Fremont County, Iowa

Early Letters
by Danette Hein-Snider

View from the Attic ~ A Weekly Series
Fremont County Historical Society
Week of 24 November 2008

HEDGES, Elias S., real estate broker, P. O. Sidney; born October 21, 1807, in Saratoga county, New York, where he grew to manhood. In 1830, he went with his father's family to Chautauqua county, New York, being employed with his father until 1856, when he came to Fremont county, and located at Sidney. In August of 1857, was elected county judge, which office he held for two and a half years. In 1863, he was appointed commissioner of the board of enrollment for this congressional district, with headquarters at Des Moines, which position he held to the close of the war. He engaged in his present business in 1865, and through his hands has passed a large portion of the lands of the county. Before leaving New York, Colonel Hedges was a member of the New York state militia. During the war with the Confederacy Mr. Sears held the same position in the state militia of Iowa, a further history of which may be found under the Southern War Brigade in a preceding portion of this volume. Colonel Hedges was married January 18, 1832, to Miss Rebecca Parker, a native of New York; they have two children: William H. and Samuel P. The wife of Colonel Hedges died November 18, 1872. He was married September 10, 1879, to Amelia Elifritz.

One of the early letters written by Sam Hedges the son of Elias Hedges.

January 22, 1861

Well Hank my old Friend,

Here Cape and I are snowed in, out in Iowa, and this morning Cape says "Sam, let us write To Hank Cole”.   I informed him that I as in so these scratches will inform you that we carried out our intension's.

You know when my Father's family came out to this state, well, I have been living at home in Sidney, most of the time, but this winter I am playing “Pedagogue” out here in the Country and board with Mr. Ripley, an Aunt of Cape's; today there is no school and as there is a snow storm raging, neither of us can do what we intended. Cape made all the preparations for a deer hunt and I let school out for the purpose of going home. But this change in weather confines us both to the house. I find that a country schoolmaster has a busy time teaching the young ones how to shoot. And although there is some variety still my time is taken up in the same round of laborious duties.

This is my first attempt at school teaching and perhaps my last for a long time for in the Spring I intend to start for some Eastern college. Cape has just taken his gun to go out and shoot some Prairie chickens, rabbits, etc. He is as you know fond of hunting as any back woods man. And no obstacle is too serious for him to encounter if there is a possibility of killing any game. I am fond of hunting but am not so enthusiastic in the sport. But what I can be disappointed and thoroughly tired of it, and after each failure I feel less inclined to go again.

Fremont County is the most southwestern portion of the state and said to be the finest county in this state which is saying a good deal for Iowa is destined to be one of the brightest stars in the constellation of American states; (If the Union is preserved). And as for Cape and myself have adopted this portion of the country for our future home you must not be surprised to hear from us some day as Great Men. Ha! Ha!

But enough of this. I hope you will consider this worth answering and give us a description of your whereabouts and prospects. Direct to Sidney Fremont Co. Iowa. Cape and I both reside here.

Yours etc,
Sam P. Hedges 

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