IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION VOLUME III 1804-1926
P. E. RANDALL
Though more than a score of years have elapsed since Peter E. Randall passed from earthly scenes to the life triumphant, he is still well remembered as one of the most prominent, successful and public-spirited men of his day in Clay county. He had been an able and loyal public official and in the closing years of his life proved an influential power for good through the columns of the Clay County News, which he owned and edited, so that any history touching on the achievements of the representative men of this section of the state would be incomplete without mention of him. Mr. Randall was born in New York state in April, 1843, and was a son of Richard and Maria (Emery) Randall, who were natives of Canada and were parents of seven children, of whom the survivors are Mary and Nancy Randall.
Peter E. Randall received a good public school education and then moved to Barton, Wisconsin, where he took up a homestead. At the opening of the Civil war he offered his services to his country, enlisting at the age of eighteen years in the Second Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He served throughout the war and on being mustered out returned to his former home in Wisconsin, where he lived until 1870, when he came to Clay county, Iowa, with which locality he was identified to the time of his death. He successfully engaged in the hardware business and was later appointed postmaster, in which position he served several years. He was then elected county treasurer, discharging the duties of that responsible office with faithfulness and fidelity, and afterward became the first cashier of the First National Bank of Spencer. However, because of continued ill health, he was compelled to resign the latter position and turned his attention to the newspaper business, buying the Clay County News, to the publication of which he devoted his attention until his death, which occurred December 12, 1905.
On January 2, 1866, at Barton, Wisconsin, Mr. Randall was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Van Epps, who is the daughter of Evart and Clarissa (Clark) Van Epps, both of whom were natives of New York state. Her father, who was a building contractor, died in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was survived by his widow, who died in Clay county. They were the parents of four children, George, Eva, Hattie and Mary Jane, all deceased except the last named. To Mr. and Mrs. Randall was born a daughter, Mrs. F. M. Teetle, of Spencer.
Politically Mr. Randall was an ardent supporter of the republican party and was actively interested in public affairs. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while his religious faith was that of the Baptist church. He stood at all times for the best things in community life, supporting all movements for the public welfare, and just as persistently opposing everything that was detrimental to the general good. Candid and straightforward in manner, sincere and loyal in all of life's relations, he well merited and exalted place which he held in the estimation of his fellow citizens.