[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

Cyrus Fulkerson (1833-1923)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 9/24/2022 at 19:23:53

Cyrus Fulkerson
(August 30, 1833 November 1, 1923)

The name of Cyrus Fulkerson is inseparably interwoven with the history of the pioneer development in Calhoun County. He has for many years maintained his residence here. At the time of his arrival the land was still in possession of the government, the prairies were, wild and unimproved, pioneer conditions existed and many hardships and difficulties had to be borne by the early settlers, but they laid the foundation of the present development and progress of this portion of the state, and to them is due a debt of gratitude for what they accomplished on behalf of Calhoun County. Mr. Fulkerson was born in Montour County, Pennsylvania, August 30, 1833, and is the son of Robert and Leah (Bauchert) Fulkerson, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and were of Holland descent. John Fulkerson, the grandfather Of our subject, settled in the Keystone state at a very early date. In 1840 the family removed to Elkhart, Indiana. The father was a farmer and carpenter and in the later years of his life gave his attention exclusively to the latter pursuit. The mother died in Pennsylvania, when the son Cyrus was only two or three days old, also leaving a daughter, Lucy A., who became the wife of D. L. Huffman, but both of them are now deceased. The father married the second time and died in 1882, at the age of seventy-eight years.
Cyrus Fulkerson, the subject of this review, accompanied his parents on their various removals, and in the common schools he pursued his education, and came to Indiana in 1850. He came west, driving across the prairies from Elkhart with two yoke of cattle, camping by the wayside at night. He had purchased some land in Jackson Township, Calhoun County, before coming, and in the fall of i860 he reached his destination, spending the winter on the Coon River.
While in Indiana he had engaged in the manufacture of shingles for about twelve years, and when he reached Calhoun County he believed that he might follow the same pursuit profitably, so he ordered a shingle machine and became identified with the industrial interests of the community. On the 15th of September, 1861, he wedded Sarah E. Stephenson, the daughter of James and Mary (Groves) Stephenson. Mrs. Fulkerson is a native of Kosciusko County, Indiana, and with her mother came to the west in 1856, settling in Greene County, Iowa. The winter following was the coldest one known in the history of the state. The prairie fire burned all of their hay and in consequence most of their cattle perished. The family endured many hardships and trials during that winter, experiencing all the difficulties that fall to the lot of the pioneer. Mrs. Fulkerson was the youngest of a family of six children, of whom four are still living. Her eldest sister, Elizabeth, became the wife of William Moore, and both are now deceased. Margaret married Isaac Ritchie, of
Cedar Creek, Greene County. Eliza is the wife of Henry Kelley, of Warsaw, Indiana, who served in the Mexican war; and William G. is a resident of Churdan, Greene County. The mother of this family was again married, and her death occurred September 10. 1875, on the old homestead in Greene County. She was a native of Hamilton County, Ohio, and was most faithfully devoted to her family, accomplishing much for their welfare. In the fall of 1861 Mr. and Mrs. Fulkerson took up their abode on the site of their present home. He purchased his farm, which is now a part of Lake City, for six
dollars per acre, and upon the place was a log cabin. He also bought fifty acres east of his present residence, and on it stands a large cottonwood tree which he planted about the time of his arrival. Mr. Fulkerson had been educated in select schools of Pennsylvania, where he studied higher mathematics and surveying, and here he followed surveying for a time. Near the cottonwood tree he also built a shingle mill, which he operated by hand, Mrs. Fulkerson sometimes aiding him in cutting shingles, also in carrying on the work of the farm and harvest fields. She has indeed been to him a faithful companion and helpmate on the journey of life. As the years passed Mr. Fulkerson added to his original purchases until he has owned one hundred and seventy acres of valuable land. Of this he has sold forty acres, which was divided into city lots, laying out the divide in 1882, since which time he has sold all but two of the lots. The place is known as the Fulkerson addition, and is one of the desirable residence portions of the town. In addition to his land that is now included within the corporation limits of Lake City, Mr. Fulkerson has a fine tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres elsewhere. He has bought and sold considerable real estate here and has owned some valuable city property here and in Des Moines. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Fulkerson has been blessed with ten children: George H. and William, both of whom are residents of Lake City; Elmer, who died at the age of fourteen months; C. Perry, also of Lake City; Walter Scott, of Lytton; Cyrus B., who is living near Lake City; Vinnie Bell,
who married M. L. Keever, of Des Moines; Emma L., the wife of A. V. Kettells; Frank, who died at the age of eighteen months; and Mary Edna, who is at home with her parents. Mr. Fulkerson served as township clerk at an early date, before the counties were divided, and was also school director for a number of years. His wife is a member of the Christian church. They are indeed honored pioneers of the county, having witnessed almost its entire development. At the time of their arrival there was a residence in Lake City occupied by Charles Amy and his two sons. That building and the old wooden courthouse were the only structures in the town. Elk and deer were very plentiful, and when Mrs. Fulkerson was a girl in Greene County she saw herds of as many as one hundred elk. Wheat brought only twenty-five cents per bushel and flour cost ten dollars for one hundred pounds in those times, and Des Moines was the nearest market, Mr. Fulkerson hauling his grain to that place, a distance of eighty miles. He would drive ox-teams to the city and would there obtain his mail, until a post office was established nearer his home. The old log cabin in which his family lived for ten years has been moved out on the prairie and is now used as a part of a residence. Indians sometimes visited the neighborhood and everything bespoke of the wild and unimproved condition of the country. Mr. Fulkerson cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864, and has since been a stanch Republican, but has never sought or desired office, other than those mentioned, preferring to give his time and attention to his business affairs, in which he has met with excellent results, so that now he is enabled to live a retired life. No men in the county were more widely known and none deserve higher esteem than this honored pioneer settler. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S.J. Clarke, 1902, p.365]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]