Pioneer Histories of Harris Grove 1851-1861
Written in 1920 by H. H. McKenney
Simeon J. COMFORT was born in Ohio. They settled in the Grove in 1853, living for about two years in the TWITCHEL cabin that stood just eat of the creek in NW 1/4 NW 1/4 Sec 13. While living here, Mrs. COMFORT taught a term of school and received pay by subscription. Moving from this place they occupied during their stay, a cabin situated on the east side of a small branch near its source in SE 1/4 NE 1/4 Sec 14, selling this claim to Pierson VORE in 1855.
He was admitted to the Bar and removed with the family to Crawford County, near the present Dow City. Soon after the war he was a candidate for the legislature. This happy family lived on their farm near Dow City to the end of their journey, Mrs. COMFORT passing on January 12, 1886, and Mr. COMFORT June 2, 1890.
Mary married Morris MCHENRY
Sarah married Joseph WOODRUFF
Martha married Charles WHALEY
Alfred LONGMAN was born in Derbyshire, England, Dec. 12, 1821, married Ann MILLINGTON March 5, 1842. She was born February 13, 1822. They left England in January 1851, sailing across to New Orleans and coming up the River to St. Joe, Missouri, where they spent nearly two years, and then moved to the Grove, arriving May 12, 1853, and Mr. LONGMAN often enjoyed relating the severe frost that welcomed him on the morning of the 13th of May 1853. He bought a claim, the W 1/2 NW 1/4 section 13, being the TWITCHEL cabin and sold the claim to Stuart ALEXANDER in 1854, and improved a home on SE 1/4 of NW 1/4 of Sec. 13, with the usual log cabin, selling in 1856 to William BATES, then moving to the farm of Jas. B. MCCURLEY in Sec 30, just south of Logan's present site.
He also acquired a large farm on the south line of Jefferson and north line of LaGrange, near mouth of Harris Grove Creek, which he owned until a year prior to his passing. In 1861 he fitted out several wagons, loaded with goods, and drawn by oxen, and crossed the plains to Salt Lake, where they tarried a short time, and then went to California, spending two or three years, then returned by Isthmus of Panama to New York, and back into the same MCCURLEY log house on NW1/4 of section 30, Jefferson Township.
In 1854, Mr. LONGMAN split 2500 rails for the first cow that he owned in this county, valued at $25.00. Mr. LONGMAN dug many hundred rods of ditch fence in those pioneer days, enclosing lands he farmed. He was a successful and trustworthy breeder of Durham cattle and rendered his community a great service in improving the standard of cattle. About 1870 he moved to his farm in Sec 36, Twp. 79, Range 43, but in Jefferson Township, where he added to his land holdings, and conducted his fine stock business. In 1884 he moved to Logan, spending his last years in a typical English home, surrounded by flowers and shrubs, which were ever a delight to him, and responded to his skill and care. Mr. LONGMAN for many years in later life was handicapped by deafness, but was a delightful companion, well informed, enjoyed an argument, and it was well for the one entering into discussion with him to be amply fortified by facts in support of their contention.
The faithful wife passed into rest June 22, 1903, and Mr. LONGMAN November 4th, 1914.
James married Melissa TOWNSEND
Fanny married Benj. A. DIVELBESS
Alfred married Mollie WHITEHEAD; Tillie GROW
William C. married Margaret OWENS
G. Henry married Margaret JOHNSON
Samuel JACK was born in Indiana, and came to the Grove, August 1, 1853, and ate his first meal with Alfred LONGMAN and family, making his home at John MCKENNEY's for a number of years. He broke prairie for a summer or two with a prairie plow drawn by five yoke of oxen owned by John MCKENNEY, and hauled freight from Council Bluffs to Sioux City. In 1857, he and Samuel G. UNDERWOOD of Council Bluffs, brought a threshing machine and bought it to the Grove and started threshing Sept. 4th, and continued till January 8th, 1858.
He entered lots 3 and 10, in Sec. 1, and lots 5 and 6 in Sec 2, LaGrange Township. August 3rd, 1860, he married Rebecca VORE, who passed away in 1870. Mr. Jack afterwards married Esteline ROGERS.
He made an exchange of farms with Wm. B. RIDDLE and moved to Sec. 16, in Union Township, selling this place he moved to Oklahoma, where he still resides in his nineties. The second wife died in May 1920.
Children of his wife:
Louis A. married Bertha MCFARLAND
Jacob S. VANDERHOOF, "Uncle Jake" as he was known in later years, was born in Cass County, Michigan, November 2, 1832, and came to the Grove in the fall of 1854, making the journey by railroad to Rock Island, Illinois, then by stage to Council Bluffs, and by wagon to Harris Grove. Mr. VANDERHOOF was an expert hunter, and an accomplished violinist, and furnished the music sweetly, for the pioneer dances while they kept time with cow hide boots on the puncheon floors of the cabins. He married Jane JEWELL on March 5th, 1856. She was born in Cass County, Michigan, Nov. 3, 1836.
In 1866 they moved on the W 1/2 of section 3, LaGrange Township. The house on this land and was moved from Omaha by Stevenson IDE, and on this land he followed farming until the end of life's journey.
They were charter members of the Harris Grove Farmers' Club and remained active members until death. Mrs. VANDERHOOF died February 3, 1895, and Uncle Jacob was called to rest April 3, 1917.
Two children blessed their union,
Chloe, wife of George HASKINS
Martha, wife of Frank WALTERS
William COKELEY and family settled in Harris Grove about 1854 and lived in on of the cabins that stood just south of the creek and north of the roadside near the east center of Lot 3, Sec 6, Union Township. After a short residence here they moved to Boyer Township.
William HANER and family came to the Grove in 1854, from Polk County, Iowa, and lived for a year or more in the WEEK’s cabin, moving from here to REEDER’s Mill, where they passed to the close of a long pioneer life.
Mr. HANER was married the second time; the maiden names of the wives were Miss STEELE and Miss PILES.
Jane married Samuel B. SMITH
John H. married Miss. BULL
Nancy married Jackson DAUGHERTY
Isaac married Margaret POPEJOY
James married Sarah LOSS
By second marriage:
Henry married Elizabeth POPEJOY
Rebecca married James WHITE
Joseph L. DEFOREST and his wife Mary COLMS DEFOREST came from North Pigeon, Pottawattamie County, in 1854, to Harris Grove. They lived first in one of the cabins and then the another. Mr. DEFOREST went by the nickname "North Pigeon Joe” for a number of years, having composed a song called "North Pigeon Joe” which he often sang to the great delight of his listeners, also the merchants of Kanesville. Having no team he worked at odd jobs for the early settlers and in the wintertime taught a night writing school. Moving to Magnolia in the early sixties, he became Deputy Clerk under Capt. Wm M. HILL, and had something to do with the arrest and imprisonment of that amiable and respected citizen which occurred during the Civil war. Mr. DEFOREST was also Deputy Recorder. He was a man if much great force and energy, walking much, even with his handicap of one limb shorter than the other, and for some time carried the U.S. mail from Magnolia through Harris Grove, Jeddo, Whitesboro, and back to Magnolia, afoot, prior to the coming of the railroad.
Mary married Fred N. OVIATT
Josiah married Emma HOMER
Samuel married Mary NEVELLS
Jackson DAUGHERTY was born in Ohio, and Nancy HANER, his wife in Illinois; they came to Harris Grove in 1854, and lived for a short time in the William UTLEY cabin, vacated by the Mormons, that stood near the north center of Lot 18, Sec.1, LaGrange Township. Mr. DAUGHERTY was a mechanic and had no fixed abode, but lived in the Grove off and on for many years. His principle occupation was the making of axe handles, and in that line he was an expert.
Mathew married Rebecca RICHARDSON
John married Miss EVANS
Ellen married August WELDY
Jennie married Wm. MILLER
Dora married J. SMITH
Stuart ALEXANDER was born in Antrim County, Ireland was married to Latina ENSIGN in this country, she being a native of Connecticut, born Nov. 27th, 1818. They became residents of the Grove, Sept. 14, 1854, buying the W 1/2 NW 1/4 Sec. 13, from Alfred LONGMAN. Stuart ALEXANDER was one of the most skilled grain stackers ever about the Grove, and his services were for years in demand for that useful knack, now almost forgotten by our younger men. He passed into rest Nov. 20, 1878, Mrs. ALEXANDER, March 29, 1897.
All these daughters were successful school teachers, and all at one time or another taught at the LINNWOOD school, in the days when spelling schools were in flower.
Emma C. married Daniel K. DODSON
Pluma married Henry MARTIN
Rosella married Nephi YOKOM
Ensign L. married Elizabeth MARSHALL
Charles CARVALHOE was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 4, 1807, and was united in marriage with Maranda MOON, born Jan. 2, 1812. They moved to BIGLER's Grove in 1853, and to Harris Grove in April 1854, and during their stay in the Grove, lived in the NAY log house that stood in the southeast corner of the NE 1/4 NW 1/4 Sec. 12, in LaGrange Twp.
Mr. CARVALHOE mended boots and shoes, and also farmed, selling in 1861, they moved overland to California. They were foster parents to Benjamin A. DIVELBESS and Julia GALLOWAY. Mr. DIVELBESS married Fanny LONGMAN.