History of Clayton County, Iowa
1882
Chapter XVII

ILLUSTRIOUS AND PROMINENT DEAD

(page 570)
Clayton County has furnished some of her ablest and best men to people the "City of the Dead". It is here proposed to give short sketches of some of the prominent ones who have passed away. These are arranged alphabetically:

Hon. P.G. Bailey * Elisha Boardman * Horace D. Bronson * Major E.V. Carter * Hon. Timothy Davis
Hon. M.L. Fisher * John W. Gillett * Willard Knight * Dr. John Linton * Dr. Samuel Little
Alexander McGregor * Hon. E. Odell * Eliphalet Price * Robert R. Read * Louis Reuther
John Schroeder * Rev. Samuel P. Sloan * Allen E. Wemzer * Dr. Amos Warner



Hon. P.G. Bailey
(page 570-573)

P.G. Bailey was born in Uniontown, Pa., Feb. 9, 1819, and was of Quaker descent. though he did not adopt the religious ideas of his parentage in the letter, he held to the general tenor of the Quaker ideas in the spirit throughout all of his life. Though naturally a reverent man, and at all times liberal to churches in the vicinity where he lived, a connection with any one church was never formed by him. His high estimation of the Bible was evidenced when at the death of his mother he requested that the family Scriptures might become his own.

In 1845 Mr. Bailey came West, and for some time resided at Colesburg, and in 1852 be became a citizen of Clayton County, engaging in the milling business in Mallory Township. The business of miller was a trade he had learned in all its departments, but he only engaged in it a few years with a brother, after he was married, when in 1853 he removed to the present homestead. A log house was built, and the farm opened and cultivated by degrees, until at present it is one of the largest and best farms in the county, containing 1,000 acres. As a farmer Mr. Bailey became very successful. Very industrious, and always living in comfort in proportion to his means, he soon amassed a competency and became an influential member of society, socially and politically. He placed a high estimation upon the education of his family; was resorted to for counsel by all who knew him; he was an excellent business man, always ready to give others the benefit of cool, wise reflection, and never failing to meet an appointment. Of a fine social nature, he was never known to be other than kind and indulgent. Above all, he was not a man who lived to himself alone, and there are many who will never forget the extreme cordiality with which he greeted every one who came to his doors.

Mr. Bailey may be said to have been a model in his public life, and he has represented the people in many positions of trust. Possessing a good common-school education, based upon the good judgement of common sense, he took a decided stand upon every question of important issue. In the office of county supervisor he became intimate with the ways and customs of the people, and in 1868 he represented this county in the Lower House of the Legislature. Aside from political distinction, Mr. Bailey has been honored with many civil honores. He has been one of the managing officers of the district fair ever since it was organized, at first Director, then Treasurer and Vice-President, and this year President. Whatever success has been attained by this association is largely due to the energy of its late president. He has for many years been a Director and stock holder in the First National Bank of McGregor, and during his connection was never known to miss attending ameeting of its officers. He was also interested in the bank at Elkader. Politically, P.G. Bailey was a staunch Republican, and always stood ready to aid his country and uphold the sacred cause of free and united government by the people. He died Oct. 21, 1878.


Elisha Boardman
(page 573-575)

This early pioneer of Clayton County and Boardman Township was born at Princeton, Conn., Oct. 25, 1781, six days after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, amidst the rejoicings of the American colonies. When quite young his parents died, and he went to live with his grandparents, where he remained until sixteen years old. Then, with an older brother, he went to Grand Isle, Vt., where, by his untiring energy and industry, he accumulated a considerable property, married an estimable woman, and had a daughter born to him. At the age of about fifty his wife died. He never married again. The daughter married a man of the same name, had two children, and then died.

Now left alone, Mr. Boardman invested a large share of his property in the lumber business, in Canada, with H.D. Bronson. He got together over a million feet of lumber, in the St. Lawrence River, and started for market. In a violent storm all was wrecked. He lost every foot of his lumber. Returning to his old Grand Isle home, with his property nearly gone, he concluded that the star of empire was westward. With his friend Bronson he came to Green Bay, Wis., whence he went to Chicago. Here, in speculation with sharpers, he lost $300 of his hard earnings. Returning to Green Bay, to his old friend Bronson, they held counsel and concluded to follow the star still farther westward. Falling in company with a Mr. Hastings, they procured two yokes of oxen and a wagon, with which Mr. Bronson and family started across the country for Prairie du Chien. Mr. Boardman and Mr. Hastings went to the head waters of Wisconsin River, there dug out a canoe, and sailed down to the Mississippi and over to Iowa. This was in 1836, soon after the Blackhawk war. Each intent on securing a mill site, came to Turkey River. Hastings found a good site at th emouth of Otter Creek, where the town of Elgin now stands, and commenced a saw-mill. He was soon driven off, finding himself on the Indian reservation. Mr. Boardman came down to where Elkader now stands, made his claim and built his cabin where the depot now stands. Here he and his old friend Bronson lived together many years. Uncle Bronson was a good millwright. They found a small creek in Boardman Grove, running down through Clayton Center, and emptying into Pony Creek just above its mouth. On this stream they put up a saw-mill. It was on section 16, the geographical center of Clayton County, near John Barrett's. The mill was finished, the machinery all put in, and everything ready for a start. In the evening a log was put upon the carriage with a view of starting next morning with ceremonies befitting the introduction of a grand enterprise in a new world. Morning came. the dam and mill and machinery and logs were all there, but the water was gone! It had escaped through the crevices of the rock, and could never be brought back again so as to be made to turn a wheel. The stream or hollow now goes by the name of Dry Mill Creek.

One might naturally suppose, with all these reverses he would have been discouraged. But his energy of mind caused him to rise above the tide of reverses. He now returned to his cabin on Turkey River and prepared to break the soil, but another clamity lay in wait for him. the Indians stole one yoke of his oxen. Unable to break his claim with the team left, he went down by the river where it was sandy, plowed thirty acres, planted corn, raised it, ground it with a steel hand mill, and ate the bread earned by the sweat of his brow. he continued to labor until more than eighty years old. In 1843 the Turkey rose twenty-five feet above low water mark, and swept his fence all away. Not yet discouraged, he gathered what rils he could find and fenced in a part of his field. Again the water came and swept his work away, and at this he abandoned his field.

Messrs. Thompson, Sage and Davis bought his mill site, which enabled him to improve his claim on which his house stood. In 1853 his grandchildren came to Iowa, Captain Boardman and Mrs. Betsey Grannis, with whom he resided the remainder of his days well provided for. He died at Elkader, July 5, 1876, at the age of ninety-five years, nine months and nineteen days. He thus lived to a ripe old age, lacking a little over four years of being a centenarian, beloved and respected by all who knew him.


Horace D. Bronson
(page 575-576)

Horace D. Bronson was born at Chatham, Conn., Dec. 25, 1797. When he was quite young his parents moved to Vermont. He was married at an early age to an estimable lady of New York. Shortly after his marriage he removed with his family and effects to Canada, and there kept a hotel for a number of years. At the age of thirty-nine he and his old friend, Elisha Boardman, came to the State of Iowa, then the Territory of Wisconsin. Here in the valley of Turkey River, "Uncle" Bronson and Elisha Boardman made claim to a large tract of Government land, and laid out the site for the town of Elkader.

The old house that formerly stood where the depot building now stands, and an old house torn down in 1870, that stood near the house of P. Garaghty, were built by these two pioneers, and for many years served as dwelling-places for them, and as places of refuge from troubles by Indians for many a pale-faced adventurer. Uncle Bronson was known for miles around, and noted for his kindness and hospitality, even among the Indians.

In 1838 he prevailed on his parents to move hither, but shortly after their arrival his father was delivered from all troubles and dangers by the hand of death, and was buried in the neighborhood of GArnavillo. His mother survived the death ofher husband some eight years, and then she, too, followed him to the grave. At dearth they were both very old people.

When Uncle Bronson had arrived at the age of fifty-eight years, his wife died.

For fifteen or twenty years Mr. Bronson was coroner of the county, and, strange to say, he was sometimes elected to office by one party and sometimes by the other, party politics never affecting him in the least.

He died at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Tupper, Wednesday, April 19, 1876, at the age of seventy-nine years. For many months previous to his death he had suffered with a lung trouble, attended with a distressing cough; this, together with the infirmities incident to old age, released him from the troubles and cares of life, and his spirit has gone to that bourne beyond the waters. A large concourse of citizens paid the last token of respect to his memory by following his remains to their final resting place the day of the funeral. The services were held in the Universalist church, Rev. Henry Gifford, an old pioneer friend of the deceased, officiating. And thus passed away another landmark of the early history of Clayton county, a pioneer who was here at the beginning, when it "tried men's souls" to battle with the hardships they had to encounter in effecting the early settlements, that were the foundation of the glorious State of Iowa.


Major E.V. Carter
(portrait page 503 & biography page 576-577)

Major E.V. Carter was a native of the State of New York, and was educated in Ohio. In 1847 he moved to Iowa, and located in Clayton County, first in Grand Meadow Township, and subsequently in Elkader. He taught the first school in Elkader, after which he embarked in mercantile pursuits. In this he continued until 1859, when at the request of prominent business men of the county he came to McGregor as President of the McGregor branch of the State Bank of Iowa, which position he filled until the branch bank gave place to the national bank.

Soon after this he accepted a paymaster's commission in the United States service. In the arduous duties of that office he impaired his health and brought on his death sickness. In November, 1865, he returned to his family, only to decline and die among his friends. He died at Elkader, April 21, 1866, in his fifty-seventh year.

During his active public and private career, he established and maintained a reputation for integrity and promptness in all his dealings which made him esteemed, respected and honored by all who knew him. It can be said of him taht he had no enemies. Old and young alike loved him. the announcement of his death caused general sorrow, and a large company of mourning friends accompanied his remains to their last resting place. He was buried Monday, April 23. Rev. S.P. Sloan, of McGregor, of whose society Mr. Carter was a member, delivered an impressive sermon and paid a just tribute to the deceased. The services were held in his church, the erection of which was due more to his efforts and benevolence than to those of any other person.

There was scarcely a man in the county more widely known and more universally respected. He possessed traits of character which could not fail to bring him into notice and command general respect. In his youth he enjoyed more than ordinary advantages for mental culture, and during his whole life he was a close observer of men and things, keeping himself well advised of passing events, and well informed on all the great qustions which engaged the public attention. He was possessed of a very happy disposition, having in his nature a humouous, playful element which made him an agreeable companion of youth, and at the same time a grave and serious element which fitted him to be the companion and counselor of the mature and the aged. But his crowning excellence was the immovable integrity of his character. He was honest, truthful, frank, straightforward, unflinching, always and everywhere.

His religion was eminently practical; it was to do good; as well as to be good; it was the loveof man as well as the love of God. There were two directions in which his benevolence especially took direction: first, in the cause of temperance, he was one of its earliest and latest and most constant advocates; second, he was an abolitionist, one, too when it cost a man something to be the friend of a slave. He believed in the inalienable right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and believing this, he made it his political platform, and on it he stood and battled for freedom until he saw his principles triumph in the nation. Having lived an earnest life, full of good works, the peaceful death which he died was the fitting close of his upright career.


Hon. Timothy Davis
(page 577-580)

This well-known pioneer of Clayton county was born in Utica, N.Y., in 1794. His parents had emigrated thither and carved out a home among the wilds of that then new country. It was then that Mr. Davis acquired those habits of industry and frugality which ever accompanied him through life. Inheriting a strong physical constitution, and imbued in early life with pluck and energy, he was well prepared in after life to meet and battle with the world.

While yet a young man he left his native State, and after traversing much of this Western country, he settled in the town of West Madrid, Mo., but afterward removed to St. Genevieve, Mo., at that time the capital of Louisiana Territory, embracing all of the country west of the lakes. St. Louis at that time was a small village comared with St. Genevieve.

At St. Genevieve Mr. Davis began the practice of law, a profession for which he was evidently well calculated. Here he married, in 1823, Miss Nancy Wilson, and here his oldest son, L.V. Davis was born. After several years' residence at St. Genevieve, during which time he took a conspicuous part in the politics of the day, he removed to St. Mary's, a town which he had himself laid out, where he remained until his removal to Dubuque in 1836. While in Missouri he was a candidate for the Legislature on the Whig ticket, but that party being in the minority, he was defeated. A like fate befell him some years after, when he was nominated by his party at Dubuque for a similar position. He was then thoroughly conversant, as he was up to the time of his death, with the political questions of the day, and his acknowledged abilities as a speaker and debater made him sought for on all public occasions.

One of the principal events of his life, and one to which his friends point with pride, was on the occasion of the timber suits in 1850, the particulars of which the old residents well remember. A number of settlers had been indicted and arrested for cutting timber on Government lands, and Mr. Davis, assisted by Platt Smith, Esp., of Dubuque, defended the cause for the settlers. It was a matter in which everybody in the Northwest was deeply interested. Almost everybody, including prominent men, made a practice of cutting and using Government timber, and it may well be imagined that when the prosecutions began there was an intense excitement that pervaded not only Dubuque but the entire Northwest. Indignation meetings were held and the newspapers were filled with exciting discussions on the subject. Mr. Davis rose to the full appreciation of his task as an attorney and as a defender of the rights of the people. In his speech on the occasion he referred to the injustice of the prosecutions in the most impressive and pathetic manner, and when he alluded to the fact that the Government would have to tera up the floors of the business houses, the seats in the churches and school-houses and even the boards of which the coffins had been made, and which were constructed of timber taken from Government land, he certainly struck the most tender cord of popular sentiment; and the result was an entire acquittal of the arrested parties, and immense rejoicings among the sturdy old settlers, in which Mr. Davis was rightly the hero of the day. Mr. Davis was engaged in many other important suits among which were several mining cases which excited equal interest and made him conspicuous among the bar of the country.

In 1857 he was nominated for Congress by the Republican party and elected by a handsome majority. The State was then divided into but two Congressional districts, and Mr. Davis had a large constituency to represent. Though then advanced in years he was a prominent member of the House, an dhis voice and vote was ever on the right side. He had been an ardent Whig, but when that party dissolved and the encroachments of the slave power rallied the Republican party of the North into existence he became one of its first adherents, and firmly and steadfastly defended the cause of freedom.

Mr. Davis, however, was not a mere politician. He identified himself with all the substantial interests of the country, and a full sketch of his life would contain a history of Northern Iowa. The settlement and development of Elkader originated with him. He was on a political tour through Clayton in 1845, and had come to Turkey River, to the present town site of Elkader, where he found Elisha Boardman, who showed him the magnificent water-power and the beautiful town site. Impressed with its beauty and importance, he returned to Dubuque and soon after laid the matter before Messrs. Thompson and Sage, the latter of whom was sent up by Mr. Thompson to inspect the mill site. He returned equally pleased with it, and the result was that the property was bought of Mr. Boardman, and the building of the mill began the following year.

The honor of naming the town fell to Mr. Davis. At that time there was great excitement about the exploits of the Arabian chief, Abd el Kader, and being an admirer of that daring chieftain, Mr. Davis named this place Elkader. He was identified with its interests up to the time of his death. To him it was always the best place in the State. It had the best mill, the best stores, the best society and the best newspapers. He was always a warm defender when Elkader was assailed, and he lived to see the home of his adoption rise from the wilderness to one of the most important towns north of Dubuque.

In 1854 he removed from Dubuque to Elkader, remaining there till 1857, but after the death of Mrs. Davis, in the spring of that year, he returned to Dubuque. In the fall of 1857 he was married to Mrs. Jane B. O'Farrell, with whom he lived happily until his death. A few years after his second marriage, he determined that he could not stay away from Elkader; so he moved back, built himself a fine residence, and passed his last years in the sunshine of his old friends and amidst those nearest and dearest to him.

He died Sunday, April 27, 1872. He was sitting on the porch of his residence, engaged in a lively conversation with John Thompson, his surviving partner, joking and laughing with him over old reminiscences, when he suddenly fell back in his chair, threw up his hands with an exclamation of "O!" and immediately expired. Mr. Thompson held him in the chair until the family came to his assistance, and with their aid carried him into the house. The funeral ceremonies took place the following Tuesday, and a large concourse of people followed his remains to the grave. The business houses were all closed and sorrow pervaded the whole community.

He lived a life of usefulness to himself and fellow-men, and was an active worker for the development and prosperity of his country. The State lost in him one of her choicest intellects, the community an exemplary citizen, and his bereaved wife and children an affectonate husband and kind father.


Eliphalet Price
prepared by Hon. Samuel Murdock
(page 591-597)

I first met Eliphalet Price in early life upon the border, where the civilized and savage commingled to pursue a common road, and for more than a third of a century he was my neighbor and my friend, and what I have here to say over past life is but a tribute I owe to his distinguished worth. He saw the country from the great lakes to the Pacific Ocean a barren wilderness, and peopled alone by the hunter and the savage, and he saw the same territory rapidly converted into states and farms and fertile gardens; and establishing over all a government and a civilization based upon the principles of exact justice and self-government, the greatest and perhaps the grandest the world ever saw. In nearly all of this development of empire, of human progress, settlement and western civilization, with all their attendant excitements, turmoils and passions, our old friend was an ever constant, prominent and untiring worker, and to write the history of such a man, to do justice to his name and memory, and to carry him through all the varied scenes and struggles of the last half century of western life, in which he was connected, would require volumes.

He was born in Jersey City, in the state of New Jersey, on the 31st day of January, 1811, and as he grew up he received from his father the rudiments of a common education, and when about eighteen years of age his father took him to New York City and bound him as an apprentice to learn the trade of a painter. This old relic of feudal times, called master and servant, still forms one of the chapters of the law of "domestic relations," and although it has nearly vanished from western civilization, it still clings with force to the institutions of the older states, and at the time of which we speak it was in its full force and rigor in the state and city of New York, and as often made the pretense for the very worst acts of tyranny and oppression by the master over the apprentice. Here, however, was a field for the genius of our friend and he soon accomplished a thorough organization of all the apprentices of the city into a strong society, with a constitution and by-laws that taught the most tyrannical master that they had rights which he was bound to respect. This society soon raised a sum of money with which they purchased a fine library of all the leading works of that day, and it was here that our old friend laid the foundation of that classical and historical knowledge which made him famous in after years as a writer and a scholar of no ordinary capacity. Vicissitude and misfortune, however, overtook his old master and he absolved young Price from his indenture, and this threw him upon the world to make his own way through life.

About the beginning of the year 1831 he arrived in the city of Philadelphia, and became the local editor of a paper called the Market Exchange, and in this capacity he soon brought himself into notice by his witty and spicy articles, many of which are more witty and mirthful than those of Ward or Nasby. But he soon tired of this work, and, looking over for wider fields for his talent, in the fall of that year he repaired to Washington city. He left Washington some time in 1832, with the design of seeing the far west and exploring the valley of the Mississippi; traveled on foot to Pittsburgh, and after recruiting his wearied limbs, embarked on a steamer for Cincinnati. After remaining in this city for a short time he took passage on a steamer for New Orleans, and when he arrived in the latter city he found a large number of its inhabitants stricken down with cholera. Here for the first time since he left New York he found himself among strangers, without a cent in his pocket, with a dangerous and fatal disease raging around him. He repaired to the wharf in hopes of finding some craft that would take him beyond the limits of that scourge. At the wharf he found a steamer with her clerk on shore checking goods that were being shipped upon her, and upon inquiry the clerk informed him that they were loading for the lead mines of Galena, and requested him to take his place at the plank and check for him a few moments while he procured a little medicine from a neighboring drug store.

This he gladly did, and very soon the captain of the boat came along and discovered that his clerk was absent and a new man in his place, when he immediately followed his clerk to the drug store, only to find that he had just died of the fearful disease. Returning in a few moments to his boat he immediately engaged the services of our lamented friend as his clerk for the trip. Never was a service more gladly accepted or more faithfully performed, and in due time we find our young friend in Galena looking about for some vocation that would give him a living. But to him in his youthful days, "fields always looked greener when they were far away," and he turned his steps toward Iowa, arriving in Dubuque some time in the fall of 1832.

It will be remembered that on the 21st of September, 1832, the Sac and Fox Indians had ceded to the United States a strip of land about fifty miles wide, extending from the Missouri to the mouth of the Little Iowa. This treaty was to take effect on the first day of June, 1833, but as soon as the terms of it were known hundreds of men rushed across the great river, took up claims and began prospecting in the lead mines of Dubuque. The Indians protested against this inroad, and General Zac. Taylor, who was the commanding officer at Fort Crawford, and who was afterward elected President of the United States, was ordered to proceed to the purchase and drive out the settlers. This order he executed to the letter, and our old friend with others was compelled to leave the territory. Like all the others, he hung upon the border, and on the expiration of the time he returned to Dubuque, and was among the first white men who made a legal settlement within the limits of what is now the great State of Iowa.

In the fall of 1834 he, in company with a party of hunters, explored the valley of the Turkey, and being enraptured with its romantic scenery, its rich and fertile prairies and its rippling stream, he determined to make the valley his future and permanent home. Returning to Dubuque to fulfill a contract he had entered into with Father Mazzuchelli to build for him a Catholic church, he again, in the fall of 1835, returned to the valley of the Turkey, and, in company with C. S. Edson, a person well known to old settlers of Clayton, spent the first winter near the town now called Osterdock. In the winter of 1836 a Mr. Finly erected a sawmill on the Little Turkey, near the present town of Millville. He shortly afterward sold out his mill and his claim to Robert Hetfield and Mr. Price. In the erection of this pioneer sawmill, Joseph Quigley, still living in Highland, was the millwright, and Luther Patch, still living and now residing in Elkader, was the sawyer. After a time Price sold out his interest in the mill, selected for himself a beautiful and fertile tract of land on the north side of the Turkey, about five miles from Millville, and on this he built his cabin.

In 1839 he married Miss Mary D. Cottle, a lady of culture, education, and refinement, and his equal in liberality and hospitality. Here upon his farm they raised a family of eight children, five of whom are still living. Two of these, R. E. and T. C. Price, now reside in Elkader; another son is now the postmaster at Colorado Springs, Colo., and still another resides in San Jose, Cal. One of his sons fell at the battle of Tupelo, and another son, a major of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, was wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson and afterward died of his wounds. His amiable wife died in 1865 and he never married again, but with his youngest daughter, who still lives in Colorado, he kept the younger portion of his household together to the last.

During his long residence of thirty-eight years in our county he always took an active and prominent part in State and county politics, and in the management and organization of parties he had no peer in the State of Iowa. In early times he was an ardent Whig, but upon the repeal of the Missouri Compromise he threw his whole soul and action into the Republican party, and was among the very first, with voice and pen, to arouse the people against the strides and encroachments of the slaveholder. When the rebellion broke out he took an active part in the organization of military companies, encouraged his sons to draw the sword, and from the beginning to the end of the great war his voice and pen was never idle in the cause of the Union.

In 1845 he wrote and published the thrilling and melancholy story of the "Mysterious Grave," founded upon no fact whatever, and from the statement that these words, "Erin, an exile, bequeaths thee his blessing," was found in the grave, the story was copied into Irish papers, and many a poor Irish mother wept over it as perhaps the grave of a lost and wandering son. But perhaps his most successful story, one that called forth the greatest and most numerous encomiums, and one that was read at every camp fire in the army, and in every cottage wherever the English language was spoken, is the "Drummer Boy." It was published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, and for tenderness of expression, for ingenuity of theme, for elegance of style and diction, for converting the ideal into reality, for chaining the reader's attention and calling from him emotions of sympathy and patriotism, for the ease of deception and for its perfect and consummate delusion, it is his masterpiece. No one doubted but that the story was true, and the poor little "Drummer Boy," like Charlie Ross, was found in every village and hamlet in the land.

He took an active part in the organization of Clayton County, and held the first justice court within its limits. He was the first clerk of the Board of Clayton County Commissioners, was elected the first School Fund Commissioner, and served one term as a Judge of Probate. In 1850 he took the United States census of the counties of Clayton, Fayette, Winneshiek and Allamakee.

In 1850 he was elected from the counties of Clayton, Fayette, Winneshiek and Allamakee to the State Legislature, and it was at this session that he brought himself into notice as one of the most skillful and sagacious politicians of the State. He took an active part in this Legislature, in the organization of the school system of the State, and to his actions and suggestions we are today indebted for some of our best laws relating to schools. For many successive terms he was elected Governor of the Lobby, and that body received from him an annual message, that for keen wit and withering sarcasm has never been excelled.

In 1852 he was appointed by President Fillmore as receiver of the land office at Des Moines, and held the office during that administration. In 1855 he was elected Judge of the County Court of Clayton County, and held the office for two years. During his term in this office he resurveyed the roads of the county, established guide posts and mile posts among them, remodeled the county records, and gave names to the streams and townships. When his term expired he had the satisfaction of seeing his county's records and her finances established on a safe and permanent basis, to become a foundation for those who followed him for all time. He left every official position that he ever occupied with clean hands, and with a reputation for honesty, capability and fairness. In the fall of 1864 he followed the brave General Hatch through all his military raids in Mississippi, and was an eyewitness of all the battles and skirmishes this general had with the rebel General Forrest.

He was for many years the president of the Old Settlers and Pioneers' Association of the county, organized the first meeting, and delivered before it one of the finest and most eloquent speeches of his lifetime. Long before any railroad had reached any part of the great west, he called the people of the county together at a mass meeting in Guttenberg, to discuss the propriety of giving aid to a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and in his opening speech before that meeting he declared with the most prophetic vision that he would live to see Clayton County checkered with railroads, and this he accomplished with some years to spare. Shortly after this meeting he made another speech to a few of the old settlers at Littleport, in which he said: "There are men in this audience, as well as myself, who will live to see a railroad passing up the Volga," and after the road up this stream was completed he wrote to the author of this article from Colorado saying in reference to it: "My dream is fulfilled, my prophecy has come to pass, and my mission will soon be ended, but Clayton County, hail !"

One can hardly realize that giant form that towered among us so long, that mingled in all our conventions, railroad meetings, county seat courts, balls, parties and routs, is gone forever, and that his voice and pen, which once stirred the thoughts and hearts of thousands, are now silent forever. Kind, courteous and social to all, whether rich or poor, his sympathies were aroused to the highest pitch at distress and sorrow, and he was at your service, while his money flowed like water. The priest and the layman, the tramp and the trader, the lawyer and the farmer, the rich and the poor, all found a home and a resting place at his house and a seat at his table. Ill health at last forced him to take refuge in the Rocky Mountains, and in the year 1872 he sold his homestead, took the younger members of the family, and departed for Colorado, leaving behind him the scenes of his early triumphs, exploits, associations and hardships, upon which his eyes were never to rest again. In Colorado he began the same career which characterized him in his early days in Clayton County, and with the vigor of his youth he visited the camps of her miners, ascended her highest mountains, looked down upon her widespread plains, and with his voice and pen contributed to add to her greatness and her resources. But old age and disease were fast destroying his stalwart frame, and when the fatal hour had come his death was like the blowing out of a candle.


Rev. Samuel P. Sloan
(page 601)

Rev. Samuel P. Sloan was born July 17, 1829, in Highland County, O. He graduated at a collegiate institution in Delaware County, O., and completed his studies in Lane Seminary, Cincinnati. He commenced the work of the ministry at Winnebago, Ill., Aug. 17, 1855. About the same time he was married to Miss Susan Marguerite Grand Girard, with whom he enjoyed a familiar acquaintance from boyhood. After a pastorate of marked success at Winnebago, Mr. Sloan, in 1860, accepted a call to McGregor, Ia., where he spent the remainder of his life.

At the breaking out of the Rebellion he, with all the ardor that characterized the Puritan clergy of New England in Revolutionary times, espoused the cause of the Union and freedom, and his sermons on the duties of the times in 1861 and 1862 are recollected as among the most earnest and electrifying of the many uttered by the clergy of the various denominations which aided so largely in nerving the Northern people for the awful struggle before them. In 1862, in obedience to his own teachings, he entered the army as Chaplain of the Twenty-first Infantry (Colonel Merril's), with which he remained some five months, when failing health compelled his return to his charge in McGregor, where he continued until death called him from the scene of his labors, and from the society of a community that loved him.

During his pastorate at McGregor he received calls from several churches, and finally accepted that of the church in Des Moines. Owing, however, to his death, which occurred Oct. 29, 1870, his expected dismission from his McGregor flock was not consummated and he died as he had lived - their pastor.

The funeral services were held in his church on Monday, Oct. 31, at two o'clock P.M. The various business places were in the meantime closed, as a proper mark of respect. Rev. J. Gurnsey, of Dubuque, conducted the ceremonies, in which he was assisted by Rev. E. Adams, of Decorah; Rev. Mr. Windsor, of Cresco, and Rev. Mr. Upton, of Cherokee, Ia. The spacious church was filled to its utmost capacity by a truly sorrowing people. His remains were taken to Winnebago of interment.




Your help is needed to transcribe the remaining biographies in Chapter XVII


source- History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882. Reproduced by the sponsorship of the Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, reproduction Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphics, Inc., 1975
transcribed for the Clayton co. IAGenWeb by Sharyl Ferrall

 

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