Here's part of a biography of John's brother David:
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa.
Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1910.
DAVID H. TALMADGE
Examples that impress force of character on all who study them are worthy of record. By a few general observations may be conveyed some idea of the high standing of David Henry Talmadge, familiarly known as "Harry" Talmadge, proprietor and editor of the Gazette at West Union, Fayette county, Iowa, until the consolidation of that paper with the West Union Argo in May, 1910, being an editor of unusual felicity of expression and good management, or as a wide-awake business man and public benefactor. United in his makeup are so many elements of a solid and practical nature, which during a series of years have brought him into prominent notice and earned for him a conspicuous place among the enterprising men of the county of his residence, where other members of his family have also wrought to good purpose, that it is but just recognition of his and their worth to write, at some length, of their lives and achievements.Mr. Talmadge was born in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, September 24, 1867, being the eldest son of Charles H. and Lucy H. (Whittemore) Talmadge. The father was the late editor and proprietor of the West Union Gazette, and was born in Girard, Erie county, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1842, and was the son of Henry O. and Lydia (Miller) Talmadge. His father was born in Westfield, Connecticut, and was descended from an old New England family of Welsh origin. He settled in Chautauqua county, New York, with his parents, in his youth, and married Lydia Miller, in Erie county, Pennsylvania, of which place she was a native, and to this union six children, five sons and a daughter, were born, of whom the daughter and three sons are deceased. The family moved to Winnibago county, Illinois, in 1850, where they lived until the spring of 1856, when they fitted out a "prairie schooner" and migrated to Iowa, locating about midway between Osage and Mitchell.
The following year Charles H. Talmadge entered the printing office of Talcott & Parker, proprietors of the Mitchell Republican, in which office he remained two years. He attended school at remote intervals during the succeeding three years, and in 1860 he worked with Noyes & Brainard on the Clear Lake Independent, with a little time on the Mason City Democrat and North Iowan of Osage, the latter a journalistic venture of Stilson Hutchins. In the spring of 1861 he returned to the home of his parents near Mitchell, and while there decided to cast his fate with the national Union in its struggle with the Confederacy, a number of patriotic citizens having gathered at a meeting in Mitchell soon after the fall of Fort Sumter. An address was made by M. M. Trumbull, of Clarksville, at the close of which volunteers were called for to form a company which Mr. Trumbull proposed to organize, and Mr. Talmadge was one of the first to inscribe his name on the roll. A few days later the little band of Mitchell county boys journeyed by teams to Clarksville, and thence to Charles City, Waterloo and Dubuque. Between the two latter cities Mr. Talmadge experienced his first sensation of riding on the rail. In Dubuque the organization of the company was completed, and in rendezvous at Keokuk became Company I, of the Third Iowa Infantry. He was in Hurlbut’s division at the battle of Shiloh, and his regiment helped to make up the "hornet’s nest" where the Confederate general, Albert Sidney Johnston, met his death. He also took part in some minor engagements. During the last part of his service he was on detached duty, under special orders from General Curtis. At the expiration of his term of enlistment, Mr. Talmadge was appointed to the pay department, continuing in this important and responsible service until the close of the war and the last Iowa regiment was mustered out and paid off. After his army career, Mr. Talmadge came to West Union, Iowa and became assistant to James Stewart, county treasurer. On November 25, 1867, in company with J. W. Shannon, he purchased the material of the defunct Clermont Leader, and removed the outfit to West Union for the purpose of establishing a Republican paper, which they named the Republican Gazette and Clermont Leader. The venture proved a decided success. In December, 1868, Mr. Shannon was compelled to withdraw on account of failing health. In 1885 the form of the paper was changed from an old folio to that of a neat quarto of eight pages. Under the management of its founder the Gazette became a consistent Republican paper, ably edited and neatly printed. During the more than forty years of its existence it was always abreast of the times in politics, news and local enterprises, and won a strong hold on the esteem of its patrons. The office was equipped with modern machinery, the facilities for doing all kinds of job work being complete, the presses operated by steam and the plant clean and well lighted, the business being generally conceded to be in a prosperous condition.
Charles H. Talmadge was appointed postmaster of West Union in the spring of 1879, and so faithfully did he discharge the duties of the same that he was reappointed in 1883, but retired under President Cleveland’s administration in 1887, then, after a lapse of three years, he was again appointed April 7, 1890. His administration of the office was efficient, faithful and prompt, and very much to the satisfaction of all concerned. On October 23, 1866, Mr. Talmadge married, in Mitchell county, Iowa, Lucy H. Whittemore, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, September 4, 1843, the daughter of Rev. David R. Whittemore, a prominent Baptist clergyman of Providence. This union resulted in the birth of two children, David Henry, of this review, and John, the latter born in West Union, Iowa, October 12, 1874, and who is at this writing connected with the daily Chronicle of Abilene, Kansas. The mother of these children, who was a woman of education and culture and an earnest member of the Presbyterian church, a member of the Ladies’ Tourist Club and the West Union Art Club, in which she took an active part, and a leader in all the charitable and philanthropic work in the city, passed to her rest in January, 1904, at the age of sixty-one years. Charles H. Talmadge was appointed deputy oil inspector for this section of the state, under Governor Cummins, in June, 1905, to serve two years, but his death occurred while in office, May 2, 1907. He was a member of West Union Lodge No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and of Clermont Chapter No. 62, Royal Arch Masons; also belonged to West Union Lodge No. 42, Knights of Pythias, of which he was the first chancellor commander. He belonged to Abernathy Post No. 48, Grand Army of the Republic, of West Union, of which he was once post commander and was adjutant for many years. He twice served on the governor’s staff, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, first with Governor Kirkwood, and later with Governor C. C. Carpenter. He was also aid-de-camp to Commander M. P. Mills, of the Iowa department, Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Talmadge was always an earnest worker in the ranks of the Republican party, and served as chairman of his home county, and congressional committees.
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