EXTER CHAMBERLAIN BLOOMER, attorney at law and one of the most prominent and respected citizens of Council Bluffs, was born in Scipio, Cayuga County, New York, July 4, 1816, and was reared under the influence of Quakers. His father, John Bloomer, was a native of Westchester County, New York, and of English descent, and his mother, Tamma Chamberlain, was a native of Massachusetts and also of English ancestry. On receiving his education, Mr. Bloomer exhibited a decided taste for literary and professional pursuits. In 1837 he began the study of law, and soon afterward political affairs. Later he became editor of the Seneca County Courier, a Whig paper, at Seneca Falls, New York, and filled that position for fifteen years. In 1843 he was admitted to practice in the several courts of New York. During, his residence there he held several offices, among them that of Postmaster during the last four years, under the Taylor-Fillmore administration. In 1853 he removed to Mount Vernon, Ohio, and became the editor of the Western Home Visitor, Mrs. Bloomer continuing the publication of the Lily at the same place. With the view of still bettering his situation, he visited Council Bluffs, in October, 1854, and decided to make this point his future home, and the next year he moved thither, arriving April 15, and immediately established himself in the practice of law and in the real-estate business. At that time the county was strongly Democratic, and Mr. Bloomer, in company with John T. Baldwin, C. E. Stone and others, led in the organization of the new Republican party in Western Iowa. The interest which he manifested in political movements and the able manner in which he performed the duties imposed upon him caused his fellow citizens to bestow upon him many trusts, and he was frequently presented as a candidate for the offices of Judge, Representative to the Legislature, etc. For eleven years he was a member of the Board of Education, for a time serving as its President. Within this period seven fine school-houses were erected, one of the number, the Bloomer School, being named in his honor. He was a member of the State Board of Education until that office was abolished; was largely influential in procuring the establishment of the Council Bluffs Free Public Library, of which he has been an honored trustee from its foundation. For twelve years, and until the office was abolished, he was Receiver of the Public Moneys at this point; was Alderman in 1856, and Mayor of the city two years, 1869-'71. In all these official capacities he was honest and efficient, rendering satisfaction to the public. During the war he rendered efficient service to the cause of the Union, and was a member of the Union League. In 1872-'73 he was editor of the Council Bluffs Republican, and for a time was editor also of the Northwestern Odd Fellow. He also compiled a history of Pottawattamie County, under the title of "Notes on the Early History of Pottawattamie County," which was published in a magazine called the Annals of Iowa. As an evidence that he has a fine, large brain, it can be said that he has been as efficient in his business relations as in the legal and literary. As a politician his record is unblemished. In religious matters he is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he has been Senior Warden for the last thirty years.
He was married April 15, 1840, to Miss Amelia Jenks, a lady of culture, and in hearty sympathy with every movement of reform. Her first national notoriety was occasioned by her introduction of what was known as the "Bloomer costume," which called the attention of the public to an urgent reform in dress, and has led to important modifications of the old and unhealthful fashion, and secondly, and more lastingly, as a prominent and efficient advocate of the cause of woman suffrage. (A biographical account of her is given in connection herewith.) She and her husband first arrived in Council Bluffs on the 15th day of April, 1855, and immediately took up their residence in their present pleasant home. That day was the fifteenth anniversary of their marriage, and April 15, 1890, they celebrated both that event and their marriage by a "Golden Wedding." It was a grand occasion. A large number of magnificent presents were made to them, and letters of congratulation from eminent co-workers in the cause of reform throughout the United States were received, --- among them Miss Susan B. Anthony and Mrs. ex-Governor Hale, of Wyoming. A splendid poem was composed for the occasion by Rev. G. W. Crofts, and illustrated on its presentation by Miss S. D. Rhese.
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