Another IAGenWeb Project


(From "Nashua Reporter, 1955, Page 25, Centennial Edition)

Charlotte Springer Wrote Account of Family's Role in Settlement of County
(Written In 1954)

....This story was told to me, Charlotte Lou Springer, age 12, grade 6, by my father, Earl Springer, Nashua, Iowa. I will try to weave a little history and a little personal interest into a story.
....My father, Earl L. Springer, was born on a farm in Chickasaw township. This farm is now owned and operated by Amos Springer. My great-grandfather, William Springer, had come from Germany when he was fourteen years old. After his marriage he proceeded to carve a farm out of the timber. These old timbers north of Nashua along the two Cedar Rivers acquired their farms a few acres at a time, often times buying the timber and being given the land [sic].
....My grandfather, Roy Springer, passed away before my father was a year old. Then Daddy lived in Nashua until he was about 13, when his mother and stepfather, Geo. Pierson (henceforth known as Grandpa) moved on Grandpa's home farm in Richland township, located on the West Union road. This is the old stage road between McGregor and Historical Bradford.
....This farm has been in the Pierson family for approximately sixty years. And, incidently, I was born there on April 30, 1942. The center of the house is the original old house. In the early days there were no barns; just strawsheds. This part of Richland township wasn't considered very valuable because it was too far from the rivers and timber. But now, if properly tiled, is very good farm land. The early settlers had a very hard time but they were happy, living close to family and home.
....Grandpa and his brothers, in addition to their farming, had a dance orchestra. They would drive a team on a democrat wagon with a small organ in the rear when they played in towns close by but when they went farther they would drive their rig to Nashua, then either take the train or would get Mr. Bert Leaman, who ran a livery stable and is still one of our respected citizens, to drive them.
....Grandpa Pierson at one time hauled milk from Bradford to the Republic Creamery. The milk was separated and then the skim milk was hauled back to the farms. Our local Chris Lange was another old timer who hauled milk to Republic. Grandpa's family also ran a threshing machine in season. And they also did custom wood sawing in the winter. There are many farmsteads which have disappeared as the farms were made larger. One business of which very few people are familiar was a blacksmith shop in the mile south of the Castor school which I attend now. My father says he was born and lived in a wonderful age. He grew up and lived before the modern age and when he was about thirty years old rural America started to modernize.
....When Daddy was in his teens they were still driving buggies and sleds on the road. I have heard him tell of driving a team home from Nashua after attending a basketball game when it was thirty-five below zero. There were two feed sheds or livery barns in Nashua. In later years one was run by my mother's father, Frank Dann. They were both huge barns but lots of times they didn't have room to house all the teams that came to town. Daddy tells another story: he and Grandpa were going over a piece of road one forenoon, early in the spring, there had been a lot of snow that winter. The snow in the road was piled and packed very deep. This road ran across a little slough or dry run, the melting snow had dammed up above this particular place and the snow in the road had soaked up with water. When Grandpa drove out onto it, it gave way letting the horses down into about eight feet of snow and water. Daddy was behind with another sled and he thought Grandpa's team would surely drown. But they struggled and finally fought their way to solid footing. Daddy didn't dare drive out on the bad place so he turned around and drove through the field across the cement bridge which was built by Mr. R. H. Boice who now lives on a farm south of Greenwood.
....Grandpa and his brothers once drove a steam thresher weighing many tons across the same bridge.
....Across the road from our home is the C. W. Hanson farm, another old family farm. Mr. Hanson's father, Cyrus K. Hanson, came to their farm from Caledonia, Ill. in 1879. He brought with him four horses and almost enough machinery to farm with. It cost him $11.40 to make the trip. On March 18, 1954 Mother and Daddy drove to Nashua to help Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Hanson celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Think of the comparison. They drove over in a nice warm auto, it was raining a little but that made no difference. Forty years ago Mr. and Mrs. Hanson went in a surrey.
....Our farm buildings went through the 1918 cyclone. Some of our neighbors buildings were completely demolished. We also have some land in Bradford township which was owned many years by the Morse borthers, old time residents of the community. Their family had a lot to do with pioneer history.
....When we go to town we go through old Bradford, past the house of seven gables, the Little Borwn Church and the old Academy.

Contributed by Claudia Groh. Transcribed by Mike Peterson.