Prominent People

Governor William Larrabee

Governor William Larrabee


William Larrabee was Iowa's 13th governor. He was born in Conneticut, but settled in the Fayette County City of Clermont. There he taught school and owned and operated a flourmill. He was blinded in one eye during a childhood accident and therefore was unable to enlist in the Civil War.

In 1867 Larrabee became a member of the Iowa State Senate and held his position for 18 years. He won the Rebpublican nomination for governor in 1885 and was elected. He served two, two-year terms.

After leaving office Governor Larrabee returned to his home, Montauk in the city of Clermont. You can now visit and tour this home and grounds.

William Larrabee died on November 16, 1912, and was buried at the God’s Acre Cemetery in Clermont, Iowa.

Lucian L. Ainsworth 1831-1902

Lucien L. Ainsworth was born in New Woodstock, New York, June 21, 1831. After practicing law in New York, he moved to Belvidere, Illinois in 1855 and then in a few months moved to West Union, Iowa making it his home.

During the Civil War, Mr. Ainsworth was captain of Company C, 6th Iowa Cavalry. He mustered out with his regiment at Sioux City, October 7, 1865.

In 1859, Lucien L. Ainsworth was elected to the State Senate, and served four years. In 1871, he was chosen as representative in the 14th general assembly. The following year he was elected to congress from the Third Iowa district, serving one term. He declinded renomination.

Mr. Ainsworth was well known throughout the State as an able lawyer, a genial, excellent gentleman, and a man of many friends. He died in West Union, April 19, 1902.

Lucian L. Ainsworth
David B. Henderson

David B. Henderson 1840-1906

David B. Henderson was born in Scotland on March 14, 1840. He emigrated to the United States with his parents. After settling in Illinois in 1846, the family moved to a farm near Clermont, Iowa in 1849.

Mr. Henderson attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. His studies were interupted during his third year as he served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Mr. Henderson was wounded severly twice. Once in the neck and later in the leg, which reulted in amputation of that leg.

David Henderson entered politics in 1865, being appointed collectore of internal revenue for the northern Iowa District. After a career in law, Mr. Henderson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1882.

In 1899 Mr. Henderson put his name forward for speakership after the current speaker announced his intention to leave politics. With 17 years of congressional experience, he won the position. After serving 20 years in the House, Mr. Henderson retired from politics in 1902. He worked briefly in a New York Law firm before returning to Iowa. He died February 25, 1906 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Walter H. Butler 1852-1931

Walter H. Butler was born in Pennsylvania in 1852. He then moved with his parents to Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1875, studying law. In 1876 Mr. Butler moved to Iowa and taught school at La Porte City and Manchester before moving to West Union in 1883.

While in west Union he became the owner and publisher of the Fayette County Union. From 1885-1889 he worked for the railway mail service at St. Paul, Minnesota. He then returned to West Union and resumed working with the newspaper.

Mr. Butler was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second Congress, march 4, 1891-March 3, 1893. He did not win his bid for reelection. He moved to Des Moines in 1897, then Kansas City Missouri in 1907. While there he was in real estate and banking. He died in Kansas City, Missouri April 24, 1931.

Walter H. Butler
William E. Fuller

William E. Fuller 1846-1918

William E. Fuller was born in Howard Pennsylvania and moved to West Union, Iowa with his parents in 1853. Mr. Fuller attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1870 and practieced law in West Union.

In 1876 and 1877 Mr. Fuller served as a member iof the Iowa House of Representatives. In 1884 he ran as a Republican to represent Iowa's 4th congressional district in the United States House. He served in Congress from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1889.

Beginning in 1901 Mr. Fuller served as an Assistant Attourney General with the Spanish Treaty Claims Commission until 1907. He then returned to practicing law, until his death in Washington D.C. on April 23, 1918. He is burried in the West Union Cemetery.