Biography of Orville Elder
Washington County, IA Biographies





Orville Elder is the publisher of the Evening Journal of Washington. He was born in Mercer county, Illinois, October 13, 1866, and is a son of David Clark and Samantha Jane (Curry) Elder, natives of Ohio and Iowa respectively. The former was a son of David Elder who was born in Pennsylvania and was of Scotch and Swiss descent. He devoted his life to the occupation of farming and thus provided for his family. He married Isabel Ray, and died in Alexis, Illinois, at the age of eighty six years. The children of this family were John J., William, Rebecca, Margaret, David Clark, Alonzo and James.

Reared to the occupation of farming David Clark Elder chose that pursuit as a life work. At an early day he removed westward to Warren county; Illinois; and in the early '60s came to Washington, Iowa, and attended the college here. He was married in Washington to Miss Samatha Jane Curry, whose father died in early manhood. Her mother bore the maiden name of Jane Mitchell and by her marriage became the mother of three daughters, the sisters of Mrs. Elder being Margaret and Mary Curry. At the time of the Civil War David Clark Elder attempted to enlist in an Iowa regiment, but being rejected went to Illinois where he joined Company B, Eighty third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served as a private for three years. During much of the time he was at Fort Donelson, being a prisoner of war a part of that time. When hostilities had ceased he returned to Warren county, Illinois, where he resided until 1884 and then established his permanent residence in Washington, Iowa, where his death occurred in 1900 when he was sixty four years of age. His widow still survives and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Harry McCall. She is a member of the Presbyterian church to which Mr. Elder also belonged. Unto them were born two sons and four daughters: Helen, the wife of Albert Peterson, of Govan, Saskatchewan; Orville; Arthur A., of Ogden, Utah; Leanna, the wife of Harry McCall, of Washington, Iowa; Grace, who wedded C. C. Lewis of Carlsbad, New Mexico; and Pearl, the wife of John W. Lewis, also of Carlsbad.

Orville Elder acquired his education in Illinois and remained a resident of that state until about eighteen years of age, when he came to Washington where he remained for three years. He next spent a similar period in Denver, Colorado, after which he returned to this city and for six years was engaged in the grocery business. Retiring from commercial lines ne purchased the Evening Journal which he has continuously published to the present time. It is an independent daily paper, having a large local circulation. He has a well equipped plant, and in connection with the publication of the paper conducts a general job printing business, employing twelve people. He is likewise one of the directors of the Washington Telephone Company.

On. the 4th of April, 1907, Mr. Elder was married to Miss Carolyn L. Rally, a daughter of Rev. Otto and Anna (Steiner) Rall. Her father was a native of Germany, and her mother of Andeer, Switzerland. On coming to America they settled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and many years ago arrived in Iowa, where Mr. Rall served pastorates in various Iowa towns. The Rev. Mr. Rall met his death through accident, being struck by a locomotive when in middle life. He was a minister of the German Evangelical Association and his influence was of no restricted order, his labors proving a potent force in the upbuilding of his denomination. His wife survived him for several years. They were the parents of seven sons and two daughters: Rev. Frank Rall, of Baltimore, Maryland; Fred, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; William A., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Charles R., of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Anna, the wife of William Nuhn, residing in Cedar Falls; Dr. George Rally, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Professor Edward E. Rall, of Austin, Texas; Carolyn, the wife of Orville Elder; and Robert, of Pittsburg.

Mr. and Mrs. Elder are widely and prominently known socially and are valued members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Elder belongs to Washington Lodge, No. 26, A. F. & A. M.; Cyrus Chapter, No. 13, R. A. M.; and the Orion Lodge, K. P. Politically he is a republican.

From:
History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
Vol II
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1909


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