WALTER BOARDMAN SAVAGE.
For the past twenty years Walter Boardman Savage has been associated with the waterworks system of Knoxville and
is its present efficient superintendent. He was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, March 3, 1855, a son of Walter
Goodrich and Lucy Jane (Boardman) Savage, the former born in Connecticut, March 16, 1825, and the latter in Sheffield,
Massachusetts, on the 26th of February, 1822. The mother, one of a family of four sons and two daughters, all of
whom are deceased, passed away August 6, 1905, when she had attained the advanced age of eighty three years.
Mr. and Mrs. Savage were Presbyterians, and both were very active in church work. He was a republican in his political
belief. Of the children born to their union six grew to maturity and five are still living. Edwin B., who died
on the 8th of March, 1880, when twenty seven years of age, was for a number of years connected with the machine
shop which was started in Knoxville by his father. Walter Boardman, the subject of this review, is the next in
order of birth. Jennie B., a twin of the last named, is the widow of C. C. Collins and resides in St. Louis. She
has three daughters and one son, Ada, Nellie, Earl and Stella. Emma is the wife of George B. McClelland, formerly
a well known carpenter of Knoxville. They now reside at Oakland, California, and have four children, Lizzie, Edwin,
Carrie and Herbert. William Hamlin is a member of the firm of Dickerson & Savage, of Knoxville. Charles Lohren,
who is engaged in the teaming business in Sedalia, Missouri, married Miss Edith Tubbs, of Nebraska, and they have
become the parents of the following children: Loraine, deceased; Nellie; Maud; Claud; Inez; Carl; Dottie; and John,
For many years Walter G. Savage was a machinist and coppersmith in his native state. In 1864 he purchased a machine
shop at Knoxville and operated the same until January 5, 1871, when he answered the final summons. The shop was
then conducted in his sons' name, being known as Savage Brothers, but as they were too young to manage it personally
the mother rented it to others. About 1876 the shop burned and shortly after E. B. Savage and N. H. Bittenbender
built a new shop upon the same site, just north of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad tracks on Second
street. The firm name of Bittenbender & Savage was maintained from 1876 until 1882. On the 8th of March, 1880,
E. B. Savage died and his brother, the subject of this review, continued the firm in connection with Mr. Bittenbender
until 1882, when the latter became sole owner.
Walter B. Savage was reared at Knoxville and was a student in the public schools here, thus acquiring his education.
He learned the machinist's trade in his father's shop and followed the same until 1882. In 1884 he went to Nebraska
and entered government land in Sheridan county, remaining there for nine years, or until 1893 when he returned
to Marion county and became an employe of the city waterworks. He has remained in that line of business since and
has risen steadily from one position to another of greater responsibility until he is now superintendent. His early
training in his father's machine shop has proved invaluable to him and the plant is kept in splendid working condition.
He is also a business man of no mean ability and manages well that phase of the waterworks system, proving a thoroughly
In 1878 Mr. Savage married Miss Almina May Berkey, who was born in southeastern Iowa and is a daughter of Frank
and Mary E. (Johnson) Berkey, the former for many years a blacksmith in the employ of the firm of Parsons &
Lytle. He passed away in 1887, when about fifty five years of age. Mrs. Savage is a sister of Mrs. John J. Rolfe,
who lives on West Robinson street, this city. Mr. Rolfe is a carpenter by trade. Mrs. Berkey now makes her home
with Mr. and Mrs. Savage and is seventy four years of age. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Savage.
Minnie, born in Knoxville, is the wife of Joseph Mrachek, a dairyman of Chehalis, Washington, and they have three
living children, Elmina, Margaret and Katherine. Frank, who was born at Iowa City, is also a resident of Chehalis,
where he is foreman in a door factory. He married Miss Laura Westover, a daughter of Judge Westover, of Chehalis,
and they have two children, a son, Beldon, and a daughter, Beulah Bell. Earl, who was born in Nebraska, resides
in Knoxville and is engineer for the city waterworks. He married Miss Beulah Conrad, of Hastings, Nebraska, whose
parents are still living in that city.
Mr. Savage is a stalwart republican and is unswerving in his allegiance to that party. He and his wife are both
members of the Presbyterian church, aiding in many ways in the work of moral development. Fraternally he belongs
to the Masonic lodge at Knoxville. The efficient way in which he manages the waterworks system has gained him the
respect of the community and his personal integrity and honor have won him many warm friends.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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