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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.

  
 

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Charles T. Launder.

Business interests of Adair county find a worthy representative in Charles T. Launder, an attorney at law and the president of the State Savings Bank of Fontanelle.  He was born in Marietta, Ohio, November 14, 1865, his parents being Henry and Susan R. (Robinson) Launder, natives of Zanesville and of Marietta, Ohio, respectively, and representatives of old Connecticut families.  The father was a harness maker by trade and for some years acted as superintendent of a saddlery manufacturing concern in Cincinnati but on account of ill health he was advised by his physician to leave factory work and as his family numbered eight children he determined to go west, where perhaps he might have better opportunities.  Making his way to Iowa, he cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Orient township, Adair county, in 1869, and entered the employ of E. B. Andrews, president of Marietta College, who owned an extensive tract of land in Adair county and sent Mr. Launder west to look after his property interests in Iowa.  Mr. Launder purchased eighty acres of this land, saving the money from his salary.  A portion of the town site of Orient is on land owned by Mr. Andrews.  He was an attache of the court of St. James under President U. S. Grant and his son C. W. Andrews married a sister of Charles T. Launder.  Henry Launder was one of the first trustees of Orient township and one of the leading citizens of his community.  He was never a farmer but was a natural-born mechanic and erected many of the houses in Orient township in pioneer times, thus becoming closely associated with its early development and improvement.

Charles T. Launder devoted his youth largely to mastering the branches of learning taught in the district schools and at eighteen years of age he became a teacher in the local schools, following that profession until 1892, when he took up the study of law, matriculating in the law department of the State University, from which he was graduated with the class of 1894.  He was admitted to the bar on the 13th of June of that year and following his graduation he returned to Adair county,  settling in Fontanelle.  At that time he was without capital;  in fact his condition was worse than that, for the expenses of his university course had made it necessary for him to seek financial aid to some extent.  For two terms he taught school in winter to gain the funds necessary to discharge his indebtedness, after which he established himself in the practice of law.  Industry is just as essential in law practice as in commercial or industrial pursuits and Mr. Launder applied himself diligently to the care of the legal business intrusted to him.  As the years passed and his practice increased he prospered financially and became a stockholder in the First National Bank of Fontanelle.  Subsequently recognizing the need for another financial institution in the town he assisted in the organization, in 1905 of the State Savings Bank, of which he was made president, and in that capacity he has since served.

On the 5th of August, 1896, Mr. Launder was united in marriage to Miss Alice A. Baker, of Fontanelle, who was for several years a teacher in the Fontanelle schools and at the time of her marriage resigned a position in the high school at Emerson, Iowa.  To them has been born a son, Charles Reid, a graduate of the Fontanelle high school of the class of 1915.

Politically Mr. Launder is a republican but has often refused public office, preferring to give his time to his profession and his business interests.  He has served, however, for twenty years as secretary of the school board and has labored diligently and effectively for better schools and higher educational standards.  In 1910 he was elected to the office of mayor of Fontanelle, in which he served for two years and in that connection he exercised his official prerogatives in support of various plans and measures for the public good but as a private citizen as well as an office holder he continually works for the general welfare and the advancement of his community.  In the line of his profession he has also held office, serving for four years as county attorney.  He is a member of the Masonic lodge of Fontanelle and Fontanelle Lodge, No. 250, I. O. O. F., in which he has passed through all of the chairs.  Much of his life has been spent in this state and he early became imbued with the spirit of enterprise and progress which has been a dominant factor in the upbuilding of the west.  His entire career has been characterized by advancement that has come as the immediate result of intelligently directed industry and unfaltering determination.

 

 

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