Location: Battle Creek Iowa

Biographical Sketch of C. C. Van Houten

C. C. Van Houten lived on a farm near Battle Creek, in Maple Township, Ida County, Iowa, and was identified with the agricultural interests of this place since 1882. Mr. Van Houten was born in Clarion County, Pa., April 24, 1856. John Van Houten, his father, a native of the Keystone State, served during the Civil War as a member of Company K, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He then resided near Cushing, Iowa. John married Miss Mary Ann Boyles, a native of Pennsylvania. They had seven children, 3 sons and 4 daughters. C. C. Van Houten was reared on a farm in his native state. At the age of twenty, he came to Iowa and located in Cedar County, 3 years later went to Benton County, and in 1882 came from there to near Battle Creek. Here he owned 120 acres of land in Section 8, Maple Township, well improved with good buildings, fences, grove, orchard, etc., and under a high state of cultivation. His house was 16 x 24 feet, with an L, 14 x 20 feet, and there were two barns, one 24 x 32 feet, and the other 16 x 20 feet. Mr. Van Houten was married at the age of twenty-seven in Muscatine, Iowa, to Lizzie Fricke, a native of Muscatine County, Iowa, and a daughter of August and Fredrica (Herwig) Fricke,...

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Biographical Sketch of John Preston

He came to the Battle Creek, Iowa, Ida County, in 1872 to farm. He was born in Forfarshire, Scotland, June 27, 1857, son of John and Matilda (Hill) Preston. His parents are from Scotland and they reared a family of eight children with John being the 7th born. He received a good education in his native land, and clerked in a drug store for a short time at Dundee, Scotland. In 1872, when he was 15, he came to America to Ida County where he had two brothers, Andrew and James C. Here he went to school in the winter. He worked for his brothers for 5 years, and afterward for E. P. Smith. The first land he purchased was in Section 16, Maple Township. He sold it and bought land in Section 17, Maple Township, Ida County, Ia. His cottage home was located on a natural building site with a grove and orchard. He engaged in general farming and stock raising, and made a specialty of Shorthorn cattle. Mr. Preston married on November 9, 1882, to Maggie Todd, a native of Scotland. She was the daughter of James and Christena (Cregie) Todd of Ida Grove, Iowa. Her parents had 10 children, five sons and five daughters, all living in Ida County, except one who stayed in Scotland. John and Maggie Preston had 4 children: Alexander, Lenais, Christena C.,...

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Biographical Sketch of Gilbert S. Usher

He is a citizen of Battle Creek, Ia., Ida County, and an ex-soldier of the Civil War. He was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio on September 22, 1837. He was raised on a farm in the Territory of Iowa, Linn County. He had his school lessons in a primitive log schoolhouse of Iowa. In 1862, he answered Lincoln’s call for more men for the Civil War. In 1881 he came to Ida County and bought a tract of land in Grant Township and engaged in farming. He married Amanda Marsh in Linn County, Iowa, when he was 22 years of age. She was a native of New York and a daughter of Ellison B. and Huldy Marsh. Mr. and Mrs. Usher had 10 children: Mary E., Ada M., Ermie G., David E., Herbert M., Huldah Anna, Malvina Jane, Gilbert Nelson, Della , and Elsie...

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Biographical Sketch of William Smith

William Smith was owner and proprietor of the Central Roller Mills, Ida Grove, Ia. He succeeded Wilkinson & Smith in the milling business, this firm having succeeded Brown & Ream. Mr. Brown was the founder of the milling plant and erected the a two-story structure building in 1883. It was a buhrstone mill having a capacity of 40 barrels. In 1887 it was changed to a roller mill by Wilkinson & Smith and its capacity increased to 60 barrels per day. Mr. Smith then erected a new engine house, removed the old slide valve and replaced it with a Reynolds-Corliss engine. Three men were employed in the mill. The product brand names were “Ivory Patent,” “White Pearl,” and “Oasis.” William Smith was born April 7, 1852 in Perry County, Pennsylvania. His parents were John and Sarah (Bauserman) Smith. He was raised on a farm and came West when 25 years old. He first located in Sac County, then Battle Creek in Ida County, and then became the owner of the Central Roller Mills at Ida Grove. He married Matilda J. Shearer of Dellville, Pa. in January 1883. They had 5 children: Samuel M., Sarah E., William W., and Jennie B, and Emily...

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Biographical Sketch of Henry Lee

Henry Lee, proprietor of Summit Heights stock farm, near Battle Creek, Ida County, Iowa, was born near Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1833. He was married November 24, 1863 to Maria Fishburn, the daughter of John and Catherine Fishburn. Henry and Maria had 4 children: Harry F., Kate M., Myra M., and Thomas H. Mr. Lee’s ancestors were natives of the Emerald Isle. His father, Thomas Lee, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., June 22, 1785, died May 21, 1871. Mr. Lee’s father was a soldier in the War of 1812. His mother’s name was Mary Noble, and she died August 27, 1862 at 67 years. Henry Lee’s brothers and sisters were: Thomas, James, John, and Margaret E. Henry Lee enlisted in the Union army in September 1862 and was 1St Lt. Of the 165 Pa. Vol. Infantry for a period of one year. He recruited a company and became Captain of the 209th Pa. Volunteers. He was taken prisoner November 17, 1863, at Bermuda Hundred, Va., and first confined in Belle Island prison. He then was taken to Libby, to Danville, to Salisbury, and finally taken back to Libby prison. He was held a prisoner until February 22, 1864 when he was exchanged and sent to Annapolis, Maryland, where he again entered the fight for his country, serving until the close of the war in May 1865....

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Biographical Sketch of Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison was reared and educated in New York where he learned the trade of a carpenter, and was engaged there in railroad contracting. In 1867 he came to Ida County, Iowa, in 1872 located in Garfield township, and in 1874 settled in Battle Creek when that place contained only a post office. He immediately began contracting and building. In 1861, in Dane County, Wisc., he enlisted in Company H, 8th Wisc. Infantry, known as Runnell’s Guards. He took part in the battles of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Murfreesboro, Lookout Mountain, and in the Peninsular Campaign. He was twice wounded and carries the two bullets. He was discharged after serving 5 years, 2 months, and 23 days. He is a member of the Mathew Gray Post, No. 93, at Ida Grove. Peter and Emma Morrison had 6 children: James, Sarah, Martha, Matilda, Mary, and...

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Biographical Sketch of A. A. Barrick

He was one of the representative business men of Battle Creek, Ida County, Ia., since 1881. In 1878, he married Hannah Gillmore of Jackson County, Iowa. They had two children: Roy and Archie. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois, born June 5, 1852, son of William and Elizabeth Barrick, natives of England. When A. A. was a year old, his father moved to Clinton County, Ia., and on a farm he grew to manhood. He served an apprenticeship to the blacksmith’s trade and was engaged in business on the Maquoketa road one year. He engaged in blacksmithing in Morris County, Ks., for 3 years. In 1881, he came to Battle Creek to do blacksmithing and in 1889 he opened up a stock of farming implements. He had Caultmen threshers and Goodhue and Globe windmills. He had been a member of the City Council 6...

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Biographical Sketch of Enoch Jones

Enoch Jones, a well-known citizen of Battle Creek, Iowa, was a resident of Ida County since 1883, and of Iowa, since 1852. He was born in Bourbon County, Ky., March 6, 1825. He was reared and educated in Kentucky, and learned the trade of blacksmith. John Jones, his grandfather, married a native of Wales. He was a prominent hotel man of Culpeper, Va. Moving to Bourbon County, Ky., he settled on Boone Creek, and was a participant in many of the Indian wars. His son, James Jones, father of Enoch, was born in Va., and married Dicie Gregory, a native of that state. After their marriage, they went to Kentucky, and there spent the rest of their lives. They lived on a plantation, and reared a family of eight children. In 1852 he made the journey to Dubuque, Iowa, via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and settled at Scott’s Grove, in Jones County, Ia., where he was engaged in farming and operating a thresher. He opened up and improved a farm of 320 acres there. In 1874, he first bought land in Ida County. He came to Battle Creek in 1883 to look after his real-estate interests, was pleased with the situation, and located at Battle Creek. He was also for eleven years engaged in the general merchandise business at Monticello, Iowa. This was between 1863 and 1873. Mr....

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Biographical Sketch of I. V. Miller

He was the proprietor of the Rink Livery, Sale & Feed Barn, Battle Creek, Iowa. The building was 30 x 80 feet, well arranged, and equipped throughout. Mr. Miller kept a full line of carriages and buggies, with ten to sixteen good driving horses, speedy and gentle. His kind courtesy to patrons secured for him a good trade. He was born near Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, September 24, 1858. His father, Charles Miller, was a native of Pennsylvania. His mother’s maiden name was Martha Adams, born in Tennessee, and moved to Martin County, Minnesota. I. V. Miller was the second born of 7 children. When he was 5 years old, the family moved to Benton County and located near Vinton, Iowa. He received his education in the common schools and at Tillford Academy in Vinton. In 1882, he came to Ida County and spent two years. Then he went to Storm Lake, Iowa, and for two years was a traveling salesman for the Singer Sewing Machine co. He returned to Ida County and lived in Garfield Township, and then located in Battle Creek, Iowa. Mr. Miller married in Benton County, Iowa, in 1881 to Ada Usher, daughter of G. S. Usher. They had six children: Vida, Dolly, Lelia, Francis, Ray U., and Le...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph Rinehart

Hotel Rinehart was one of the hostelries of Battle Creek, Iowa, situated a short distance from the railroad depot. It had 14 bright, cheery, neat and comfortable rooms and was inviting to the dusty, fatigued traveler. There was a restaurant and lunch counter where the best of meals and all temperance drinks were provided. Mr. Rinehart was born in Frederick County, Maryland, February 21, 1859, son of Daniel and Margaret (Hyder) Rinehart, both natives of the same state. Joseph Rinehart joined the westward tide of emigration in 1882 and moved to Ida County, Iowa, where he entered the employ of the Bowman Lumber Co. After one year’s service there, he was transferred by the company to Holstein where he remained two years. He then moved to Ida Grove for the same company until March 1884. Then he was transferred to Arthur, Iowa, and took charge of that company’s yards there for 15 months. He then transferred to Battle Creek to superintend the same company’s yard there and stayed until June 1892 when the company sold out to other parties. Then he bought the hotel known as Hotel Hopkins. He married Elizabeth Estep, a native of Illinois, and the daughter of George W. and Sarah Estep. They had two children: Hazel Pearl and Jennie...

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