Location: Keokuk County IA

Biography of R. P. Kelley

R. P. Kelley. While the law had been his profession and he had been a member of the Eureka Bar continuously since 1884, R. P. Kelley had found his time increasingly absorbed by his various business affairs and interests. Financial success had come to him in large measure, and he had property and business interests in diverse parts of the country. He had traveled considerably for recreation, had covered most of the states of the Union and Canada, and had well defined opinions on events and affairs outside of his immediate province. Mr. Kelley is a native of New England and is of some of the stanch old New England stock. The original home of the Kelleys was in Newbury, England. His ancestors emigrated from there and in 1635 settled at Newbury, Massachusetts. The family afterward went to New Hampshire and from there to Newburg, Maine, in which town Rinaldo Paris Kelley was born July 25, 1850. His father, Ariel Kelley, was born in New Hampshire in 1809 at Kelleyville, a place named for the family. He grew up and married in New Hampshire, but in 1833 moved to Newburg, Maine. He was an old New England schoolmaster, a preacher of the Baptist Church, and combined those vocations with farming. He was a whig in the early days and later affiliated with the republican party. He served as justice...

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Biography of Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D.

Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D. Of the sons of the Hawkeye State who have gained professional eminence and success in Kansas, Dr. Samuel W. Dunlavy, of Cherryvale, is a representative of the medical fraternity. Coming to this city in 1908, he had built up an important and extensive practice, and through the display of a constantly-increasing ability had won the confidence of the public and the esteem of his fellow practitioners. Doctor Dunlavy is a worthy son of a distinguished father and was born at Stiles, Iowa, August 31, 1873, his parents being Dr. James and Letitia (Von Natison) Dunlavy. The family of which he is a member came from Ireland and settled during colonial days in one of the New England States, removing thence to Indiana and finally to Iowa. Dr. James Dunlavy was born in 1843, at Bloomfield, Iowa, and was there reared and educated, his medical studies being pursued in the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in Company B, Third Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, with which he participated in many hotly-contested battles. Mr. Dunlavy, it is said, was the only private during the war to have the honor of capturing an officer wearing stripes. In open battle, at Mine Creek, Kansas, he captured the Confederate General Marmaduke, who afterwards became governor of Missouri. For this feat he was...

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Biography of Flavius Ralls Smith, M. D.

Flavius Ralls Smith, M. D. Identified with one of the most important and exacting, as well as one of the most useful of professions, Doctor Smith had become widely known for his remarkable skill as a surgeon; and easily holds a place in the front rank of the surgeons of Kansas. Doctor Smith is one of the proprietors of the Winfield Hospital, an institution of more than local scope, since its patients come from several states and its reputation is largely due to the personal ability of Doctor Smith. He had spent most of his life in Kansas, and his experience as a physician and surgeon covers more than a quarter of a century. He was born near Peru, Madison County, Iowa, November 22, 1862, son of William and Ellen (Hollingshead) Smith. His father was born in Kentucky, and when about ten years of age his parents removed to Tennessee and two years later to Jacksonville, Illinois, and then to Sangamon County, Illinois, where William Smith married. William Smith was loyally and sincerely devoted to his nation in the struggle of the Civil war and served in Sherman’s army during many of its most noted campaigns, including the march to the sea. From Illinois he removed to Iowa, and in 1874 brought his family to Kansas, locating on a farm two miles west of Old Atlanta, in Rice County....

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Biography of E. O. Smith, M. D.

E. O. Smith, M. D. A physician and surgeon in Kansas for twenty years, Dr. E. O. Smith had attained high rank as a surgeon and is now the active associate of his brother, F. R. Smith, in the practice of surgery at the Winfield Hospital, which the brothers own. A resident of Kansas since 1874, Dr. E. O. Smith was born on a farm three miles from Peru, Madison County, Iowa, January 19, 1869, a son of William and Ellen (Hollingshead) Smith. His father was a native of Kentucky, but in early life went to Illinois with his parents, and was a soldier in the Civil war, fighting with Sherman’s gallant armies through the heart of the Confederacy and over the route of the march to the sea. William Smith afterwards went to Iowa, and from there brought his family to Kansas in 1874. He located in Rice County, developed one of the pioneer farms, and in time enjoyed the prosperity which Kansas soil and climate finally gave to those who most persistently cultivated its broad acres. He finally lived retired at Little River, Kansas, until his death in 1906. His wife, Ellen Hollingshead, was his second wife, and they were the parents of six children, Dr. E. O. Smith being the youngest. Other facts concerning the family history will be found in the sketch of Dr. F....

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Biography of Calvin M. Spencer

Calvin M. Spencer, a well known Emporia business man and citizen, is head of the firm of Spencer & Baltz, proprietors of the New Process Steam Laundry, one of the two leading laundries of Emporia. Both are expert men at the business, and by extensive remodeling and equipment have made their plant in fact and in name a place of service, and consequently their patronage is not confined to the City of Emporia, but their work is distributed all over that part of the state. The Spencers are an old American family, and it is said that they originated in Normandy, whence the first of the name went to England along with William the Conqueror. From England the descendants came to America in colonial times. John Quincy Spencer, grandfather of the Emporia laundryman, was born in Ohio in April, 1825, grew up and married in that state, and about 1853 went to Iowa, where he was an early settler and where he followed farming until late in life. He died near What Cheer, Iowa, in July, 1902. He was a Quaker or a member of the Friends Church, and reared a whig he afterwards adopted republican politics. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Ridgway, who was born in Ohio in February, 1825, and died near What Cheer, Iowa, January 11, 1903. Their four children were: George, a...

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Tish, William Preston – Obituary

Funeral services for W. P. Tish, 75, were held at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon from the West Liberty Church, conducted by Earl Warren of Ivy. Burial was made in the West Liberty Cemetery. Mrs. Harland Johnson and Pauline, Mrs. Glenn Swangel and Earl Warren sang “Abide With Me,” “Good Night Here and Good Morning There,” “The City Four Square,” and “God’s Tomorrow.” Pallbearers were B. L. Powell, Chas. Zorn, Levi Martin, Jesse Martin, Guy Hildebrand and Tom Allen. The following obituary was read at the service: William Preston Tish, son of Samuel R. and Alice C. Tish, was born near Searsboro, July 25, 1866 and passed away at his home, August 10, 1941 at the age of 75 years and 17 days. He had been a long-time resident near Searsboro, and had spent much of the time in the vocation of farming, having spent many Falls in threshing work. Mr. Tish was one of eight children, four brothers, and three sisters, all of whom have preceded him except Charles of Blue Point. He was united in marriage to Jennie Belle Alderman on Feb. 12, 1890 to which union eight children were born. Mrs. Tish departed this life in the year 1935 and since that time he kept a home as long as he was able to work, retaining that independent feeling he had of not wishing to bother others. Early...

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Tish, Jennie Belle Alderman – Obituary

Funeral services for Mrs. W. P. [William Preston] Tish were held at 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon from the Church of Christ. The Rev. N. W. Underwood, pastor of the church, conducted the services. Burial was made in West Liberty Cemetery west of town. Pallbearers were Ben Powell, George F. Johnston, R. F. Gregson, Sam E. Smith, George Pratt and Charles Zorn. Mrs. J. L. Ravitts and Mrs. George Morgan sang “We Are Going Down the Valley” and “There Will Be No Night There,” accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Forest Jenkins. Mrs. Tish died late Tuesday evening at her home. She had been in failing health for the past year and had been very ill for the past month. Following is the obituary: Jennie Belle Tish, daughter of M. V. and Mary Alderman, was born near Fremont, in Keokuk County, April 17, 1870 and passed from us on May 7, 1935 at the age of 65 and 20 days. On February 12, 1890, she was united in marriage to Preston Tish. Through the years they have been residents of Poweshiek County. Eight children, three sons and five daughters were born to them: Harry of Swea City, Tracy of Marshalltown, Mable Wolfe and Alice Wolfe of Fremont, Doris of Montezuma, Walter of Shenandoah, and Nellie Thompson and Winnie Calhoun of Montezuma. These children with the husbands mourn the loss of...

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Champ, William – Obituary

Large funeral state pioneer-William champ dies at Winlock and funeral held on Sunday-Baptist church would not hold nearly all the mourners-organized many Masonic lodges in the west. Sunday afternoon from the Baptist Church at Winlock were held the funeral services of William Champ of that city who died Saturday. The church would not begin to hold the people who were present to pay their respects to the memory of this old pioneer who came west and who first located in Olympia in 1860. Born in Kentucky in 1825-he would have been 88 year old in about one month-Mr. Champ joined the Masonic Lodge in 1845, crossed the plains in 1860 and moved from Olympia to Lewis County in 1867, where he has since lived. Mr. Champ organized the first Masonic Lodge in Mason County at Shelton in 1862. He also organized the Masonic lodges at Chehalis, Winlock, and Union City. He leaves four children, 28 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. The funeral services were under the auspices of the Chehalis Lodge of Masons of which the deceased was charter member assisted by the Winlock, Little Falls, and Toledo lodges. Another obit: One of the pioneer figures in Washington’s fraternal life passed away November 2,1912 at Winlock, Lewis County, when William Champ, aged 88, succumbed to an attack of dropsy. The deceased was the oldest mason in Washington and organized...

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Lawson, Warren Lee – Obituary

Warren L. Lawson, 51, of Marshalltown, better known as “Doc” a native of Hedrick and one of Iowa’s widely known musicians, collapsed at Bloomfield last Tuesday, December 28, and died before he could be taken to a hospital. “Doc”, whose electric organ recitals and accompaniment for horse shows at fairs, dances, weddings, funeral and other public gatherings had made him famous, had gone to Bloomfield to play for a ball Tuesday night sponsored by the T.T.T. chapter. He was stricken while conferring with members of the organization in the high school gymnasium. He was born at Hedrick and was a son of Dr. and Mrs. F. E. Lawson. He was a graduate of the Hedrick high school and the Ottumwa Conservatory of Music, and had his own band before and after his graduation from State University of Iowa in Iowa City. During the years following he played piano with many well known Iowa dance orchestras, with the Paramount theater stage band in Des Moines and was organist for the Paramount from 1929 until 1931. Later he reorganized his own dance orchestra and it had headquarters in Fort Dodge, Boone and Faribault, Minnesota, before he moved to Marshalltown in 1939. By 1942, “Doc” had added an electric organ to the band and it proved so successful that he started playing solo engagements. This work developed into full time operations and...

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Lawson, Mary Jane Howard – Obituary

Mrs. John Lawson, who resides three miles west of Hedrick died Tuesday June 17. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson were residents in Sigourney many years ago. Mr. Lawson was in business with Mr. Gaston. The deceased was a sister of Mrs. L. McCoy of Battle Creek, Michigan. Keokuk County News, June 9, 1902 Contributed by: Shelli...

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Failyer, Margaret Malinda Speer – Obituary

After numerous attacks from heart ailment, Mrs. James Failyer died rather suddenly at her home just east of the Clarion office Monday night [May 11, 1936]. Her maiden name was Margaret Speer. On February 9, 1882 she was married to James Failyer. To them were born 11 children, 8 f them survive. They are Bert, Paul, Mrs. Grover Johnson, and Mrs. Charles Stroud of Richland, Mrs. Eva Readnour Rubio, Othie of Ottumwa, Austin of Cedar, and Mrs. Lillie Jackson of Ottumwa. There are 15 grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Failyer, since their marriage, have resided either in Keokuk or Wapello counties. As these lines are written, the arrangements for funeral services had not been made. [Interment Friends Cemetery] Contributed by: Shelli...

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Failyer, James Howard – Obituary

James Howard Failyer was born October 2, 1858 near Kirkville, Iowa. His parents were George W. and Catherine [Lee] Failyer. He was married February 9, 1882 to Margaret Speer. Eleven children were born to them, three of whom besides his wife, preceded him in death. Mr. Failyer passed away January 1, 1944 at the age of 85 years and three months. He was ill only a few weeks. The surviving children are Mrs. Charles Stroud, Mrs. Grover Johnson, Mrs. Eva Readnour and Bert Failyer of Richland; Paul Failyer of Victor, Iowa; Austin of Kirkville; O. G. Failyer and Mrs. W. A. Jackson of Ottumwa. One sister, Minnie Wolfe of Fremont, Iowa, also survives besides a host of friends. He was a devoted and loving father. His chief interest was always in his children. Besides those above who survive, he has 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He spent his early life near Kirkville, the place of his birth. In 1905 Mr. Failyer came to Richland to conduct a meat market on the same spot where the Clarion is now located. On account of his health, he moved back to Kirkville where he resided until 1919 when the family came back to Richland, since which time this has been his home. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for James H. Failyer were held at the Gould Funeral Home Wednesday afternoon, January 5...

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Biographical Sketch of Harshbarger, C. M.

Harshbarger, C. M. County Clerk, first came to Russell in the fall of 1870. He engaged in farming which occupation he still follows. He owns one-half section of land, raises stock and cultivates about 110 acres of his farm, was elected County Clerk in 1873, and by re-election has held that office ever since, excepting from 1878 to 1880, (one term.) During the interval he was out of above office he was Township Trustee. He is the first settler in Russell County, and located on the first land by a squatter’s right. He has seen many of the variations in pioneer life on the Great Plains. He was born in Spencer County, Ind., in 1841, moved to Keokuk County, Iowa with parents in 1850, where he lived until he came to Kansas. He was raised on a farm, consequently continues an interest in that substantial occupation. He enlisted in 1861, in Company K, Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and participated in all the battles of his command; mustered out in July 1865, was married in 1876, to Miss E. J. Haling, a native of Fayette County, Iowa. They have four children; Charles B., Selma C., Clara E. and Grace A. He is a member of Russell Lodge No. 119, I. O. O. F. Deputy Clerk of the District Court for the past two...

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Biographical Sketch of Mary Allison Harrison

In the summer of 1875, Will came West to live 5 miles north of Schaller, in Sac County, and “broke prairie.” Wm. E. Harrison was the son of John and Susan Harrison, born June 6, 1851, at Sigourney, Keokuk County, Iowa. He moved with his parents when a small boy to a farm located near Hopkinton, in Delaware County, Iowa. He returned to Delaware County to be married to Mary Ellen Allison, daughter of Samuel and Emmeline Allison, Dec. 21, 1875. The spring of 1876, Will drove a team and wagon to his land north of Schaller, Iowa. Mary and her father, Samuel Allison, came to Fort Dodge by rail and on to Sac County by stage. Mary’s father helped build a frame house on the land. Avery Harrison, son of Mary Ellen Allison and Wm. Harrison, was born there Nov. 5, 1876. On Easter Sunday in 1878, Will and Mary were visiting neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Breach, who lived across the section from them, when, without warning, a cyclone hit! It blew the house away, killing Mrs. Breach and injuring Mary badly. Will was found with a plank across his chest, but not severely injured. When they found Avery, the 17 month baby, he was paddling in the mud, enjoying himself. The Harrison home was also blown away. They stayed with neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Griffeth, until a...

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