ELI HUMPHREY, a prominent citizen of Dutch Creek Township, and whose portrait is presented on the opposite page, is residing on section 1, township 74 north, of range 9 west, where he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He was born Jan. 11, 1812, in Berkshire County, Mass., and is the son of Elijah and Hannah (Bartholomew) Humphrey, who were natives of Connecticut. In 1824, the family moved to Lorain County, Ohio, where Elijah Humphrey purchased 150 acres of land and resided in that county until his death, in the spring of 1846. He was a public spirited man, influential among his neighbors, a kind and indulgent parent, and a useful member of the Presbyterian Church. HIs wife survived him some twelve years, dying in 1858. She was also a member of the Presbyterian Church.
they were the parents of twelve children, Eli being the only son now living. The surviving daughters are, Harriet J., who married James Sherman, now deceased, and resides at Monticello, Minn.; Parmelia, who married Alvin Messenger, now deceased, and resides near Minneapolis, Minn. The deceased are Harry, Sanford, Norman, Esther, Maria, Elizabeth B., Horation, Cordelia and Alfred. Maria died in Ohio and was buried in the cemetery near Wellington; Elizabeth B. was buried in Lorain County, Ohio. Horatio, who made his home with his brother Eli for many years, and who was greatly esteemed for his many good qualities of head and heart, and one to whom Eli was greatly attached, was buried in the Grace Hill Cemetery, in Washington County, Iowa; Cordelia was buried in the cemetery near Huntington, Ohio; Alfred died and was buried in Oregon.
When nineteen years of age our subject commenced life for himself, and being an expert with the ax, commenced clearing timber by contract. On the 21st of October, 1835, he was united in marriage with Miss Lucia Snow, who was born Sept. 5, 1814, in Portage County, Ohio. She was a daughter of Franklin and Lydia (Alcott) Snow, who were the parents of eight children, Lucia being the fifth in number. Having traded for land in Jefferson County, where the city of Fairfield now stands, Mr. Humphrey went with his family to that place in February, 1844. He made the trip through by land, and on his arrival commenced the improvement of the place. In the winter of 1845, he returned to his old home, going part of the way by water. On arriving near Grave Creek, Va., the boat was ice-bound, and Eli purchased and old "jumper" and a blind horse, with which to make the rest of the journey home. Having no harness he cut some sticks to make hames, and braided rope for tugs, and started on his way. On arriving at his brother's, his little nephew was sent out to unharness the horse, but was unable to do so, not having a very clear idea of the style of harness which his uncle Eli had made. Mr. Humphrey says he purchased the old horse for the reason that he heard the crops had failed in the part of Ohio where he was going,
so he thought if he was unable to obtain feed, he could easily kill the old horse and get him out of his misery.
In 1852 Mr. Humphrey made a trip to California, and was three weeks going from Fairfield to Omaha. He crossed the river at that place on the 10th of May, and was four months making the journey across the plains. He remained in California two years. In 1855 he came to Washington County and purchased a tract of land in township 74 north, range 9 west, lying upon the north side of Skunk River, that portion now attached to Dutch Creek Township. On the 16th of May of that year, he moved to this farm, and there remained until 1861, when he moved to his present place of residence. At this time, the war of the Rebellion had just commenced, and Mr. Humphrey raised a company of home guards, of which he was elected Captain, but when he offered his services to the State he was rejected on account of his age. Abandoning the idea of serving his country in the field he returned to his farm and has since given his attention exclusively to farming. He is now the owner of 728 acres of land in this township. The home farm consists of 406 acres. The improvements upon his farm are the better order, there being a good family residence, large barn and other out-buildings.
Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey have had three children: Henrietta, born Oct. 30, 1836, married Elias Griffith, and died May 16, 1872; Julia A., born Sept. 22, 1839, is the wife of George W. Griffith, of Franklin Township; Edwin, born Dec. 2, 1841, died Aug. 3, 1876, and was buried in Grace Hill Cemetery; he was a bright young man, and his death was a great loss to the old couple. Mrs. Humphrey is a well-preserved woman, and is now in her seventy-third year. She is quite active, and insists on doing all her household work. In her maidenhood she taught school a number of terms. Her father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died about 1863, at the age of eighty-five. Her mother died in 1819. She has many relics which were left by her parents, among others, a quilt that she has had for sixty-eight years. Shortly before her father's death, he made a cabinet, consisting of as many drawers as there were States in the Union. This cabinet he presented to President Lincoln, the receipt of which the President acknowledged in very graceful terms. This letter is also preserved among the relics. Mrs. Humphrey has yet living a half-sister, Mrs. Hannah Lewis, now residing in Oberlin, Ohio. Her sister, Mrs. Rebecca Squire, died Aug. 11, 1887.
Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey observed their golden wedding Oct. 21, 1885, an occasion which was remembered by a number of their friends, a very pleasant and sociable time being had. While a resident of Ohio, Mr. Humphrey served in the State Militia, and filled all the offices from Sergeant to Colonel of the 2d Regiment. Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey have each passed their threescore years and ten of life. That they may live to enjoy many more years of a life of usefulness, is the sincere desire of all who know them.
ABEL MERRITT GARDNER is a native of Ohio, born in 1830, and is the son of William and Anna (Merritt) Gardner, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Maryland. He was reared on a farm and educated in the public schools. In 1851 he emigrated to Fulton County, Ill., where he worked on a farm for an uncle until August, 1852, when he removed to Washington County, Iowa, and settled upon section 12, Seventy-Six Township, where he bought 160 acres of raw land, which he improved and where he continued to reside until 1864, when he sold out ant bought ninety acres on section 8, Cedar Township, where he still continues to reside. He has added by subsequent purchase, until he has now 370 acres of fine land, all under a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Gardner was married, in 1853, to Susan Martin, a native of Ohio, and daughter of William and Anna (Conway) Martin, both of whom were natives of Virginia. Five children have been born to them: Charles Commodore, now living on the home farm; William Porter, now residing in Wellman, engaged in the practice of medicine; Mary Ellen, the wife of Emmett Kirkendall, now in Colorado; John Stewart died May 9, 1868, aged four years; Frank Pearl, aged sixteen, is at home. Mr. Gardner and wife are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. Politically, he is a Republican, and as a temperance man, favors prohibition. Like many others of the well-to-do farmers of Washington County, Mr. Gardner came here in limited circumstances, but by industry and economy he has acquired a competency, and so far as material wealth is concerned, has nothing to fear for the future. He is a No. 1 farmer, keeps everything about him in good shape, and is making a specialty of stock-raising, having a high grade of Norman and Clydesdale horses.
DAVID CRAWFORD, farmer and stock-raiser, resides on section 35, Oregon Township, and is the owner of 244 acres of land under a high state of cultivation. He was born in Perry County, Ohio, Sept. 13, 1832, and is the son of David and Rebecca (Bogle) Crawford, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and of Irish descent. They came to this county in 1844, and settled in Oregon Township on the farm now occupied by our subject, where they remained till their death; the father dying in 1872, aged eighty-one years, and the mother in 1875, aged seventy-three. They reared a family of eleven children, nine of whom are living.
The subject of this sketch came to this county with his parents in 1844, at which time he was but twelve years of age. Here he grew to manhood, and has been a life-long farmer. He was married in this county, May 27, 1856, to Miss Elizabeth Porter, daughter of David and Elizabeth Porter. She was born in Mercer County, Pa., in 1837. They reared a family of eleven children: William, who married Mary Wilcox, now resides in Kansas; they have two childrenRoy and Maud. Emma, the wife of Thomas J. Nicholson, and the mother of two childrenMay and Grace; John S., Edward F., James O., Clara, George, Fred and Frank (twins), Alva B. and Ralph.
For almost half a century Mr. Crawford has been a resident of Washington County, and is therefore entitled to a place among those who are truly pioneers, men who, like John the Baptist, came to prepare the way, to make the rough places smooth, that those who come after them may be able to enjoy the advantages that were denied the earliest settlers of the country. On coming to this county, Burlington was the nearest market point, but when the produce was hauled there it was generally found to be in small demand, and little money was received for it. It was either trade or no sale. During the early days it was difficult to obtain money enough to pay taxes (which had to be paid in gold), and postage on the few letters that were sent through the mail. But what a change has taken place in this country during the time of Mr. Crawford's residence. To-day there is not a county seat in the entire State of Iowa but what is penetrated by railroads, while the telegraph and telephone wires cross and recross each other in every direction. Truly, this is a beautiful land, and the subject of this sketch realizes that in this world, at least, it is hard to find better.
MILES BRADFORD, who resides on section 6, Marion Township, came here in 1847. He is a native of Switzerland County, Ind., born in 1836, and is the son of L. S. and Louisa (Peak) Bradford, the former a native of New York and the latter of Indiana. The family came to this county in 1847, and settled in Marion Township, where the father entered 222 acres of land. Miles remained at home with his parents until nineteen years of age, and then went to Washington, Iowa, where he attended school a short time, and then engaged in the manufacture of pumps and woodenware, in which business he continued for twelve years. At the expiration of that time he returned to the farm, where he has since continued to reside.
Mr. Bradford was married, in 1860, to Emma C. Cole, a native of Ohio, and daughter of David P. and Martha (Wright) Cole. They have become the parents of six children, five of whom are now living: Louis P. and Frank H., residing in Marion Township; Rollo P., Mattie E. and Charley O., all at home. Ida B. died at the age of thirteen months. Mr. and Mrs. Bradford are members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he is a Republican, and has served as Township Trustee and filled other local offices. His father is still living in Washington.
In his farming operations Mr. Bradford gives special attention to stock-raising, and is handling a high grade of cattle. He is Secretary of the Farmer's Mutual Insurance Association of Washington County, and is also President of the Iowa Mutual Tornado, Cyclone and Windstorm Insurance Company, of Cedar Rapids, and is agent of the company in Washington County. this company was organized in april, 1884, and is doing a good business. Mr. Bradford has now been a citizen of Washington County for forty years, and is well known. He enjoys the respect and esteem of all.
WILLIAM P. GARDNER, M.D.,, junior member of the firm of Morgan & Gardner, physicians and surgeons, at Wellman, is a native of Washington County, Iowa, born in Lexington, Oct. 30, 1859, and is a son of Abel M. and Susan (Martin) Gardner, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. The early life of our subject was spent upon a farm, and in attendance upon the common schools of Cedar Township, until he was seventeen years of age, when he attended the schools of Washington for two years, and then entered the university at Mt. Pleasant, where he remained one year. Having commenced the study of medicine, he entered the Medical Department of the State University at Iowa City, where he remained three years, graduating form that institution in 1855. Returning home, he at once commenced the practice of his profession, and Feb. 1, 1887, he entered into a partnership with Dr. J. W. Morgan, of Wellman. He has been reasonably successful, and enjoys the confidence of the people of Wellman and vicinity, not only as a man but as a physician. The practice of this firm is very extensive, having patients in Washington, Johnson, Iowa and Keokuk Counties.
Dr. Gardner was united in marriage, on the 9th of September, 1886, with Miss Josephine Gassner, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and daughter of Rev. Joseph and Harriet Gassner. She was born in Birmingham, Iowa, Dec. 21, 1864. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania, and her mother of Ohio. Dr. and Mrs. Gardner have one child, Susan, born June 17, 1887. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and both take an active part in all Church work. The Doctor is a member of the Board of Health. Politically, he is Republican.