THOMAS E. JOHNSON, ex-Sheriff of Washington County, resides upon section 34, Franklin Township, where he is the owner of 314 acres of fine land, which is well improved in every respect. He is a native of Nelson County, Ky., born Sept. 22, 1841, and is the son of Noel and Frances (Vaughn) Johnson, the former a native of Kentucky, and of Scotch descent, the latter a native of Ohio, and of English descent, whose mother was a niece of Col. Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame. They came to this county in 1852, and settled in Mrion Township, where the former died in 1883, aged seventy-four, while the mother is still living with the subject of this sketch, at the age of seventy-three. They reared a family of seven children, five of whom are living: Milton, in Missouri; Martha C., the wife of Walter Howard, of Kentucky; Lorenzo, of Nebraska; Gertrude, the wife of George Hammond, of Nebraska, and the subject of our sketch. The deceased are Sarah A. and William V.
Thomas E. Johnson came to Washington County with his parents when eleven years of age. He was bred to the occupation of a farmer, and with the exception of a time, while engaged in official duties, has followed that occupation through life. He was married in this county, in 1868, to Eliza J. McKinney, daughter of Walter and Elizabeth McKinney, and a native of Montgomery County, Ind., born in 1842. They have two childrenWalter and Elizabeth. Her parents came to this county in 1845, and are therefore numbered among the pioneers. They yet reside in Brighton Township. Mr. Johnson enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, in Co. C, 19th Iowa Vol. Inf. The regiment was mustered into the service at Keokuk, Iowa, and left for the field September 4. Its first three months' service was that of marching and counter-marching through Missouri and Arkansas, its first engagement being at Prairie Grove, Dec. 7, 1862, and after a hot engagement drove the enemy from the field. After marching and counter-marching through Arkansas until the 3d of June, 1863, it started for St. Louis, and on the 19th of that month left St. Louis for Vicksburg, taking part in the siege and capture of that place. Soon afterward it was sent to the Gulf, and became part of the army under Grant. Mr. Johnson was wounded at Prairie Grove; he was captured Sept. 29, 1863, and was retained as a prisoner of war until July 9, 1864, when he was paroled with others, and July 22, 1864, was exchanged. After rejoining the regiment he was with it in the expedition against Mobile and Spanish Fort, in March, 1865. He was mustered out at Davenport, in July, and discharged Aug. 1, 1865.
Returning home Mr. Johnson again engaged in farming, in which occupation he continued until the fall of 1877, when he was elected Sheriff of Washington County on the Democratic ticket, at a time when the Republicans had over 1,000 majority in the county. The popularity of the man was thus shown by this election. In the discharge of his official duties he gave the best satisfaction, not alone to his party, but to the entire people of the county as well. On the expiration of his term of office he again returned to his farm, and at present, in addition to general farming, he is making a specialty of raising fine stock,having at this time on his farm eleven head of the noted Bashaw and Messenger breed, the finest trotting stock in the country. He has one sorrel and a black, six years old, both of which bid fair to make a fine record. He has one three-year-old and one two-
year-old which are equally fine. As may be inferred from his election on the Democratic ticket, Mr. Johnson is politically a Democrat, and fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Washington Lodge No. 26. As a citizen he is popular with all parties, and is highly esteemed for his many excellent traits of character.
EDWARD STONE, farmer and stock-raiser, resides on section 20, Oregon Township. He is a native of Dearborn County, Ind., born Oct. 14, 1828, and is the son of Solomon and Eleanor Stone, both of whom were natives of Virginia, but of German descent. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The family moved to Dearborn County, Ind., about 1790, where both parents died many years ago.
The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm in Dearborn County, Ind., and received such an education as could be obtained in the common schools of that early day. He was married in 1851, in Dearborn County, Ind., to Sarah Hazen, a daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Stewart) Hazen. She was born in Beaver County, Pa., in 1832. They have had four children: Mary E.; Alonzo, who married Alice Bryan; William M., who married Emma Hamilton; and Emma C.
In 1857, Mr. Stone came with his family to Washington County, Iowa, where he has since continued to reside. His home farm consists of 148 acres, in addition to which he has 300 acres in Nebraska. In addition to general farming, he has been engaged quite extensively in raising stock, and also in shipping. For many years he was Justice of the Peace and notary public, discharging his duties in the office to the satisfaction of the people. He is a member of the United Brethren Church, of which body his wife and family are also members. For thirty years he has officiated as Class-Leader, and has been a steward and Secretary of the Conference for a number of years. Politically, he is a Republican and Prohibitionist, and has been a teetotaler since his fourteenth year. In Sabbath-school work he has taken a special interest, and for many years was Superintendent of the Sabbath-School.
Like his brother John (a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume), Mr. Stone is of a very benevolent disposition, and has done much in aid of the poor in his county. It is said of him and his brother, that they have done more for charitable and religious purposes than any other two men in the township or county. As he commenced life in limited circumstances, and has acquired a large property, it will thus be seen that, notwithstanding the amount given in charity, he has been greatly blest. No man stands higher in the community in which he resides than does Edward Stone. Much of the success which has attended him in this life is due in a great measure to the wise counsels of his wife, who has been to him a true helpmeet.
WILLIAM DAYTON, of Cedar Township, residing on section 19, was born in Hampshire County, Va., in 1816, and is a son of Caleb and Hannah (Sharp) Dayton, the former a native of Maryland, and of English descent, and the latter of Virginia, and of French descent. Her grandfather, Jesse Sharp, served seven years in the Revolutionary War, and lived to be one hundred and one years of age. Her grandmother died at the age of ninety-nine years. Her father lived to be seventy-seven years of age, and her mother eighty-nine years.
The subject of this sketch was reared in Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River, where the town of Keyser now stands. He came to this county in 1852, and settled on section 19, Cedar Township, where he still lives. On coming here he entered eighty acres of wild land, improved the same, and has now one of the neatest farms in Cedar Township. He was married, Oct. 25, 1838, to Miss Theodosia Kight, a native of Hampshire County, Va., born in 1818. To them ten children have been born: William Jefferson, a farmer residing in Seventy-Six Township; Sarah L., the wife of William B. Tatman, of Delta, Iowa; Hannah Ellen, the wife of William Sowash, of Franklin Township;
Mordecai Tipton, now of Lima Creek Township; S. H., now living on the home farm; Nancy Jane died when fourteen years old, and John K. at the age of thirty-three; George W. is now residing in Kansas City, Mo.; Martha Ann is the wife of John Grush, of Cedar Township.
Politically Mr. Dayton is a Democrat, and religiously a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. When he came to Washington County he had a wife and six children, but did not have a dollar after entering his land, but has since been fairly prosperous. He has lived to see the country well developed and thickly settled, with churches and school-houses in abundance, and to see his children all well settled in life. Few men enjoy the respect of friends and neighbors to a higher degree than William Dayton.
NELSON BEENBLOSSOM, residing on section 8, Marion Township, is engaged in farming and stock-raising. He was born in Harrison County, Ind., in 1819, and is a son of Abraham and Eveline (Schuck) Beenblossom, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of Kentucky. HIs mother died in 1877, aged seventy-six years, and his father in 1883, at the age of eighty-four. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were among the early settlers of Washington County, Iowa, coming here in 1842.
Nelson Beenblossom, the subject of this sketch, was reared upon a farm and educated in the common schools of his native State. In the fall of 1842 he came to Washington County, and entered 160 acres of land on section 8, Marion Township, which he improved, and where he still lives. He now owns 268 acres of land, all under fence, and most of which is under a high state of cultivation. On the 24th of January, 1839, he married Miss Clarissa Jacobs, a native of Pennsylvania, and daughter of John H. Jacobs, also a native of Pennsylvania. They have become the parents of seven children: John Harrison died at the age of eighteen years; Sarah Jane resides at home; Andrew lives in the city of Washington; William Henry is now residing in this township; Perry resides in this county; McClellan and Ella are at home. Mr. Beenblossom is a member of the Christian Church, while Mrs. Beenblossom is connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In early life he was a Whig and cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison. Since its organization he has been a member of the Republican party, and has held various township offices.
Mr. Beenblossom commenced life a poor boy, with neither the advantages of education nor wealth; all that he has was secured by his own exertion, together with that of his wife. He has been a hard worker, a good manager, and given strict attention to his business. In addition to general farming, he is engaged somewhat extensively in stock-raising, and turns off quite a large number of horses and cattle each year. He has visited Indiana twice since he moved to this county, but with that exception he has stuck closely to his farm, and is now one of the few pioneers of Washington County. He is hale and hearty, and still performs daily his allotted tasks, and during the present season has attended to thirty acres of corn. He is a man who is universally respected by all who know him.
JOHN BELVILLE is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 30, Washington Township. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, June 18, 1815. His father, Joseph Belville, was a native of Delaware, while his mother, Sarah (Canouff) Belville, was a native of Maryland, born in 1706. When quite young she moved from Maryland to Belmont County, Ohio, and in 1812 was married to Joseph Belville. They were the parents of twelve children, nine of whom are living: Nicholas is deceased; John is in Washington Cunty, Iowa; Joseph is living in Wisconsin; Sarah, residing in Union County, Ohio; Mary married Addison Lee, in Union County, Ohio, and is now deceased; Elizabeth, the widow of Josiah Amrine, is now residing in Union County, Ohio; Phoebe is deceased; Henry resides in Michigan; Miranda is the wife of Echabod Sibo; Christina is the wife of James Moore, Union County, Ohio;
Samuel resides in Michigan; Sylvanus is a resident of Union County, Ohio. Mr. Belville died in Union County, Ohio, in 1860, while Mrs. Belville died in 1882, at the age of eighty-six years. She was a member of the Christian Church for over fifty years.
The subject of this sketch was reared upon a farm, and as is naturally expected of pioneers' children received his education in the old log school-house. He was married in Union County, Ohio, Nov. 24, 1840, to Miss Mary M. Amrine, a daughter of Jeremiah and Mary A. (Shearer) Amrine, and a native of Pennsylvania, but who removed to Ohio with her parents at an early day. Soon after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Belville went to Miami County, Ohio, and there Mr. Belville followed farming for several years. In 1849 the family left Ohio for Iowa with teams, camping out on the way, and were twenty-seven days in making the trip. They located in Marion Township, Washington County, where Mr. Belville entered land and improved a farm. At that time their best market place was at Burlington. After remaining upon his farm in Marion Township for fifteen years, he sold out and purchased his present farm on section 30, Washington Township, where he has since continued to reside.
Mr. and Mrs. Belville are the parents of six children, five of whom are living: Joseph, now residing in Merrick County, Neb., during the war of the Rebellion enlisted in the 2d Iowa Infantry, and served until the close of the war, being with his regiment in every engagement in which it participated; Mary E. is the wife of Adam Lewis, and now resides in Merrick County, Neb.; Alozo is deceased; Melissa is the wife of Robert Lutz, of Merrick County, Neb.; John resides at home; Mina is the wife of Charles Putman, of this county. Politically Mr. Belville is a stanch Democrat, casting his first vote for Martin Van Buren. He is a member of the Christian Church in Marion Township, of which body his wife is also a member. HIs farm consists of 200 acres of excellent land all under a high state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Belville have been residents of Washington County for a period of thirty-eight years. They have experienced the toils and privations of pioneer life, and now, as old age comes on, are well entitled to the comforts of life with which they are surrounded. Both enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them.