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Dr. Robert Jones Sturdivant


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/4/2001 at 19:26:26

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties 1890 County
Dr. Robert J. Sturdivant, deceased, is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Van Buren County and was one of its leading citizens. As he was widely known, and as he was greatly instrumental in the building up of the county and the advancement of its best interests, we feel this work would be incomplete without his sketch. He was a native of Virginia, his birth having occurred in Abingdon on September 18, 1804. His parents were Anthony and Jemima Sheckleford Sturdivant. His father was a highly educated man and held a professorship in Abingdon College where our subject acquired the greater part of his education. While yet quite young in years, he went to Sullivan County Tennessee, where he taught school and studied medicine. In 1830, he was united in marriage with Miss Ann Smithson and the following year removed with his young wife to Salina Indiana, where he embarked in the prosecution of his chosen profession. Scarcely had the Black Hawk War been brought to a close and the contested territory opened for settlement, than the Doctor determined to seek a home in that locality. Suiting the action to the word, in the autumn of 1836, he started for the land beyond the Mississippi and made a settlement in Van Buren County Iowa, which was then a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. That was his last move, for so admirably was he suited and so prosperous were his undertakings that he had no desire to go elsewhere. He purchased land and erected a humble pioneer cabin and like the other hardy early settlers began to develop the wild prairie and make a home. The same land on which he located was the place of his residence at the time of his death yet the changes, which had there been wrought, were very great.
Sorrow visited the pioneer home in 1843, Dr. Sturdivant suffering the loss of his wife and two children who were called fro this earth to the better land. In 1845, he was again married, his second union being with Miss Margaret Cavin who still survives her husband. Sixteen children were born unto them, but only nine are still living.
The Doctor by the exercise of thrift and industry, supplemented by good business ability, became one of the substantial farmers of Van Buren County, and as a result of his forty-four years of patient toil he left his family in comfortable circumstances. He was a man of fixed purpose and determination and unswerving integrity. When he believed himself to be in the right nothing could deter him form pursuing the path which he had marked out, and his upright course won him both the confidence and high regard of those with whom business or social relations brought him in contact. A firm believer in the truths of the Bible he met death fearlessly, anticipating joyfully the life beyond the grave. The community however, lost one of its worthiest citizens, his friends an interesting and instructive associate, and his family a devoted husband and father.
After the death of the Doctor, Mrs. Sturdivant married George W. Sturdivant, half brother of her former husband, and is now a resident of Bonaparte, Iowa.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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