Muscatine County, Iowa


Article source: "Muscatine Journal", Muscatine, Iowa July 30/31, 1897


Aristarchus Cone, of Cedar Township, A Brief Personal History


It was Built in 1838 and Used for Twenty Years
as a Residence. View of it as it Now Stands

The Journal takes pleasure in presenting to its readers a good likeness of one of the oldest living settlers of Muscatine County. Mr. Cone was born February 22d, 1815, in Middlesex county, Conn. When about 22 years of age he started westward, boarding a steamer at St. Louis, from Whence he came by another steamer to Muscatine, in the spring of 1837, and located in Cedar Township, in the western part of this county.

At that time there were no white settlers here. He spent the summer here and in the fall he returned to Connecticut, where he spent the winter. Again coming west in the spring of 1838, he found a few settlers had arrived. Among them was the late Richard Lord. Each settler was permitted to take up 320 acres of land. Mr. Cone served as claim recorder until the land was put on the market.

During the summer of 1838 Mr. Cone and Mr. Lord lived in a tent, but as winter approached they felt the need of better quarters, and built a log cabin, in which the two young men kept " bach " till 1851, when Mr. Cone was married.


The above represents the cabin as it stands today. It is a true picture, takes with a kodack by a JOURNAL representative, when visiting Mr. Cone last spring. This cabin was his dwelling house for twenty years. The door was made of split walnut and dressed with an axe; the hinges were made of wood and it was hung like a gate. In this cabin is stored the wheels of Mr. Cone's first vehicle and many other primitive implements used in farming.

At the land sales in 1841 Mr. Cone took 220 acres. This was during the administration of President Tyler.

Since coming to this county Mr. Cone has witnessed many changes. He was clerk of the first election when there was only 9 votes cast, and the territory embraced what are now four townships. But improvements have gone steadily forward and the wild and unsettled country has developed into the finest farms in the county.

Mr. Cone has added to his landed possessions till the farm contains 640 acres. The little log cabin of former days has long since given way to a large brick residence, which he built at the cost of $ 2,800, and two large barns and other out buildings, and his beautiful lawn with the cement walk shows that he is a man of progressive ideas, but it is safe to say he has a good deal of reverence for his pioneer cabin.

No children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cone, but they have an adopted son, William S. Hunter, whom they have reared from his fourth year to manhood. He now has charge of this fine farm and carries out Mr. Cones suggestions as to its management.

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