Early Calhoun County History
Richard Bunting was born in the state of New York on the 28th of February 1817 where he lived until 1832 when, with his father's family, he moved to Toledo, Ohio. He resided here for ten years when he emigrated to the at that time wonderful Eldorado of the west, Cass county, Michigan. Two years afterward he was married to Miss Lois Gill of Ohio, and still resided in Michigan until 1854 when he moved to Iowa and became one of the early pioneers of Calhoun county.
His first location and choice has been his home until a year ago when he retired from the farming business and moved to Lake City, where, amid the association of his friend, and acquaintances, he will probably spend the remainder of his days. His wife who had been in poor health for many years died in 1888.
Richard Bunting, as a man and citizen, has been so well and favorably known for so many years among his neighbors and contemporaries that but little could be added to this record further, and that for coming generations, than that he acted well and faithfully his part as neighbor, citizen, and pioneer, and that he has lived to see the result of that small beginning of 37 years ago.
Joel Golden was born in Logan county, Ohio, and came to Cass county, Michigan, it is understood, in 1845. From here he came to Iowa and Calhoun county as previously mentioned in 1854. He remained until 1858 when he went to Ida county where he died at a good old age.
Joel Golden appears to have been somewhat capable in point of clerical ability for he was elected and was the first man to fill the position of County Clerk in the county.
Of Allen McCoy who came from Michigan in 1855 but little is known further than that he lived here until 1858 when he moved west and located near the line between Kansas and Nebraska. His attainments as a hunter were wonderful, especially as indicated in one or two elk slaughtering transactions that took place. His general character was good.
Alford White, one of the pioneers of 1854, was born in the state of New York and came to Michigan at an early day and finally to Calhoun county. After a residence near Lake City of about 30 years he went further west and is now a citizen of the new state of Montana where, though in poor health, it is understood his circumstances are prosperous financially. Mr. White in the matter of his likes and dislikes was somewhat pronounced in his opinions, of generous and hospitable disposition, and endured without complaint the hardships and privations of those long years of pioneer life. In closing this chapter and at this stage of our work it may be proper to state that brief as has been the biographical mention thus far will be a necessity for the exercise of still greater brevity in speaking of those who came later, in order to avoid overstepping the bounds or exceeding the limit allotted to this part of the work.
During the time from the fall of 1855 to the fall of 1858 the population of the county was much increased. Among those coming at this time were Josiah Lumpkins and his two sons, John R.M. and Zeke: Jesse Hutchinson and his family consisting of wife and two sons, Norman and Henry, and two daughters, Olive and Estella , the former the wife of James Reynolds, and latter of whom married a few years later to Mortimer Lumpkins; W.W. Ripley, his wife and family who came from Missouri and formerly from Tennessee; P.G. Hull who died in the spring of 1860. Reverend Sylvestor McGeorge and family; Moses Sherman and family; Roma Maranville and family; George Gray and large family, mostly of grown up sons and daughters; Jonathan Manlove who married some time after he came, to a daughter of Alfrord White; Lucius C. Morey and family; John U. Skinner and family; E.M. Reynolds and family; and during the cold winter of 1856 arrived Reuben Davis Smith the first born of Calhoun county. Rube, as he is generally called now is accredited with being well posted on the merits and demerits of horse flesh; so much so that it is said of him that what he does not know about a horse is hardly worth mentioning.
In the fall of 1856 came Greenlee Scott and family of wife and two sons, James B. and Hiram, and two daughters. Greenlee Scott and wife died with but the interval of one day between their death in the year of 1881. Greenlee Scott was born in Ohio in 1807 and came to Cass county, Michigan in 1835 and was of course one of the early pioneers of that country so that he passed through the experience of early settler's life twice in his life, in youth and in old age.
Of this number above mentioned Josiah Lumpkins after having been an honored and much respected citizen of our county for nearly 18 years died in 1875 near Lake City at the age of 78 years.
Jesse Hutchinson was born in 1806 in the state of Vermont, moved from there to the state of New York and from there to the state of Michigan in the year 1833 and finally to Iowa in 1857, and died in the spring of 1880 at the age of 73 years. The sorrow on his passing away was felt by all whether acquaintances, friends, or relatives. His aged wife resides with her son, Norman R. Hutchinson of Rockwell City. James Reynolds enlisted in the 10th Iowa regiment and died at Birds Point, Missouri, in 1862.
Geo. Gray moved to Nebraska several years ago and met his death in a railroad accident something over a year ago. Jonathan Manlove went west in 1863 where, it is understood, he is still living. Mr. Manlove bought and improved to some extent the farm embracing Manlove grove and now owned by J.M. Stewart. E.M. Reynolds moved to Kansas in 1880, where he still lives.
From 1858 up to the year 1861 considerable addition was made to the population but from this time until the close of the war the rate of increase was light. In fact during this later period an interruption took place with everything; immigration ceased, opening out and improving new farms was suspended to a great extent, and matters, whether of business progress, or otherwise, were in a stand still condition.
Population at the close of the war remained with slight exception within the limits of the locality occupied by the first two years of settlement; so that the country, although becoming more thickly settled at the place of beginning, was not being improved over a very extensive area of territory. A congressional township and a half still held nearly all the inhabitants and without being crowded. The only town in the county, Lake City, was but the smallest kind of a village, and railroads and corporations and mercantile establishments and banks were but the flimsiest dream of the imagination.
Among those who came still later was Henry Sifford in 1861, W.W. Zane in 1862, David Parker in 1864, Jonathan Bishop, John Russel, and Fred Hucke about the same time.
Henry Sifford was a native of Virginia, spending the early part of his life in Michigan, coming to Iowa at time above mentioned. Mr. Sifford was a prominent citizen of his county and when the Black Hawk war broke out served his country faithfully. The Sifford farm, north of Lake City where he spent his days is one of the landmarks of pioneer life.
Mr. W.W. Zane come from Michigan, his native state, in 1862 and located on Coon River, but latterly he has located in Lake City where he lives at peace with all men and enjoys the fruits of his earnest toil.
Uncle David Parker is known for his earnest faith in the Christian religion and his consistent walk in life which gives peace to him in his declining years. He with his wife and seven children came to this county in 1864, locating in Lake City. For years Mr. Parker was faithful at his forge, the only blacksmith shop in the county, and dealt honorably with all men.
Johnathan Bishop came to America from England in 1834, becoming a resident of Calhoun county in 1864, where he resided until his death in 1891. Mr. Bishop was a man of strong convictions, earnest devotion and a noble citizen, living a true Christian life exhorting other to repentance.
John Russel is a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1831, moving to Ohio in an early day with his young wife, thence to Michigan, and in 1864, he became one of the pioneer tillers of the soil of Calhoun county. Mr. Russel has been a pioneer among pioneers and a man among men, the same without variation.
Fred Hucke, a native of Germany, was one of those industrious, honest and frugal farmers that is bound to carve out a livelihood even in the labyrinth of adversities. Fr years he labored hard with his industrious family and built up a reasonable fortune, dying in 1886 with honor to his name.