He then returned to Jasper 
county, Iowa, and a few years later located at Manilla, Crawford county, 
Iowa. He now engaged in the vehicle and harness business and followed 
this line of activity for the next seven Years. In the meantime he had bought 


eighty acres of land in Jefferson township in this county and in 1894 moved 
on this farm. Later he bought another eighty acres adjoining and on this 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres he lived until the fall of 1013 when he 
retired and moved to Manilla where lie is now residing. 

Francis L. Kerr is the only child born to his parents and after receiving 
a good common and high school education entered the Agricultural College at 
Ames, Iowa, and graduated from the course in Animal Husbandry in that 
excellent institution in 1900. While in college he took the course which he 
thought would benefit him on the farm and it is not too much to say he is 
one of the best equipped farmers in the county. His success since taking hold 
of his father's farm indicates that he will one day be classed among the best 
fanners of the state. He keeps fully abreast of everything pertaining to the 
farm and is rightly regarded as a leader in his county. 

He has a good strain of Duroc Jersey red hogs and general purpose 
horses. In the fall of 1914 he purchased a bull gas tractor which is adapted 
to all kinds of farm work and will do the work of four or five horses. Mr. 
Kerr built a silo in 191 r. He was one of the first farmers to raise alfalfa 
in northern part of the county and now has about seventeen acres which 
he cut three times in 1914. 

He is a breeder of Guernsey cattle and in 19 10 brought the first cattle 
of this breed into the county. At the present time there is only one other herd 
of the cattle in the. county. He now has fifteen head of full blooded regis- 
tered Guernseys and is all the time adding to his herd. He is secretary and 
treasurer of the Iowa Guernsey Breeders' Association and is actively inter- 
ested in the work of the association. In 1911 he exhibited three head of 
his cattle at the Iowa State Fair and took first prize on one of his three-year- 
old heifers. His mother has taken first prize on butter at the Manilla corn 
show for the past four years. He milks from twelve to fifteen cows the year 
around and has found it a very profitable business. Xo young man in the 
county is making a better showing on the farm and his striking success so far 
presages promising things for him in the future. 

Mr. Kerr was married June 4, 1913. to Lottie Vennink. She is the 
daughter of William and Georgiana (Helm) Vennink and was born February 
18, 1889. in Crawford county, Iowa. To this union has been born one daugh- 
ter, Madelyn Frances, born Jul}' 9. IQ14. Mr. Kerr and his wife are both 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is an independent voter 
and has never been an aspirant for public office. They are genial and friendly 
young people who have a large circle of friends and acquaintances through- 
out the county. 



The nations of the world have contributed of their best blood to the 
population to the United States, but no nation has given to this country bet- 
ter citizens and more loyal subjects than has Germany. The various revolu- 
tions which occurred in Germany during the nineteenth century, while they 
were unfortunate for that country, were, on the other hand, a blessing for 
this country, for during that time thousands of the best people of Germany 
fled to the United States and became eager citizens of this country. No more 
patriotic citizens fought for the North during the Civil War than did the 
thousands of German soldiers who enlisted under the Stars and Stripes and 
gallantly defended the honor of their newly adopted country. We will never 
forget the services of such men as Carl Schurz, one of the best soldiers of 
that conflict, and a man who made a great name for himself afterward in the 
political life of this country. Without exception, the German settlements of 
this country are characterized by thrift and industry and Shelby county, Iowa, 
owes a debt to its German population which it can never repay. One of the 
many excellent German citizens of this county is John Huber, a prosperous 
farmer of Center township. 

John Huber, the son of Frederick and Anna (Seeland) Huber, was 
born in 1S53 in Schleswig, Germany. His father and mother were born in 
the same state in 1824 and lived in the land of their birth all of their days, 
the father dying in 1907. 

John Huber was one of three children born to his parents, one of whom 
is deceased. It would be very interesting to know the reasons which induced 
so many thousands of young Germans to come to this country, but it is safe 
t'> assume that they felt that this country offered better opportunities for pe- 
cuniary independence for themselves and their descendants. There can be 
no question but that it has so proved, as can be testified by hundreds in Shelby 
c<mnt_\- alone. In 1873 John Huber was nineteen years old. had a good com- 
mon school education, was a young man of strong physique and fully able to 
take care of himself. When he came to this country in that year, his chief 
asset was his willingness to work, and with this as his capital he felt no hesi- 
tancy in leaving his native land ami settling in a new country. He first lo- 
cated in Illinois and readily found work on the farms of that state. Two 
years later he permanently settled in Shelby county. Iowa, and for the first 
two years worked upon different farms in the count)'. H e then bought three 
hundred and twenty acres of land in Center township, and as the township 


was then very thinly settled, he secured his land at a low price. I lis farm 
still has on it about forty acres of natural timber land and this one feature 
has made the land very valuable. lie has placed several thousand dollars 
worth of improvements upon the farm since acquiring it and now has a farm 
which is easily worth fifty thousand dollars. lie has always been a large 
stock raiser and markets about twenty beef cattle each year. 

Mr. Huber was married in 1S93 to Elizabeth White, who was born in 
Harlan in 1S66. To this union there have been born three children. Anna, 
Ethel and Fred. Anna is a graduate of the Vocational College at Harlan 
and is teaching school in Westphalia township. Ethel graduated from the 
high school at Harlan and is now teaching in the county. Fred is still 
in school. 

Politically, Mr. Huber is allied with the Democratic party but has never 
been an aspirant for office. He takes an intelligent interest in good govern- 
ment, however, and gives his hearty support to all movements which will 
bring it about. He and his family are members of the German Lutheran 


, The excellent farming land of Shelby county has attracted farmers from 
all over the world and the success which has accompanied the farmers of this 
county shows that its fame is well-founded. The little kingdom of Denmark 
has sent hundreds of its best citizens here and they have been important fac- 
tors in the development of the county. Among the younger farmers of the 
countv of Danish birth is Nels P. Hansen, one of the progressive farmers of 
Clay township and a man who is doing his share toward making the county 
one of the best in the state. 

Nels P. Hansen, the son of Jurgen and Marie Hansen, was born in 
Denmark in 1875. His father was a brick mason in his native land and fol- 
lowed his occupation until his retirement, a few years ago. His mother died 
in Denmark in 1909, leaving two children, Nels and a daughter, who is still 
living in Denmark. 

Nels P. Hansen received most of his education in the schools of his 
native land, although he attended the schools of Cass county, Iowa, for a 
short time after coming to this country. Many of his friends and relatives 
had come to America before he decided to leave his home and cast his lot in 
this country. This fact, together with the desire to better his opportunities, 


induced him to come to America in 1S94. At that time he was nineteen 
years of age and felt that lie was amply ahle to care for himself in a new 
country. On arriving in the United States he at once went to Cass county, 
Iowa, where he had no difficulty in finding plenty of work. During the first 
winter in Iowa he attended school and in this way got a much better grasp 
of the English language. He continued to work on the farms in Cass county 
until lyoo, when he came to Shelby county and rented a farm. He is now 
renting a farm of two hundred and forty acres of land in Clay township and 
is meeting with marked success in his work. In 1914 he planted eighty acres 
of corn and twenty-five acres of oats and other crops in proportion. He also 
raises live stock and feeds most of his grain to his cattle and hogs. 

Mr. Hansen is not married. He is a loyal member of the Danish Luth- 
eran church and is a contributor to its support. Politically, he is a Democrat 
but has never been active in the work of his part}'. Fraternally, he is a 
member of the Woodmen of the World and the Danish Brotherhood. Mr. 
Hansen is a young man who is making his way slowly and surely to the 
front, and it is safe to assume that he will one day be classed among the 
substantial farmers of his township. 


One of the few farmers of Shelby county, Iowa, who was born in 
Pennsylvania is Wilson Allison. He is now living a retired life upon his 
farm in Shelby township. He has been a resident of this county since 1S82 
and his fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres is the result of his own 
individual efforts. He has been interested in political affairs of his com- 
munity and has filled several official positions with credit to himself and 
satisfaction to the citizens of his township. He is a man of fine character 
and his life since coming to this county has been such as to commend him to 
his fellow citizens. 

Wilson Allison, the son of Jacob and Katherine (Segar) Allison, was 
born in Juniata county, Pennsylvania, on January 2S, 1845. Jacob, also the 
son of Jacob, was born in Perry count} - , Pennsylvania, in 1S08, and followed 
the trade of a carpenter in that count} - until his death, in 1878. His mother 
was born in the same county in 1810 and lived until 1890, being eighty 
years of age at the time of her death. There were seven children born to 
Jacob Allison and wife, three of whom are still living: Wilson; George, of 

V I 

. . 

. „ ■ . - r . 



Pittsburg. Pennsylvania ; Jacob, of Altoona, Pennsylvania. The great grand- 
father Allison was killed in the Revolutionary War. 

Mr. Allison was educated in his native count}- in Pennsylvania ami as a 
youth worked among the mountains of his neighborhood. Later he worked 
as a farm laborer and wa> an emplove in a saw mill. Me also teamed in his 
native state for some years before coming to Shelby county. Iowa. In 
iSSj he came to this county and began to work on the farm which he now 
owns. He worked by the month for two years and then rented one hun- 
dred and forty acres in Shelby township for three years. He then rented 
one hundred and sixty acres for three years, then two hundred and sixty 
acres for three years ; then rented two hundred acres for two years. He 
cultivated rented land in Shelby township for eleven years, after which he 
bought his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres in this township for 
forty dollars an acre. He has placed extensive improvements upon it and 
has so farmed it as to keep it at a high state of productivity. 

Mr. Allison was married on May 20, 1S60, to Margaret Ellen Kern, of 
Huntington county, Pennsylvania. Airs. Allison was bom November 2, 
1840, in Huntington county, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Peter and Anne 
Elizabeth (Stinson) Kern, natives of Huntington and Fulton counties, 
Pennsylvania, respectively. Peter died in Pennsylvania in May, 1S80, and 
the mother accompanied Wilson Allison and wife west and resided with 
them for two years, residing part of the time with her son, Frank, in Harri- 
son, Kentucky. She died in 1886. The Kern children' are John W., of 
Pennsylvania; Frank, of Harrison county; Margaret Ellen; Emma G. Price, 
deceased; Sarah (Zimmerman), of Shelby; James, of Harrison county. To 
this union have been born six children, five daughters, who are living, ami 
one son, deceased. The live living daughters are: Mrs. Minnie E. Haley, of 
Minnesota; Mrs. Anna Evans, of Minnesota: Mrs. Bertha Mowry, of Shelby 
township, Shelbv county. Iowa: Mrs. Ida Mowry, of Tennant, Iowa: and 
Mrs. Sadie Mvers, of Shelby county. John S.. the only son. deceased, was 
married to Verna Quick and left one son, Glen Wilbur. Elmer Myers, who 
married Sadie Allison, is cultivating the Allium farm. They have one child, 
Margaret Arvilla. 

The Democratic partv has always had the loyal support of Mr. Allison 
and he has taken an active part in the political councils of his part}'. IE- 
has served as town-hip supervisor and school director for many years in 
Shelby township and has administered the duties of both offices in a satis- 
factory manner. He and his family are earnest members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church of Shelby and render it their hearty support. 



The Herkenrath family has been prominent in the history of Shelby 
county, Iowa, for the past thirty-eight years, and three generations of the 
family have heen prominent factors in every phase of the county's growth 
and development. In agricultural circles, business circles and in official life 
they have taken an active part, and wherever they have directed their ener- 
gies, they have been successful. With true German thrift and resourceful- 
ness they have used their capable qualities to the benefit of their adopted 
county and there are no more highly respected citizens than the members of 
this family. 

Peter Herkenrath. the most prominent business man of Portsmouth, 
Iowa, was born in Cologne, Germanv, February 21, 1851. He was the son 
of Joseph and Gertrude (Korth) Herkenrath, his parents living in Germany 
until several years after their marriage. Joseph Herkenrath worked on the 
railroad in his native land and when he came to .America, in 1869, he located 
in Keokuk county, Iowa. He bought a farm of seventy acres in that county 
and lived there for seven years. In 1876 he removed to Shelby county and 
located in Cass township on a farm of forty acres. He lived on this farm 
for fourteen years and then removed to Portsmouth and lived until his 
death, November 7. 1894. His wife died March 24, 1889. Two children 
were born to Joseph Herkenrath and wife, Peter and Anna, who became the 
wife of Matthew Ohlinger. 

Peter Herkenrath was educated in the common schools of Germany and 
was eighteen vears of age when he came to America with his father. lie 
worked with his father on the farm in Keokuk county, Iowa, for three years, 
and then married and came to Shelby county. He settled in Cass township 
and bought a farm of eighty acres, and with that energy which characterizes 
the Germans evervwhere in this county, he prospered and increased his acre- 
age until he owned four hundred and thirty-five acres of excellent farming 
land. In 1 89 1 Peter Herkenrath moved to Portsmouth, Iowa, and became 
engaged in the general merchandise business with Mr. Dohrman, under the 
firm name of Herkenrath & Dohrman. Fifteen years later Mr. Herkenrath 
bought out the interest of Mr. Dohrman and took his son. John, in with him 
as a partner. In Kji2 another son, Anthony, joined the firm and since then 
the firm lias been known as I'eter Herkenrath & Sons. Mr. Herkenrath i? 
president of the State Bank of Portsmouth and one of the most substantial 
business men of the count v. 


Peter Herkenrath was married January 23, 1873, to Mary Ohlinger, 
the daughter of Peter and Angeline Ohlinger, and to this union eleven chil- 
dren have been born, Angeline, John, Anna. Peter, Matthew, Anthony and 
William, tour being deceased. Angeline is the wife of William Thomas, and 
lias one child, Francis. John married Dorothy Whaley, and has two chil- 
dren. Bernice and Bernard. Anna is the wife of Giles S. Bendon, and has 
two children, Marie and Peter. Peter, the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. 
Herkenrath, married Mayme Caufield. Matthew is single. Anthony mar- 
ried Anna Skalla. William is single. 

Mrs. Herkenrath's parents were horn in Germany ami came to America 
early in the history of Keokuk count} - , Iowa, and lived in that county until 
their death. The family are all devout members of the Catholic church and 
Mr. Herkenrath hoick his membership in the Roman Catholic Mutual Pro- 
tective Societv. He has been largely interested in the civic life of his com- 
munity and has served two terms as township trustee, two terms as mayor of 
the city of Portsmouth, and has sat in the city council. He has also been 
count}' surveyor for two terms. The Democratic part}' has always claimed 
his support and he has been one of its leaders in local affairs for many years. 

John Herkenrath, the oldest son of Peter Herkenrath, is a prominent man 
of Portsmouth, and looks after the greater part of his father's interests. He 
is a director in the State Bank of Portsmouth. He and his father own the 
lighting plant and pumping station of Portsmouth and have built up this 
public utility until it is one of real benefit to the citizens of the city. He is a 
charter member and the chief of the fire department, which was organized in 
1896, and has acted as chief since 1902. He has been the clerk of his town- 
ship for the past eight years and administers the affairs of this office in a 
very efficient and satisfactory manner. He has served as city clerk for six 
years, assessor for two terms, secretary of the independent school district 
since 1901 and treasurer of Cass township school district for two terms. 
John Herkenrath is one of the most enterprising young men of his city and 
no enterprise is launched for the benefit of the city that does not meet with 
his approval and his enthusiastic support. He is now serving his fifth term 
as treasurer of the Firemen's Interstate Association. He was a notary pub- 
lic for four vears. He owns a half interest in seventy acres with his father 
in the southeast part of Portsmouth and also a half interest in store building 
and stock of merchandise. It is safe to say that he is one of the representa- 
tive men of his city, and being a young man he is now in the prime of life, 
with a long sphere of usefulness before him. 



The agricultural interests of Shelby county, Iowa, are largely indebted 
to the many excellent German fanners who have made this county their per- 
manent residence. The Ruschenberg family have been identified with the 
history of this county for more than forty years and during all of this 
time has been active in everything pertaining to its welfare. Frank Joseph 
Ruschenberg came with his parents to this county when he was six years 
of age and has spent his life since 1874 in this county. 

Frank Joseph Ruschenberg, a prosperous farmer of Douglas township. 
was born in Germany July S. 1858. Mis father, Joseph, who was the son 
of Frank and Theresa (I Tense) Ruschenberg, was born January 10, 1S41, 
in Westphalia, German}', and was one of five children, the others being 
Peter, John. Frank and Lazetta. All of these children are now deceased 
with the exception of Joseph and Peter, the latter living on the old home- 
stead in Germany, at the advanced age of ninety-seven. Joseph Ruschen- 
berg learned the shoemaker's trade in his younger years and followed this 
occupation for three years in different parts of his native land. He served 
with distinction in the Seven Weeks' War of 1S66, a war which made 
Prussia independent of Austria. Joseph Ruschenberg was also in the 
Franco-Prussian War of 1S70. In 1874 he brought his family to America 
and located in Shelby count}', Towa, where he has since resided. Joseph 
Ruschenberg was married October 17, 1867, to Josephine Sasse, and to this 
union eleven children have been born : Frank Joseph, whose history is here 
presented; Robert, who married Kate Mumshrad; Ernest and Joseph, single; 
Christina, the wife of Albert Mages; Bertha, the wife of Frank Gross; 
Anna, the wife of Frank Mages; Elizabeth, the wife of John Blum; Clara, 
single, and two who died in infancy. The mother of these children was 
born December 26, 1844, and died March 10, 1914. Joseph Ruschenberg. 
after an active farming and mercantile life of many years, is now living in 
Westphalia. He owns three hundred and twenty acres of fine land in 
Shelbv county and one hundred and sixty acres in South Dakota, besides 
valuable property in Westphalia. 

Frank Joseph Ruschenberg. the oldest child born to his parents, was a 
lad of six years when his parents came from German}- to Shelbv county. 
Iowa, and consequentlv all of his education was received in the schools of 
this countv. He was educated in the Catholic schools at Westphalia and 


■ s •■ 

Si l 


■ - 


after leaving school worked with his father on the farm for twelve years. 
He then clerked in his father's store at Westphalia until his marriage, in 
1S97, at which time he began farming. He first rented a farm of two 
hundred acres and four years later bought a farm of one hundred and 
twenty acre.-, on which he lived for eight years. In 1909 he moved to 
Douglas township and bought one hundred and ninety-three and one-half 
acres, and in the spring of 1914 added eighty acres in Greeley township. 
It is needless to say that he has been very successful in his farming opera- 
tions, for the fact that he has been aide to accumulate this much land solely 
through his own efforts speaks well for his persistence and industry. He 
raises thoroughbred Hereford cattle and Chester White hogs, and has had 
remarkable success in handling them. He raises about eighty-five acres of 
corn and seventy acres of other grains each year. His corn averages about 
sixty bushels to the acre. He feeds about eighty-five head of hogs for the 
market each year and also feeds out a large number of cattle. 

Air. Ruschenberg was married February 23, 1897, at Westphalia, Iowa, 
to Mary Magdalena Ruden, the daughter of Peter and Magdalena (Miller) 
Ruden, and to this union six children have been born : Lena, Leo, Lenora, 
Elizabeth, Lawrence and Elvin. All of these children are still living with 
their parents. 

Mrs. Ruschenberg was born in Westphalia township, in this county, 
her parents being natives of Germany. The Ruden family came to America 
and settled first in Dubuque county. Iowa, early in its history, but a short 
time afterwards removed to Westphalia township, in this county, where 
they lived the remainder of their lives. They retired from the farm several 
years before their death and lived five years in Harlan, and then moved to 
Earling, where they passed the remainder of their days. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ruden had two children, Peter and Mary Magdalena, the wife of Mr. 
Ruschenberg. After the death of Mr. Ruden his widow married Nicholas 
Schram, and to this union two children were born, Matthew and Anna. 

Politically, Mr. Ruschenberg is a member of the Democratic party, and 
has taken an intelligent interest in the political affairs of his township and 
county. At the present time he is serving on the school board of Douglas 
township and rendering valuable service to his fellow citizens in this capac- 
ity. He and his family are stanch members of the Catholic church at 
Defiance, and Mr. Ruschenberg is a member of the Roman Catholic Mutual 
Protective Society. He was secretary of his local organization for five 
years and president of the Defiance branch of this society a short time. 



To have been born in Germany seems to be a guarantee of success if 
the carCer of the German citizens of Shelby county, Iowa, is taken as the 
criterion. Without exception they have been as potent or more potent in 
the advancement of the various interests of this county than the citizens of 
native birth. One of the men of German extraction who has played an 
important part in the life is Lorenz Lorenzen, a prosperous farmer of Jeffer- 
son township. 

Lorenz Lorenzen, the son of Thomas and Christina (Martinsen) 
Lorenzen, was born April 3, 1857, in Schleswig, Germany, and is the only 
one of his family to come to this country. Thomas Lorenzen was a laborer 
in his native land and the father of four children, Catherine, Frederica, 
Christina and Lorenz. 

All of the education of Lorenz Lorenzen was received in Schleswig and 
when only seventeen he left his home and native land for the United States. 
]t must have taken a great deal of courage for this boy to make the long 
trip across the broad Atlantic and yet it is this very qualitv which has made 
him such a successful man since coming to this country. On arriving in 
this country he at once went to Clinton county, Iowa, but shortly afterward 
located in Crawford county in this state. In 18S0 he moved into Shelby 
county and bought eighty-two acres in section 7. Jefferson township, on 
which he has since resided. Before buying he worked for farmers in the 
state and in that way learned American methods of agriculture. He has 
always carried on general farming and in 191 4 had eight head of horses, 
thirty-eight head of cattle and seventy-live head of hogs upon his farm. 

Mr. Lorenzen was married in 1SS3 to Cathrina Clausen, a native of Ger- 
many. Her parents died when she was small and she was reared by an uncle. 
To this union there have been born ten children: Anna, who married Henry 
Khricks of Crawford count)', and has two children, Ldward and Raymond: 
Carolina, who married Bernard Thompson, of Minnesota, and has one living 
child, Arnold; Hannah, who married Fred Boyens of Crawford county, and 
lias one child, Alvin; Christina, the wife of Louis Reininger of Crawford 
county: Thomas, who married Mary Kroger, and four who are single and 
still living at home. Emma. William. John and Edward. The mother <>i 
these children died October 17. 1:906. 

Politically, Mr. Lorenzen is affiliated with the Democratic party but lias 
never been an aspirant for political office. He has preferred to devote ail 


oi his time to his duties on the farm and in the home circle. He was formerly 
a member oi the Modern Woodmen of America but is now a demitted member. 
He and his family are members of the German Lutheran church and have 
been interested in its various activities. Mr. Lorenz is highly respected by 
every one with whom he has come in contact and well merits the expression 
which his neighbors use in speaking of him, "He is as honest as the day is 
long." He came to the United States with nothing and by a life of honest 
toil and well-directed effort has attained a position of pecuniary independence. 


' The ministry of the Gospel is the most honorable profession to which 
any man can address himself and the one fraught with the most good to 
humanity. Wherever the Catholic people settle they always make arrange- 
ments to establish a church, and as soon as there are enough children, they 
start a parochial school. Shelby count}-, Iowa, has a large Catholic popula- 
tion and the people are liberal contributors to' their churches and schools. 
The parish of St. Joseph at Earling has been in charge of Rev. Bartholomew 
Kueppehbender for the past two years during which time he has endeared 
himself to his parishioners and the citizens of the city. 

Rev. Bartholomew Kueppenbender, the son of Frank and Anna ^Mager) 
Kueppenbender. was born -August 14, 1849, near Cologne, in the Rhine 
Province, Germany. His father was a farmer in early life and later operated 
a flour mill at Dueren, Germany. His parents celebrated their golden wedding 
anniversary in German)' and then came to America in 1889 and lived with 
their son, Bartholomew, who was then stationed at Roseland, Nebraska. 
There were ten children born to Frank Kueppenbender and wife, Peter. John, 
Anna. Kate, Bartholomew, Werner, Frank, William and two who died in 

The education of Father Kueppenbender was received in Germany and 
America. After finishing the course in the common school in his home neigh- 
borhood, he entered the college at Dueren and was in attendance there for 
five years. He then attended Sargenuend College for two years and a half 
after which he entered the University of Muensten at Westphalia where he 
remained until 1877. In that year he came to America and located at Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin, where he finished his education at St. Francis Seminary. 

Immediately after graduating from the college at Wisconsin he was 


ordained and read his first mass at Omaha, Nebraska, in St. Philomena 
cathedral. I lis first assignment was the St. Stephens church at Beachcm- 
ville, Nebraska, and there he remained for the next twelve years, leaving 
that parish for St. Francis Sales church at Lincoln. Nebraska, where lie re- 
mained three years, lie was then transferred to the Church of the Assump- 
tion at Roseland, Nebraska, where he was stationed eight years. He was 
next sent to Davenport, Iowa, and given the charge of the St. Joseph church 
at that place. He remained there only a short time and then was sent to St. 
Mary's church at Solon, Iowa, where he ministered to the people fur four 
years. The next three years were spent at Bauer, Iowa, where he was in 
charge of the St. Joseph church after which he was sent to the Mercy hospital 
at Council Bluffs, Iowa, for a year and a half. In October, iqij, he came 
to Earling, Iowa, and has since been in charge of the St. Joseph parish in 
that place. 

He is a man of broad and cosmopolitan sympathies and has already won 
a place in the affections of the parish. Politically, he is a Democrat and is 
interested in everything which pertains to good government. He is a mem- 
ber of the Knights of Columbus ami deeply interested in the welfare and 
success of this Catholic fraternity. 


hi every community are found some individuals who are more active 
than others in advancing" the general welfare of the neighborhood and push- 
ing forward the means of disseminating information which has a tendency 
to advance the industrial progress of the people. This is only natural and 
is to be expected in an agricultural region in which a few men are found 
who are gifted with the ability to lead in the work for advancing the inter- 
ests of all. In John Gingery, a well-known fanner and breeder of Lincoln 
township, the historian finds a character deserving of special mention as a 
progressive agriculturist of the first rank, and a pronounced leader in the 
art of better farming. As secretary of the Shelby County Farmers' Insti- 
tute his influence is considerable and always to be found on the right side 
and in favor of the better and more advanced ways of carrying on the great 
work of inducing larger and better yields from the cultivation of the soil. 
A successful farmer himself, his interests are broad enough to desire the 



and is the efficient secretary of the Shelby County Farmers' Institute. His 
most useful public service aside from the successful conduct of his own 
affairs is his activity in connection with the Farmers' Institute. Mr. Gin- 
gery is keenly interested in the science of better farming and his individual 
success as a scientific fanner bespeaks his influence with his associates in 
behalf of better fanning. Xo citizen of Shelby county is more widely nor 
more favorably known, and his prestige is due to the exercise of native 
ability- combined with intelligence of a high order. Mr. and Mrs. Gingerv 
are popular and highly esteemed by all who know them. 

perry Mcdowell. 

Poets often tell the truth and the old song which contains the refrain, 
"The farmer feeds them all," states a very fundamental economic truth. 
Without the fanner the rest of the country would starve within a week de- 
spite the large amount of food in cold storage. Every occupation might be 
done away witli but farming and people could live, but a total cessation of 
fanning for a very short time would actually depopulate the whole world. 
A man can live without banks all his life, but deprive him of his bread and 
his career is soon ended. Fanning is becoming an honored profession : our 
district schools are teaching it as a science and our colleges are granting de- 
grees for agricultural courses. The farmers of any community sustain the 
people dependent on every other profession. Without the farmer the banker 
would close his doors, the manufacturer would shut down his factory and 
the railroads would suspend operations. Among the honored men of Shelby 
county, -Iowa, who help to keep the banker, the manufacturer and the rail- 
roads is Perry McDowell, of Douglas township. 

Perry McDowell, the son of Luke and Jane (Mitchell) McDowell, was 
born May 17. 1866, in Poweshiek county, Iowa, on the Powesheik-Mahaska 
county line. His father is the son of John McDowell, who was a native of 
Ohio, of Irish descent. Luke McDowell was born in Ohio in December. 
1850, was one of eight children and lived at home until one year before his 
marriage. He worked on the farms in his immediate neighborhood one year 
and stayed in his home county until about 1S79, when he moved to Shelby 
county with his family, where he purchased sixty acres of land. Luke Mc- 
Dowell and one of his brothers, John, came together to this county and bought 
sixty acres each in section 24, of Douglas township, and on this farm Luke 


lived until his death, increasing- his holdings to two hundred forty acres. Ik- 
died July J<). iyu. His widow still survives him and resides at Kirkman. 
He was an independent voter, but never active in political affairs, although 
he was once a candidate for office on the Republican ticket. Mr. and Mrs. 
Luke McDowell were the parents of six children. Pern'. Mrs. Euphema 
(Darling), Thomas, M. K. Dessa (Plummer), Mrs. Eva (Greeves) and 

Perry McDowell was given a good common school education in the 
schools of Poweshiek county. He was thirteen years of age when his parents 
moved to Shelby county and continued to work with his father on the home 
farm until he was married and then began farming in Polk township. A 
year later he removed to Nebraska and resided in Pierce county for eleven 
years, after which he bought two hundred and forty acres of land in Knox 
county, Central township, Nebraska, on which he resided for another eleven 
years. In February, 19 13, he returned to Shelby county, renting his Ne- 
braska farm and took charge of the old home place. He is now engaged in 
a general system of farming and stock raising, making a specialty of the 
raising of full blooded Poland China hogs. Unlike many stock raisers he 
has not adopted the practice of shipping his live stock for exhibition at the 
county fairs, although he has stock that would stand a good chance of win- 
ning prizes. 

Mr. McDowell was married to Elizabeth McConnell. the daughter <>i 
Thomas and Elizabeth (Cassady) McConnell, early settlers of this county. 
To this marriage there have been bom nine children, including three set- <'i 
twins. The three sets of twins are Vera and Neva, Vivian and Vernon, Luke 
and Jane, while the other three children are Tina, Charles and John. All 
of the children are still living at home with their parents, except Tina, who 
married Daniel O'Connor and lives in Nebraska. 

Thomas McConnell (born 1820, died January, 1914). and Eliral* ,! i 
(Cassady) McConnell (born 1836, died 1890), were native- of Ireland ■■■ 
came to Illinois from Ireland in 1850. In 1881 they came to Shelly cutii ' 
and after about eight year.-' residence in Harlan moved on a farm oi cud.*. 
acres in Douglas township. In 19CO they moved to San Diepo. Cali- 
fornia. The children of Thomas McConnell and wife were as follows: Mr- 
Belle Cassady, Vancouver Island; James, of Illinois: Edward. Fairbanks. 
Alaska: Mrs. Susanna Daniels. Wisconsin: Thomas. Fairbanks. Ala-ka : 
Elizabeth, wife of Mr. McDowell; Charles, deceased; Kate McConnell. San 
Diego, California; John, Goshen, California. 


Politically. Air. McDowell was formerly a Democrat, but is now pre- 
ferring the Republican policies, and while an advocate of good government, 
yet he has never been active in political matters. Fraternally, he is a mem- 
nier of the Modern Woodmen of America. He and the members of his fam- 
ily are adherents of the Methodist Episcopal church. 


A veteran of the Civil War and the present postmaster of Portsmouth, 
Iowa, is Simon A. Bendon, who has been a resident of this county for the past 
thirty-live years. Jn fact, his whole life in Shelby county has been spent in 
or near Portsmouth, and therefore he is well known to all of the citizens of 
that enterprising little city. As a carpenter and contractor he has built a 
large number of the houses in Portsmouth and the surrounding community 
and has therefore been a prominent factor in the life of the community. 

Simon A. Bendon, the son of Robert and Mary (Erexler) Bendon, was 
born June 8, 1S43, in Cambria county. Pennsylvania. His parents were both 
natives of Pennsylvania, his father's birth occuring in j8i_> and his mother's 
two years later. Robert Bendon followed the carpenter trade all his life 
and died in the state where he was born. October 13, 1859. Plis wife lived 
until March 10, 1908, dying at the advanced age of ninety-six years. Robert 
Bendon ami wife were the parents of eleven children, Elizabeth, Yannetta, 
Simon, Cecelia, Agnes, Matilda, Angela, Alice. John C, Gernis and Sepher- 
ina. Of these children, (iernis. Sepherina, Angeline and Elizabeth are de- 

Simon A. Bendon was educated in the schools of Cambria county, Penn- 
sylvania, but his education was very limited and in fact his schooling was lim- 
ited to fifty-two days of actual attendance. After leaving the school room he 
farmed Until he enlisted for service in the Civil War. He first enlisted as a 
member of Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment. Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteer Infantry, and at the expiration of his enlistment re-enlisted, 
on June 6, 1803, in Company V, Eighty-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania 
Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out June 29. 1865. His regiment saw 
hard fighting in Virginia, and later fought at Gettysburg in the summer of 
1863. He participated in the bloody battles of Antietam, Spottsylvania and 
Winchester, and a score of other engagements in which the loss of life was 
heavy. His last battle was at Sailor's Creek in 1865. 


After the close of the war, Mr. Bendon returned to his home in Penn- 
sylvania, and after his marriage, in 186S, removed to Iowa and located in 
Iowa count)-. In 1S79 he moved with his family to Shelby county and located 
near Portsmouth, subsequently moving to the city. He had learned the car- 
penter trade as a young- man with his father and has followed that occupation 
in Shelby county. He has built a large number of houses, barns and <>iu- 
buildings in the county and has always had all the work he could do in season. 

Mr. Bendon was married on January 14, 1S68, to Anastasia A. Wagner, 
the daughter of Jacob Wagner, and to this union eight children have been 
burn. Victoria, Othia. Giles, Isadore, Gertrude. Ira. Nellie and Eldcnia. 
Othia married Nora Headley. Giles married Anna Herkenrath. Ira mar- 
ried Angela Claudenburg. Nellie is the wife of Elmer Spracklen. Isadore 
is the husband of Rosa Hutchinson, while Gertrude is single and living with 
her parents. Mrs. Bendon' s parents were natives of Pennsylvania and lived 
all their lives in that slate. Her father was a prominent farmer of his com- 
munity and a man of influence in his county. 

Mr. Bendon is an active Republican in politics and has always been a 
leader in the party in his county. Me has been serving for fourteen years a< 
postmaster of Portsmouth and giving universal satisfaction to the patrons of 
the office. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and deep! 
interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his local post. lie and 
his family are devout members of the Catholic church, while he is a meinbi r 
of the Knights of Columbus. 


There are several hundred different occupations in the I nited State- at 
the present time, but of all this large number there is only one that is abso- 
lutely necessary to the existence of man. The three things without which 
man cannot live are food, clothing and shelter, and it is the farmer who not 
only controls the food supply of the world, but who also holds the clothing 
products in his hands. In fact, his is the only occupation which could exist 
independently of all others. An ever increasing number of our young men 
are taking courses in the many excellent agricultural colleges of the country 
and this means that the future generation of farmers will have that scientific 
training which is so necessary to the successful farmer of today. Shelby 
county boasts of fine farms and good farmers and among this number ;- 


found William Armcntrout, one of the most progressive young farmers of 
Jackson township. 

William Armentrout, the son of Phillip and Alice (Ross) Armcntrout, 
was born on March 21, 1880. in the township where he has always made his 
home. Phillip was born on February .28. 1847, in Richland county. Ohio, 
and is the son of Jacob and Mary (Hammond) Armentrout. Jacob and wife 
were the parents of twelve children, Allen. Nancy, Annis, Ann Amelia, 
Anita. Catherine. George. Abraham, Ansel, Albro. Dallas and Phillip, the 
youngest of the twelve children. Eight of these children are still living. 
Phillip was married December 28, 1876, to Alice Ross, the daughter of Hugh 
and Millie (Baber) Ro^s. To this union were born seven children: Alonzo, 
who married Elsie Brown, and has four children, Everett, Lawrence, Lloyd 
and Amrett; William, with whom this narrative deals; Eldoras, who married 
Bertha Slates, and has two children, Ival D. and Dorris F. ; Ralph L., who 
married Laura Peterson, and has one son, Lysle ; Robert, who married Rosa 
Peterson, and has one daughter, Berniece; Cassie, who married Lillie Silver- 
wood : Marion, single. 

William Armentrout received a good common school education and re- 
mained upon the home farm until he was married, in 1904. He then went 
to Nebraska and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Rock county 
with his father and brothers. He lived upon this two years after he was 
married, putting most of his attention to the raising of cattle. He kept about 
four hundred and fifty head on the farm all the time and marketed about one 
hundred ami twenty-five head of calves each year. In accordance with the 
custom of the stock raisers of that local it} - be branded all of his stock, burn- 
ing the figures "thirty-one" on all of his cattle. In the spring of 1908 he re- 
turned to Shelby county and assisted his father on the home farm for the 
next two years. Fie then rented one hundred and sixty acres of his father's 
farm and has since been engaged in general farming" and stock raising upon 
this farm. He feeds about one car load of cattle for the market each year 
and also sells about one hundred head of hogs annually. 

Mr. Armentrout was married on November 30, 1904, to Maud Symons. 
She is the daughter of Charles and Martha (Haworth) Symons and was 
born on January 13, 1886. in Des Moines, Iowa. Her parents are natives of 
Keokuk county, Iowa, her father being the son of Aaron Symons, a minis- 
ter of the Friends church, as was his wife. Martha Haworth. Mrs. Symons 
was the daughter of Dillon Haworth, a soldier of the Civil War and a printer 
for many years in Eldora, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Symons had a family of five 
children. JTlavton, Nellie, Harry. Norine and Maud, the wife of Mr. Armen- 


trout. To Mr. Armentrout and wife have been born six children: Dallas, 

born February 9, 1906: Lois D., born July S. 1907; Helen, born February _■<>, 
1909; Ansel, bom May 1, 1910; Wilbur, born January 26, 1912; Woodrow. 
born January 2, 19 14. 

Politically, Mr. Armentrout is a Democrat but has never been active in 
political matters. He takes an intelligent interest in all measures which prom- 
ise to benefit his community in any way and is regarded as one of the repre- 
sentative citizens of his localitv. 


For more than three decades Barney \V. Gregory has been identified 
with the agricultural and stock raising interests of Shelby county, Iowa, 
By his own industry and perseverance he has acquired a well-improved 
farm of one hundred and fifty-four acres in Douglas township, on which lie- 
has been living for more than twenty years. He has been unusually suc- 
cessful as a raiser of fine cattle and has made frequent exhibitions of iiis 
stock at county fairs throughout this section of Iowa. 

Barney W. Gregory, the son of Gilbert and Mary (Overholt) Greg- 
ory, was born March 27, 1867, in Ontario, Canada. He was one "i eighl 
children born to his parents: Barney, deceased: William. oi Nebraska; 
Almeda, of Clinton, Iowa; James, a farmer of Douglas township; Isaac. .1 
farmer of Oklahoma: Barney, whose history is here presented; and two 
who died in infancy. 

Gilbert Gregory and his wife were both born in St. Catharine. Ontario, 
Canada, and lived there until 1S07, when they moved to Lake county. In- 
diana. A short time afterward the Gregory family moved to Porter county. 
Indiana, where they lived until 1S72. In that year Gilbert Gregory brought 
his familv to Iowa and located in Jackson county, where he lived for ten 
years. In 18&2 the family moved to Douglas township, Shelby county. 
Iowa, where they have since resided. The widow of Gilbert Gregory !- 
now making her home in this county with her son, James. 

Barney \\". Gregorv was five years of age when bis parents came to 
Jackson county, Iowa, and sixteen years- of age when they located in Shelby 
county. He went to school some in Indiana and completed hi-- education in 
the public schools of Harlan, in Shelby county. Iowa. After leaving school 
he farmed for his father on the old home farm and later he and hi- brother, 






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Tames, re-^ed one hundred and twenty acres of the home farm and started 
farming f.->r themselves. Tliey worked together for eight years and in 
1S94 Mr. Gregory bought his-present farm of one hundred and fifty-four 
acre> in Douglas township. He lias spent several thousand dollars improv- 
ing the farm and has enclosed it with a view of engaging extensively in 
cattle breeding. He handles thoroughbred Hereford cattle and has had 
many prize winning animals. He has a sale of his cattle every year, and 
in 1913 sold fortv-seven head which averaged one hundred and seventy 
dollars apiece. In 1914 he had eighty head of thoroughbred Herefords on 
his farm. 

Mr. Gregory was married March 2, 1892, to Ida Burke, the daughter 
of Jolw T. and Clara J. (Hardy) Burke. To this union six children have 
been born: Allen Roy, Blanche, George, Gladys, Grace and Ruth, all of 
whom are single and living with their parents. 

Mrs. Gregory was born in Monona county, Iowa. Her father was 
born in Greensburg, Decatur county, Indiana. June 13, 1841, and her mother 
was born in Pennsylvania, July 7. [847. John T. Burke was the son of 
Henry S. and Darinda 1 Spilman) Burke, both natives of Kentucky. When 
twenty-i'ne years of age. John T. Burke went to Indianapolis, Indiana, 
where he attended the Purdy Commercial College. In 1865 he engaged in 
the mercantile business at YYolcott, Indiana, and a year and a half later 
located on a farm and took up the buying and shipping of live stock. In 
1S6S Mr. Burke went west and located in Monona county, Iowa, near Char- 
ter Oak. where he farmed and shipped stock until 1880. In that year he 
came to Shelby county and hi night one hundred and twenty acres of land 
three miles north of Harlan and kept adding to his land holdings until at 
one time he owned nearly a section of well-improved land in the county. 
He was an extensive buyer and shipper of live stock and a man who was 
successful in all of his ventures. John T. Burke was married to Clara J. 
Hard} - on June 28, 1866. She was the daughter of Christopher and Eliza- 
beth ((hiss) Hardy. To their union nine children were horn: Clayton H., 
Ida, Elizabeth, Haslet, Christopher, Alice, Cora. Amy and John. Mr. 
Burke was a member of the Indiana Home Guards during the Civil War 
and was called out in the summer of 1803 to quell Morgan and his raiders. 
Mr. Gregory is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 
Parian Lodge Xo. 321 : a member of the Royal Arch Masons. Xo. 107; the 
Commandery, Mt. Zion, Xo. 49, and the Xobles of the Mystic Shrine at 
Sioux Citv, Iowa. Mrs. Gregory and her daughter, Blanche, are members 
of the Eastern Star. He also holds his membership in the Woodmen of 


the World and the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically, he has always 
given his support to the Democratic party and has been one of his party's 
leaders in load matters. He served with credit as clerk of Douglas town- 
ship for six years and gave eminent satisfaction to all concerned. He i- a 
man who is intensely devoted to everything pertaining- to Shelby county's 
welfare and is recognized as one of the representative citizens of his town- 
ship and countv. 


Shelby count}-, Iowa, is proud of the few citizens of Irish ancestrv who 
have made this count}- their permanent home. The worthy sons of the 
Emerald Isle have become useful and prosperous citizens because of their 
thrifty habits and their econmical mode of life. Among the citizens of Iri-h 
birth who have honored this count}- with their residence there is no one who 
is more deserving of mention in this volume than Andrew Stewart, a prosper- 
ous farmer and stockman of Lincoln township. With clearly defined pur- 
pose and consecutive effort in the affairs of life he has attained a due measure 
of success and in so doing has not forgotten the duties which he owes lo ht> 
fellow citizen^ in any way. He has borne his full share of the burdens oi il 
civic welfare of his community and has always stood on the side of g">»! 

Andrew Stewart, son of James and Anna (Gibson) Stewart, was l>oni 
in Ireland. July n, 1S71. His father was born in 1811 and his mother in 
1833, and lived in their native land many years after their marriage. It was 
not until the year 1878 that they decided to come to America and when the} 
came here they settled at once in Jackson township in this county. Hen- 
James Stewart purchased land and became a prosperous farmer and at the 
time of his death in 1906 in Harlan, he was one of the substantial men "t 
the county. Mrs. Stewart died in 1907. James Stewart and wife were the 
parents of thirteen children, nine of whom are living in America, Thomas. 
John J., Joseph Henry, Samuel R.. Andrew, George F... Isaiah ('•.. Richard 
and Sarah. Mrs. McElvain lives in Ireland. 

Andrew Stewart was seven years of age when his parents came to the 
United States and consequently most of his education was received in the 
schools of Shelby county. Mr. Stewart worked on the home farm until he 
was twentv-three vears of age and then rented land and commenced farming 
for himself. At the death of his father in 1906 he received eighty acres oi 


his fathers: estate and a year later purchased two hundred and thirty acres 
of excellent farming land in Lincoln township. Since acquiring this farm 
he has hi:ii; s beautiful home at a cost of five thousand dollars which is one 
of the :-.::s: "todero in the county. It has every convenience, including elec- 
tric light ar.d : s surrounded by a handsome yard, which adds not a little to 
the general attractiveness of the home. On his farm he has all of the latest 
improvements and the best of modern machinery and equipment so that he is 
enabled to get the maximum results from his soil. He pays considerable 
attention to the raising of live stock, handling Poland China hogs. Shorthorn 
cattle and Coach and Percheron horses. He has won many prizes at fairs 
with his Poland China hogs and has shipped them to different parts of the 
United States for breeding purposes. He is a member of the Shelby County 
Fine Live Stock Exchange. 

Mr. Stewart was married February 28. 1906, to Hannah Belle Stewart, 
who was bom in Jackson county. Iowa, in 18S2. He and his wife are earnest 
members of the Congregationalist church and contribute generously of their 
means to its support at all times. The Democratic party has claimed the sup- 
port oi Mr. Stewart but his heavy agricultural interests have prevented him 
from taking a very active part in political affairs. He has acted well his part 
in life and while primarily interested in his own individual affairs, he has not 
been unmindful of the interests of his fellow citizens and has contributed 
to the full extent of his ability for their advancement and that of the public 
welfare. Personally, he is a man of pleasing address, sociably inclined and 
enjovs a wide acquaintance and a large circle of warm and loyal friends. 


One of the oldest practicing physicians of Shelby county, Iowa, is Dr. 
Carl Teske. who has been following his profession in Iowa for the past forty 
years with the exception of a few years when he was living in Los Angeles, 
California. Born and educated in Germany, Doctor Teske received that fine 
training which is characteristic of the German universities. As a young man 
he served with the medical corps of his country during the Franco-Prussian 
war in 1S70-71 and there gained much valuable experience. He has prac- 
ticed at various places throughout the state of Iowa during the past forty 
years, and wherever he has been, he has been recognized as a man of ability. 

Dr. Carl Teske. the son of Carl and Louise (Holz) Teske, was born in 


Germany. January ij. 1849. His father was a graduate of the medical col- 
lege at Greifswald. Germany, and practiced his profession in his native land 
until i8<>8, in which year lie came to America and located in St. Louis. Mis- 
souri. A year later he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where his death 
occurred in 1870 while in the active practice of his profession. There were 
ten children born to Dr. Carl Teske, Sr., and wife: Dr. Carl, Jr., Louise. 
the wife of Adolph Dose; Marie, the wife of Oscar Naucke; Clara, the wife 
of Otto Verdick; William, who married Margaret Schutz; Emma, who mar- 
ried Homer Phelps; Hugo, who died unmarried; Rudolph, Ilattie and Hel- 
niuth, who are all deceased. 

Dr. Carl Teske. Jr., attended the common and high schools of his na- 
tive land, and in 1867 entered the University of Greifswald. Germanv, where 
he took the three years' medical course. He received his degree of Doctor of 
Medicine in 1S70 and at once was made a member of the medical corps of 
the German army. He served during the Franco-Prussian War in the medi- 
cal corps and after the close of that war came to America and located at 
Aubrey, Kansas, where he remained until 1874, when he moved to Glenwood. 
Iowa, where he practiced for two years. From that place he went to Avoca. 
Iowa, and practiced there until 1881. His next change brought him to Min- 
neola, Iowa, where he practiced until 1884. The next twelve years were 
spent in Portsmouth, Iowa, and in 1896, he removed to Sioux City. low,;, and 
engaged in the practice of his profession until 1903 in that city. In the hitter 
year he removed to Los Angeles. California, and spent the next seven years 
in that city. Pie has been living in Portsmouth., Iowa, since 19 10. 

Doctor Teske was married October 13. 1873, to Elizabeth Wilcnt. the 
daughter of John and Klenora Wilcut, and to this union ten children have 
been born. Oscar, Nora, Charles, Rudolph, Arthur, Lula. Anita, l'redi.i. 
Emma and William. Oscar married Bertha Lischke. and has two children, 
Helen and Hazel: Nora is the wife of Alfred Wonderly: Charles married 
Ruby Matthewson, and has one son. Almond; Arthur married Helen Bohine. 
and has two children. Opal and Sylvia. Lula married Thomas Ferrell, and 
has three children, Thomas, Ruth and John. Anita married B. Rol>ertsnii, 
and ba> two children, Eldrich and Forrest. Fredia is still single and living 
with her parents. Emma and William died when young. 

Mrs. Teske's parents were born in Columbus. Ohio, and her father 
moved to Iowa with his parents when he was a small lad. He grew to man- 
hood in this state and after his marriage, settled in Marion county. Iowa, 
where he followed agricultural pursuits the remainder of his life. Mr. V\ II- 


cut and his wife arc both deceased. They reared a family of ten children, 
Elizabeth, Sarah. George, Mitchell. Charles. Silas, Samuel. Corbin, Angela, 
and one who died in infancv. 

Politically, Doctor Teske has been identified with the Democratic partv 
since coming to America. Due to the fact that he has practiced his profes- 
sion in so many different cities throughout the states, he has never taken 
an active part in the political life of the communities in which he has lived. 
However, he is interested in good government and is a hearty supporter of 
men who stand for the best ideas in good government. He is a member of 
the Modern Woodmen of America. Doctor Teske is a man of genial dispo- 
sition and kindly impulses, and has a host of friends throughout Shelbv 
county who admire him for his devotion to his profession and the good 
which he has accomplished since becoming a resident of the countv. 


The sun never shone on a fairer or better land for agricultural purposes 
than is found in Iowa; the Mississippi valley has truly been called the garden 
spot of the world and one of the choicest corners of this garden is found in 
Shelby county, Iowa. Land which was bought for a few dollars an acre 
when the first settlers came to this county is now worth from one to three 
hundred dollars an acre. The present farm of Frank W'endt was bought for 
six dollars an acre and now two hundred dollars an acre would not buy it. 
Does it pay to farm? Ask the fanner of this county; look over his broad 
acres; glance into his well-filled barns and granaries: examine his rating at 
the local banks. Among the men of this county who have made a distinct 
success of farming there is no one who is more deserving of mention than 
Frank W'endt. one of the most substantial farmers of Douglas township. 

Frank W'endt, the son of Hans Feter and Anna (Kortuna) W'endt, was 
born March 16, 1858, in Germany. Hans P. W'endt was a foreman on a 
large farm in Germany but wishing to give his children better opportunities 
than they were getting in German}-, he decided to come to the Lnited States. 
The trip to this country was made in 1874 and the family at once located in 
Clinton county. Iowa, where they remained for three years. In 1S77 Hans 
moved with his family to Shelbv county and settled about half way between 
Walnut and Avoca. He rented land until 1881 and then bought eightv acres 
in section 1, Douglas township, paying six dollars an acre for the land. 


As he was able he added to his farm, and gradually built up one of the best 
farms in the county. When he moved to Walnut in 1888 he had a well im- 
proved farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He lived in Walnut for the 

next sixteen years and then moved to Fort Worth. Texas, where lie was living 
at the time of his death in 1909. His wife had died in 1904 while they were 
on their way to Texas. Han- I'. Wendt ami wife were the parents of three 
children. Frank, Mrs. Dora Grceves and Henry. 

Frank Wendt received a good common school education and lived at 
home until he was married. He then rented a farm west of Botna. in Jeffer- 
son township, on which he lived for three years. He then moved on the old 
home farm and managed it until the death of his father in 1909. He then 
bought out the other heirs and has since added three hundred and twenty 
acres of land. The farm which is known as the "Green Ridge Stock Farm" 
is one of the most attractively kept farms in the county. The buildings are 
all of good construction and are always in repair, a fact which adds not a 
little to the value of the farm. 

Mr. Wendt was married May 14. 1885, to Dora Kahl. the daughter of 
John and Maria { Schees ) Kahl. Mrs. Wendt was born in Germany in 
1866 and came to this country with her parents when she was fourteen years 
of age. Mr. ami Mrs. Wendt are the parents of thirteen children, eleven of 
whom are living. Maggie. Anna. Dora, John, Henry, Emma. Harry. Herbert. 
Frank, Helen and Alice. Maggie is the wife of Fred Bargenquast and has 
five children. Frank. Alfred. Otto and twins, Leona and \Tola; Anna 1- the 
wife of Henry Bargenquast and has four children. Dorothy. Helen. Alfred 
and Arnold. Dora is the wife of Christopher Freese and ha- two children. 
Andrew and Dora. All the rest of the children are single and -till living 
with their parents. Hans and Peter are the two deceased children, both of 
them dying in infancy. 

Mr. Wendt is a man of perseverance and strength of character and 
never allows di-couragements to stop him. Several years ago a gypsy for- 
tune teller told him that "he would die with his hoots on" and two incidents 
in his life have led him to believe that there is much truth in what she said. 
At one time he was caught in a speed jack and was unfortunate enough to 
lose half of his left hand: at another time, while out in the pasture with .i 
cow and her calf, the cow got him down on the ground and before lie could 
get up and away, he was severely injured. This same never-die spirit is what 
ha- made him successful and. whether he dies with his hoots on or not, it ;- 
safe to say that he will be in the game of life to the end. 

Mr. Wendt and his family are members of the German Lutheran church. 


Politically, he is a Democrat but has never held any other office than that of* 
school director, a position which he has filled in his township for the past 
eighteen years. Fraternally, he holds membership in the Modern Woodmen 
of America. Mr. Wendt is highly esteemed by every one with whom he has 
come in contact and his friends are as numerous as his acquaintances. 


One of the enterprising and successful farmers of Shelbv county. Iowa, 
who has succeeded in his chosen vocation through his perseverance and good 
management is William Baldwin, the proprietor of the "Highland Park 
Farm" in Grove township. The qualities which have made Mr. Baldwin one 
of the prominent and successful men of his township and county have also 
brought him the esteem of his fellow citizens, for his career has been one of 
well directed energy and honorable methods. JTc has taken a prominent part 
in the civic life of his community and is now serving as trustee of his town- 
ship, a position which he is admirably filling. 

William Baldwin, the son of John and-Priscilla ( Mayhen ) Baldwin, 
was born December _'_'. 1869, ln Canada. His parents were also both natives 
of Canada, his father's birth occurring July J. 1838, and his mother's in 
1848. John Baldwin was reared to manhood in his native land and assisted 
his father on the home farm until he was married, when he began farming 
for himself and continued to follow the life of a tiller of the soil until his 
death May 26, 1912. His widow is still living at Manitoba, Canada. 

William Baldwin is one of ten children born to his parents, nine of 
whom are still living. He was educated in the schools of his native country 
and after leaving school farmed with his father for three years. He then 
married and came to Iowa, locating at Dunlap in 1892. After coming to the 
state he worked for four years as a farm hand and then rented a farm of 
one hundred acres in Douglas township, Harrison county. He continued to 
operate a farm in Harrison county for ten years and in 1907 came to Shelby 
county and bought his present farm of two hundred acres in Grove township. 
Since acquiring this farm he has placed more than s>\ thousand d< 'liars' worth 
of improvements upon it and now has one of the most attractive as well as 
one of the must productive and valuable farms of the township. He has a 
beautiful home, excellent barns and out buildings and everything about the 
estate indicates that the owner is a man of taste. He keeps <r,- a ,! c ,i ]j ve s tock 


and feeds all of- his grain to hogs and cattle, having found by experience that 
the farmer makes the most profit in this way. 

Mr. Baldwin was married in March. 1S92, to llattie Lalone, the daugh- 
ter of Fred and Mary Lalone, and to this union have been burn eight chil- 
dren. Bessie, Myrtle, Pearl. Juliet. Jesse. William. Fred and John. Fred was 
killed liv a horse some years ago and John died when he was two' years of 
age. The remaining- children are still living with their parents. Mrs. Bald- 
win's parents were natives of Canada also, and came to Harrison countv, 
Iowa, in 1891, settling near Dunlap. Her father died some years ago and 
her mother is still living in Dunlap. Mr. Lalone and wife were the parents 
of four children, all of whom are living. 

The Republican party has claimed the support of Mr. Baldwin since reach- 
ing his majority. He has always been interested in everything pertaining to 
good government and in the success of his party he has been particularly 
active. His worth as a citizen is indicated by the fact that his party nomi- 
nated hint for the position of trustee of his township, a position to which lie 
was subsequently appointed. Fraternally, Mr. Baldwin is a member of the 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons ami the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, holding his membership in both lodges at Dunlap. Mr. Baldwin is a 
man whose well-directed efforts have gained for him a position of desirable 
prominence in the life of his township and county and it is gratifying to 
know that his energy and enterprise have been crowned by success. 


One of the earliest pioneer settlers of Shelby county, Iowa, is Franklin 
Slates, who has been a resilient of this county since 1S6G. He was born in 
Putnam county, Ohio, spent a few vears in Martin count}", Indiana, and 
when he was thirteen years of age came with his parents overland from 
Indiana to Shelby county, Iowa, making the long trip with an ox and lior-c 
team. When Mr. Slates arrived in this county, on May 10, 1806, there 
were verv few settlers living within the county and there was no evidence 
whatever that it would some day be one of the leading agricultural section- 
of the whok- United States. Due to the efforts of Mich sturdy farmers a- 
Mr. Slates, this countv has emerged from a condition which was, at that 
time, verv unattractive, till it now presents as attractive an api>carance ;i- 
any countv in the state. In this transformation Mr. Slates ha- borne hi- 



full share, ami after a period of fifty years, he can look back over the halt 
century and feel that he has done his part for the general welfare of the 

Franklin Slates, the sun of Samuel and Mary Jane (Long) Slates, was 
born in Putnam count}-, Ohio, March 30. 1853. His parents were both 
lx>rn in Ohio, reared in that state and lived there until 1S61. In that year 
they moved to Indiana and located in Martin county, where Samuel Slates 
bought eighty acres of land and farmed for nine years. In the spring of 
1800 Mr. Slates sold his Martin county, Indiana, farm and in May of that 
year started on the long overland trip for Iowa. lie and his family packed 
all ot their belongings in wagons and, with oxen and horses, started out. 
When they came to the Mississippi river, it was at a time when its banks 
were overflowing and they had a serious time in getting across the river. 
When they came to the Des Moines river they forded it with their teams. 
After settling in Shelby county, in the spring of 1866, Samuel Slates erected 
a rude hut. m which the family lived for about a year until such a time- 
as Mr. Slates could build a more substantia] residence. He was a carpenter 
and followed his trade in Shelly county, while he farmed as well. He pros- 
pered from the beginning and at cue time owned twelve hundred acres of 
land in the canity and was one of its largest stock raisers. 

Samuel Slates was three times married. To him and his first wife, 
Marv Jane Long, there were born four children: Jeremiah, who married 
Ida Laker; William P.. deceased: Franklin, whose history is here given; and 
Mary Jane, the wife of John Solmon. The fir^t wife of Samuel Slates died, 
and he then married Lucinda Harden, and to this second marriage seven 
children were burn: John, deceased; Hannah, the wife of A. D. Ames; 
Alice, the wife of \Y. R. Adams: S. B., who married Ruth Thomas; Ed- 
ward; and two who died in infancy. He was married a third time to Sarah 
Jane Thomas. Samuel Slates died January 8, 1902, and is buried at Kirk- 

Franklin Slates was six years of age when his parents moved from 
Putnam county, Ohio, to Martin county. Indiana, and then moved with his 
parents nine years later to Shelby county, Iowa. The education of Mr. 
Slates was received in the schools of Indiana, in a log school house with 
puncheon seats and floor. He remained at home helping his father until 
he was twenty-eight years of age and then married and started farming for 
himself by renting land. He rented for seven years and then bought his 
present farm of one hundred ami sixty acres in Douglas township, on which 


he has been living for more than thirty years. He has put at least six 
thousand dollars worth oi improvements upon this farm and has so rotated 
his crops that he has kept it at the maximum point of productivity. He has 
divided his attention all these years between the raising of grain and live 
stock in such a way as to secure the maximum results from his labors. He 
has given particular attention to the raising of Shorthorn cattle. 

Mr. Slates was married December 14, 18S2, to Fanny Tilton. the 
daughter of Nelson B. and Eliza Vandalia (Stroud) Tilton. .Mrs. Slate.-, 
was born November 15, 1S54. in Fayette county. Illinois, and educated in 
Poweshiek, Polk and Story counties, Iowa. 

Nelson P. Tilton, the father of Mrs. Slates, was one of the old, sterling 
pioneer settlers of Shelby county, a faithful ami loyal member of the church 
of his choice and a man highly respected ami esteemed by all who knew him. 
Some time before his death. June 23, rcjio, Mr. Tilton wrote a brief sum- 
marv of his own life, which is here given as he wrote it: 

"I was horn in Muskingum county. Ohio, October 21, 1S28. In 1S40 
I moved, with my father, to White count), Indiana, and in 1842 to Fayette 
county, where 1 was united in marriage to Judy Ann Yoakum on February 
)(), 1851. She departed this life. January 29, 1852, leaving one son, William 
Winfrey, who departed this life at the age of six months. December 2, 
1852, in Effingham county, Illinois. 1 was married to Eliza Vandalia 
Stroud. We moved to Poweshiek county. Iowa, in 1858, and to Shelby 
county in 1884, where we have lived ever since. We have had six children 
born to us. One, John Nelson, died at the age of one year and four 
months, and is buried in Jasper county. Iowa. Five are now living: Mrs. 
F. Slates, of Kirkman; C. J. Tilton, of Hurst, Texas: Mrs. Emma Mcin- 
tosh, of Irwin; James N. Tilton, of Chicago: Mrs. Mary E. Granger, of 
. Kansas City. There are fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren 
now living. I was baptized in infancy and thank God for Christian parents 
who consecrated me to God in this holy ordinance in my childhood. 1 pro- 
fessed religion at the age of sixteen, and united with the Methodist church. 
which has been my home ever since. In 1892 I experienced the blessing ot 
entire sanctification in Irwin with several others in a revival meeting held by 
my pastor, Rev. A. R. Miller. Now that I am near the end, I can say that 'I 
have kept the faith, and henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of right- 
eousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and 
not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.' " Mrs. '1 ikon 
died March 16, 1912. at Kansas City, Missouri. 

Mr. Slates and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church 



at Kirkman, and have always been much interested in everything pertaining 

to its welfare, lie was treasurer of his church and is now serving as a mem- 
ber of the hoard of trustees. Fraternally, he is a member oi the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows at Irwin. He has long given his support to the Re- 
publican party and has served as township trustee for seven vears and as a 
member of the school hoard of his township for a similar length of time. 

An interesting incident is told by Mrs. Slates concerning the Mormons. 
While she was living with her parents, before her marriage, in Poweshiek 
county, Iowa, the Mormons came to that county on their way to Utah. She 
remembers distinctly the safe which was hauled from Iowa City westward 
when thev changed the capital. It was drawn by twenty voke of oxen and 
was guarded bv one hundred men. 


The population of the United States is the most cosmopolitan of any on 
the face of the earth. The statue of Liberty which stands in Xew York har- 
bor has been the beacon light to the oppressed people of every. land, and to 
our shores have flocked ambitious people from every civilized country on the 
globe. The magic word liberty has been a talisman which has drawn hither 
the most enterprising ami ambitious men and women and this accounts in a 
large measure for the wonderful progress which our country has made since 
its organization. Of all the people who have come to the shores of the 
United States no worthier, better or more patriotic citizens have become a 
part and parcel of our commonwealth than have those of German descent. 
The community which numbers the sons of German} - among its citizens is to 
he congratulated, for wherever they settle, prosperity is sure to be found. 
Thousands of acres of land in Shelby county have been made to bloom as 
the desert rose because of the thrift and industry exercised by these people. 
Beautiful homes have been erected, flourishing villages have been established, 
business enterprises have been launched and schools and churches have been 
built to serve the educational and spiritual wants of the people. Among the 
many .sterling German citizen-, of Shelby county may be mentioned Anton 
Koesters, one of the most substantial farmers of Union township. 

Anton Koesters was born in Westphalia. Germany, February 17, 1861, 
and is the son of Joseph and Brigita Koesters. His father was educated in 
Germany and farmed in \\\> native land until late in life. He then retired 
and came to America, where he spent his declining years with his children. 


There were eight children born to Joseph Koesters and wife, Casper, Anton, 
John, Robert, Joseph, Hubert, Richard and Fredericka. Casper is still living 
in the old country; John married -Mary Eberts; Robert married Thresia 
Schneider: Joseph married Anna Hush; Hubert is living at Freeport, Illinois; 
Richard is still in Germany ; Fredericka is the wife of Theodore Schnuettegen. 

Anton Koesters received a good common school education in the district 
schools of his native country, and after leaving school took up the trade of a 
cabinet maker, which occupation he followed while he was living in Germany 
and even after coming to America. He came to this country in 1880 and 
first settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he worked at his trade for a 
short time. From that city he removed to Westphalia, Iowa, and again re- 
sumed his trade as a carpenter and cabinet maker. In addition to his 
carpentering and contracting bu^ness Mr. Koesters has invested largely in 
land in this county, buying his nr->t farm in 1891. From year to year he has 
added to this first farm until he now is the owner of five hundred and sixty 
acres of the best land in the county. He is not only one of the best carpenters 
and contractors in the county, but as a farmer he stands second to none. 
He keeps in close touch with the management of his large estate and keeps 
it well equipped with the latest improved machinery. He realizes a verv 
handsome return annually from the sale of grain and live stock. 

Mr. Koesters was married March 4. 18S6. to Mary Sas>c, the daughter 
of Charles and Elizabeth Sa>se. and to this union twelve children have been 
born: Joseph, Annie (deceased), Charles, John. Henry, Aloyious, Anton, 
Frederick, Annie. Lena. Cecelia and Mary. Joseph married Annie Brecker 
and has three daughters. Elizabeth, Loretta and Geralda. The rest of the 
children are still living with their parents. 

Mrs. Koesters' parents were also natives of Germany, coming to this 
country in 1873, and were among the first settlers in Westphalia, Iowa. Her 
father died shortly after the family came to America from burns received 
on account of the explosion of a lamp. Airs. Koester's mother is still living 
in Westphalia. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sasse, Bertha, 
Mary, Anton. Annie and Elizabeth, all of whom are still living except Annie. 

The Democratic party has long claimed the support of Mr. Koesters, and 
while interested in good government and the civic welfare of his community, 
yet he has never been an aspirant for any public office or an active participant 
in political matters. The only office which he has ever held was that of 
school board director and in this capacity he gave his fellow citizens faithful 
and efficient service. The family are all devout members of the Catholic 
church in whose welfare they have always taken a deep and abiding interest.