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Jehiel B Hurlburt


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 12:26:27

Jehiel B Hurlburt, farmer, teacher, California Argonaut, citizen, soldier and civil officer, was born in the town of Winchester, Litchfield county, Connecticut, June 1, 1828, in the sixth generation form English ancestry and is a son of Erastus G and Clairssa (Goodwin) Hurlburt, both natives of Hartford county, Connecticut, the father born in 1787. He traces his ancestry back to Thomas H Hurlburt, the immigrant who came from England in 1637: through Stephen (2) Thomas (3) Elijah (4) and Erastus G, the father of our subject. The immigrant ancestor was the father of five sons.
Erastus G Hurlburt, the father of our subject was a farmer and was assisted in his occupation by a family of eleven children, all born on the home place. In 1842 he removed to Ashtabula county, Ohio, one of the counties of “The Connecticut Reserve,” as it was popularly called, and then a comparatively new country. As the land in that region was covered with a dense growth of timber, young Jehiel found occasion for the plentiful use of his spare energies in clearing it. After three years his father died, in 1845, his wife survived him for eleven years, passing away in 1856. In their family was seven sons and four daughters, of whom four sons and one daughter are now living, namely: Mrs Louisa Freer, a widow, residing at Mount Vernon, Iowa, at eighty-four years of age, Judge Belden G, of San Jose, California, eighty-two years old, Jehiel bur, of this review, H C, of Osborn county, Kansas, and captain David E, of Ashtabula county, Ohio, who commanded company K, of the Twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry, during the Civil War.
Young Jehiel spent his boyhood in the usual manner of the lads of that day, working on the farm in summer and attending the country schools in the winter, His removal to Ohio when fourteen years old did not materially vary the order of his occupations, for the citizens had a common ancestry and like eagerness for educational advantages for their children. Thus it came, in then most natural way, that he graduated from school benches to the seat of the teacher, and seven consecutive winters saw him occupied in the latter capacity in Ohio and Illinois. In the latter state he taught in the towns of Bloomingdale and Nauvoo. While thus engaged, in the latter place, he contracted the prevailing “gold fever” and prepared during the winter of 1851-52 for an overland trip to the Pacific coast country, which design was carried out in 1852, consuming six months of the summer season. The departure of himself and brother, B G, was from Nauvoo. And arriving in central Iowa they found that the grass was not yet grown sufficiently for their oxen and they encamped for a month on what is now the site of Mitchellville, a few miles east of the city of Des Moines, until the garbage was sufficiently advanced. This period of rest gave opportunity to observed the richness of Iowa’s prairie soil and doubtless afterward had its influence in determining this future location. There was nothing out of the common happened to his party in this long, weary and monotonous journey, the way lined with the wreck of wagons, ox-bows, discarded boxes, bones of dead cattle and sometimes those of human beings, all conditions requiring the utmost endurance, patience and whatever of hope was left yet in their weary bodies or more weary minds. Arrived at the long sought Eldorado August 28 Mr Hurlburt engaged in mining for a short time, but meeting with indifferent success took up truck farming in the Sacramento valley, forty miles north of the city of the same name. This he followed for three years, returning in the early part of 1856 to his home in Ohio, by way of Nicaragua Lake and New York city.
In 1857 Mr Hurlburt came to Iowa and purchased a farm in Worth township, Boone county. After this investment he returned to Ohio and pursued the work of farming until 1860, on November 10 of which year he was united in marriage with Miss Myra s Lloyd, a native of Lake county, the ceremony occurring in Ashtabula county. The bride had been engaged in teaching successfully prior to her marriage, and was a daughter of Lester Lloyd, who was Massachusetts born and engaged in agriculture after his removal to Ohio. Shortly after the wedding Mr and Mrs Hurlburt came on to Iowa and took up their residence on the land previously acquired, building first temporary quarters and breaking the prairie sod, and in due course of time establishing themselves in a comfortable farm home. In recent years in 1896 they have built and occupy a pleasant residence in the village of Luther, which town owes its existence tot eh construction of the line of the Milwaukee railway within a mile or two of the home farm.
Seven children blessed this union, only four of whom are now living, namely: Mrs Anna L, is the wife of Edwin Moss, whose farm lies not far from that of the parents, and they have one son, Howard L, Myra S, is the wife of C D Todhunter, of Indianola, Iowa, and they have a son, Lewis J, Jay B is a merchant of Luther, Lillian L, is a trusted employee in the post office at Luther.
A young who imbibed his views of political equity and the rights of man from perusing the New York Weekly tribune ever since his thirteenth year could not be indifferent to the assault upon the nation’s integrity by open rebellion, and in 1862 Mr Hurlburt responded to the call for troops by enlisting, August 11, in the ranks of Company D, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Colonel John Scott. The regiment rendezvoused at Dubuque for organization and equipment and was promptly sent southward. It was divided at Cairo, one portion going into Garrison duty at New Madrid and a battalion for four companies under command of Major Eberhart being detached for a ling and arduous campaign which took it into southern Missouri and to Little Rock, Arkansas, often skirmishing and capturing the capital aforesaid. After lying ill in the hospital at Memphis, Mr Hurlburt received an honorable discharge and returned home in July , 1864. To have been a member of this regiment was itself an honor, its regimental colors, now in the capitol building, are inscribed with the battles of Cape Girardeau, Bayou Metaire, Fort De Russey, Pleasant Hill (where the regiment suffered “ the greatest loss in modern battles), Marksville, Yellow Bayou, Lake Chicot, Tupelo, Old Town Creek, Nashville, Brentwood Hills and Fort Blakely.
Upon the organization of the Republican party Mr Hurlburt became identified with it and voted for John C Fremont, its first presidential candidate. He is of the same political faith yet. In 1865 he was elected to the responsible office of treasurer of Boone county for the term of two years. In 1873 he was elected sheriff of the same county, serving the customary term of two years. He has at all times taken an intelligent interest in promoting the best local government, often seeing his prevision of public polices become true, and patiently waiting the slower conception of these by his less discerning neighbors. His religious convictions have caused his affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal church. In the welfare of the young he takes a kindly, fatherly interest, and is a most excellent neighbor as is the habit of all pioneer settlers, imbibed in the times when conveniences were few and all were mutually helpful. He is entirely too modest to permit the recitation here of the good qualities which his intimates ascribe to his nature, but we can not refrain from the remark that the man who was nurtured from the columns of the New York Tribune, who reads habitually, the Forum and like substantial literature, takes his cue in morals from the pages of the Bible, bears in these his own banner of respectability, sincerity and ability. May he have many years before is “beat the last tattoo.”

1902 Boone County History Book


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