John S. Gregg, one of the
pioneers of Clayton County, was born in Lower Canada, on
the 28th day of November, 1823, son of Reuben and Mary
(Bruce) Gregg, his father a native of Massachusetts, and
his mother of New Hampshire. They were married in
Montreal, Canada, in 1820, and were the parents of eight
children, four sons and four daughters, viz.: John S.,
Jane, Mary, Julia, Samuel, James, Reuben and Annie. Mr.
Gregg by trade was a millwright and carpenter, and came
to Clayton County in 1845, where he spent one year, then
returned to Canada. In 1847 he moved his family to this
county, where he remained until his death, which occurred
in 1872. The mother is still living at the advanced age
of eighty-nine. John S., in 1844, left his home and came
to Iowa, coming by water to Milwaukee, and from there
footed it to Clayton County, following the old Government
trail, traveling one whole day without seeing a house.
Soon after coming here he entered the claim where he now
lives, the land having changed hands once. He has been
twice married: first to Jeannette Ferguson, who was born
in Canada, Oct. 23, 1826. They had six children, viz.:
Percella, Jesse C., E. Jane, Gustavus, Lovina and James.
Mrs. Gregg died Aug. 10, 1865, and he again married Dec.
22, 1869, Jerusha Burge, a widow of Josiah Wheeler, by
whom there was five children, one living-- Ira J. In the
winter of 1844 and '45, Mr. Gregg returned to Canada on
foot, making a distance of 750 miles in twenty-one days.
His average expense was fifty cents per day. The same
year he returned to Clayton County in company with his
father and Mr. Ferguson. Mr. Gregg had but fifty cents of
ready money in his pocket when he reached Clayton County,
but by hard work he has accumulated a competency. He owns
115 acres of land, valued at $45 per acre.
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa, 1882, p. 1042
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