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

Albert F. N. Hambleton is probably equally well known by reason of his success in business and his allegiance to those qualities which work for nobler manhood and higher ideals. He was born in Forest Home, Poweshiek county, Iowa, September 4, 1857. His father, Levi Hambleton, was born near New Lisbon, Columbiana county, Ohio, and married Ann Hanna, an aunt of Marcus A. Hanna, and of Irish ancestry. Representatives of the family emigrated from the Emerald isle to Virginia and a Hanna was the first white child born in Lynchburg, that state, the mother being the niece of President Madison's wife, who came over with Wilham Penn's second colony. The father of our subject was an own cousin of the Ohio senator. Mr. Hambleton, however, came of English lineage and the family was established in America by ancestors who settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania, whence the grandfather, Benjamin Hambleton, removed to Ohio, settling in Columbiana county. There he erected flouring mills and was closely identified with the industrial development in that part of the state. When seventeen years of age Levi Hambleton ran a storeboat down the Mississippi river, and at times drove horses over the Alleghany mountains to Philadelphia, and was engaged in mercantile business in Columbiana and Stark counties. In 1854 he came to Iowa and entered land in Poweshiek county. There he laid out and platted the town of Forest Home, bringing his mechanics from Ohio. He built brick kilns, cut timbers and built a large residence and store building, and it was in that dwelling that Albert F. N. Hambleton was born. After two years the store was destroyed by fire and the father then turned his attention to general farming and stock-raising, but because the railroad was not built through the district in which he lived and wishing to enjoy the advantages of railroad communication with other parts of the country he came to Oskaloosa in 1871, and here again embarked in merchandising, opening a store at the northwest corner of the square, where he continued until he again suffered heavy losses by fire in January, 1874. Immediately afterward he re-opened his store on the southeast corner of the square, where he remained for four years, when he sold out. In connection with John W. Woody and W. P. Hellings he then organized the Central Iowa Loan & Trust Company and subsequently, in connection with William R. Cowan, he purchased the busimess and the firm of Cowan & Hambleton was organized. They also added a set of abstract books. Just prior to the father's death Albert F. N. Hambleton succeeded him in business, and the firm is now known as the Cowan, Hambleton & Loring Company, doing an abstract, realestate, loan and insurance business with offices in the Nugent block. Levi Hambleton was a very energetic man, of excellent business ability, quick to recognize and utilize an opportunity, knowing that the present and not the future held his chances for advancement. He was one of the founders of Penn College and was a member of the board of directors and also treasurer of the institution. He held membership in the Society of Friends, and politically was an ardent republican. He maintained a high stand- ard of living and entertained high ideals, yet withal, he was intensely practical in everything which he did. His death occurred in Oskaloosa in 1899, in the seventy-ninth year of his age, and it came as a personal blow to many of Os- kaloosa's citizens, for he had a very wide circle of friends here, and all who knew aught of his history or his life admired and respected him for what he had accomplished, and for the methods which he had followed. In early manhood Levi Hambleton wedded Mary Hall, who was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, and died April 27, 1900, in her seventy-ninth year. Her great-grandfather was Judge Edward Warner Heston, of Philadel- phia, a colonel of the Revolutionary war and a man likewise prominent in civic life. Her fa- ther was Edward H. Hall, who removed from Philadelphia to Ohio at an early day in the de- velopment of the latter state and there engaged in farming. He wedded Jane Paxson, who was born near Philadelphia. The Hall family is of English and Welsh lineage, and Mr. Hamble- ton of this review now has in his possession a piece of chinaware that was brought from Wales by his ancestors, and has been in the fam- ily, for over two hundred years. He also has a book in which is depicted the ancestral castle of one Patrick Hannay, in Galway, Ireland, an ancestor of his father, and the photographs of his great-grandfathers on both sides copied from oil portraits. Mrs. Hambleton, mother of our subject, was also a member of the So- ciety of Friends and pursued her education in Westown Boarding School, one of the schools of the sect near Philadelphia. By her marriage she became the mother of four children: Leonda E., who died at the age of two years; William G., who passed away in Oskaloosa at the age of twenty-two years; John T., who is engaged in the real-estate and abstract business in Des Moines; and Albert F. N. In taking up the personal history of the last mentioned we present to our readers the record of one who is widely known in this city. He acquired his education in the common schools of Poweshiek county and in the graded and high schools of Oskaloosa. He also reached the sophomore year in Penn College. As a boy he worked on the farm, driving mules and oxen and turning the furrows in many a field at the time of early sowing and planting. After leaving school he kept books and clerked in his father's store for three years, and then engaged in business on his own account as a dealer in merchandise, grain and live stock with his brother, John T. Hambleton, at Springville. Linn county, the firm name being Hambleton Broth- ers. Albert F. N. Hambleton sold his interest in 1885 and allied himself with the firm with which he is now connected, becoming his fa- ther's successor in the abstract, real-estate, loan and insurance business as a member of the Cowan, Hambleton & Loring Company. This firm has a very extensive clientage, each depart- ment of the business having become a paying one, the members of the firm being thoroughly informed concerning all departments of work. In 1879 Mr. Hambleton was married to S. Josepha Roberts, who was born in Morrow county, Ohio, in 1858, a daughter of Dr. Reu- ben L. and Elvira (Lewis) Roberts, the latter of the "Darlington Clan" of English-Scotch ancestry. They have had two children: Alma R., who was born in 1890; and William Ross, who died in infancy in 1892. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hambleton are members of the Society of Friends. He has not confined his attention exclusively to business affairs but has extended his sympathies and co-operation to various movements of a public nature re- sulting beneficially for the city and county. He has been secretary of the board of directors of Penn College since 1889 and is still one of the members of the board and its present treasurer. In politics he is an earnest republican, having been a delegate to state and district conventions for many years, and various local offices have been conferred upon him.. He was first chosen clerk of the village of Springville and secretary of its school board. He was a member of the Mahaska county board of supervisors from 1900 to 1903 and was chairman of the board in 1902. In the fall of 1903 he was elected to represent Mahaska county in the thirtieth gen- eral assembly and is now a member of the thir- ty-first assembly of the state. In the law-mak- ing body of the commonwealth he is giving earnest attention to the various questions which come up for consideration and is prompted in his course by a devotion to the general good which is above question, being chairman of the Mines and Mining Committee, a member of the judiciary and other very important com- mittees. During his term as supervisor he had supervision of the new county jail and was also instrumental in promoting the jail project. Mr. Hambleton was the first president of the Young Men's Christian Association in Os- kaloosa and has been both secretary and treas- urer of the County Sunday-school Association. He was elected president of the Iowa State Sunday-school Association in 1904, and re- elected in 1905 and was sent as a delegate to the international convention in Toronto in 1905, and represented Iowa on the nominating com- mittee. He has been a trustee of the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends and was sent as a delegate to the Five Years Meeting of the So- ciety of Friends held at Indianapolis in 1902, and was there appointed to the legisla- tive committee of the body and was also a mem- ber of the finance committee, and one of its original trustees in incorporation. It will thus be seen that his interest in those things which tend to develop man's better nature, to place before him high ideals and ennobling rules of conduct have received not only the endorse- ment but also the co-operation of Mr. Hamble- ton, whose efforts have been of a most tangible character, resulting beneficially for the cause which he represents. At the same time he is a typical business man of the west, alert and en- terprising, watchful of opportunities and yet in no instance has he allowed his legitimate desire for success to overstep the boundaries of the privileges and rights of others. He has pros- pered because of close application and untiring energy and has won an honored name by rea- son of his business integrity and his devotion to all that is just, right, true and beautiful in life.

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page