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Orpha Melissa Howard


Posted By: Carol (email)
Date: 4/14/2008 at 14:06:26

Elkader's first permanent residents arrived in 1836 when Elisha Boardman and Horace Bronson settled on the banks of the Turkey River in Pony Hollow. Boardman established the first farm and together with other early settlers built the first schoolhouse.

The first school-house in the township was erected in Pony Hollow and was built of logs. The school was taught by Miss Melissa Howard. (sister inlaw to Olmstead) Here also were held the first religous meetings. An itinerant preacher, Rev. Sidney Wood, would come occasionally and exhort to the few scattered settlers.

From the book History of Isaac Howard of Foster Rhode Island and his Descendants by Daniel Howard, printed in 1901

On page 55 some information about Orpha Melissa Howard she was born in Columbus, N.Y., January 8, 1825; moved with her father's family to Concord, Erie county, PA, in 1828. When sixteen years of age she journeyed alone by boat and stage coach to Iowa, where for five years she was engaged as a school teacher in the vicinity of Prairie du Chien (Wis.), and at a reservation for the Winnebago Indians. Her pioneer life was full of adventure. During an Indian massacre she took refuge for a week in Fort McGregor, and was within the fort during an attack made upon it by the Sioux. Subsequently she spent some time in Minnesota, where life was then a round of thrilling experience and adventure. She returned East.

Orpha Melissa Howard arrived in Prairie du Chien (Wis.), about 1843. Before she arrived in Iowa her sisters Lucy, Emily (Emma), and her brother Freedom "Freed" Howard moved to the area.


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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