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

Horace W. Gleason, a member of the bar of Oskaloosa, former representative in the general assembly and United States commissioner for the southern district of Iowa since 1904, was born in Warren, Grafton county, New Hampshire, May 2, 1846. His father, Salmon Gleason, was born in Langdon, New Hampshire, in 1804, and was of English ancestry, the first representatives in the United States having crossed the Atlantic in 1652 and settled at Watertown, Massachusetts. They were Puritans and one, Thomas Gleason, the first of the name in this country, was in charge of the Squasachems lands. Windsor Gleason, grandfather of Horace W. Gleason, served as a member of the First New Hampsire Infantry in the Revolutionary war and was wounded in battle. Salmon Gleason, his son, was educated in Wilberham (Massachusetts) College, now Fiske University, and was ordained to the Methodist ministry at the age of twenty-five years. He filled a number of pastorates and was at one time presiding elder. Not only did he labor untiringly for the upbuilding of his church, but he used his oratorical power-being a fluent speaker-to advance the interests of abolition in the state of New Hampshire, lending his voice and efforts to the cause in which he so firmly believed. He was the first abolitionist in New Hampshire. In antebellum days he belonged to the freesoil party and when the republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks, casting his ballot for its first candidate, John C. Fremont, afterward for Abraham Lincoln. In certain business affairs he prospered, becoming a man of moderate means. His death occurred in Warren, New Hampshire, in 1889, when he had reached the age of eighty-five years and a life of great usefulness and influence was thus ended. His wife; who bore the maiden name of Jerusha Willard, was born in Hartland, Vermont, in 1803, and died in 1876. She, too, came of Puritan stock of New England ancestry and her father, Charles Willard, was one of the patriot army who fought for the independence of the nation. Others, too, served with the colonial troops and the great-great-uncle, Colonel Willard, was killed in the French and Indian war. Relics of the military service of her ancestors are still in possession of the family. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Salmon Gleason were born six children: Charles and William, who died in infancy; Salmon W., a retired miller living in St. Charles, Minnesota; George L., pastor of the Riverside Congregational church at Haverhill, Massachusetts; Orange Scott, a retired farmer living in Warren, New Hampshire; and Horace W. In the common schools of his native town Horace W. Gleason acquired his elementary education which was supplemented by academic work in Newbury, Vermont, and also by study in the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, preparatory to his entrance in Dartmouth College, where his collegiate work was done. His educational work, however, was interrupted by his service in the Civil war, for in August, 1862, in response to his country's call for aid he enlisted at Warren, New Hampshire, for service with the Union army, becoming a member of Company G. Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, with which he remained until August, 1865, when he was mustered out at Hampton, Virginia. He was at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Drury's Bluff, Swift Creek, the last engagement at Fair Oaks, the battle of the Crater at Petersburg, was in the Appomattox campaign, and at Gettysburg sustained a slight wound. From the above record it will be seen that he was in a number of the most hotly contested engagements of the war and he was promoted from the ranks to the grade of fourth sergeant, afterward became sergeant major, later was second lieutenant and eventually became first lieutenant. When the war was over Lieutenant Gleason returned to his native state. He taught school for two years in Iowa, coming to this state in 1867 and first locating at Fort Dodge, where he engaged in the insurance business for a year. He then removed to Belle Plaine. Iowa, where he taught school and read law. He was admitted to the bar at Toledo, Iowa, in 1869, and began practice in Monroe, this state, where he remained for two years. In May, 1872, he came to Oskaloosa, where he practiced for fifteen years, after which he removed to Hutchinson, Kansas, continuing a member of the bar at that place for nine years. The succeeding five years were passed in Chicago, and in 1901 he returned to Oskaloosa, where his ability is winning him recognition from a constantly increasing clientele. Careful, in the preparation of his cases, his earnest effort and keen insight into legal principles and complex situations have enabled him to win many notable forensic victories. On the 21st of October, 1871, Mr. Gleason was married to Miss Flora A. Howard, who was born in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, in 1853, a daughter of Henry and Mary Howard. Her father came to Oskaloosa in 1855 and engaged in merchandising here among the early business men of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Gleason have become the parents of four children: Howard L., who is auditor of the Pullman Palace Car Company: Helen and Willard, who died in infancy; and Warren E., who is with the Golden Eagle at Oskaloosa. The parents are communicants of the Episcopal church and Mr. Gleason is a member of the various Masonic bodies and of the Modern Woodmen camp. He is likewise a member of Phil Kearney post, G. A. R., of Oskaloosa, of which he was at one time commander. He is senior warden of St. James Episcopal church and was lay chancellor of the diocese of Kansas and also a member of the standing committee. In the line of his profession he is a member of the Mahaska county Bar Association and has been a member of the Kansas State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. It is evidence of his position in public regard among those with whom he is closely associated that in almost all of the different associations with which he has been connected political, social, religious and fraternal, he has been called to office. He was a director of the Hamilton Club, of Chicago, the largest republican club west of New York city. While in his profession he has won a notable place, he is perhaps equally prominent in political circles and his opinions carry weight in the councils of the republican party because of his hearty sympathy with its platform and his untiring efforts for its success. In 1887 he was elected county attorney but afterward resigned the office. He represented Mahaska county in the seventeenth general assembly of Iowa and proved an earnest and able working member of the legislature, being directly concerned in some of the important constructive measures of the session. He was appointed in 1904 as United States commissioner for the southern district of Iowa. Progress and patriotism might well be termed the keynote of his character, these qualities having been manifest in all of his public service and his private business interests.

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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