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SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF EARLY PIONEERS
Excerpts from the Urbana Bicentennial


John Bryson

Born in Tennessee in 1821, he came to Urbana in 1845. He had 98 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre. Mr. Bryson married Elizabeth Speak in 1851. She was born in Kentucky. They had three children; John, Emma, and Julia. He was a school director and the family were members of the Evangelical Church. He was an Urbana man who enlisted in the Civil War.


Adam Fetherkile

He was born in Kentucky in 1812, and came to Urbana in October of 1852. He had 314 ˝ acres of land, valued at $30 an acre. He married Jemima Barley in June of 1832. She died in June of 1837. Mr. Fetherkile then married Sindey Bailey in December of 1837. She died in August of 1841 and left one child. He married Amelia Holley in 1843 and divorced her in 1849. She, also, left one child. He then married Nancy Powley in 1849. She died in October of 1850. He then married Sarah Weysong in April of 1851. They had eight children. He was a democrat, held office of Township Trustee, and was a member of the Dunkard Church. He was among early settlers and made all he had with fine improvements by his untiring energy and perseverance.


Samuel Lockhart

Lockhart was a farmer, born in Adams County, Ohio, in 1812. He came to Urbana in 1840, and he had 411 acres of land, valued at $30 an acre. He married Malinda Wright in 1832. She had come from Indiana. They had six children. Lockhart was a Democrat. The family were members of the Christian Church. He belonged to Pleasant Valley Grange Lodge. Mr. Lockhart has the honor of building the first house in Benton County. He was a prominent figure in Marysville and the county. He held offices of County Commissioner, Prosecuting Attorney, Foreman of the first jury of District Court, school director, and trustee.


James S. Culver

Mr. Culver was a large stock farmer of Polk Township, born in 1857 at Urbana. He was the son of Peyton B. and Sarah Culver (step son of Robert Berry). His father died when he was young, and he was on his own at the age of seventeen. In 1884 he married Jane Brody. He owned and operated 305 acres in Section 5. He was a Democrat and was a member of the Methodist Church. They had three children; Dora, Bertha, and Verna.


Robert Berry

Robert Berry, son of Joshua and Anna, born in Ohio December 30, 1827, was raised in Indiana. He came to Urbana in 1852. He had 120 acres of land he farmed and eleven children. He married Anna Jewell and they had four children; two girls and two boys. One girl married John Fetherkile and one married Alexander Fetherkile. After Anna died in 1865, he married Martha Cox. They had two children, a boy and a girl. The boy, James, worked for J. D. Burrell. The second Mrs. Berry died in 1871. Then he married Sara Culver, who had four boys and a girl, Ida, who married Fred Burrell. One of the boys, Eihu, worked in an Urbana store.

Ten years after coming to Marysville, he was one of the hundreds who started for "Pikes Peak or bust" in the Rocky Mountains in search of gold. He was among the lucky ones the first time, but returned to settle for the riches of farming. Again he went after marrying his third wife. This time he wasn’t so lucky in his hunt for gold and returned to his home in Urbana to stay. He and his family were Methodists. He was a Democrat. He also was a Supervisor of Roads and a City Council member. He was a most interesting old timer.


James Regaud

Described as an educated man who wrote a "magnificent hand", he lived in a log cabin near the site of Wilmington, which was laid out on Section 4 about a mile SW of the present Urbana. He taught the first Marysville school. He was a surveyor and surveyed and laid out the town of Marysville in 1847. He was also justice of the peace. On March 22, 1848, Mr. Regaud died. Samuel Lockhart was appointed administrator of his estate which inventoried $221.01. (In information available, nothing was found to indicate his age or birth.)


W. H. H. Porter

Mr. Porter was born in Ireland in 1828 and emigrated to America in 1847. He came to Urbana in 1865. He had 345 acres of land, valued at $40 an acre. He married Grace Sloan in 1856. They had five children, Wm. H., James, Mary J., Angela, and John. He was a Democrat, belonged to the Evangelical Church, and also enlisted in the Civil War.


John N. Smith

Mr. Smith was born in Indiana in 1828. He went first to Linn County in 1853, and then to Urbana in 1867. He owned 92 acres of land, valued at $35 an acre. He married Charlotte E. Smith in 1853. She died in 1861, leaving two children; Mary E. and Wm. H. He then married Mary C. White in 1863 and they had three children; James C., Almira, and Emiline. He was an old-time Whig and later changed to become a member of the Republican party. He belonged to the Methodist Church.


A. J. Wyckoff

He was born in Illinois in 1821 and came to Urbana in 1840. He had 277 acres of land, valued at $35 an acre. He married Rebecca Parmenter in 1847. They had six children; Richard, A., John W., Harriet P., Robert E., Nancy J., and Edmond E. He was a Greenbacker in politics. He held all township offices and was also County Supervisor. He was a member of the Alter Lodge, Cedar Ridge Grange, and State Grange.


Elijah Wyckoff

He was born in Illinois in 1826, the brother of A. J. Wyckoff, and came to Urbana in 1850. He had 278 acres of land, valued at $40 per acre. He married Mary Bryson in 1852, and they had eight children; Lenora, John F., Nathaniel G., Mary E., Charles H., Samuel F., George L., and Eugene F. He was a Whig, and later a Republican. He held the offices of Assessor, Trustee, and Treasurer. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Alter Lodge, of which he was treasurer and warden. He did much to further the cause of the Methodist Church. While District Treasurer, he held from $17,000 to $18,000; paid for every school house in his township. He was very interested in school matters.


Woodson P. and W. J. Long

In 1855, Woodson P. Long came to Iowa from Kentucky with his wife and four year old son, Wm. J. Both Woodson and his wife died in Urbana in 1907.


Abraham Brown

Abraham Brown came to Urbana from Indiana in 1852 with his five year old son, James. They settled on 80 acres of land; later 112 acres.


Victor Spencer

A stock farmer, son of Charles H., Victor Spencer came to Urbana in the 1850’s. He tried California in 1852, but returned. He was an advanced farmer, intelligent, a good writer, reader, and an extensive traveler. He died in 1904.


Fielding Bryson and son Joseph

Fielding Bryson came to Urbana in 1841. His son, Joseph, married a daughter of Joseph and Mary Remington. He then moved to Kansas. Their third son, W. G. Bryson, went with his parents to Kansas in 1873, but came to Benton County (Harrison Township) in1897. He was still living in 1910.


Very little is told about the following except when they came here:

Urbana History Index



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