History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Benjamin F. Gue
|←Josiah B. Grinnell||History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/Volume 4 by
Benjamin F. Gue
|David J. Gue→|
BENJAMIN F. GUE was born in Greene County, New York, on the 25th of December, 1828. His education was acquired in the public schools, with two terms in academies of Canandaigua and West Bloomfield. He taught school in the winter of 1851 and early in March, 1852, came to Iowa and bought a claim on Rock Creek in Scott County. He was an Abolitionist and took a deep interest in the antislavery movements of that period. Mr. Gue was one of the delegates sent from Scott County to the convention which assembled at Iowa City on the 22d of February, 1856, to organize the Republican party of Iowa. In 1857 he was chosen by the Republicans as one of the Representatives in the Seventh General Assembly. He was one of the authors of the act to establish a State Agricultural College and was selected to fight the bill through the House against an adverse report of the committee of ways and means. He was reëlected at the expiration of his first term and in 1861 was elected to the Senate for four years. In that body he was the author of two important bills: to prohibit the circulation of foreign bank bills in Iowa, and the law devised to secure an immediate income from the Agricultural College Land Grant, without sacrificing the lands. By the adoption of this plan Iowa secured for all time a larger income for support of the college than any State having the same amount of land. At the close of his term in 1884, Mr. Gue removed to Fort Dodge, purchased the only newspaper establishment where for eight years he published a Republican paper. In 1865 he was appointed postmaster of Fort Dodge but resigned in the fall of that year, having been nominated by the Republican State Convention for Lieutenant-Governor. In 1866 he was elected president of the Board of Trustees of the State Agricultural College and for several years gave a large portion of his time to the building and organization of the college. He carried a proposition through the board for the admission of girls as students, against strong opposition. As a member of the committee on organization, he visited the Agricultural Colleges of the country and was instrumental in selecting President Welch and the first corps of professors. Mr. Gue has always taken a deep interest in the growth of this college and by voice and pen defended and supported it through all of the years of its existence. In 1872 he removed to Des Moines and became editor of the Iowa Homestead. Receiving the appointment of United States Pension Agent of Iowa and Nebraska from President Grant, he gave his entire time to the duties of that position for eight years. Upon retiring in 1881 he again became editor of the Homestead. For more than fifteen years he took an active part in the political campaigns as a public speaker for the Republican party. He was one of the founders of the “Iowa Unitarian Association,” of the “Pioneer Lawmakers' Association,” and is author of a History of Iowa.