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Matthew Q. Cretcher


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/2/2001 at 20:21:02

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties - 1890

Matthew Q. Cretcher, a prominent farmer and pioneer settler of Van Buren County, residing in
Milton, was born in Champaign County, Ohio, April 20, 1821, and is a son of Jabez and Nancy
Pollock Cretcher. His father was born in Delaware in 1791, and removed with his parents to
Kentucky in childhood, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits, removing thence to
Champaign County Ohio in 1814. The Cretcher family is of English origin, and was founded in
America by three brothers who emigrated to this country in early Colonial times. One of these
brothers was the great grandfather of our subject. His son, M.Q. Cretcher, was born in
Maryland, was an only son and at the age of fifteen years enlisted in the War of the
Revolution. He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and served until the colonies
had secured their independence. Mr. Cretcher’s mother was born in Delaware, about 1794,
and died in Miami Township, Logan County Ohio in 1878.
When a babe of two years our subject was taken by his parents to Logan County Ohio, where
is received a common school education, and was reared on a farm. He learned the carpenter
and joiner trade, and in 1842 came to Van Buren County Iowa, with his father, looking for a
location. Returning to Ohio that fall he spent the winter and spring in his native state, and in
July 1843, returned to Iowa on foot and alone. For a few years after coming to this county he
worked at his trade in order to secure money to enter land and make a home. The year 1846
saw the realization of his hopes in the former particular. He entered eighty acres of land lying
on Sections 11 and 14, Des Moines Township, and adjacent to the southern boundary of the
state. From that time his success seemed assured, and to his possessions he added from time
to time until he is now the owner of seven hundred and two acres. There are two hundred and
forty acres in the homestead farm in Des Moines Township, one hundred and eighty acres
joining it, but lying in Missouri, another farm of one hundred and sixty two acres in Missouri,
and eighty acres in Hancock County Iowa.
Mr. Cretcher was married in Scotland County Missouri on January 31, 1847, to Miss Lucinda
Sayre, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Sayre, and a native of Preston County Virginia, born
May 3, 1827. When nine years of age she went with her parents to Ohio, and in 1841 came
with them to Van Buren County. Both are now deceased, the father having departed this life in
July 1846, at the age of fifty years, while the mother’s death occurred in April 1880, at the age
of seventy four. Both died in Scotland County, Missouri where their remains were laid to rest.
A family of nine children has been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cretcher, four sons and
five daughters, and the family circle remains yet unbroken. William the eldest born December
30, 1847, married Miss Josephine Meredith and is now farming in Des Moines Township;
Lycurgus, born September 7, 1849m wedded Ella Fix, and is also farming in Des Moines
Township; Elizabeth Ann, born September 1, 1851, is the wife of Charles Langford, a resident
farmer of the same township; Daniel, who was born August 26, 1854, carries on the old
homestead; Lucy Jane, born January 7, 1857, is the wife of John Bell, a farmer of Vernon
township, Van Buren County; Ida May, wife of Franklin Case of Johnson Township, Scotland
County Missouri, was born June 14, 1854; Mary Frances, born September 17, 1861, is the
wife of J.W. Smith a farmer of Des Moines Township; Lucinda born July 19, 1865, wedded
Henry Davis, of Woodson County Kansas; and Matthew Q. the youngest, who was born June
2, 1873, is pursuing his studies in the Milton High School.
Mr. Cretcher continued his residence upon his farm in Des Moines Township until October
1889, when he temporarily removed to Milton for the purpose of affording his youngest son
better facilities for education. In politics he as a Free soil Democrat until the organization of the
Republican Party, when he joined its ranks, voting for Fremont in 1856, and for each
successive Republican candidate since that time, including Benjamin Harrison, our present
Executive. In his religious views he is liberal, and does not affiliate with any sect or
denomination. He was made a Mason in 1856, being initiated into the mysteries of that order
in Mt sterling Lodge, now Aurora Lodge, No. 50, A.F. & A.M. and has since maintained his
connection with the fraternity, being now a member of Apollo Lodge, No. 461, A.F. & A.M. of
Cantril. Throughout his entire life Mr. Cretcher has always been a hard working, industrious
man, of temperate habits, and of correct business principles. He is recognized as a man of
superior judgment and practical sense, unpretending and plain in manner, and of
unquestioned integrity. He has reared a large family, and has lived to see them become useful
and respected members of society and enjoying comfortable homes; while he has by prudent
management and patient industry, accumulated a large and valuable property.
I am not related, and am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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