Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle Interview Stories

Continuation of Elizabeth Tuttle Stories from the tapes at the Lucas County Historical Society as transcribed by Darlene Arnold at the Lucas County Genealogical Society and which appeared in their newsletter - October/December 2010.

Fred Gay's statement was:  One thing that interests me when talking to you earlier was the different advertisings.  The different ways you advertised, through the newspaper and by using your store windows.  You put a lot of time into those.  Number one, the "Tuttle Talkies".

Elizabeth:  There was a very efficient and timely man in our Hardware Association.  He always tried to make suggestions to help someone.  I don't know who it was that suggested I write them in rhyme.  So, of course when I looked around the hardware store I found something that would rhyme with something over there.  He said I wish you could get a good heading for your ad.  So I tried and it ended up "Tuttle Talkies" and I asked the newspaper if they would make us a plate and they used that for years and years and I still have stacks of the "Tuttle Talkies".  Every week we run them and people are awfully kind and thoughtful and thousands of people speak words of kindness to us.  People would say, "Hey, I like your 'Tuttle Talkies', I always read them."  We said our farewell in "Tuttle Talkies" style.  Our departure of the business - It was a time of sadness and happiness all mixed together.

We are both from farm homes.  We know that indoors and outdoors hardware is needed.  I think that if a man needs a bolt to fix that plow I could get it for him.  He was always thankful that I could go get him the right size that he wanted.  Then he could go on his way rejoicing and he could get his work done.  Now everyone had to get there work done.  I will tell you something beautiful.  I think when we put an electric range in the home it raised the standard of our home considerably.  I went to the factory to take training especially in the electric cookery.  I could tell this lady, or each lady, what she needed to know when she bought the range.  I could tell her how much water to use in cooking.  Another thing was the waterless cooker.  It was a very human thing.  It reaches into daily life, morning, noon and night.  There was almost everything they could buy at our store.  Sometimes the lowliest utensils would be so necessary in a home.  I enjoyed people telling me what they needed and how they wanted to use it.  I could then select something and get them what they needed because I had studied these myself.  I went to Chicago to the Merchandise Mart and various manufactures were there, and I could buy a half dozen of this and four dozen of that and I always enjoyed finding new things that would make life easier, more helpful and there was a pride in using a good utensil.  I loved to give demonstrations,  how to use the cookware.  How to cook without water in the waterless cookware.  I would serve it to the ladies as we had demonstrations in the back of the store and we just had a great time.  I could show them what the new items would do.  Of course being raised on a farm I knew what was needed.  I enjoyed telling the people about that.

It was hard for us to make up our minds to leave the business.  The customers were all our friends and we had been serving them all these years and serving them the best way we could.  We enjoyed it and we loved to be useful in this world.  It was not about the money it was about the friendship.  Look at all the service and happiness you can bring to all the people in your area.  That is where you get your satisfaction.

In our side yard there is a dogwood tree that grows and each year it blooms.  I was a teacher and I loved literature and I loved to give it to the children when I found a special gem and the legend of the Dogwood is a very special gem of literature.  Mrs. Shirley Yocom, a good friend of mine, was a Sophomore teacher and I talked to her and told her I would like to invite her Sophomore classes to come over when the Dogwood tree blooms and tell them the story of the dogwood tree and I would serve them cookies and punch.  She thought that would be fine.  Her classes are 40-minute classes and that gives them time to come over, if they hurry, and I would take them out to the Dogwood tree and give them the legend.

This is the legend - At one time when the earth was much younger than it is now the Dogwood tree was the very strongest tree in the forest.  It was so strong that when evil men wanted to kill God's only son, they decided to kill him on the Dogwood tree, so they nailed him on with terrible spikes through the palms of his hands and through his feet and left him there to die.  And this Son of God had a very sensitive nature and in his agony he felt that the tree was suffering with him.  So he said to the tree, "From now on you will not be a strong tree, your limbs will be small and knotty and prickly and rough and your flowers will have red spots on them and people will remember."  And so he died on the tree.

I had 500 copies of the legend made and we would take them by classes and I would take them out and tell them the story and have them come up and look at the little limbs and the flowers.  They were not as big as my arm and they are rough and knotty and wouldn't hold any weight at all.  Then I took them in and served them cookies and punch and I would pass the paper out with the legend printed on it.  They always remember me in some sweet way.  I don't want them to spend their money on me but they will do it.  This last time they sent me a 9-foot long thank you, about 36 inches wide, with all their names written on it.  There were 6 classes with 20 per class so that was about 120 pupils and all had signed their names with some little sweet note on it.  I almost broke down when I received it.  It was all roled up and tied with a bow and I said to Gifford, "What is this?"  And he said it was from the class and it was this beautiful card sweet thank you.

That was one of the loveliest things I feel I could do for people and I wish I could do more.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle Interview Stories

This is the continuation of Fred Gay's interview with Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle.

Fred asked Elizabeth to explain to him the day they were married and why that was a unique day in American History.

Elizabeth -  We were married June 28, 1914 and that was the very same day that Archduke Ferdinand, of Austria, was killed by Serbian students.  (Fred said - For many young people, they may not know that this is what started WWI.)  Until the day that we were married the whole world was at peace but since that day it has always been in pieces.  Sure enough the war did go on.  Of course we didn't start it but it was remarkable that it started that very same afternoon.

I taught school until the time that I knew we were going to move to Iowa.  I enjoyed it so much and I really liked to do it and it was my profession.  Gifford didn't object to it so I kept on teaching.

The city of Chariton has what is called a square.  There is a large park in the middle and the business houses were on the four sides of the square.  The north side seems to have always been the best side of the square.  There were good stores all around but the north side has always been considered the best.  This store was about in the middle on the north side, a double front hardware store.  Just the perfect location for anyone that wants to improve their business and to keep it active and have people come in.  The traffic is always good on the north side of the square.  We had large windows and we could put our large coal or wood burning kitchen ranges in there.  Of course they had a reservoir on the side.

There were a lot of walking farm engines.  Not riding, but walking.  You think about how long ago that was, 1923.  It was a fine location and we thought we had the finest location in the state of Iowa.  That is, we thought that it was very good for us and we got all the traffic that ever came to town.  The other stores on the north side also did good.  The dry good stores, and Pipers and a fine big grocery store and a drug store.  We thought we were in the Garden of Eden.

It was a very exciting time to be in business.  Everything went well and we were harmonious among ourselves.  Gifford had the good judgment to get a couple of his nephews to work for us.  Gifford's two brothers had sons and then I made a trip to western Kansas all by myself to ask Lawrence to come and be in business with us.  He did and then Chester joined us and they were perfect hardware men.  They loved the work and they prospered by it.  It was all very interesting.  We look back at a most harmonious business life in Chariton.  We are pleased with it.  As I said, we loved Chariton and wanted to stay here.  We like the people and it is enjoyable.  We are just happy.

In the late 1920's electricity which brought changes in appliances.  We still sold some kerosene lamps as it didn't start all at once.  It was gradual.  That seemed to be nature's way or the human's way.  It started slow and that was good for everybody.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle Interview Stories

Fred Gay – KYRS news department’s “Under the Looking Glass” is continuing our oral history interviews.  He interviewed both Gifford and Elizabeth Tuttle, but I am only using Elizabeth’s interview in this blog.  These two were in Chariton in the hardware business for over 35 years.  They became locally famous, not only for the kind of store that they had but the service they provided and some of the interesting things that came out of that store.  I thought it would be interesting to look at the hardware business and their lives.

Elizabeth -  I was born on a farm in Missouri.  My brother and I walked to our country school, which was a mile and three quarters, but we didn’t mind, as our young legs were good and strong.  We went summer and winter and I graduated from the 8th grade and I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, which I had wanted since I was a little girl.  I wanted to go to Rockport High School and I did and I wanted to work for my board.  I found a nice place in a nice home with nice people and I stayed there and worked for my board in Rockport.  Then when I graduated I took the county examination for teacher.  I applied for a school within riding distance from home and I was hired and I stayed there two years.  I had from one of my high school teachers the thought that after you have taught two years it might be well to move on and move into another neighborhood and have a new, wider experience.  I respected my teachers and their thoughts.  I thought I would follow that although I had two very fine years at that school.  I went over to another direction in the county and applied for a school over there.  I got it and I stayed there two years and all those years were happy teaching.

Meanwhile, my brother and I had walked to our Sunday school a mile away and never missed a Sunday unless the snow was too deep.  I loved our little church and I had joined as a little girl.  About the time after I had finished teaching four years, our little Presbyterian Church went out of business.  The smaller farms had been sold to larger farms.  We had big, big farms around there and they owned lots of land.  That depleted somewhat the population and closed our little church.  Of course my brother, mother and I would go to another church.  We had lost our father by this time.   So we went to a church in the opposite direction and mother didn’t always go.  It was the custom there, since the minister drove out from Tarkio and delivered his sermon, it would be too much for him to drive the 15 or 16 miles back to Tarkio to get his dinner.  So, it was the custom among the congregation to take him to a home to dinner.  The ladies league would meet and whomever was presiding would say, OK, who is going to take the preacher next Sunday.  Someone always volunteered.  We had been going there some for sometime and I had not yet offered because there seemed to be so many other offering before me and one day I said, “We will host the minister the next time.”

So, we went into the church and had our Sunday school and then here came a strange man, it wasn’t Rev. Tiney??, so we took that in stride because at times there had to be a substitute.  This was a young man.  Tarkio had a college there and there were many students.  It was a fine religious college.  Here was a young man that came out to take the pulpit.  I had said I would take him so I approached him and said that we were inviting him out to lunch today.  And he said “Thank You.”  I said we would be out to our buggy and you will see us, and you may follow us with your buggy.  So he followed us and when we got to our place I quickly went in to tell mother so she could put another plate on the table.  I told her there was a young man from the college to have lunch with us.  He was very nice and said he enjoyed the lunch and he had to be on his way because he had a 16-mile drive back to Tarkio.  We told him goodbye and it was our pleasure for us to have him as it was all in a days work.

In the next few days my mother received a very nice letter from this young man.  His name was G.R. Tuttle.  He thanked her for the nice dinner and enjoyed being in our home.  I was always brought up to be very courteous and that I should write him back.  I did and I will let the rest up to your imagination.  He is sitting right across the table from me as he has always been.  We have had a really happy life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What is a Bloomer Dress?

From the December 6, 1894 Chariton Herald

What is a bloomer dress?  A lady gives the following explanation:  “The bloomer dress is a pair of trousers very baggy at the knees, abnormally full about the pistol pockets, and considerably loose where you strike a match.  The garment is cut décolleté at the south end, and the bottoms tied around the ankles, or knees to keep the mice out.  You can’t put it over your head as you do your corsets, but you sit on the floor and pull it on just as you do your stockings – one foot in each compartment.  You can easily tell which is the right side to have in front, by the buttons on the neck band.”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lucas County's Fair Genealogy Open Class - August 2, 2010

Even though I was not here for the fair this year, I know many of you attended.  I would like to put Ev Brightman’s comments on this blog.  These were taken from the Lucas County Genealogy Society Newsletter – Oct-Dec 2010.

My hope was to involve the community including youths in the open class.  This year was a reflection of that hope.  We had fourteen participants entering sixty-four items.  Of the fourteen, four were members of our society, seven were adult non-members including three first time exhibitors and three youths, two were first time exhibitors.  There were a variety of entries all well done.  One new exhibitor entered after watching his wife and children’s past entries.  Another entered some wonderful documents, which she had rescued, from an elderly relative’s trash bags that were ready for the burn pile.  I am sure it makes us all shudder to think how much is lost and thankful for preservastion of our histories.  The Best of Show in the youth category went to Nathanial Marts.  He made a large replica of his great grandfather’s barn.  He began with two by fours.  The detail was amazing.  Best of Show in the adult category was my entry of a Miscellaneous Photo of my father, George Butrum, and I age eight, with his pride and joy, a 1952 Chevy five-window cab truck.  It was one of the photo’s I used a his visitation in 2000.  I gave the same pictures to my son’s last Christmas with dye cast models of that picup I found in a woman’s clothing catalogue of all places.

Elizabeth Tuttle Interview Stories

How the Title Came About

Years ago Fred Gay interviewed Gifford and Elizabeth Tuttle while using a cassette player.  As we have all learned through experience, magnetic tape media does not last forever like we hoped it would.

Darlene Arnold at the Lucas County Genealogical Society has been transcribing the tapes belonging to the Lucas County Historical Society and putting them on digital media in order to preserve these important interviews.  There are many.

 In the upcoming weeks I will be placing excerpts from the Tuttle's interview on this blog.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

The first one explains how Elizabeth Tuttle chose the title to her famous book.

 How I came to get the title to my book "To Get A Prairie Chicken".  I have been a staunch believer that the hand of God is in the prayers of men.  I have seen it so many times and I have to believe it even if I didn't want to believe it.

When I was a child I was never any good at naming a pet on the farm, we had little dogs, little calves and little colts.  The rest of the family had to name them.  I didn't even name my doll.  I just called her "Dolly".

When we got the green light from the publisher, it almost paralyzed me because I had no title for the book.  I agonized over that for a few days and one day I was in the kitchen prparing our dinner and all at once, like an arrow had hit me, it came - To Get a Prairie Chicken - and I knew I had it.

Those words are really in the book because of the Badger family.  When they came into this area and even after they got settled close by, probably down south of Chariton, there were several wagons traveling together and they all went there own ways going where they had family or relatives.  But the wagon that came north had a family in it and one of the members of that family was named Alec and he was a young man.  He got out of the wagon and walked behind some distance.  They kept saying, "Alec, why don't you come and ride."  "No," he said.  "I want to get a Prairie Chicken".  And when I was writing that, it never dawned on me that would be the title.  I never thought of it until a power above myself said it to me and that is how the title came to be.

We talked about what we wanted to do with the money from this book and the first thing is I want the proceeds from the book to be used for handrails at the museum.  They are really needed.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Andrew Dillman

The Andrew Dillman (1790-1872) Family Bible

Don and Joye Dillman sent a letter with the booklet they gave to the Lucas County Genealogy Society.

This Bible was presented to Andrew Dillman (1790-1872) in 1848.  The Bible information is important to Lucas County genealogists research as it records the birth of an early emigrant to Lucas County, Iowa.  It is also unique and will be of interest to others due to its hand drawn elements and dedication page inscriptions.

There are three Andrew Dillmans associated with this Bible.  The owner, Andrew Dillman (b. 11 Oct. 1790, PA) was the son of Revolutionary War Patriot Andrew Dillman (DAR Ancestor A036109; b. 21 Oct 1753 PA, d. 21 May 1823, KY).  The owner of the Bible was the father of Andrew Dillman (B. 11 Oct 1827 IN, d. 6 Apr 1866 Lucas County, IA) who moved with his wife Elizabeth (Eliza) Frances Henderson and four children to Oakley, Iowa in 1856 or 1857, and was buried in Niswender Cemetery, when he died in 1866.

As described in the booklet, the Bible was discovered in a Goodwill Store in Indianapolis, IN, in 2009.  It includes unusual inscriptions as well as birth/death info that may be of interest to anyone researching the Dillman family, five generations of which have lived and owned land in Lucas County.  Andrew’s sister, Julia Dillman Finley, whose birth is recorded in the Bible and her husband David Finley purchased land in Lucas County near Andrew, but Julia returned to Indiana with her Iowa-born children after the death of her husband 9 July 1863 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Genealogy Room Greatly Appreciated

She Discovers why she visited the Chariton Library

This letter was written to the Editor of the Chariton Newspaper and appeared in the paper on September 23, 2010.

Hello, my name is Barbara Timmins, and I'm from Altoona, Iowa.  My dad lived in Chariton from 1933-1943 when his family moved to Des Moines.  Dad died on Dec. 2, 2009.  My dad thought family history was very important and told my brothers and me many stories from when he was growing up, both in Chariton and in Des Moines.  I have a wonderful story for you about an experience I had in Chariton in July of this year.  I thought I'd share it with you.

I had a list of things I wanted to look at from this database.  When we got there, the woman said to me, "Do you know, you can look at these newspapers in Des Moines at the Historical Building ?"  And I said, "Well that's okay, I needed to go to the cemetery, too, so it was okay I traveled down here."

I was in a back room in the basement of the Chariton Library, sitting at the microfilm machine and to my right was a bookshelf with Chariton school yearbooks, and information about Chariton schools, etc.

There was this one binder, black or dark blue, I can't remember.  It was nothing fancy.  It had a paper taped to the spine that said "Chariton School Photos," and I could tell that there were some plastic sleeves inside with photos stuck in them.

Again, nothing fancy, but my eye kept getting drawn to this binder.  I had looked inside a few yearbooks and one big binder with information about Chariton schools, but I finally gave in and took the binder off of the shelf.  I decided that there must be a reason for me to look at this darn binder.

So I opened it up, and on the first page, first photo, is a group of kindergarten or first graders, and in the front row, center, is my dad.

I took the binder out and showed it to my mom, and told her that was the reason I was to come to Chariton and sit in that little room!  It's like my dad was there with me, egging me on to look inside this plain binder, because he knew he would be there looking back at me.

There are no names or dates on this photo or the three following it.  I've sent the photo to my dad's best friend growing up to see if he is in the photo as well and if he can shed some light on when it was taken, or other names of children in the photo.

What Does the Future Hold for the Hotel Charitone

A momentous time in the history of Lucas County occurred in November 1923 when the majestic Hotel Charitone opened its doors.  Local architect William L. Perkins, designer of many of Chariton’s buildings, out-did himself with this beautiful multi-storied work of art.  The hotel was equipped with all the conveniences of the day, including tile floors, a telephone in every room and the finest restaurant in town.  The hotel not only provided quality housing for the traveling public, it served as a place for local social affairs.

As happens through the years and for a variety of reasons, people began looking elsewhere for answers to their needs.  Thus a magnificent facility, the Hotel Charitone, started to deteriorate and ended up on the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance as one of the most endangered sites in Iowa.

The Hotel Charitone, in 2006, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significant association with the development of Chariton as a county seat

Then someone came along with a vision.  In May of 2003, Charles Thomas of Shellsburg, Iowa, unveiled plans for a costly renovation of the Charitone Hotel, while he was speaking at the Lakeview Golf and Country Club.  About 50 residents were on hand at the event hosted by the Chariton Chamber and Development Corporation.  He planned to start renovations before the end of 2003 or shortly after the beginning of 2004.  The plans called for fifteen assisted living apartments planned with a full spectrum of amenities.

Today, the Hotel Charitone stands abandoned, mothballed, and in significant decline. Over the last few years, a portion of the bricks detached from the facade and fell to the sidewalk below. Although the owner took steps to prevent additional damage, including stabilizing the walls, covering the windows with plywood, and blocking the sidewalk with a plywood fence, the building continues to decline. The community, chamber, city officials, and others are discussing the immediate future of the building. Due to safety concerns, the discussion revolves around demolition.  However, the building is an important landmark within the community and should be rehabilitated to create added value to the downtown business district.  The owner wants to rehab the building, but is having difficulty with financing the work needed.

As a result of meetings held throughout 2010 and the vote on September 20th, the Chariton City Council voted unanimously to declare the Charitone Hotel to be a nuisance and to require its owner to provide the structural engineer’s report by December 1.  Depending upon the findings in the report, the Council could give Thomas an extension to abate documented nuisance conditions.

Charles Thomas, his son and his lawyer were in attendance at the September 20th Council meeting and even though the Council members continued to view the Charitone Hotel as an eyesore and a magnet for trouble, Thomas, his wife and son and their attorney, continued to view it as an opportunity.

Why the Name was Selected - Charitone

From the June 26, 1923 Chariton Leader

It Preserves the Sentiment of History and is
Pleasing and Romantic

The question may be asked why did W.D. Junkin select the name "Charitone" for the new hotel.  And the answer would be for the best of reasons, in the first place it is a monument to local history, and in the second place because it identifies itself with the town in which it is built without sounding prosy and commonplace.  Could you have picked out a prettier name than "Charitone"?  Note the rhythm and soft accent.  It is a French name and has been associated with this part of Iowa and northern Missouri ever since civilization began to push farther out into the wilderness - when yet the tribes inhabited the wild lands bordering the stream making its grand sweep thru Lucas County, and thence to the south east, emptying into the Missouri and thence its waters are carried to the sea.  Many generations ago, even at the dawn of the new west, an adventurous trapper and trader among the Indians by the name of Pierre Charitone first penetrated these whilom wilds and the river bore his name, except that the English version pronounce it "Chariton", dropping the final "e", but the origin has never been lost sight of.  And finally when the capitol of Lucas County was located it was a happy thought to designate it by the name of the river, which bore its tidewaters towards the gulf.  And so now that the new hotel is christened the return is made to the original historic "Charitone".  When it is opened to the public there will be this romance of history cling about it and the traveler who seeks its comforts and hospitality will be linked to the past as though it were a voice that had spoken.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Iowa's Governor From Russell - Nathan E. Kendall

This article was taken from the 1967   Landmarks In History 
Centennial History Book written by Charles Wright

     Two of the thirty-eight governors who have served the state of Iowa have come from our own Lucas County.  The thirty-fifth governor, Republican Leo Hoegh, who served Iowa from 1955-57 was from Chariton.  And although the histories list Albia as the home of Iowa's twenty-fifth governor, Republican Nathan E. Kendall, he was actually born south of Russell in the neighborhood known as Greenville in 1868.  "Nate", as he was called, worked on his father's farm and attended rural school in this neighborhood until early manhood.  His parents were early settlers in the county and the few books that they owned were read and re-read by the future-governor until they were worn and dog-eared.  Having learned shorthand he then entered a law office in Albia where his career began.    In 1887 he was admitted to the Iowa Bar.  He later served for a term as city attorney in Albia and then became the Monroe County Attorney.  He became known as a brilliant speaker and, when he was 31, was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives.  He served there for ten years and was named Speaker of the House for the 32nd General Assembly. 
     Next Kendall became a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1909-13, serving the old 6th district of Davis, Jasper, Keokuk, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello and Poweshiek Counties.  Here, too, he was a recognized debater and orator.  In earlier life he wrote and memorized his speeches but in later years he abandoned that practice and even spoke without notes.  Kendall was re-nominated to run for Congress in 1913 but withdrew from the race following an attack of heart disease.  He was not active in politics again until he ran for governor of our state in 1919.
     Kendall was elected Governor of Iowa in 1920 and was re-elected to a second term in 1922.  The First Lady of Iowa was the former Belle Woden of Centerville, Iowa, whom he married in 1896.  She died in 1925 in Naples, Italy, while the couple was on a world tour.  Traveling had been one of Kendall's favorite activities and it was on another of his trips that he met Mrs. William F. Bonnell of Cleveland, Ohio, who became the second Mrs. Kendall.
     Kendall had two hobbies--red neckties and horseshoes.  Early in his career he had formed the habit of walking along Albia's country roads and he never passed up a horseshoe along the way.  They were kept for good luck and displayed in his Albia law office.  The Governor also loved baseball and fishing.
     His sense of humor was well known and many anecdotes are told about him.  One of the Governor's favorite stories on himself concerned his sixty-third birthday.  On this day he ate lunch as was accustomed at a certain table in Younker's Tearoom in Des Moines.  The management somehow learned it was his birthday and a large bouquet of roses was on the table with birthday greetings.  The waitress who took his order asked, "Governor, is this your birthday?" He replied that it was.  "How old are you, Governor?" she asked.  He related that he looked her straight in the eye and coolly replied "83 years old".  "My goodness," she replied, "I wouldn't have believed it--you don't look a day over 73!"
     Kendall died suddenly at his home in Albia in November 1936.  He was sitting in his chair listening to the election returns with his dog lying asleep beside him when apparently stricken by a heart attack.  After services in Des Moines his body was cremated and his ashes buried in Albia.

Among the illustrious citizens of Russell was one to receive the highest honors of our state.

     Nathan E. Kendall (known as "Nate") was born March 16, 1868 and raised in the Greenville neighborhood east of Russell.  Taking his school teacher's word for it, Miss Susan Day, Nate was the most mischievous youngster in the school as well as the most brilliant.  Later in life this spontaneous good humor and energy made him into the man that the whole nation admired.
     Mr. Kendall married Belle Wooden of Centerville, and started as an attorney at Albia, later serving two terms as prosecuting attorney for that county.  He served ten years in the Iowa Legislature from Monroe County and four years as Member of Congress from the old Sixth District.  In 1920 he was elected Governor of Iowa, and served four years in that capacity, being a strong, fearless executive.