Stephen S. Reckard
Posted By: Brandi Chandler (email)
Date: 6/23/2009 at 12:14:39
Copied from page 505 Webster and Hamilton Counties, Iowa 1888.
Stephen Reckard, owned part of section 4, Washington Township, Webster County, Iowa, was born in Madison County, New York on August 21, 1821, a son of John and Ann (Mericle) Reckard, natives also of New York and of Dutch descent. His father died in 1828 and his mother afterward married Thomas Tryon. When he was twelve years old he bagan to take care of himself and worked by the month for framers until twenty years old. He was then employed by John J. Knox to oversee a part of his large general mercantile establishment, and subsequently had charge of a stage line between Hamilton and Rome. In the early spring of 1853 h3 left New York, going by rail to Licking County, Ohio, and there purchased a team and continued his journey to Burlington, Iowa. (Reason for him stopping in Licking, Ohio, his wife Mary Theodocia Jaques had family living there.) He bought a home at Danvill, Des Moines, County, which he sold four years later and moved to Webster County. While living in Danville he was engaged various branches of business. At one time he was engaged in the general transportation and freight business, which was a great convenience to merchants, as there were no railroads in Iowa. His trips were from Burlington to Fort Dodge, a distance of about two hundred and forty miles and we consider the condition of the roads at that time and that it took two to three weeks tomake the trip, we can realize the magnitude of the undertaking. In the summer of 1857 he left Danville and moved his family to Webster County. This journey was attended by many interesting experiences. The streams were unbridged and often dangerous to cross. While driving across Skunk River, which was swollen and rapid, a wagon of furniture was upset and much of the furniture was not recovered until the next day. He rented the farm now owned by Samuel Heffner for about four years, and in the meantime bought land on sections 28 and 29, Washington Township, which he still owns. He next bought his present homstead which one of the best in the township. He continued to add to his landed estate until he owned 900 acres, and now owns 600 acres of choice farming land. He also owns a quarter section in Story County. Mr. Reckard and W. K. Harding built and operated the first grain elevator in Duncombe, Iowa in 1867. Mr. Reckard was married in 1841 to Mary Theodcia Jaques. They have had a family of six children, five sons and one daughter. Their eldest son Miner Darius, died June 29, 1885, leaving a wife and four children, two sons and two daughters, who live on the homestead in Roland Township. The only daughter Mary Delila, is teh wife of Phineas Porter of Washington Township: Ira D. lives in Roland Township: John J., Charles Alexander, and Phineas Eugene, live in Washington Township. The later was married December 21, 1887, to Abbie, daughter of William Jamieson, of Washington Township. In Politics Mr. Reckard is a Republican. Thus briefly have we sketched the life of one of Webster County's early pioneers. The best years of his life have been spent here and few have done more to develop its resources and improve the county than he. He has been an honorable generous business man and has frequenty sacrificed his own interests to benefit and assit those who needed aid and none are held in higher esteem and regarded with more respect than Mr. Reckard, and he can look back with satisfaction over the years spent in Webster County, and can fully enjoy the fruits he is now reaping, as the reward of early industry and good management.
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