A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
THOMAS COLLINS DENNY was a physician and surgeon, but his professional
service was turned into the insurance field with the Central Life Assurance
Society (Mutual) of Des Moines, and he has since become identified with the
executive management of the society and is now its president.
He was born at Maitland, Missouri, May 2, 1887, son of Barton Stone and Mary
E. (Massie) Denny and a grandson of Thomas Denny, who was a native of
Indiana, and prior to the Civil war moved out to Northwest Missouri and settled at
Maitland. He was a farmer, and was a minister of the Quaker Church, though
three of his sons, Otho, Joel and Walter, became soldiers in the Civil war.
Barton Stone Denny was born in Putnam County, Indiana, and from early manhood lived at Maitland, Missouri. He has been a prominent figure in the Christian Church and for twenty-two years held the office of state secretary of this denomination in Iowa. He and his wife are now living retired at Des Moines. His wife, Mary E. Massie, was born at Leesburg, Ohio, daughter of Collins Massie, who was also born in Ohio and about 1856 moved out to Northwest
Missouri. Collins Massie was a grandson of Gen. Nathaniel Massie, one of the most conspicuous early figures in the history of Ohio, was a Virginian, a Revolutionary war officer, Indian fighter, and was elected the first governor of the State of Ohio. He had a grant of land at Leesburg, Ohio, where he died. Barton Stone Denny and wife had three children: Mrs. Charles L. Coffman, wife of the president of a lumber company at Spokane, Washington; Thomas Collins; and Pearl, wife of Lucius F. Wright, a major in the Army Medical Corps.
Thomas Collins Denny attended the West Des Moines High School, graduated
from Drake University in 1910, doing his pre-medical cork there, and in 1912
took his M. D. degree at Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. After
returning to Des Moines he was made assistant medical director of the Central Life Assurance Society (Mutual), subsequently became medical director, then secretary and medical director, and in 1927 was chosen president of the company.
Doctor Denny married, December 22, 1910, Miss Vesta Peak. Her father, the
late George B. Peak, was born at Warsaw, Kentucky, moved to Des Moines in
1891, and in 1896 organized the Central Life Assurance Society, becoming its
first president, and held that office until his death on August 24, 1923. Mrs.
Denny was a schoolmate of her husband both in high school and Drake
University. They have four children: Allan W., born in 1914; Alice, born in 1916;
Ralph, born in 1918; and David R., born in 1920. The family are members of the
University Christian Church. Doctor Denny is a York and Scottish Rite Mason
and Shriner, member of the B. P. O. Elks, the Des Moines Club, Wakonda Club,
University Club, Underwriters Association and Association of Life Insurance
Presidents. He has also been on the board of the Life Agency Officers
Association. He is a director of the Des Moines Y. M. C. A., is a member of the
Convention Bureau of the city and a Republican in politics. Doctor Denny is
executor of the George B. Peak estate.
*Don't know how accurate, check your facts.
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