Lufkin, A.K.

A. K. Lufkin

A. K. Lufkin was a member of the Newton Public Library board of trustees from 1914 to 1922.[1] Arthur K. Lufkin was born in Newton, December 18, 1862[2], the son of Albert and Catharine (Griffin) Lufkin.[3] He spent all of his life in Newton with the exception of two years when he was in the West for his health.[4] “When but 17 years of age, he worked in the foundry for 50 cents a day,” one local paper reported, “and saved his wages to complete his schooling; for two seasons he was engaged in the Canning Factory, the first year doing any and all work that would subserve the interests of his employers; the second year having charge of the books, the weighing-in of the produce, paying hands, &c.”[5] For a time he worked “at low wages” in a lumber yard; had charge of his father’s large stock farm for more than a year, then borrowed money to undertake the study of law at Iowa City, where he received his law degree.[6] In 1896, Lufkin engaged in the insurance business with Arthur J. Wright.[7] In 1903, he was in the real estate and insurance business with Joe Horn and W. H. Lister under the firm name of Globe Land, Loan and Emigration Co. During the time they were together they held the agency for the sale of steamship tickets.[8] The 1910 City Directory listed Lufkin as a lawyer.[9] From 1919 until the time of his death, he was associated with the Clipless Paper Fastener Co., being secretary and treasurer of the company.[10] He also had some large land holdings in Oklahoma.[11] Always civic-minded, Lufkin was elected mayor of Newton for two terms, in 1893 and 1895.[12] He was also a member of the Newton Fire Department.[13] In 1918-19, he was employed by the city as health warden “to look after the interests of the city in providing proper regulations, and in seeing to the countless details” during the influenza epidemic.[14] He was a member of the Elks and Knights of Pythias Lodges.[15] On November 25, 1905, Lufkin was married to Miss Jennie May Russell (1862-1943), in Newton.[16] This prominent citizen died on October 2, 1922 – a suicide.[17] Coroner W. E. Lyon certified the cause of death as “Hanging by Rope.”[18] Burial was in Newton Union Cemetery.[19]

-Larry Ray Hurto

[1] 1896-1957 Library Trustees, Newton Public Library History. His father, A. Lufkin (q. v.), was a trustee from 1896 to 1907. Ibid.

[2] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922.

[3] Gen. James B. Weaver, ed., Past and Present of Jasper County, Iowa, Vol. I (Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1912), pp. 646-648.

[4] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922.

[5] The Newton Journal, March 1, 1893.

[6] Ibid.

[7] The Newton Journal, Souvenir Edition-Extra, March 16, 1898.

[8] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922. This combination had purchased the insurance agency of Wright & Lufkin. Newton Daily Herald, January 1, 1903. Horn was president of the company and Lister general manager. The insurance department was conducted by Lufkin, who was secretary and treasurer of the company. Miss Effie McLellan, comp., Directory of the City of Newton 1903 (Newton, IA: Published by the Newton Journal, 1903), p. 1.

[9] R. L. Polk & Co., comp., R. L. Polk & Co.’s 1910 Jasper County [Iowa] Directory, Vol. I (Des Moines and Detroit: R. L. Polk & Co., 1910), p. 97. He was a member of the Jasper County Bar. Past and Present of Jasper County, Iowa, p. 247.

[10] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922.

[11] Ibid.

[12] The Newton Journal, March 8, 1893 and March 6, 1895.

[13] Newton Fire Dept. Minutes, 1887-1910. Jasper County Historical Society, Newton, Iowa.

[14] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922. “Mr. Lufkin was employed in this capacity and did the city a splendid service. In fact, after the epidemic had been brought under control, and finally eradicated, the mayor and city council said they did not know where they could have obtained a man who would have served so splendidly as did Mr. Lufkin.”

[15] Ibid. He was a past chancellor of Delta Lodge No. 53, K. of P. Past and Present of Jasper County, Iowa, p. 201.

[16] The Newton Daily News, October 3, 1922.

[17] Ibid. The Daily News said Lufkin was “[d]espondent because of ill health, the death last spring of his mother, also the recent death of E. J. Schuneman, of Boone, a very intimate friend, and of various financial reverses.”

[18] Funeral Register, C. F. Morgan & Son Funeral Home, Newton, Iowa, Book 3, 1920-25, p. 248. Jasper County Genealogical Society, Newton, Iowa.

[19] Ibid.