MATHIAS WALTER STOVER.
With the passing of Mathias Walter Stover, Marengo lost a man who had for many years been prominent in that city.
He was the president of the Marengo Savings Bank and owned a thousand acre ranch near Algona, this state, where
he raised horses and cattle. A native of Knox county, Ohio, his birth occurred on the 19th of February, 1842. His
father, George Stover, was born in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia in 1808 and his grandfather, Mathias Stover,
was likewise born there although of German descent. The former was a miller and owned mills on the Shenandoah river
until about 1820, when he removed to Ohio and about 1858 he became a resident of Iowa. He died in 186o, when ninety
years of age.
Mathias Walter Stover divided his time between the work of the farm and the acquirement of an education when a
boy and attended the public schools in this state for some time, as he came here with his parents at an early age.
In the fall of 1859 he entered Western College, in Linn county, now Leander Clark College of Toledo, Iowa, and
there remained until the firing upon Fort Sumter. His sense of patriotism was aroused and, indignant at the attack
made upon the nation's flag, he enlisted in Company K, Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Stone commanding
The winter of 1862-63 was spent in Missouri. He was often under fire and participated in many engagements during
his term of service. At the siege of Vicksburg he lost his right arm by a gunshot wound close to the shoulder.
In an engagement during the siege of Vicksburg a full company had entered the service in the morning, but at night
only thirteen were able to stand and answer roll call. Mr. Stover was sent to the hospital and for about a year
was in the invalid corps at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, being discharged on the 9th of June, 1864,
when he returned home. He later learned to write with his left hand.
Mr. Stover farmed, shipped stock and taught school until 1868, when he was elected recorder of Iowa county and
proved so efficient that he was twice reelected. At the close of his tenure of office he entered the abstract,
real estate, loan and insurance business and in the course of time built up a profitable trade. In 1880 he assisted
in organizing the Marengo Savings Bank and was in turn director, vice president and president of that institution,
proving a forceful factor in the management of its affairs. His judgment as to an investment was seldom if ever
at fault. He kept a firm grasp upon the routine work of the institution and understood the conditions in the banking
world at large. In addition to his connection with the bank he owned a thousand acres of land five miles from Algona,
Iowa, and his ranch was well stocked with both cattle and horses of a high grade.
On the 19th of February, 1866, Mr. Stover was united in marriage with Miss Laura Ricord, a daughter of Edward and
Jane (Gilliam) Ricord. Her father was the first permanent white settler in Iowa county, and she was the first white
child born within its borders, her birth occurring in Greene township on the 19th of November, 1844. She was given
excellent educational advantages as she attended the State University of Iowa. By her marriage she has become the
mother of six children: Edward Lee, an attorney of Watertown, South Dakota, who served as a lieutenant in the Spanish-American
war; Bruce H. and Albert H., both physicians of Watertown; Roy Walter, who was also a soldier of the Spanish-American
war and was serving as sergeant major during the siege of Manila, when he contracted a fever and died October 20,
1898; Ada Laura, who passed away October 29, 1895; and Ralph Emerson, whose death occurred on the 30th of June,
Mr. Stover was an adherent of the republican party but was never desirous of holding office as his private interests
demanded his entire time and attention. His salient characteristics were energy, probity and sound judgment and
to their exercise was due his success in life. He passed away October 21, 1892, and his demise was mourned by many
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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