Harvey E. Oldaker, the popular and capable cashier of the Conroy Savings Bank, was born in Johnson county, Iowa,
on the 3d of June, 1862, a son of Henry J. and Mariamne (Crosby) Oldaicer, both natives of Ohio. They accompanied
their respective parents to Iowa, the father's family coming to this state in 1849 and the mother's a few years
later. In 1852 the father made the long journey across the plains to the California gold fields with ox teams and
remained there for six years. Two years were spent in prospecting and mining and four years at carpentering. He
had learned that trade as a young man and worked on transforming the old state house at Iowa City into a university
building prior to his going to California. After spending six years upon the coast he returned to Iowa, coming
back by way of the Horn. He was married in Johnson county and for a number of years followed agricultural pursuits
there, although at odd times he continued to work at his trade of carpentering. In 1864 he removed with his family
to Iowa county and located upon a farm in Greene township, where he continued to reside until his death, which
occurred on the 1st of November, 1891, when he had reached the age of sixty years and two days. His widow, who
survives, is living in South English.
Harvey E. Oldaker was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools. When a boy
he began working with his father at the carpenter's trade and became a fine workman. For a number of generations
back his ancestors were carpenters and he still has many of the tools used by his grandfather. For a number of
years our subject divided his time between farming and carpentering and after his marriage he located upon land
in Greene township, where he resided until 1893. During his early manhood he also taught school for ten winter
terms and was one of the most able teachers in this county. He enjoyed the work very much and has always felt that
the best part of his life was the time that he devoted to teaching. In 1893 he left the farm and removed to Marengo,
having been appointed deputy clerk of the district court. After filling that position for four years he was for
two years employed at carpentering. He was again appointed deputy clerk and served in that office for two more
years, at the end of which time he was elected county auditor, taking office in 1903. He held that important position
for two terms, or four years, and at the end of that time was offered and accepted the cashiership of the First
National Bank and the Iowa County Loan & Savings Bank of Marengo. After serving in that responsible position
for three years, or until 1910, he organized the Conroy Savings Bank and on the 23d of May of that year the doors
of the institution were thrown open for business with Mr. Oldaker as cashier. At that time there was but one general
store and five or six houses in Conroy and the population was twelve. With the advent of the bank the town took
on a new lease of life and now has a population of one hundred and fifty and new houses are being constantly erected.
Its growth, though rapid, has been substantial and it is now a prosperous village, and there is every indication
that it will continue to increase in size and importance. Much of the credit for its growth is due to the Conroy
Savings Bank and to our subject, who is responsible for the establishment and development of this institution.
He has a thorough understanding of the banking business and has so directed the policy of the bank that progressiveness
has been wisely tempered with conservatism.
On the 22d of March, 1888, Mr. Oldaker married Miss Imogene Raffle, of Sigourney, Keokuk county, and they have
become the parents of four children, three of whom survive: John H. A., Blanche A., and Lillian A.
Mr. Oldaker is a democrat and for years was a dominant factor in his party's councils, serving as a member of the
township and county democratic committees, and at various times he was a delegate to the state conventions. Fraternally
he is a member of Marengo Lodge, No. 114, A. F. & A. M., of Marengo; Jerusalem Chapter, No. 32, R. A. M.; Hebron
Lodge, No. 143, I. O. O. F.; and Marengo Lodge, No. 30, K. P. He also has membership relations with the Modem Woodmen
of America. He and his family belong to the Presbyterian church and contribute liberally to its support. He is
well known throughout the county and is respected for his undoubted business ability and for his integrity and
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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