Dewey Clarke Harmon
Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/13/2010 at 17:00:06
No history of Boone county would be complete without extended reference to Dewey Clarke Harmon, who now follows farming near Jordan in Jackson township and who from pioneer times has been connected with this county and its development. He is today the oldest resident of Jackson township in years of continuous connection therewith and in 1857 he plowed the tract of land upon which the city of Boone now stands, using oxen for this purpose. He has lived to witness the growth of a prosperous city, containing several thousand inhabitants, while the work of progress and development has been carried on along equally important lines in other sections of the county.
Mr Harmon is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Lorain county, October 7, 1844. His father, William B Harmon, was born in the state of Vermont at the foot of the Green mountains, on January 28, 1814. He was a son of Horatio Harmon and a grandson Nehemiah Harmon, who was born in New England and there spent his entire life, following the occupation of farming. His descendant, Seliah Harmon, who lived and died in Vermont, married Rhoda Dewy, and these Dewey’s were of the same family as Admiral Dewey. It was through that line of descent that the subject of this review received his first name. Horatio Harmon, the grandfather of Dewey Clarke Harmon on leaving New England, made his way to Lorain county, Ohio, where he cast in his lot with thr early settlers and there followed farming, continuing his residence in that county until he was called to his final rest. He married Lucy Clarke, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Smith) Clarke, and their children were as follows. Mary Ann born October 4, 1811, became the wife of a Mr Dudley and after his death married William Powell. They removed to Wisconsin and she lacked but a month of being 10 0years of age at the time of her demise. William B Harmon, the father of our subject was the second of the family. Lucy born March 19, 1816, became the wife of a Mr Jones. Harriet L born August 4, 1818, married Chester Smith and died near Charlotte, Michigan. Horace C born January 26, 1822, removed to Ohio, where his remaining days were passed. Elvira, born February 6, 1825, became Mrs Bryant and died in Ohio, Elmira, her win sister married Silas Francisco, the marriage taking place in Ohio, and later they removed to Boone county, but subsequently went to Nebraska, her death occurring near Lincoln. Lafayette, who was born July 21, 1827, married Miss Catherine Barnes who died at Rippey, Greene county, Iowa. Isaac C born October 29, 1831, is living at Mackey, in Harrison township.
William B Harmon, father of Dewey Clarke Harmon, accompanied his parents on their removal from New England to Ohio. He married Caroline Sage, who was born near Oswego, New York, and came of the same family as Russell Sage. It was in the year 1854 that William B Harmon removed with his family from Ohio to Boone county, where he purchased 200 acres of government land. It was virgin prairie, not a furrow having been turned nor an improvement made upon the place, but determined to have a good home here, he at once began the development of the farm and soon there was a notable change in the appearance of his land, for the tract was transformed into productive fields. At the time of his arrival there was no house nearer than Boone. The first home of the family was a log cabin, fourteen by sixteen feet, containing but one room After the first winter an addition eight by sixteen feet was built on the north end. This primitive dwelling was afterward replaced by a frame residence which still stands.
The father died July 6, 1871, and was buried in Linwood cemetery at Boone. His political views were in accord with the principles of the republican party from its organization, although all of his brothers were democrats. He was a devout member of the Universalist church in Boone, and the salient traits of his character were such as commanded for him high respect and regard. His wife died on the old homestead September 8, 1874, and was laid to rest by the side of her husband. She too was a consistent Christian, holding membership I the Universalist church. The children of this marriage were eight in number. Emma Elvira, who was born in Lorain county, Ohio became the wife of John Slocum and died in Boone county in 1897 at the age of fifty-six years. Lucy Marilla born August 12, 1942, was married January 1, 1860 to Samuel Coe and died in Boone October 17, 1907. Dewey is the third of the family. Albert Washington born March 28, 1846, married Julia Sage and now resides in Marion, Ohio. Francis Delano, born in Lorain county, Ohio near Oberlin, on June 1, 1849, was educated in Boone county schools, being five years of age when his parents removed to this county. He left school at the age of eighteen and afterward assisted in the further development and improvement of the home farm until his father died. He as married July 27, 1876, to Miss Rosie E Smith, of Boone, a daughter of Edward and Mary (Walden) Smith. Following his marriage he settled on a farm in Jackson township adjoining the old home place and later purchased 80 acres in Jackson township. He then removed to a small farm near Boone and afterward established his home in Calhoun county on October 10, 1909, settling in the town of Rinard, where he engaged in general merchandising as a partner of A J Shower. In March 1910, he withdrew form that connection and has since engaged in the buying and shipping of stick at Rinard, where he is recognized as a leading active and influential business man and citizen. He is a member of the Christian church and is politics is a progressive republican, while fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He had two children, Grace and Daisy B but both are now deceased. Harriet Loretto, the sixth member of the family of Mr and Mrs William B Harmon, was born April 11, 1852 and on April 11, 1883, became the wife of Adelbert Smith. They established their home in Charlotte, Michigan, where she passed away. Wesley born in April 1856, died in Boone in childhood. Willis Briggs, born November 19, 1861, removed to Michigan and afterward to Texas. He has made carpentering and building his life work. He as first married in Ohio and after losing his first wife was married in Texas.
Dewey Clarke Harmon was a youth of ten years when the family came to Boone. He well remembers the journey, which was made in covered wagons drawn by horses. They were more then four weeks along the way and crossed the Mississippi river at Rock Island, the boat which took them across being the first steamboat that Dewey C Harmon and his brother were ever on. After the family home was established in this count he was sent to the public schools in Jackson township , but was the only help his father had and necessity made it imperative that he remain at home much of time in order to assist in the development of the fields. It was only a few years after the arrival of the family in this county that he plowed the land with ox teams upon which Boone now stands. He worked for ten cents per day n pioneer times and drove an ox team in hauling saw logs for twenty-five cents per day. In the employ of Dr Mosier of Boone he received a wage of two dollars and a half per month. His youth was largely a period of earnest and unremitting toil, and industry has been the basis of his success. There are few important points connected with the history of the county with which he is not familiar and facts which others know only by hearsay have concerned incidents which he has witnessed an in which he has participated.
On April 4, 1876, Mr Harmon was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Ingalls Thompson, the marriage ceremony being performed in Jackson township by the Rev. Boggs, a minister of the Methodist church. Her parents were Thomas Ingalls and Lydia Phillips (Brown) Thompson. Mrs Harmon was born in Marblehead, Essex county, Massachusetts, April4, 1852, and is one of five children, the others being: Charles Edmund who married Augusta Behling and is a resident farmer of Jackson township, Thomas Ingalls also living in Jackson township, Fremont deceased, and William Henry who resides near Altoona, Kansas. Charles Thompson the paternal grandfather of Mrs Harmon was likewise a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and was a son of John Thompson who served in the Revolutionary war. He and his wife Margaret reared a family which included Charles Thompson, who possessing the military spirit of his father , defended the Untied States in the second war with England. He married Betsey Ingalls and their so, Thomas Ingalls became the father of Mrs Harmon. To Mr and Mrs Harmon have been born three children: May Lois born July 1877, and died in December 1878, Rosa Frances, who was born December 15, 1878, and after completing her education in the public schools became the wife of Fran E Johnson of Jackson township by who she has one son, Walter Harmon, and Lydia Caroline who was born October 11, 1883, and married Simon Frances Mygren now of Boone, by whom she had one child, Harmon F who died in infancy.
In political views Mr Harmon is a republican, thoroughly in sympathy with the principles of the party. He became a supporter of the party in its early history, casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. He has held minor township offices, but has never been a politician in the usually accepted sense of the term, although he is never remiss in the duties of citizenship and cooperates in all movement for the public good. He and his wife are members of the Universalist church, and in that organization and throughout the entire community they have many friends.
1914 Boone County History Book
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