Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Elogious Clay Gibbs (1847-1926)

Portrait from the Villisca Review, March 25, 1904.

  Uniquely named Iowan Elogious Clay Gibbs was a Pennsylvania native, who, after attaining maturity, left his birth state for life in the midwest. Following his permanent settlement in Villisca, Iowa in 1878 he entered into a nearly five-decade career as one of that area's leading lawyers and public men. A former township clerk, justice of the peace and city attorney, Gibbs had, by the time of his passing in 1926, served Villisca as its mayor more times than any other man (over twelve years in total.) Nearly a century into the grave, Gibbs' reputation as one of Villisca's leading citizens has been consigned to history's dustbin for a good majority of the time, and now, with the aid of several archived issues of the Villisca Review, his life is highlighted for a new generation of readers to evaluate.
  Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 4, 1847, Elogious Clay Gibbs was one of ten children born to shoemaker Elogious B. Gibbs (1821-1873) and his wife, the former Anna Myers. Little is known of his schooling or early life in Philadelphia, and on July 8, 1864, he signed on for service in Co. A., 192nd Pennsylvania Infantry. His term of enlistment extended 100 days and was mustered out with his company on November 11th of that year. After his return from service Gibbs continued residence in Philadelphia and in 1869 married to Adelle (also spelled Adelia) Hallowell, about whom little is known. The couple would have at least two children, including Anna (died in infancy), and George (born ca. 1874).
   In 1870 E.C. Gibbs left his Pennsylvania home for a brief residence in Iowa, and in March 1870 settled in the small town of Villisca, which had been incorporated just a few years prior. His first stay in Villisca proved to be brief, and by the end of 1870 had returned to Philadelphia. However, Gibbs' first view of this Iowa town proved to have had a lasting effect on him, and in January 1878 he permanently resettled there. Within a short period, he began plotting his future and, deciding upon a career in law, began study in the Villisca office of Greenlee and Ross. He was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1879 and later formed a partnership with the man he studied under, future Villisca mayor Francis Pearce Greenlee (1847-1932).
  The partnership of Greenlee and Gibbs extended until 1882, whereafter Gibbs continued to practice alone until his retirement in 1921. In 1880 Gibbs made his first foray into the political life of Villisca, winning election as township clerk. He remained in that post until 1890, and from 1882-1890 also served Villisca as its city attorney. In addition to these posts, Gibbs would also be engaged as a justice of the peace for over three decades. 
   In October 1883 E.C. Gibbs remarried to Evaline "Eva" Hunter (1867-1902) in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Just sixteen years of age at the time of her marriage, Eva Gibbs later gave birth to one son, Francis Whitney (1884-1941). Following his marriage to Hunter, E.C. Gibbs entered into Villisca business life when he helped to incorporate the Villisca Mutual Building and Loan Association. During his near four-decade-long connection to that organization, Gibbs served as its secretary (1886-1924), vice-president and president, holding the latter post the year before his death. 

                                                     From the 1908 Villisca Review Illustrated Supplement.

  In early 1890 Gibbs threw his hat into the ring for mayor of Villisca and in March of that year won the election, defeating incumbent mayor Peter R. Bates by a vote of 199 to 111. Gibbs' first term as mayor extended two years, having won reelection in 1891. He was defeated in his bid for reelection in March 1892 by C.J. West, and during that year not only saw Villisca chartered as a city of the second class but also the mayoral term increased from one year to two. By a quirk of fate, Mayor C.J. West resigned from office that July and moved out of the area, whereafter he was briefly succeeded by Mason M. Stoddard. At a special election held in October 1892, it was E.C. Gibbs who was selected as mayor, with his third term extending until April 1894.
Frome the Villisca Review, March 9, 1911.

   After several years away from city politics, Gibbs was nominated for a fourth term as mayor in March 1900 as a candidate on the Citizen's Ticket. He went on to defeat People's candidate Aaron Paulus by a vote of 354 to 73 and was elected to a fifth term in 1902, and a sixth in 1904. Early in his 1902 term Gibbs was beset by tragedy when his wife of nearly twenty years, Eva, died aged 35 in December, having undergone several surgeries for tumors during the year. Four years following her death Gibbs remarried to Jessie Wiseman (born 1878), later to be a published author and poet. The couple was wed until Gibbs' death in 1926, whereafter Jessie relocated to Tennessee.
   E.C. Gibbs was defeated for reelection in 1906 by James Sellman Jackson, who, later having declined renomination, saw Gibbs earn a seventh term as mayor in 1908. As his seventh term as mayor began in April 1908, Gibbs could reflect on establishing a record--having held the post of Villisca mayor more times than any other man up to that time. With ten years as mayor behind him, Gibbs began to tire of the office, remarking before the 1908 election that he believed "some other man ought to be given the office". He continued this line of thinking in the days following his election, relating to the Villisca Review that:
"While the office was unsought by me, and while I refused, again and again, to allow my name to be used, yet having entered to the race and won out, I thank one and all who supported me for your work and votes in my behalf, and I can assure you that my endeavor will be to fufill the oath of office which I will take "''to see that the ordinances of the city are enforced, and, impartially, to the best of my ability, discharge all the duties of the office.""
  With proven popularity amongst the Villisca citizenry, Gibbs was renominated for an eighth term as mayor in 1910 and in April of that year began his final term in office. In March 1911 he announced that he'd be resigning at the end of that month, citing the:
"Burden of the office, the cares, the worries, the ensuing loss of sleep, had so effected his health as to make his continuence in the mayor's chair a matter of serious import to him. He does not wish to pose as an invalid, and is not much, but is was necessary for him to make some sacrifice and the mayorship was to be let go of with greater ease than any of his numerous personal affairs which demand the greater part of his time and attention."
A caricature of E.C. Gibbs, from the Villisca Review, November 25, 1921.

  Gibbs' resignation from the mayor's office came one year before unprecedented tragedy struck Villisca. On the night of June 9-10, 1912, prominent local merchant Josiah Moore, his wife Sarah, and the couple's four children were murdered in their beds by an ax-wielding intruder. Also killed in the attack were two neighbor children, Lena and Ina Stillinger, friends of the Moore's daughter Katherine who had been spending the night with the family. This gruesome crime made headlines through Montgomery County, Iowa, and elsewhere in the United States, and the Moore family slayings remain officially unsolved, with no perpetrator being convicted of the crime, now over a century old. It remains unknown as to E.C. Gibbs' role in the criminal proceedings following the murders. As a justice of the peace and prominent city figure at the time of the slayings, Gibbs likely had a frontline view of the inner workings of the investigation surrounding the crimes, an investigation that later centered on a number of different suspects
  In April 1921 E.C. Gibbs retired from the practice of law, selling the contents of his law office and library to fellow attorney R.J. Swanson of Red Oak, who took over his practice. While he may have retired, Gibbs remained active in his community well into his late seventies, being affiliated with the Villisca Mutual Building and Loan Association. He was chosen as president of that organization in 1925 and in the year of his death was returned to that post for another term. After nearly five decades of service to the political and civic life of Villisca, Elogious Clay Gibbs died at his home of a stroke on July 2, 1926, aged 79. He had been in failing health for several weeks prior to his death and following funeral arrangements was interred at the Villisca Cemetery, the resting place not only of the aforementioned Moore family but also several Villisca mayors.

From the Clarinda Journal, July 22, 1926.

Further Reading

 While information on Gibbs' life remains scant and no full biography of him was published during his lifetime, the above article hopes to fill that void. For further reading on Mr. Gibbs, the following issues of the Villisca Review proved invaluable when it came to completing this article.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Clemmon Leander Granger (1850-1900)

Portrait from the History of Fort Dodge and Webster County, Vol. I.

  Although he lacked length of years (he died aged 50 in 1900), Clemmon Leander Granger rose to become a leading name in business and politics in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he not only founded a successful farm implement company but was also elected to multiple terms as that city's mayor. Born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan on February 11, 1850 (or 1851, according to some sources), Clemmon Leander Granger was the son of Sylvester and Mary (Vernie) Granger. Early in his life, he removed to Crown Point, Indiana with his family, where his primary education occurred
  His father being a farmer, Clemmon Granger became interested in the development and sale of farming machinery and during his youth spent time on the Crown Point farm of George Willey, the man who would become his father-in-law in 1874. Granger first entered into the farm implement business in Effingham, Indiana, and later was affiliated with the McCormick Manufacturing Co., which positioned him as its local representative in Belleville, Illinois. This post was followed by his transfer to the position of company general manager for Illinois, and in the late 1870s would serve as McCormick's general manager for Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.
  Clemmon L. Granger married in Crown Point in October 1874 to Alice Willey (1854-1935). The couple were wed until Granger's death in 1900 and would remain childless. Desiring to make a name for himself in the farm implement field, Granger left the McCormick Co. in 1879 and soon resettled in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he opened a seed and farm implement store. In 1880 he partnered with George Weisz to found the dealership of Granger and Weisz, which continued until 1883 when Weisz sold his interest in the business to Granger, who in that year took P.M. Mitchell as a partner. Their partnership extended until 1898, when Mitchell retired from the company, whereafter Granger continued operations with Charles Brown under the firm name C.L. Granger and Co.

  Following his partnership with Brown, Clemmon Granger began preparations for the construction of a four-story building in downtown Fort Dodge to house his business. In an extensive write-up on the building's construction, the Fort Dodge Semi-Weekly Chronicle detailed that:
"The first floor will be used for the storing of heavy implements and hardware, as in the present structure. The offices and main sales rooms will be found on the second story, where the carriage repository will also be located. The third and forth story will be used for warerooms for the immense quantity of farm implements that are constantly kept on hand for the wholesale trade, which at present is one of the most important deparments of the firm's business. The shipping rooms will also be located on these floors."
 In addition to his business successes, Granger was an active participant in a variety of Fort Dodge and Webster County affairs, including service as secretary of the Webster County Agricultural Society and was a distinguished club-man, being a Mason, Knight Templar and member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In the fall of 1884, Granger was elected to his first term as Mayor of Fort Dodge and entered into office at the start of 1885. He would serve a second term the following year, and in 1892 was returned to the mayor's office, serving consecutive terms from 1893-96. His multiple terms as mayor were later lauded in his Fort Dodge Evening Messenger obituary, which notes:
"It was during the years of Mr. Granger's incumbency in the mayor's chair that Fort Dodge began its impetus towards a metropolis. His energy and public spirit proved contagious, and many of the city's improvements can be traced to his enterprise and acumen."
  In the year prior to his death, Granger's health began to fail, and after undergoing three operations at various times throughout 1899 and 1900, he died at the Passavant Hospital in Chicago on April 6, 1900, just a few months after his 50th birthday. Alice Willey Granger survived her husband by over thirty-five years, and following her death in December 1935 was interred with Clemmon in the Granger plot at the Oakland Cemetery in Fort Dodge.

Granger's obituary from the Fort Dodge Messenger, April 10, 1900.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Oa Lincoln (1883-1955)

Portrait from the May 25, 1950 Villisca Review.

   Certainly a candidate for having one of the shortest names on record, Oa Lincoln was a Missouri native who removed to Villisca, Iowa late in his life. Following his resettlement, Lincoln established business roots in the community and in 1950 was elected as that city's mayor for one term. Villisca is perhaps best known to true crime buffs as the town in which an ax murder occurred in 1912 (a crime that claimed the lives of nine people) and is a city that has elected two oddly named mayors, of which Mr. Lincoln is one.
  The son of Henry M. and Susan Lincoln, Oa Lincoln was born in Mound City, Missouri on March 25, 1883, or 1885 (the former being listed on his 1917 draft registration card). One of seven children, the reasons as to why Lincoln was given the name "Oa" have been lost to history, but, as it turns out, he wasn't the only child in the Lincoln family with a curious name. Xa Lincoln (1890-1965), Oa's younger brother, also lucked into receiving a two-letter first name, equally as unexplainable as his brother's! 
   Early in his life, Lincoln learned the trade of carpentry, continuing it all through his life. After marrying in February 1906 to Saphrona Ingels, Lincoln was employed by the International Harvester Co. and was a traveling salesman for that business. He was later a resident of Corning, Iowa, where he continued in their employ, and by 1937 had resettled in Villisca. Tragedy struck Lincoln in March 1937 with the death of his wife Sophrona, and in May of the following year remarried to her sister Myrtle, who survived him upon his death in 1955. 
  Following his establishing roots in Villisca, Oa Lincoln partnered with Wilbur Miller to form the International Harvester dealership in the city, being affiliated with the company until his retirement in 1947. After retiring, Lincoln returned to carpentry work "on a part-time basis" and entered Villisca political life, becoming the citizen's candidate for mayor in March 1950. On March 30 of that year, Lincoln won the election, beating incumbent mayor Lewis L. Kelseth by a vote of 367 to 294.

From the Villisca Review, April 6, 1950.

  Lincoln was sworn into office by outgoing mayor Klesath in April and during his two-year term took part in the city's annual poppy sale. Lincoln was defeated for reelection by the man whom he had beaten two years before, Lewis Klesath, and left office in April 1952. Lincoln continued to reside in Villisca after leaving office and in the winter of 1954-55 spent the cold months with his wife in Marana, Arizona. Oa Lincoln died in Marana in early January 1955 at age 70, succumbing to a heart attack. Following funeral arrangements in Villisca, his body was moved to Missouri for burial at the Hopkins Cemetery in Nodaway County.

Oa Lincoln's obituary from the January 20, 1955 Villisca Review.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Vanda Gradious Warner (1876-1949)

 From the Cresco Plain Dealer, January 4, 1910. 

  Acknowledged as a leading voice in Iowa agricultural circles during the early 20th century, Vanda Gradious Warner served as secretary-treasurer of both the Iowa Fleece Wool Growers Association and the Farm Loan Association for the counties of Davis and Appanoose. A  superintendent of the Iowa State Fair's poultry division for two decades, Warner also flitted with runs for political office, twice being a candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives and in 1926 was the Democratic nominee for Iowa State Secretary of Agriculture.
  A lifelong Iowa resident, Vanda Gradious "Van" Warner was born on August 1, 1876, in Van Buren County, the son of Franklin and Livinia (Denning) Warner. No information exists on why Warner was given the unusual names "Vanda Gradious", and he himself looks to have preferred going by his initials, as nearly all period sources record him as "V.G." or "Van" Warner. A graduate of the Southern Iowa Normal School, Warner also attended the Iowa state college at Ames. He married in Davis County on February 2, 1898, to Maude E. Fortune (1877-1955), and later had one daughter, Mabel (1914-1993).
   Soon after his marriage in 1898, Van Warner settled into overseeing a 300-acre farm in Van Buren County, Iowa. In the succeeding years, his name would gain prominence in Iowa poultry circles, raising several varieties of fowl at another farm in Bloomfield whilst also judging and exhibiting them at award shows and fairs. Among these varieties were the Partridge Wyandotte hen, pullet, and Cockrel, the Silver Laced Wyandotte, Silver Wyandotte, Golden Wyandotte, the Pekin Duck, the White Holland turkey, and the Buff Cochin Bantam. In addition to fowl, Warner was also a breeder of Percheron horses, Poland China hogs, Angus cattle, and Delaine sheep.

From "Greater Iowa", April 1918.

   By 1909 V.G. Warner took office as superintendent of the Iowa Pet Stock and Poultry Association and eight years later began a two-decade-long tenure as superintendent of the Iowa State Fair's poultry division, serving from 1917-37. A longstanding member of the Iowa Sheep Raisers and Wool Growers Association, Warner was elected as secretary of that group in January 1910 and would assume a similar post in the Iowa Fleece Wool Grower's Association beginning in 1920. 
  Warner made his first foray into state politics in 1912 when he entered into the Democratic primary race for state representative from Davis County. One of five men vying for the nomination, Warner polled fourth on primary election day in June, with 255 votes. In 1914 he again entered the Democratic primary race for state representative and was dealt another loss, this time polling third in a field of four candidates.
From the Davenport Democrat and Leader, October 26, 1926.

From the Davenport Democrat and Leader, October 26, 1926.

  In 1926 Warner returned to political life when he became the Democratic nominee for Iowa State Secretary of Agriculture. Described as a "recognized authority in Iowa's principal industry", Warner's lengthy background in agricultural matters gave him a firm footing in his run against incumbent secretary Mark G. Thornburg (1882-1962), a Republican who had entered into office in 1924. Unfortunately for Warner, it was Thornburg who won out at the polls in November, polling impressive numbers in Lucas, Monroe, and other counties.
   Following his loss, Warner returned to raising poultry, later operating the Warner hatchery in Ottumwa, Iowa. He retired as superintendent of the Iowa Fair's poultry division in 1937 and late in his life served as secretary-treasurer for the Farm Loan Association of Davis and Appanoose County. Van G. Warner died aged 72 on April 15, 1949, at an Ottumwa hospital. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, Maud, and following her death in 1955 was interred at the Bloomfield IOOF Cemetery, the same resting place as that of her husband.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Caessler Golder (1901-1967)

Portrait from the Muscatine Journal and News Tribune, June 22, 1967.

  For many years a prominent name in the civic life of Scott County, Iowa, Caessler Golder had fleeting involvement in Iowa politics in the late 1930s, being a Republican candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives from Scott County in the 1936 primary election. The son of Jacob and Rose (Levitch) Golder, Caessler Golder was born on October 13, 1901, in Sioux City, Iowa. Little is known of his early life, except notice of his earning his law degree and opening a law practice in Davenport, where he practiced for a number of years. He married in August 1927 to Suzanne Ruth Siegel, with whom he had two children. The couple would later divorce and in 1953 he remarried to Ruth Glass Polsky (1906-1994), who survived him upon his death in 1967. 
  In addition to his law practice in Davenport, Caessler Golder gained further notoriety in Iowa's Jewish community. A founding member of the Temple Emanuel Brotherhood of Davenport, Golder served that organization as its first president, and also made strides in city Masonic circles, holding memberships in the Davenport Consistory, the Kaaba Temple, and was a past master of the Trinity Lodge #208 of Davenport. 
  Golder entered the political life of his state in 1936 when he became one of three candidates vying for the Republican nomination for representative from Scott County. When the votes were tallied on June 1 of that year, it was Golder who polled dead last, garnering 1,522 to Peter Bendixen's winning total of 2, 670. Bendixen, in turn, would go on to lose the general election in November, voters instead electing two Democrats (Walter Dietz and Frank Engel) to the statehouse.
  While his pursuance of public office came to naught, Caessler Golder continued with his law practice after his loss and was later named as an attorney for the Iowa State Tax Commission, serving for two decades. Golder died in Muscatine, Iowa on June 21, 1967, having been stricken by a fatal heart attack while downtown. Following funeral services, Golder was interred at the Jewish Cemetery in Muscatine. He was survived by his second wife Ruth, who, following her death in 1994, was interred at the same cemetery as her husband.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Enno Edward Klinkenborg (1882-1960), Enno Andre Cirks (1918-1997)

A Klinkenborg political advertisement from the Rock Rapids Reporter, May 31, 1928.

  Hailing from Lyon County, Iowa, Enno Edward Klinkenborg was a native of Germany who, following his removal to the United States, was engaged as a real estate broker in the aforementioned county and was an unsuccessful aspirant for the Iowa House of Representatives on two occasions. Born in Hanover, Ostfriesland, Germany on December 14, 1882, Enno E. Klinkenborg was one of nine children born to Jan and Sjamtje (Penning) Klinkenborg. Little is known of Klinkenborg's early life in Germany and he is recorded in the 1920 census as having immigrated to the United States in 1886It is presumed his early education took place in Lyon County (as he is listed as a county resident in the 1895 Iowa census) and on June 1, 1910, he married Gretje Kruse (1884-1972). The couple's fifty-year marriage saw the births of four children, including Elmer (1911-2002), Selma Irene (1912-2010), Anita Rose (1914-1996), and Ray John (1917-2014).
  A resident of George, Iowa following his marriage, Klinkenborg operated the J.R. Beeman hardware store in Rock Rapids beginning in 1915 and was for many years a real estate agent and broker in the Lyon County area. In the spring of 1928 he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for state representative from Lyon County, and in June of that year won the Republican primary, narrowly defeating Leo C. Urlaub, 1,241 votes to 1,232. Despite his primary win, Klinkenborg wouldn't fare as well in the general election that November, losing to Democratic incumbent Otto J. Reimers by a vote of 1,945 to 2,684.
   Klinkenborg would reenter politics four years following his legislative loss, entering into the race for Lyon County auditor in March 1932. As one of four Republican candidates vying for the nomination in the June primary, Klinkenborg would poll third on election day, garnering 435 votes to winning candidate N.C. Rogers' total of 1,281

From the Lyon County Reporter, March 24, 1938.

  In 1938 Enno Klinkenborg reemerged on the political scene when he was put up as a candidate of the "People's ticket" for Mayor of George, Iowa. In an intriguing contest, Klinkenborg's opponent for mayor was his older brother Evert (1866-1949), then the incumbent mayor of the town! In a contest referred to a "hotly contested city election" by the Lyon County Reporter, it was the elder brother who won out, with Evert Klinkenborg defeating his brother, 258 votes to 114.
  With three losing candidacies behind him, Klinkenborg refrained from political activity through the majority of the 1940s. He remained active in the realty business and in 1944 was one of the founders of a permanent two-county realty board for Sioux and Lyon County. In March 1946 he again ran for mayor of George on the People's ticket, but this time lost to George Freerkson. Not one to let a loss get the best of him, Klinkenborg announced he'd be seeking a seat in the state legislature that November, but this time ran as a Democrat (having previously run as a Republican in 1932.)

From the Lyon County Reporter, October 31, 1946.

   Klinkenborg won the Democratic primary in June but lost out on a legislative seat that November, garnering 567 votes to winning Republican candidate Benjamin L. Datisman's total of 1,563. Klinkenborg continued to reside in George, Iowa after this loss and on June 1, 1960, he and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, being profiled in the Lyon County Reporter (shown below). Sadly, Klinkenborg himself would die less than a month later at his home while being visited by his son Ray and daughter-in-law, on June 21, 1960. Following funeral services Klinkenborg was interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in George.

From the Lyon County Reporter, May 30, 1960.

From the Lyon County Reporter, June 23, 1960.

Portrait from the Bemidji Daily Pioneer, July 11, 1968.

  Another "Enno" that entered politics is Enno Andre Cirks of Hubbard County, Minnesota. A former mayor of the town of Nevis, Cirks also was the Democratic nominee for the Minnesota House of Representatives from the 65th legislative district in 1968. Born in Ada, Minnesota on May 23, 1918, Enno A. Cirks was the son of Hiram and Minnie Cirks. Enno Cirks married in 1937 in Ada to the former Eleanor Aldean (1918-2019), with who he had one daughter, Julie.
  In 1948 Cirks and his family removed to Nevis, Minnesota, where for several years he owned and operated the Nevis Creamery. In 1957 he purchased the Akeley Creamery, which he was affiliated with until its sale in 1966, having decided to enter into the insurance business. In the 1960s he was elected as Mayor of Nevis and was still the incumbent in that office in 1968 when he announced his candidacy for the Minnesota House of Representatives. In that year's contest, Cirks' opponent was another curiously named man, incumbent Republican representative Loziene Julius Lee (1907-1999), who was featured on this site in September 2015. Lee would win a fourth term that November, besting Cirks by a vote of 6, 709 to 4, 253.
  Little else is known of the life of Enno Andre Cirks, excepting notice of his death on July 13, 1997, in Minnesota. He was survived by his wife Eleanor, who died a few days shy of her 101st birthday in March 2019

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Craton Cortice Colclo (1851-1941)

From Vol. I of the Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa, 1899.

  Three-term Iowa state representative Craton Cortice Colclo lucked into receiving an amusing tongue twister-type name--Just try and say it three times fast! Aside from his intriguing name, Colclo was for over sixty years a man of wide repute in Carroll County, Iowa, being a postmaster, county school superintendent, newspaper publisher, and Democratic National Convention delegate in addition to his legislative service. A native of the Buckeye state, Craton Cortice Colclo was born in Findlay, Putnam County, Ohio on November 25, 1851, the son of James H. and Hannah (Cretsinger) Colclo
  The Colclo family resided in Ohio until 1854, when they relocated to Winterset, Iowa, and two years later made a permanent home in Carroll County. Young Craton attended the district schools of that area and graduated from Carroll High School. In 1873, Colclo sustained a work-related injury to his left arm that left it "terribly mangled", losing his left hand as a result. He engaged in farm work during his youth, taught school, and in the mid-1870s enrolled at the Iowa Agricultural College, graduating in the class of 1877. 
  Following his graduation, Colclo returned to teaching and served as assistant principal of the Carroll County schools in the late 1870s. In 1881 he won election as county school superintendent, holding that post from 1882-85 and again from 1890-91. Between those terms, Colclo was appointed U.S. Postmaster at Carroll by President Cleveland, serving from 1885-89.
   Craton C. Colclo married in Carroll in November 1889 to Sadie Eloise (Kail) Snyder (1863-1937), and the couple remained childless through the entirety of their marriage. In 1891 Colclo entered into newspaper publishing, purchasing a half interest in the Carroll Sentinel. Taking J.L. Powers as a partner, the two men ran the paper as a daily issue until its discontinuation around 1898, whereafter it was semi-weekly. Colclo would sell his interest in the paper upon his election to the legislature in 1902, but returned to the publishing business in 1906 when he purchased the Sentinel printing plant, and until 1911 served as the Sentinel's editor and publisher.
   A staunch Democrat, Colclo served as part of the Iowa delegation to the Democratic National Convention of 1896 in Chicago that saw William Jennings Bryan nominated for the presidency. In 1901 Colclo entered the race for Carroll County's representative to the Iowa legislature and won the election in November of that year. During the 1902-04 term, he sat on the committees on the Agricultural College and Farm; Appropriations; the College for the Blind; Fish and Game; Printing; Roads and Highways; and Telegraphs and Telephones.

Colclo during his time in the legislature.

   In November 1903 Colclo won a second term in the house and during the 1904-06 session was named to four new committees, those being Constitutional Amendments, Municipal Corporations, Schools and Text-books, and Senatorial Districts. Colclo was elected to a third term in November 1905 and from 1906-08 continued service on the Appropriations, Fish and Game, Printing, and Roads and Highways committees. After the completion of his term in January 1908, Colclo returned to editorial work and remained busy in the civic and fraternal life of Carroll County, being a member of the Signet Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, and was a past president of the Citizens Commerical Club of Carroll.
   C.C. Colclo was called back to local politics in January 1912 when he accepted an appointment as Carroll County Treasurer, succeeding William Langenfeld, who had died in office. Acknowledging Colclo's past services in state government, the Carroll County Times and Sentinel lauded the appointment, stating:
"We believe that Mr. Colclo will be entirely capable and efficient. He is a man well conversant with uptodate business methods and is absolutely honest. While Mr. Colclo in years past has held several offices for the county, this is really the first one that is really worth while from every standpoint....He has proved a good man in every position he has held and we believe that his appointment will meet with the general approval of the citizens and tax payers of the county."
   After leaving the treasurer's office Colco succeeded to the post of state examiner for Carroll County accounts in 1913, a post under the auspice of the auditor of state. He continued in that post until his retirement in January 1925 and as he entered his seventh decade remained busy, accepting the post of secretary of the Carroll Commercial Club in 1926. Colco would attend the 55th anniversary of his college graduation in July 1932 and in May 1937 suffered the loss of his wife of nearly fifty years, Sadie. In the final years of his life, Colclo served as a custodian of rooms for the Carroll Chamber of Commerce, continuing in that role until retiring in December 1939. 
   Craton Colclo died on February 4, 1941, several months short of his 90th birthday. He had been a resident of the Evor Morgan home in Carroll at the time of his passing and following funeral services was interred alongside his wife at the Carroll City Cemetery.

Craton C. Colclo, from the Carroll Times and Sentinel, Jan. 11, 1912.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dimond Malanjo Loosli (1876-1947)

Portrait from the Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1913.

  Possessing an exotic-sounding name, Dimond Malanjo Loosli was born of Swiss descent in Utah and after entering young adulthood removed to Idaho with his family. A lifelong member of the Mormon church, Loosli's residency in Idaho saw him attain prominence in both church affairs and politics in the Fremont County area, being a choir leader, bishop's counselor, county assessor, and member of both houses of the Idaho legislature.
  One of nine children born to  Ulrich (1830-1918) and Elizabeth Eggimann (Bauman) Loosli (1842-1902), Dimond Malanjo Loosli was born in Clarkston, Utah on October 20, 1876. Natives of Switzerland, Ulrich and Elizabeth Loosli were members of the Mormon church and the former had first settled in the United States in 1860. Following his marriage to Elizabeth in 1869, the Loosli's resided in Clarkston, and in addition to Dimond Malanjo, Ulrich Loosli bestowed unusual names on four more of his children, including Troudgott Landlo (born 1869), Anfanial (died in infancy in 1870), Boundy Endore (born 1872) and Hyrum Ultra (born 1885).
   Loosli's early education saw him attend school in Trenton, Utah and he later studied at the Bannock Stake Academy in Rexburg, Idaho. In 1892 he removed with his family to Marysville, Idaho, and following a brief flirtation with a teaching career, married to Hattie Salisbury in Utah on November 11, 1898. The couple's near fifty-year union saw the births of nine children, Dimond Herschel (1899-1962), Stanley (1901-1987), Anna Lisle (1903-1981), Clayton Girr (1905-1976), Adrienne (1907-1997), Leo Arden (1909-1938), Berlin Ramsden (1911-1933), Alden Revere (1913-1988) and Donald Lamar (1915-2010).
  In the years following his marriage, Loosli established a farm and homesteaded 160 acres of land, where he raised grain and planted crops. Sources relate that he enjoyed tinkering in his workshop on his family's farm and had a love for music, playing bass horn in the Marysville band. In addition to this, Loosli also was a director in the Marysville ward choir. As a leader in the local Mormon church, Loosli taught a Gospel Doctrine class, held the post of ward clerk for the Marysville ward for nearly two decades, and was a high councilor in the Yellowstone stake for twelve years. 
Dimond and Hattie Loosli, from Marysville, Idaho: People and Happenings.

  Dimond M. Loosli made his first run for public office in Idaho in 1904, winning election as a justice of the peace for Marysville. In November 1930 he was elected as one of two Fremont county representatives to the Idaho state house of representatives and served during the 1931-33 session. Loosli would win a seat in the state senate in the 1934 election year, and during his term served on a special legislative committee that visited St. Alphonsus Hospital. While still an incumbent senator, Loosli was named to the Fremont County Agricultural Planning Board in February 1936, where he was a member of the peas commodity committee.
  After leaving office Loosli continued prominence in his native county of Fremont, serving as vice president of the Fremont County farm loan association, was a director of the Brady Canal, and remained dedicated to church work, traveling with his wife Hattie on a mission to California from 1939-40. In 1942 Loosli retired from farming in Marysville and removed with his wife to Ashton, Idaho, where he died on April 6, 1947, aged 70. Hattie Loosli survived her husband by nearly twenty years, dying two days short of her 90th birthday in 1966. Both were interred at the Pineview Cemetery in Ashton. 

Loosli in old age, from the "Ashton Family Histories", 2006.