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Capt. Aaron M. Loomis
Born April 30, 1831


CAPT. AARON M. LOOMIS, merchant, of Wyoming, Jones Co, Iowa; was born in Rodman, Jefferson Co., N.Y., on the 30th of April, 1831; his father, Milo Loomis, was born in the same county, so also was his mother, Lucy A. Greenley, who was the daughter of Esquire Greenley, a prominent land-owner in the same county. The subject of this sketch has three brothers and sisters now living—T. G. Loomis is a successful merchant and farmer in Ohio; M. B. Loomis is County Judge in Chicago; F. R. Loomis is editor of the Medina Gazette, in Ohio; has been a member of the State Legislature, and is now President of the Ohio State Sunday School Association; Sarah J. Loomis is the wife of S. L. Dyer, a County Auditor in Ohio; Ruth A. Loomis married S. J. Tourtellot, who is in business in Iowa. The father, Milo L., was for many years a Congregationalist Deacon, and was quite popular in his locality; he was a mechanic, also a music teacher; at time of his death, he was executor of eighteen estates, and the guardian of thirty-six minor children; he was devoted to his family and to the Church; he made his home attractive: entering heartily into childhood's experiences, and he was a self-sacrificing burden-bearer for the Church of his choice; he was the counselor and helper of all in need-was a Christian man. His life-companion was in full sympathy with his life-work, and, after nearly thirty years of joint pilgrimage, he preceded her but a month in his entrance into the promised land. The subject of this sketch, then 2 years of age, came, with his parents, to Medina Co., Ohio, where he remained until 1856. In March, 1852, he married Miss Jane Briggs, of the same county. They removed to Wyoming, Iowa, in 1856, with one daughter, Josephine, who died at the age of 12; they had two children after coming West—Jesse Fremont and Finney. Mrs. Jane Loomis died in 1867. Mr. Loomis refrained from entering the United States Service until 1862, on account of pecuniary circumstances. He enlisted August 9, 1862, as a private, but at the company election, held on the 20th of August, he was elected Second Lieutenant, and his commission bears that date; he, with his comrades, was mustered into the service September 18, 1862, as Co. K, of the 24th I.V.I.; he served under Grant in the siege and capture of Vicksburg, and, on the 11th of June, 1863, was promoted to the First Lieutenancy; he was in the Red River expedition, under Banks, and with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley; on the 31st of July, 1864, he was promoted to the Captaincy of his original company, and continued in command until the close of the war, and his mustering-out, August, 1865. In autumn of 1866, as a member of the firm of Fordham & Co., he began the mercantile business, and the management of a large stock farm; this partnership continued until 1869, when he became proprietor of the mercantile interests, with A. E. Spitzer as partner; they were successful, and the enlarged business was afterward divided, and Mr. Loomis is now sole manager and proprietor of the dry goods and grocery departments. He was married, on the 9th of August, 1868, to Miss Alice Spitzer; they have three children—Mabel Iris, Milo Mason and Arthur, all of whom are now living, except Arthur. Ever since the formation of the Republican party, Mr. Loomis has been a reliable Republican; he is an active worker in the Presbyterian Church, and is a friend of all moral and social reforms. He is a leading merchant of Wyoming, and enjoys the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 603.

Captain A. M. Loomis, a prominent, influential and respected citizen of Wyoming, has continuously served as postmaster of the city since 1904. His birth occurred in Jefferson county, New York, on the 30th of April, 1831, his parents being Milo and Lucy A. (Greenly) Loomis, likewise natives of that county. The paternal grandfather, Aaron Loomis, was a soldier in the war of 1812. Milo Loomis, who was born in 1802, removed to Medina, Ohio, in 1833 and there followed the shoemaker's trade until the time of his demise in 1852, his death being occasioned by typhoid fever. His wife also fell a victim to that disease and died six weeks later. They left a family of six children, four sons and two daughters. of whom A. M. was the second in order of birth and the eldest son, so that the care of the other children largely devolved upon him. All became prosperous and worthy members of their respective communities. M. B. Loomis, a brother of our subject, studied law, became a successful practitioner of Chicago and likewise served on the bench. T. G. Loomis remained in the state of Ohio, where he became a very prosperous merchant and farmer and was elected a member of the state legislature and senate. F. R., the publisher of the Norwalk Chronicle for many years, was well known in journalistic circles.
In early manhood A. M. Loomis learned the shoemaker's trade under the direction of his father and in the year 1856 came west to Wyoming, Jones county, Iowa, where he followed his trade until the outbreak of the Civil war. In 1862 he enlisted as a member of a newly organized company-Company K of the Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, of which he was elected second lieutenant, James D. Williams being made captain and Thomas Green first lieutenant. His regiment was assigned to the Department of the Gulf and he loyally fought for the Union until its supremacy had been established. He participated in many important engagements with his command, was with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley and took part in the Red River campaign with General Banks. In June, 1865, he was mustered out as captain, having served with that rank for eighteen months, and he returned to Wyoming with a most creditable military record.
Once more taking up the pursuits of civil life, Captain Loomis was engaged in general farming for two years, at the end of which time he became a member of the mercantile firm of Fordham & Norton. Mr. Norton passed away in 1869 and the name of the concern was changed to Fordham & Company, thus conducting business until its dissolution a few years later. The company had been engaged in the mercantile business and also in the buying and shipping of stock, and when it was dissolved Mr. Loomis took over the mercantile department and, in association with his brother-in-law, A. E. Spitzer, established the firm of Loomis & Spitzer. Subsequently, however, the enterprise was conducted under the name of A. M. Loomis until it was sold out in 1899. Thus for almost a third of a century he was a prominent factor in the business life of Wyoming and the success which attended his efforts in this direction came as the direct result of his close application, unfaltering energy and capable management. Captain Loomis has been married twice. In 1851 he wedded Miss Jane Briggs, who passed away in 1866, leaving two children. In 1868 Mr. Loomis was again married, his second union being with Miss Alice Spitzer, a native of Ohio, by whom he had four children, two of whom still survive. The record of the children is as follows: Josephine, who died at the age of twelve years; Jessie Fremont, who is now the wife of Dr. C. S. Shepard; Finney, a resident of Akron, Ohio; Mabel, the widow of Dr. J. W. Kirkpatrick, who was a popular physician and highly respected citizen of Wyoming and whose sudden death came as a severe blow to the community; and Milo, a medical practitioner of Omaha.
Politically Captain Loomis is a stalwart republican, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont in 1856, and is an active and prominent factor in the local ranks of the party. He has capably served his fellow townsmen in the office of mayor, also as justice of the peace, as a member of the school board and in various minor capacities. Honored by election to the state legislature, he served as a member of that body in 1896, 1897 and 1898. In 1904 he was appointed postmaster at Wyoming and has since acted in that capacity, having been reappointed in 1908. He is a Presbyterian in religious faith and has been the president of the Jones County Sunday-School Association, while for a half century he has served as chorister and Sunday-school superintendent in one church. In citizenship he has been as faithful to his country as when he followed the old flag on southern battlefields, and public opinion, which seldom errs, places him in the front rank among those who are deserving of the admiration and respect of their fellowman. He has justly earned the proud American title of a self-made man and is now enabled to spend his remaining days in a beautiful home in Wyoming, surrounded by many of the comforts and luxuries which go to make life worth living. The period of his residence in this county covers more than a half century and he has therefore witnessed a wonderful transformation as pioneer conditions have been replaced by all the evidences of an advanced civilization.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 38.

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