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Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/12/2020 at 21:12:08

Sketch of One of the Pioneers Who Passed Away at His Home in this City

Early Monday morning Geo. W. Lebourveau died at his home in this city – not unexpectedly, for his demise had been looked for some time. In his death one of the pioneer citizens passed away. George W. Lebourveau was one of the original pioneer band which made up the Milford Colony and was an important factor in the organization and development of Cherokee county. Mr. Lebourveau was born in the town of Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, August 28, 1827, and was the second son of a family of eight children, three boys and five girls, only two of whom survive. His father’s name was George, and he was also a native of the old “Granite State”; his mother’s maiden name was Betsey Bliss, a native of Massachusetts, of English descent; the father was of French extraction. The parents remained in New Hampshire until the death of the father, at which George W was two years of age. When he was seven years old he left home and worked on a farm until he was seventeen years old. He then began to work for the railroad company on the line between Boston and Rutland, Vermont, via Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was overseer of the construction department for three years, and then became overseer of construction on the Norfolk Railway, serving in that capacity for three years. After leaving the work of railroad building, he engaged in the boot and shoe trade at Milford, Massachusetts, remaining there until 1856, when the Emigration society was formed. He became a member of that colony. After piloting the company through to the “promised land,” Mr. Lebourveau’s first work was to assist in staking out and surveying the lands taken up by the colony. During his first year’s residence he helped break prairie sod, and built four log houses, which afforded many of the members quite a comfortable during that never-to-be-forgotten “hard winter” of 1856-57. It may here be stated that the country was anything but homelike and pleasant to a person reared in the New England states. In the fall of 1856, Mrs. Lebourveau made a visit to their old home at Milford, Massachusetts, and Mr. Lebourveau in the 1858 returning in the spring of 1859. At the breaking out of the rebellion he became a member of Company I, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and was sent to the frontier against the depredations of the desperadoes and Indians. He served three years and was honorably discharged in November 1864; he took an active part in the battle of White Stone Hill, Dakota, where the soldiers met with heavy loss. After receiving his discharge from the United States service he took up a homestead, part of which is the present site of Cherokee; he claimed eighty acres, which he improved, his house being the first erected within the town limits. Unfortunately he disposed of his land several years before land raised but received all it was worth at the time he sold it.

Mr. Lebourveau was married in October 1849 to Miss Sarah J. Cook, at Providence, Rhode Island. She was a native of Bellingham, Massachusetts, and died at her home in Cherokee, February 5, 1885. Three children were born of this marriage: one of who survives, Cora M.

Politically, our pioneer friend was a republican, and has of ten times been honored with county township and city offices. He was elected the first treasurer and recorder of the county, held the office of county supervisor for three terms, served as assessor and trustee, and was elected the first mayor of New Cherokee, holding the office two terms, and acquitting himself with credit, and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He was Commander of Custer Post, No. 25, Grand Army of the Republic, at Cherokee. About a year and a half ago, the deceased was married to Mrs. Hanks who survives him. The funeral services were held from the M.E. church Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and were under the charge of the G.A.R.

Source: Cherokee Weekly Times, Cherokee, Iowa, Thursday, April 19, 1894, pg. 1


Cherokee Obituaries maintained by Cindy Booth Maher.
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