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Cherokee County Biographies

Lewis James McCulla

LEWIS JAMES McCULLA is one of the three original homesteaders still living in Spring Township.  He settled upon the land which is now his home in the spring of 1870, and his farm now consists of 700 acres of fine land, lying principally in O'Brien County.  Mr. McCulla was born in Montreal, Canada, September 20, 1843, and is the eldest of four children; the others are Ellen, Sarah, and the well-known editor of the Cherokee Times.  When but a boy our subject removed with his family to Buffalo, New York, and in 1857 he migrated to Iowa, and settled in Muscatine County.  At the age of fifteen years he secured a position on a river steamboat, and for three years followed the river.  He then decided to further fit himself for the battle of life by learning a trade, and accordingly entered a machine shop at Muscatine, Iowa, working one year, in which he made satisfactory progress.  It was at that time there was a call for men to go to the defense of this nation's flag, and Mr. McCulla responded, enlisting in Company H, Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry.  At Lake Providence, Louisiana, he was transferred to the Sixty-first Missouri Light Artillery, with which he served until the battle of Atlanta, when he was sent on a foraging expedition, and was captured by guerrillas, and for six months was confined in prison.  But one besides himself of the eight men captured from his county came out alive.  He had participated in may of the severest battles of the war, among them Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, Meadow Station and Vicksburg.  He received his discharge at St. Louis and returned to his old Iowa home.  There he engaged in farming until 1869, when he went to what is now the flourishing village of Creston, Iowa,  and there assisted in building the first house in that place.  The following spring he came to Cherokee County and secured his home.  He devotes  his time and energies especially to live-stock, breeding and shipping.  He feeds from two to four car-loads annually, and 150 head of hogs.  Mr. McCulla was married in Cherokee County to Miss Mary Adel Coleman, a daughter of Philo G. and Rachel (Baldwin) Coleman.  They have had six children born to them: Walter, Carrie, Ben B., Thomas, Mary and Asa.  Philo G. Coleman removed from New York to Iowa, settling in Johnson County.  In 1872 he came to Cherokee County, and since that time has made it his home.  Politically Mr. McCulla is a Republican and is one of the leading men of his party in Spring Township.  

 Source: Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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