Biography of Hon. Charles E. Linderman

Not the good that comes to us but the good that comes to the world through us is the measure of our success, and judged by this standard as well as by the ratings of the business world Hon. Charles E. Linderman was a most successful man. He was numbered among the prominent, valued, honored and respected citizens of southwestern Iowa and left the impress of his individuality for good on its substantial development and improvement. He stood for high ideals in citizenship, in business affairs and in private life, and the nobility of his manhood made him most honored and respected where best known.

A native of Orange county, New York, Mr. Linderman was born near Bloomingburg, February 4, 1829, and was of German lineage on the paternal side and of Irish descent on the maternal side. He was the ninth in order of birth in a family of eleven children and his early education, acquired in the common schools near his boyhood’s home, was supplemented by study in the academy at Bloomingburg, while in 1851 he entered Hamilton College, at Clinton, New York, and was graduated from that institution with the class of 1854. For a year thereafter he engaged in teaching school at Seneca Falls, New York, but in 1855 he resolved to seek his fortune in the great west and accordingly came to Iowa. For one winter he taught school in Scott county and then in the spring of 1856 went to the territory of Nebraska and for a season assisted the government surveyors in establishing the sixth principal meridian. In November of the same year lie located at Sidney, Fremont county, Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1859, and in April of the same year he came to Clarinda and entered upon the practice of law but soon abandoned the profession for other duties.

In the fall of that year Mr. Linderman was appointed clerk of the district court and in the fall of 186o was elected to that office and reelected in 1862. In the latter year, however, he resigned and offered his services to the government in defense of the Union, enlisting as a member of Company A, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, as a private. On the organization of the regiment he was made second lieutenant of his company. The regiment was sent forward to Louisville and in the fall and winter of 1863-64 was engaged in guarding the railroads and putting an end to the guerrilla warfare that had been so successfully waged around Waverly and other points west of Nashville. In the spring of 1864 the regiment became a part of the army that was to fight and win the Atlanta campaign and he took part in most of the engagements of that campaign. At its close the regiment became a part of General Thomas’ command that was to resist General Hood’s attempt to capture Nashville and participated in the engagements with General Hood’s army while General Thomas was falling back upon Nashville and also during General Thomas’ advance upon General Hood that resulted in the destruction of the heroic army commanded by that Confederate leader. In the spring of 1865 the regiment was attached to General Wilson’s cavalry command and with it fought its way from Alabama and Georgia and had reached Macon, Georgia, on its way to join General Sherman in his campaign from Savannah along the Atlantic coast, when its further progress was stopped by the close of the war. Except when on detailed duty as provost marshal and acting quartermaster Lieutenant Linderman was at the front, meeting with every peril, discharging every duty with the highest courage and conspicuous fidelity, at all times and under all circumstances displaying those and only those qualities that characterize a true soldier and general. As in civil, so in military life, his absolute devotion to duty, joined with a genial disposition, won for him the confidence and general respect of all who came in contact with him. He represented one of the best types of American manhood-an honorable, useful, public-spirited citizen in times of peace; a loyal, courageous, volunteer soldier in the hour of his country’s peril.

At the close of the war Lieutenant Linderman gladly sought a home among those who knew him best and therefore loved him most. He possessed business ability of a high order and accumulated a considerable fortune, becoming one of the largest property owners in the county. He never allowed the accumulation of wealth, however, to dwarf his finer sensibilities nor to dull his interest in his fellowmen. He was generous in charity although he avoided anything like ostentation in his benevolence. The integrity of his life and the value of his public service were recognized and in the fall of 1865 he was elected by the voters of Page county as their representative in the eleventh general assembly. The following year he was elected to the responsible position of clerk of the supreme court of Iowa and by successive reelections held the office for eight years. In 1875 he became identified with the banking interests of Clarinda and soon became president of the oldest and strongest bank of the city, which position he retained, except for a short interval or two, until his death. It was in January, 1875, that he purchased an interest in the First National Bank of Clarinda, now known as the Page County State Bank, and as its chief executive officer his opinions carried great weight in its management, while his enterprise was a substantial factor in its success. In 1892 Mr. Linderman was again called from private to public life in his reelection to the general assembly. It was in that year that the prohibition party broke down the republican prestige and the state went for Boies. The republicans had to bring out their very best man in order to save the county from going democratic. Mr. Linderman was persuaded to make the race and he won by a hard struggle, the vote standing twenty-four hundred and twenty-seven for Mr. Linderman, and twenty-one hundred and twenty-one for Jesse B. Bartley, who was running as an independent, supported by the democrats. It is doubtful if any other man than Mr. Linderman could have succeeded in that year. He served acceptably as a member of the house and at the close of the session returned again to his banking business.

On the 7th of November 1877, Mr. Linderman was united in marriage to Mrs. S. E. Conine, who was a daughter of j. H. Powers, one of the pioneers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Linderman had one child, Ina Lucile, now the wife of Frank L. Blair, of Creston.

From the time of Mr. Linderman’s arrival in Clarinda to the day of his death he was actively identified with the up building and development of his home town and county and was ever willing and ready to assist in each laudable undertaking. His acquaintances became his friends and he retained their confidence to the end. A prominent Mason, Mr. Linderman also held membership with the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He was, moreover, a member of the Loyal Legion and of Warren Post, No. 11, G. A. R., and through his business, social and political connections he had an extensive acquaintance throughout the state. For more than half a century he was a resident of Iowa and during all of that time was actively identified with the interests which have produced the marvelous growth and development of the state. The feeling in which he was held in his home town is shown by the fact that some years ago the people of Clarinda sought a name for their new hotel-the name of some man among them most representative and most esteemed-and the choice fell unanimously upon the “Linderman.”

The death of Mr. Linderman occurred April 15, 1907, after which the various societies to which lie belonged took official action concerning his death, writing most fitting resolutions of honor and respect. In his demise the county lost one of its earliest pioneers, most honored citizens and a man whose long life was a credit to himself and to the people among whom he lived. His modest, unassuming manner often hid his real worth. Whereever he was known he was held in the highest respect for he lived close to the high ideals of honorable manhood and upright citizenship. Moreover, his was a most kindly, genial nature that inspired and retained friendship.



Kershaw, W. L. History of Page County, Iowa: also biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1909.

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