Pioneer Histories of Harris Grove 1851-1861
Written in 1920 by H. H. McKenney
James ORANDER and family in 1851 lived in a cabin that stood just east of a small creek in SE 1/4 of Lot 9, Section 6, Union Township.
William HOWARD was born May 10th, 1817, in spring of 1851 moved from Illinois to Harris Grove and settled in the NW 1/4 of SW 1/4, Sec. 35, Jefferson Township, living in a cabin built by the Mormons. Mr. HOWARD became widower and afterwards married Mary SMOTHERS, and traded farms with Edwin E. ERVIN. In after years he obtained a permanent home in NW 1/4 of Sec. 36, where he lived until January 13, 1885, the date of his death. James HOWARD, father of William, lived with the family many years.
Mary Jane married Jason WHITINGER
Elizabeth married Wm. H. WHITINGER
Wm. D. married Minerva WOOD
Elvira married Safety M. HENDERSON.
Asa EARL and family came to Harris Grove with the Mormons, at any rate he was in the Grove in 1851, and in 1853, lived in the RUDD cabin in NW 1/4 NE 1/4 Sec. 12, LaGrange Township and in 1853, built and moved into a cabin on NW 1/4 NE 1/4 Sec 14, selling to Jacob T. STERN in 1857, moved away, returning often for a short stay. Finally he moved to California. Mr. EARL was the first man in the Grove who engaged in the real estate business. Going to Council Bluffs he would induce prospective settlers to come to the Grove and assist them in locating claims, receiving a fee therefore. He was a genius, being a preacher, lecturer, farmer and carpenter. It was said that his chickens were so accustomed to moving that they would sit and cross their legs at sight of a covered wagon. Children were Joseph, Julia, Artamiesia, and Isaac, who died in the Union Army, Asa, Joel, John and Louisa.
Thomas W. REEDER and Sarah (HOWARD) REEDER, his wife, in the spring of 1851, came to the Grove from Illinois and located a claim on Lot 2, Sec. 5, Union Township. This place was afterward noted as the place where Curd GOSS shot Wm. F. VORE. He lived here but a few years, residing in different locations in the county until 1872, when he removed to Saunders County, Nebr., and in 1879 to Sturgis, South Dakota, where he died October 13, 1894. He was thrice a widower. Married to Mary A. SOVERS Oct. 16, 1864, and to Mary J. LEWIS April 2nd, 1868.
Jasper Q. married Juliett PHILLIPS
Ann married Wm. SMOTHERS
Frances married H. P. WHITE
Esther married Jacob SHORT
Lewis married Angie HUDDLE
Mary M. married Walter S. CROM
Edward and George
John A. MCKENNEY was born in Huron County, Ohio, March 20, 1818. In 1828 with his parents he moved to Michigan. He was joined in marriage to Clarissa HUNGERFORD December 2nd, 1843. She was born near Syracuse, N. Y., June 26, 1826, and in 1828, with her parents, came to Cass County, Michigan. She was the sixteenth child in the Benj. HUNGERFORD family.
In the autumn of 1851 they loaded all their household goods in two wagons, canvas covered, one drawn by a yoke of oxen, driven by Jas, B. MCCURLEY, and one drawn by a span of horses, and started for Western Iowa, cooking meals by camp fire and sleeping in a tent, arriving in Kanesville - now Council Bluffs - Nov. 4, 1851, where the family remained while he was locating a claim. He made selection in Sec. 1, LaGrange Township, and Nov. 14, 1851, moved into one of the Wm. AUSTIN cabins that stood just north of Harris Grove Creek, near south center of Lot 1, Sec. 1. Two other cabins were on Lot 5 south of creek, and were occupied by Wm. AUSTIN, a Mormon, and his family. In 1864 the family moved from this cabin home into their new home, which they built in the SE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Sec. 33, Jefferson Township. This home was sold in 1888, and Mrs. MCKENNEY bought a home in Logan. John A. MCKENNEY died Dec. 26, 1880. Clarissa MCKENNEY died Sept. 21, 1911.
Their children were:
Edwin D. married Josepha LOT
Horace H. married Frances A. IDE
Jane B. married Wm. MCINTOSH
Frank B. Married Ella THORPE
Charley married Clara POPEJOY
Wm. L. married Jennie TRUMBLY
Hannah N., Louis, Laura and Harry died in infancy
Levi DIXON accompanied the family from Michigan and went to California in the spring of 1852.
Michael I. MCKENNEY was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., March 1808; in 1817 came with his parents to Ohio, in 1819 to Indiana then in 1828 to Cass County Michigan, where on Nov. 1st, 1832, he was married to Eliza TOWNSEND, who was born in Canada July 6th, 1814, and she with her parents in 1815 came to Ohio, and in 1827 to Cass County, Michigan.
This family of Michael I. MCKENNEY left Michigan in the early days of October for western Iowa, traveling overland by wagons, arrived at Kanesville, a small trading point in Pottawattamie County, November 5th, 1851 where they tarried a short time. They arrived in Harris Grove Nov. 15th, 1851, and bought a claim of Robert WIMMER and moved into a cabin near center of SE 1/4 of Sec. 12, LaGrange Township. This home stood near the road leading to Kanesville, or Council Bluffs, and was for a number of years a distributing point for the neighborhood mail, it being brought from Kanesville by any of the neighbors coming there from.
Others who came with the family from Michigan were Thomas MCKENNEY, father of Michael, and John also Alex BYERS, Oscar LUMIS and Hannah EMANS. LUMIS and BYERS in spring of 1852 went to California, and Miss EMANS returned to Michigan.
Michael MCKENNEY died July 18, 1858; Eliza MCKENNEY died March 26, 1906. She was a charter member at her passing into rest. The old home was occupied by James D. MCKENNEY and family until 1905, when it was sold.
Ephraim T. married Elizabeth ZEEK
James D. married Retta DAKAN
Claudius T. married Alice CULTON
Ann E. married Lorenzo D. PARKER.
Thomas MCKENNEY a son of John and Lydia (SHERWOOD) MCKENNEY, was born in Washington County, N.Y., Jan. 17, 1781. At sixteen years of age he moved with his parents to Cayuga County, N. Y., where he was married to Dorcas A. INMAN and remained there until 1813. During the War of 1812 he acted as "home guard,' and was at Sodius Bay when the British surrendered that place. In 1817 he moved to Huron County, Ohio, and to Indiana in 1819. In March 1828, he and his son, Michael, went to Cass County, Michigan, built a log house, put in crops and in October moved the family. The prairie bears his name to this day. In 1829 he made one of the first entries of land in that township, which was in Sec. 17 LaGrange Township, Cass County, Michigan. He was the first Probate Judge in that county. The first birth in Volina Twp., Cass Co., Mich., was John RICH Oct. 29, 1829, the midwife being Mrs. MCKENNEY, who was taken almost fifteen miles on the back of a partially broken three-year-old colt for the event. John MCKENNEY, father of Thomas, and a brother, Amos, came from Edinburgh, Scotland, to the United States.
Thomas MCKENNEY, the father of John A. and Michael I. MCKENNEY came to Harris Grove with his son, Michael and family, Nov. 1851. He died June 12th 1852, and was buried in the Mormon cemetery, in a coffin of basswood made by Mormon's in VORE's Hollow, and presented his family by them. His remains were removed to Harris Grove Cemetery in later years with many others when the Mormon cemetery was finally abandoned.
Lyllis married James DIXON
Michael L. married Eliza TOWNSEND
Micajah married Jane GARWOOD
Esther married David BROWN
Jane married Oscar LUMIS
John A. married Clarissa HUNGERFORD
James B. MCCURLEY was born near New Columbia, Penna., Nov. 14th, 1827. He attended collage at Harrisburg, and getting the western fever he migrated to Cass County, Mich. in early fall of 1851. Here he made the acquaintance of John A. MCKENNEY and engaged to drive an ox team for him in Western Iowa, arriving in Harris Grove in November of that year. He lived with the MCKENNEY family for several years, working at first by the month, and then for the share of the crop. In the winter of 1852 he taught school in a log cabin converted into a schoolhouse that stood in the southeast corner of lot 4, south of the creek in Sec. 6, Union Twp., the first schoolhouse in the county.
In the winter of 54 he taught school in the HODGES cabin. He bought the WEEKS cabin in Lot 15, Sec 2, LaGrange Twp.; two cabins were on this lot and stood west of creek in northeast corner. He also located some school land in Section 30, Jefferson Twp. In 1856 he moved the WELCH cabin onto this land, where he lived many years with tenants, Alfred LONGMAN, Jacob VANDERHOOF, Henry MILLIMAN, selling in later years and established a home in Logan, and married Meda R. HARD, Oct. 1872. Meda R. HARD was born near Marietta, Ohio, in 1854, and died at Logan in 1903. After her death MCCURLEY made his home with his sons, and died April 20th, 1907.
James B. married Blanche LOVELL
Rolla married Maude OVERMAN
John ROGERS was born in Virginia, Jan. 24, 1792. Married Elizabeth COX. They came to Harris Grove in 1852 and established a home in NE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 10, LaGrange Twp. where they spent the remainder of their days. Mrs. ROGERS died April 20th, 1867. Mr. ROGERS remarried Mary A. HEPP, Oct. 12th, 1867, and died Nov. 11, 1880.
James D. married Susan GILKERSON
Michael married Sarah Jane DINSMORE
Catherine married Wm. MOOREHEAD, Wm. HOBBS
John M married Hope REEDER
David R. married Henrietta ABRAMS
Isabel married Spencer BRYANT
By second marriage:
Anna married W. C. PRUITT
James D. ROGERS was born in Virginia, Nov. 10th, 1822 and his wife Susan GILKERSON was born in Virginia Dec. 3, 1820. They were married in Fayette County, Virginia in 1854, and came to Harris Grove in year 1854. They entered lots 4, 5, 8, and 9 in Section 2, LaGrange Township, which took their last dollar. For three years the menu was venison, prairie chicken, quail, and occasionally pork, corn bread and milk, for fruit they had wild strawberries, plums and grapes.
They were charter members of the Farmers Club and were progressive in their farm life. They resided on this beautiful farm until Father Time closed to them life's wonderful book, the wife passing away in November 17, 1896: James passing Junes 3, 1899. It was at this home in June 1870, that the Harris Grove Farmer's Club was organized, the first in Iowa, fixing the number of the members at twelve families, twenty-four members to meet each month.
Samuel G. married Ida CATLETTE
Elizabeth J. married Silas BROADWELL
Esteline married Samuel JACK
Catherine married Wm. G. JONES
Martha married Robert EBY
Charles H. married Ada FRAZIER