LORENZO HARRISON SALES, a resident of Iowa since it became a state, is a descendant of a Mohawk Dutch family, and was born in Ontario county. New York, on the 28th of March, 1819. His parents were Hiram Sales, surveyor and farmer, and Nancy Ann Thorington, his mother being a native of Rutland, Vermont. His maternal great-grandfather was a Phillips, whose ancestry is traced back directly to the Mayflower. He was in the revolutionary army; was taken prisoner, brought as far west as Detroit, Michigan, by the Indians, and kept there several years. At length he made his escape, and after much hardship reached Vermont.
When Lorenzo was three years old the family removed to Cincinnati, Ohio. Young as the boy was, he still recollects the trip down the Alleghany and Ohio rivers on a raft. The scenes on the way were a wonderful novelty to his young eyes, and time fails to obliterate them. After spending one year in Cincinnati his father removed to Troy, Miami county, where he died in 1823, leaving his widow with seven children. There Lorenzo received a common-school education in a log school-house.
In 1834 the family removed to Defiance, where Lorenzo prepared himself for the medical profession, and where he practiced until 1846; removing to Iowa City, Iowa, a few months before it doffed its territorial robes. After practicing in Iowa City a little less than two years he removed to Washington county, continuing his profession in Washington and Richmond villages until 1856, when he removed his family to Leon, Decatur county. While at Richmond he received from President Pierce the appointment of receiver of the United States land office, at Chariton, Lucas county, and was in that position three years, when the office was moved to Des Moines.
Since residing in Leon Dr. Sales has been in a variety of occupations, — practicing medicine a little ; keeping a hotel at sundry times, in all about twelve years; selling drugs; editing a newspaper; dealing in real estate, and acting as county officer, being judge of Decatur county two years. The judge is well known all over the county.
In 1862 he went into the 17th Iowa Infantry as lieutenant, company A, and acting adjutant; served six months and was discharged on account of disability.
In his political principles, the judge has been a life-long democrat.
In August, 1845, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Ann Wartenbe, of Defiance, Ohio, and they have three children. Nancy Ann, the eldest child, is the wife of Lyman W. Forgrave, contractor and builder, of Leon ; Lewis Cass is a printer in Leon, and Frank Knox is a brick mason and resides in Crete, Nebraska. Both sons are unmarried.
SOURCE, The United States Biographical Dictionary And Portrait Gallery Of Eminent And Self Made Men. Iowa Volume, American Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago & New York, 1878, p. 581-2