from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Harmon Akerman is one of the active and leading business men of Fremont, where he is engaged in buying and shipping stock, giving his attention to the business here for the past eleven years. He was born upon the old family homestead in Mahaska county, April 4, 1854. His entire life has been passed in Fremont and he is today the only resident of the village who has lived here through fifty-two consecutive years. His father, Philip Akerman, was a native of Germany, being born in Bavaria in 1829. On coming to the new world he settled first in Ohio and was there married to Johanna Frederica Goehring, also a native of Germany. In the year 1851 he removed westward with his wife and settled in Fremont, Iowa. A blacksmith by trade, he opened and conducted a shop here for several years, after which he traded the shop and business for a general store. He afterward engaged in buying land and gave his attention to farming, stock-raising and dealing in live stock. He owned a farm partly within and partly without the corporation limits of Fremont, and, making judicious investments in property, ultimately became the owner of nearly one thousand acres. He was one of the largest stock feeders and shippers in this part of Iowa and was engaged in the business here for a number of years. The extent and importance of his business interests made him one of the leading and prosperous citizens of the county, where he continued to make his home until his death, which occurred in Fremont, February 27, 1895. His wife passed away February 14, 1892. Harmon Akerman is the eldest in a family of three sons and three daughters, the others being as follows Emma, the wife of L. A. Springer, of Fremont; George W., a prominent real-estate dealer of Fremont, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Albert, who managed the Hiteman Supply Company store and who married Clara, a daughter of Dr. D. C. Dinsmore, of Kirkville, Iowa, and whose death occurred September 27, 1895; Maggie, the wife of C. N. Neil, of Fremont; and Lettie, the wife of S. E. Heinzman, of Oskaloosa. Harmon Akerman was reared on the old homestead and pursued his education in the schools of Fremont and of Ottumwa. He afterward resided with his father and assisted in carrying on the home farm until his father's death, after which he conducted business along similar lines on his own account buying and shipping stack and also feeding to some extent. His father built the residence upon the old homestead which is now occupied by the subject of this review. He is an excellent judge of stock, so that he makes judicious purchases and profitable sales and is numbered among the leading representatives of this business in Mahaska county. Mr. Akerman was married in Fremont May 6, 1886, to Miss Ollie McClain, who was born November 18, 1864, and reared in this county. She is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a regular attendant upon its services. Five children have, been born of this union, of whom three sons survive: Earl H., November 29, 1886; John L., August 4, 1888 and Fred C., August 8, 1894. Mrs. Akerman's father, Samuel McClain, was born September 2, 1830, in Harrison county, Ohio, where he grew to. manhood and on December 9, 1852, was married to Jane English, who was born in the same county, February 11, 1835. He with his family moved to Mahaska county, Iowa, in 1855, and in 1864 located on a farm near Fremont on which he lived until his death, which occurred January 11, 1901. To them were born nine children, five sons and four daughters, six of whom are still living as follows: Agnes, the wife of H. H. Gearhart, of Ashland, Oregon; Seward J., who married Lilly, daughter of William Dinsmore, of Fremont; Ollie, wife of the subject of this sketch; Nova, wife of Charles Wilson, of Wright, Iowa; Asa W., who married Rhoda, daughter of J. Q. White, of Fremont; Nellie, wife of W. C. McDowell, of Fremont. The deceased children are: Joseph N., who died October 9, 1855, aged two years; Jennison, who died May 12, 1870, aged three months; and Wade, who died July 1, 1881, aged nineteen years, seven months and twenty days. Mrs. McClain is still living and is past seventy-one years old. She and her husband were of Irish descent. Mr. Akerman is well known in Fremont, Oskaloosa and Ottumwa, and, indeed, throughout Mahaska and Wapello counties, and he has the confidence and esteem of the entire community, being recognized as a public-spirited citizen as well as a prosperous business man. He has been found reliable in all of his dealings, while his co-operation can be counted upon to further progressive public measures, and in his social relations he manifests a kindly and considerate spirit which has gained for him many warm friends.

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page