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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/David J. Gue

DAVID J. GUE was born in Farmington, Ontario County, New York, January 17, 1836. He acquired a common school education with one year at an academy. In 1853 he came to Iowa and assisted an older brother on a farm in Scott County. He studied law in Tipton and was admitted to the bar in 1860. In 1862, as counsel for J. S. Maxwell, he won a noted case for his client whose seat in the General Assembly was contested by Milo Smith, who retained Judge C. C. Cole. Mr. Gue was chosen assistant secretary of the Senate at that session. In 1859 he connected his name imperishably with history, in a secret effort to save the lives of John Brown and his companions who were then organizing the “raid” on Harper's Ferry. The particulars of this episode are to be found in Vol. II. of this history. When a small boy David J. had possessed a remarkable talent for pencil sketching, especially of portraits. In 1865 he located at Fort Dodge in the drug business. But his love for art grew with the years and he finally sold out and gave his attention to portrait painting. Among his Iowa work are portraits of John A. Kasson, Bishop H. W. Lee, Governors Merrill, Carpenter and Larrabee; Chief Justices of the Supreme Court J. M. Beck, J. R. Reed and C. C. Cole. Settling in New York many years ago, his most notable portraits were Ex-President Millard Fillmore, General U. S. Grant, Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Abbott, Nellie, daughter of President Arthur. In 1898 Mr. Gue visited the art centers of Europe, making studies of many notable places. He has attained remarkable success in marine painting. D. N. Richardson, editor of the Davenport Democrat wrote of Mr. Gue as an artist:

“It was not until he was twenty-four years old that he saw an oil painting. After twelve years of work as a portrait painter in New York, he occupies a position that many of the hardest working students of the best foreign masters have failed to attain.”