Senator Samuel Wakefield Neal View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 11/16/1916
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 34 (1911) - 35 (1913)
Home County: Washington
Samuel Wakefield Neal
Washington County

MR. PRESIDENT—Your committee appointed to draft resolutions commemorative of the life, character and services of Samuel Wakefield Neal beg leave to submit the following report:


Samuel Wakefield Neal, a member of the Senate of the General Assembly of the state of Iowa, 1910-14, died in Washington, Iowa, November 16, 1916.

He was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1844, and was brought by his parents, Caldwell Neal and Maria Louise Neal, to Iowa in 1845, locating at Crawfordsville in Washington county. Iowa was then a territory. He grew to manhood amid the privations of pioneer life. After attending the local school and the academy at Washington, he entered Iowa Wesleyan College at Mount Pleasant. His college days were cut short by the call to arms for the preservation of the Union.

In August 1862, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted in company I of the Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, his captain being John A. Young of Washington who was one of his predecessors in the Iowa Senate. He took part in the siege of Vicksburg and in other important military operations, serving to the close of the War of the Rebellion, when he received an honorable discharge. One of his comrades, a member of his company; writes, “He served honorably and faithfully with the regiment as a soldier for the Union.”

On his return from the war, he resumed farming near Crawfordsville which was his home until 1888 when he was elected to the office of the clerk of the district court, holding this position four years. On retiring from this office, he, in partnership with Mr. D. H. Logan, purchased the Washington Gazette which they continued to publish about thirteen years.

He was secretary of the Senate of the Thirty-third General Assembly, and was elected a member of the Senate in 1910, from the Tenth Senatorial District composed of the counties of Henry and Washington, serving as such in the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth General Assemblies.

In politics, Mr. Neal was a republican. In religious affairs, he was a Methodist, being particularly active in Sabbath School work. He was superintendent of the Sabbath School of the Methodist church at Washington for ten years during which time the school was built up to a point that gave it a state record for membership and attendance. As a delegate from Iowa, he attended the World’s Sunday School Convention held at Rome, Italy, in May, 1907. At the close of the convention he visited Palestine, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and other European countries. While visiting Palestine, he delighted in using the Bible as a guide book.

His was a sturdy ancestry, pioneers in Iowa, early settlers in Pennsylvania, soldiers·in the Revolutionary War for the establishment of American Independence. Mr. Neal was twice married. On March 25, 1875, he married Miss May Lee who died February 18, 1906. On August 16, 1911, he married Miss Myrtle Knapp of Greenfield, Iowa, with whom he first became acquainted while attending the Sunday School Convention at Rome, she being a delegate also, their first acquaintance beginning in Venice. He is survived by his widow and their little daughter, Helen.

Mr. Neal, as a man, was thoroughly reliable; as a friend, he was loyal and helpful; as an official, he was diligent and conscientious in the discharge of his duties; and as a Christian gentleman, he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. Those who knew him best, esteemed him most. As a pioneer in the settlement of the state of Iowa, as a soldier in the great war for the preservation of the Union, as a lawmaker and public official, as a teacher in the public and religious schools, he made a record for patriotism and for service to his fellowmen that is seldom found nor exceeded.

Resolved, That in the death of Samuel Wakefield Neal, the state and county in which he resided, lose a worthy and upright citizen, a valiant soldier, and an honored statesman, and we hereby extend to the bereaved family and friends our sincere sympathy; and be is further

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be printed in the Journal of the Senate, and that the Secretary of the Senate be directed to forward an engrossed copy to the family of the deceased.





The resolutions were adopted unanimously by a rising vote.