MEEK, ALLEN, SANDERS, LEACH, MILLER, FLINT, FOSTER, SHARP, JOHNSON, CHRISTY, BARBER
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 22:05:48
From Portrait and Biographical Album - 1890
Robert Meek is numbered among the honored pioneer settlers of Van Buren County Iowa, and well deserves representation in this volume for he has been prominently identified with the growth and building up of the county and the advancement of its interests. By written record we can perpetuate the memory of the founders of the county and make them and their lives know to coming generations who, with gratitude, should honor them for the noble work, which they have performed.
Robert Meek was born in Wayne County Ohio, on January 25, 1815, and there spent the first fourteen years of his life. He then accompanied his parent son their emigration to St. Joseph Michigan. Near that city his father laid out the town of Constantine. In 1835, in company with his father, and brother, Johnson Meek, he went on a prospecting tour to the south visiting in Louisiana and Texas, but the latter was overrun with brigands, and not caring to make a location in the former, they returned to the north and in 1836 visited Lee County Iowa, where Johnson made a location. Although the country was then in its infancy it gave promise to rapid growth and development, and Mr. Meek determined here to locate, so after selecting land, in the spring of 1837, he retraced his steps to St Joseph Michigan, in order to removed with the family to their new home. With the exception of one son, Johnson, all came to Van Buren County, Iowa, and with the history of this community the name Meek has since been inseparably connected. The family located in what is now the town of Bonaparte, but the place had not then been founded. The county was wild, contained but a few settlers and the greater part of the land was still in its primitive condition. The first meal our subject ate was in the home of James Jordan and at the same table sat the celebrated Indian Chief, Black Hawk.
Robert Meek was three times married. In 1838, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Ann Allen and of their union was born four children, three of whom lived to mature years. Elizabeth Ann, born in 1839, is the wife of Joseph Sanders of Bonaparte; Sarah Jane is the wife of J.F. Leach of Milton, Van Buren County; and Alvira who became the wife of J.W. Miller died at her home in this county in 1884. The mother of this family went to her final rest October 3, 1845, and for his second wife Mr. Meek chose Miss Nancy Flint, a native of New York. Their union was blessed with four children, two sons and two daughters, but one of the latter died in infancy. Alinda P. is the wife of S.E. Foster of Jackson Township, Van Buren County; William married Miss Alice Sharp who died leaving two children, Alden and Effie, and for his second wife wedded Miss Maggie M. Johnson by whom he had four children—Shirley, Charlotte, Georgia and William. This family now resided in Denver, Col. [Colorado]. R. Flint married Miss Gertie Christy who is now deceased, and unto them were born four sons, of whom three are living—Carl, Harry and R. Guy. Mrs. Nancy Meek died June 1, 1853, and a third time Mr. Meek was married, that union being with Mrs. Abigail P. Barber, widow of Dudley C. Barber. She was born in St. Lawrence County New York, and by her second union became the mother of four children—Alma I., who died at the age of five years; Lewis Cass, of Bonaparte; Robert E., who is living in this county; and Oscar L. of Polk County Iowa.
Robert Meek, whose name heads this sketch, was identified with many of the leading interests of Van Buren County. Being among its earliest settlers, he shared in the trials and hardships of pioneer life. He made his home in the community when the Indians far outnumbered his white neighbors, when wild animals, such as wolves, were frequently seen and when deer and other wild game were found in abundance. The growth of the county he witnessed, watching its transformation from an unbroken wilderness to a tract of rich fertility, whose well-cultivated farms are equal to any in the state. He saw the pioneer log cabins replaced by commodious and substantial residences, villages transformed into cities and town springing up on every hand, while churches and schools have been built, thus showing the onward march of civilization.
This person is not a relative, this is to help those looking for information on this family.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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