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McCULLA, L. J. - 1914


Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 7/10/2009 at 08:35:51

Cherokee County
by Thomas McCulla


Among the early residents of Cherokee county and among the men who have been active in inaugurating and shaping the agricultural development of Spring township is numbered L. J. McCulla, who homesteaded land here in 1870 and has operated it continuously since that time. He has gained for himself a prominent place in farming circlesi and is, moreover, entitled to representation in this volume as a veteran of the Civil war. He was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1842, a son of John and Elizabeth (Livsey) McCulla, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of England. They moved to Buffalo, New York, where the mother died in 1848. Mr. McCulla later married Sarah Mercer and they lived in Canada for several years, the father dying there. The family afterward moved to New York state, settling in Buffalo, where they remained until 1857. In that year they came to Muscatine, Iowa, and in 1880 Mrs. McCulla and daughter Sarah moved to Nebraska, where the mothers death occurred. In this family were seven children, of whom the subject of this review, Thomas McCulla, of Cherokee, Iowa, and Mrs. Sarah Houston, of Niobrara, Nebraska, still survive.

L. J. McCulla began his independent career when he was sixteen years of age, working at various occupations from that time until 1861. In that year he enlisted in Company H, Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and after serving for two years reenlisted, later being transferred to Battery C, First Missouri Light Artillery. He was taken prisoner September 8, 1864, near Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, and was sent to Florence prison, South Carolina, where he was held until after the close of the war. He was mustered out in 1865 and returned to Musca tine, where he took charge of his mothers farm, operating this until 1869. In that year he moved to Cherokee county and in 1870 homesteaded a quarter section of land in Spring township, a property which has remained his home to the present time. Through the years he has steadily carried forward the work of development and has added to his holdings from time to time, owning today seven hundred and eighty acres in one farm. Five hundred acres are in a high state of cultivation, and the property reflects everywhere in its excellent condition and attractive appearance the many years of care and labor which the owner has bestowed upon it.

In 1873 Mr McCulla married Miss Mary A. Coleman, a native of New York state and a daughter of Philo G. and Rachel (Baldwin) Coleman, also natives of the Empire state, where their marriage occurred. They afterward moved to Michigan, where the mother died in 1861. The father then returned to New York and from that state enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Ninth Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the Civil war. After his discharge he came to Johnson county, this state, and in 1872 moved to Cherokee county, where he purchased land, following farming in this locality until his death, which occurred in 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman became the parents of five children, three of whom survive: Mary A., wife of the subject of this review; Henry, who lives in Louisiana; and Ida, the wife of Michael Smith, of Egan, South Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. McCulla have become the parents of nine children: John Thomas, who died when he was one year of age; Walter P., who was born in 1876, was graduated in law from the State University and afterward served in the Spanish American war; Mrs. Carrie Coffman, who was born in 1878 and who is the wife of a prominent stock commission merchant of Omaha, Nebraska; Ben B., who was born in 1880 and who now resides in Cherokee county; Roy, whose birth occurred in 1881 and who was graduated in dentistry from the State University; Thomas H., who was born in 1883 and resides in Parker, South Dakota; Mary Ellin, whose birth occurred in 1886; Asa, who was born in 1887 and who makes his home in OBrien county; and Sam, who lives at home. All of the children have received a good education in their chosen lines of work, and the daughters have engaged in teaching.

Mr. McCulla is a republican in his political beliefs. Living in Cherokee county for fortyfour years, he is one of the best known citizens of this locality and is widely recognized as a man of tried integrity and worth, of business enterprise and unaltering diligence.


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