Biography of George T. Blamer
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





George T. Blamer is a well known lumber merchant of Independence, who along business lines has steadily worked his way upward until he is now numbered among the men of affluence in this, his native county. Hips birth occurred in Westburg township, September 20, 1869, his parents being Thomas and Edna Ann Blamer, the former born in Chester, Ohio, in 1844, while the latter was born in Connecticut in 1841.

Thomas Blamer attended school at Mentor, Ohio, and at Willoughby, Ohio. He was married at the age of twenty four years and soon afterward established his home in Independence, Iowa, where he remained for a brief period. He then purchased a farm in Westburg township, which he cultivated for six years and at the end of that time returned to Independence, where he became manager of the Grange elevator, being one of the pioneer grain merchants operating at Independence, Rowley and Livermore. In the conduct of this business he was associated with Mat Stewart for many years, also with the Van Orsdols of Rowley and with A. M. Record of Independence, having elevators in different towns in Buchanan county. He continued in the grain business until 1889, when he became associated with J. Wackerbarth in the lumber business, organizing the Wackerbarth & Blamer Company, in which he continued until his death in 1912. He was thus prominently identified with business affairs of Buchanan county for many years and aided in its material development. He was also one of the original stockholders of the Rush Park Seed Company, the Commercial State Bank and the Independence Canning Company, of which he was the treasurer. He was likewise identified with the Kelly Canning Company of Waverly, Iowa, and for a brief period before embarking in the lumber business was connected with Henry Stewart in the ownership and conduct of a dry goods store. He was widely recognized as a man of tireless energy and of ability to devise and execute the right things at the right time. About thirty years ago he served as one of the aldermen of Independence and at all times was a stanch republican. To Mr. and Mrs. Blamer were born three children, of whom George T, is the eldest. The second son, De Witt Blamer, born in Buchanan county in 1871, was graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1910, and was on the battleship Charleston when it sank on a reef near the Philippine Islands. He managed to make his escape, however, and he is still connected with the navy, being at the present time captain of the navy yard at Bremerton, Washington. The third member of the family is Mrs. Elizabeth Turney, of Rome, New York.

George T. Blamer, spending his youthful days under the parental roof, was graduated from the high school at Independence and for two years was a student in the University of Iowa. When twenty one years of age he became bookkeeper in the Commercial State Bank, with which he was connected until 1893. In that year he entered the employ of the Wackerbarth & Blamer Company as bookkeeper and is now secretary of the company, which was incorporated in 1902 and of which his father was the treasurer. He is thoroughly familiar with every phase of the lumber business and has been active in controlling and developing the trade. He is a stockholder in the Commercial Bank and was a director of the Buchanan County Pair Association. The exercise of effort and close study of commercial conditions have made him a representative business man and one whose success is well merited. In addition to his other interests he is treasurer of the Independence Canning Corporation and he concentrates his energies upon the lumber and the canning business.

On the 22d of June, 1898, Mr. Blamer was united in marriage to Miss Leonora B. Phelps, who was born in Independence, a daughter of the Rev. W. B. Phelps. On the 2d of May, 1864, in Palmer, Massachusetts, Rev. Phelps, of Oneida, New York, wedded Hattie Smith, of Palmer, Massachusetts, and a half century later they celebrated their golden wedding. At the time of their marriage Rev. Phelps had just graduated from Princeton Seminary and they went at once to Kilbourn City, Wisconsin, where they experienced all the hardships of mission life on the frontier. From Kilbourn City they came to Independence, where Rev. Phelps was pastor of the Presbyterian church for ten years. He afterward had the pastorate of two churches in Illinois - at Aledo and Millersburg - and from 1884 until 1895 he was located at Marengo, Iowa. His next pastorate was at Sigourney and there because of throat trouble he was compelled to abandon regular pastoral work. In 1902 he came to Independence and he still does some supply work, At the age of seventy he was placed on the list of honorably retired ministers. To Rev. and Mrs. Phelps were born six children, of whom four are residents of Independence, Mrs. W. M. Woodward, Mrs. G. T. Blamer, Willis B. and Miss Bernice Phelps. To Mr. and Mrs. Blamer have been born four children: George Phelps, born June 17, 1899, and now attending high school in Independence; Howard M., born April 20, 1901; Thomas Burton, born December 27, 1904; and Josephine Louise, July 3, 1911.

Mr. Blamer is prominently known in fraternal circles. He is a past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias lodge of Independence and belongs to the Masonic fraternity. He is also on the advisory board of the boy scouts. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party, which has elected him to the office of alderman, and he has served as chairman of the republican central committee from the fourth ward and has done effective work in promoting the interests of the organization. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church and Mrs. Blamer is likewise a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is active in the organization of Pythian Sisters. Mr. Blamer is serving as a trustee and elder in the church and both cooperate in all movements and plans for the promotion of its growth and the expansion of its influence. His military experience covers service as second lieutenant of Company G of the Fifty sixth Regiment of Iowa National Guard. His interests in life are broad and his activities have been of benefit along many lines which have promoted the welfare and upbuilding of city and county.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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