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May 11th

Friday, March 19, 2010

Smith Henderson Mallory

This article was featured in the Cemetery Tour of September, 2006

Smith Henderson Mallory was born to Smith Legg and Jane Henderson Mallory in Yates County, New York on December 2, 1835, the eldest of six children.  His early education was in Penn Yan, New York and at the prestigous J.W. Irwin's Academy in Danbury, Connecticut.

At the age of 14, Mallory moved to Batavia, Illinois to work with his grandfather, Meredith Mallory and uncle, Barnum Dow Mallory.  His uncle was the chief construction engineer of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad.  The rest of the Mallory family joined them in 1852.

Mallory's first railroad job was as an axeman and he was soon appointed to rodman, helping in making surveys for the Aurora extension of the C.B. and Q. Railroad.  After completion of the road to Burlington, he was appointed engineer.

Seeing the rising value of land, he resigned from the railroad in 1857, and went into the real estate business in Fairfield, Iowa.  The change in careers came at a bad time for Smith, however, because it was at the end of the real estate boom.

On March 22, 1858, Smith H. Mallory married Annie Louise Ogden of Pen Yan, New York.

Soon after their marriage, they moved to Fairfield, where Smith was appointed engineer of that division of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad.  In December, 1858, Mallory was named roadmaster and took charge of bridge construction from Ottumwa west.

On September 26, 1863, Mrs. Mallory gave birth to their only child, daughter Jessie Ogden Mallory in Napierville, Illinois.

The Mallory's moved to Chariton in the spring of 1867, where they proceeded to buy property - eventually 1300 acres in north Chariton and Lincoln Township.  The Mallory's claimed $170,000 in personal property and real estate on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census.

The rail line was completed to Chariton on July 1, 1867.  Before resigning from the B. and M. R. Railroad in 1878, Smith was overseer for completion of the railroad to the Missouri River.  In 1881, S.H. Mallory became President and General Manager of the Fulton County illinois narrow Gauge Railroad and held that position until his death.

In 1870, Mallory organized the First National Bank and became their first president.  The Bank enjoyed much success through Mallory's guidance, but fell on hard times after his death, due to some bad speculation deals and scandal.

He was engaged in a general contracting business, Fitzgerald, Mallory and Flynn and did heavy work on railroads in Ohio, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.

Mr. Mallory and his partner, John Howard of Whitebreast Township were among the largest stockraisers in the county, raising mostly shorthorns.

Smith was elected President of the Lucas County Agricultural Society in 1873 and served as president or committee member for several years afterward.

The Chariton Elevator was built by S.H. Mallory in 1871 for $10,000.  It was moved 300 feet for convenience of the railroad.

The Chariton Plow Company was organized by Mallory and 2 colleagues, May 26, 1879 with a paid up capital of $20,000.  Mallory was the first president of the company.  They had many holdings and were the makers of the Chariton Sulky Plow attachment.

In 1880, S.H. Mallory, D.Q. Storie and D.M. Thompson formed the Chariton Coal Company on the site of the former Lucas Coal Company, 3/4 mile northwest of the Cleveland mine.  The mine was the deepest in Iowa at the time at a depth of 330 feet.

Mallory's property interests outside of Chariton continued to grow.  He laid out the town of Oakley in 1879.  He owned the town of Midway, which was east of Lucas and west of Old Cleveland.  He owned Murray, Iowa and founded Milo in 1878.

Mr. Mallory served this city and state in many areas.  He served as Senator for Iowa's 6th district in 1875 and in 1877, he was elected as state representative.  He was director of the State Agricultural Society.

He was named President of the Iowa Board of Centennial Managers in 1875, but declined the position due to business matters.

Smith was chairman of the Iowa commission for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and devoted a year to the exhibit.  Mallory gave a gift to our community from the fair which can be seen above the courthouse upon his return from Chicago.  The courthouse clock, made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company, stood atop Iowa's impressive pavilion and was formally given on January 1, 1894 and was up and running by March of the same year.  After the Chariton Public Library, a Carnegie Library, was built in 1904, Annie and Jessie donated a set of andirons for the fireplace which were also a part of the Iowa building at the fair.

By 1880, Mallory instructed Des Moines architect William Foster to design 2 structures.  One of them was the Mallory and Law Block on the northeast corner of the square.  The other structure was the family home, "Illion", begun in 1879.  The house took 3 years to complete.  The Mallory family spent most of that time touring Europe and can be found on the 1881 England census living in a hotel in London.

The Mallory home was the site of Jessie Mallory's marrage to Deming Thayer of Boston, Massachusetts on June 9, 1886.  It was a lavish affair as all social occasions were at the "Illion."  The couple left soon after the wedding for a short stay in Kansas, where Deming worked as Chief Engineer on the D.M. and A. Railroad.  Deming later became manager of Mallory's Brook Farm.

In 1888, Jessie gave birth to a daughter, Louise, who was stillborn.  She was interred in the Stanton Vault.

After Deming's untimely death in 1898, Jessie took over the reigns of Brook Farm and Dairy, Mallory's huge 1300 acre estate.  They had 29 Jersey and Shorthorn cows to produce milk and butter.  The farm had 8000 trees, which furnished the world with the famous "Ilion" brand of apples. Fifteen acres of land was the afrm garden that had all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  The stock on the farm numbered about 225 head, which included cattle, horses and hogs.  Brook farm supplied butter, cream, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables and poultry for the C.B. and Q. Railroad.  Brook Farm was also the site of an acre of catalpa trees, planted close together and trimmed to a height of 15 feet.  Mallory's original plan was to use the catalpas for railroad ties because they are fast growing and don't rot.  The Mallory's planted tens of thousands of catalpa seedlings in Chariton and Lucas County, many of which are still blooming.

Many of the Brook Farm catalpas can be seen by the pond today while traveling along the Hy-Vee by-pass north of Chariton.  That pond and the trees were inside the 3/4 mile race track on Mallory land that was run by the Lucas County Joint Stock Association and was the site of the Lucas County Fair.

Smith Mallory was involved in civic and fraternal organizations.  He was a member of the Masonic organization, Knights Templar and was a member of the Odd Fellows.

Smith and Annie were devoted charter members of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.  They were instrumental in getting the first frame structure built in 1867.  The Mallory's gave $10,000 to the building fund for the beautiful red stone church built in 1900.  Jessie, a building committee member, selected a church in Philadelphia to pattern the structure after, at a total cost of $25,000.

Smith attended the first meeting of the Lucas County Historical Society on June 10, 1901, which was arranged by Col. Warren Dungan.   Mallory served on the first board of directors.

Smith Mallory died March 26, 1903 after a lengthy illness.  The funeral took place at St. Andrews.  Mayor Alexander proclaimed a "day of mourning", and city offices and businesses were closed.  The clock on the courthouse tower was stopped at 11:40 a.m., which was the time of his death.

S.H. Mallory was laid to rest in the cemetery, next to son-in-law, Deming.

Following the banking incident, and subsequent litigation, Annie and jessie moved to Orlando, Florida in the fall of 1909.

Jessie married Orlando socialite, William O'Neal in 1914.

In 1920, Jessie returned to Chariton and had her father's remains disinterred and cremated.  Mallory's beautiful Colorado red storie monument that was in the Chariton cemetery was dismantled and shipped to Orlando's Greenwood Cemetery.

Annie Louise Odgen Mallory died in Orlando in March of 1923 at the age of 81 and was laid to rest beside her husbasnd in Greenwood Cemetery.

Jessie died on November 16, 1923 at the age of 60, after a lengthy illness and is buried beside her parents.

With Jessie's death, the Smith Henderson Mallory family line ended.

So please, take time to look around Chariton and see the legacy that Mr. Mallory has left for us - the railroad; the catalpas, still blooming after 120 years and our beautiful courthouse clock.

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