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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. George D. Rand

Mrs. Sara McGaughey Rand represents two families historically worth recording, and in her personally is a woman who merits a place in a history of Iowa women.  She was born in Greencastle, Ind., the daughter of Edward W. McGaughey and Margaret Matlock, who were married Jan. 18, 1838.  Their family consisted of five children:  Sara, Mary, Edward, Charles and Thomas.  In 1835 her father, E. W. McGaughey, at the age of eighteen years was upon examination admitted to the practice of law in Putnam county, Ind.  In 1842 he was elected state senator.  In 1843 he resigned to make his first race for a seat in congress in which he was defeated by only three votes.  In 1845 he was elected to congress.  He was a strong opponent to the Mexican War and delivered a speech against the action taken by congress, which speech cost him the seat of governor of the Territory of Minnesota.  President Taylor nominated him for territorial governor, fut failed of confirmation by the senate in consequence of his attitude on the war question.  In 1852, being broken in health he started to California, in the hope of being benefitted.  In crossing the Isthmus of Panama he contracted fever from which he died in San Francisco, Aug. 6, 1852.  Mrs. Rand's grandfather, Arthur O. McGaughey, was clerk of the first court held in Putnam county, Ind., in a private house.  He was clerk of the courts for 23 years.  He took the first case taken to supreme court.  Mrs. Rand was the oldest of five children and was educated in the Conventual College of St. Mary of the Woods near Terre Haute, Ind.  For many years she was president of the Alumnae of St. Mary's, and in 1911, was made honorary president for life.  At Greencastle, Ind., on Dec. 25, 1862, she was married to George Dexter Rand, of Burlington, they had one daughter, Mary Rand.  Mrs. Rand is a convert to the Catholic church and for many years has been one of the most prominent and useful members, not only of the parish of St. Peters', to which she belongs, but of the church in a wider sense.  She has given liberally of her money and of herself in the interests of the church and the schools connected with it.  The St. Peter's school for boys was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Rand.  She is always thought of as one of the foremost women of Keokuk, a woman intellectually strong, broad-minded, and one who is known and loved by people in every walk in life, from those who are highest, socially, to the humblest.  For four years she was president of the Keokuk Woman's Club.  She was one of the organizers of the Civic League and has been on its board of directors ever since its organization.  Since 1899 she has been president of the Woman's Aid Society of St. Peter's Church.  Her husband, George D. Rand, who "passed from time to eternity" on Nov. 12, 1903, was one of Iowa's well-known men.  He was educated in Asbury (now De Pauw) University at Greencastle, Ind.  His father was E. D. Rand, the well known lumberman of Burlington, and after leaving school he was employed by his father.  In 1860 he was appointed assistant paymaster in the Volunteer Navy, and was ordered to the gun boat "Silver Lake."  Soon after he was appointed pay master in the regular navy, his commission bearing the signature of Abraham Lincoln and Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.  After the surrender in 1865 he resigned his commission and returned to commercial pursuits.  He engaged in the lumber business in Alabama until 1880, when he went to Keokuk and took charge of the lumber yard of Carson & Rand.  In 1883 he was elected mayor of Keokuk.  During his term of office the city bought the public park, which the council in compliment to him, named Rand Park.  He was a director of the Keokuk National Bank, of the Water Works Co., of the Iowa State Insurance Co., and was vice-president of the State Central Savings Bank.  Mr. Rand had a genial nature and made many friends.  His father was one of the very prominent men of Burlington, who was twice married, his first wife was Sarah Proud, an Ohio woman.  By this marriage there were six children:  George D., Mary, Frank, Hattie, and two who died in infancy.  On June 13, 1852, Mr. Rand was married to Mrs. Caroline A. Roberts, who was the daughter of Soloman Sherfey, a Burlington pioneer.  Four children were born to them:  Ellbridge D., Charles W., Horace S., and Carrie.  Mr. Rand died April 10, 1887, in Burlington, to the prosperity and growth of which city he had so liberally contributed.  It may truthfully be said, that through all his varied and extensive business experiences, he was never known to intentionally wrong any one.  He was just, courteous, and considerate to every one, from the wealthiest capitalist to the humblest laborer in his yards.  He was a self-made man, and suffered many reverses, but with courage kept on until success far beyond the expectation of even an ambitious man, crowned his efforts.



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