Muscatine County Iowa

Here is what the abbreviations in the bios stand for: far: farm; Co.: company or county; dir: dealer; IVA: Iowa Volunteer Artillery; IVC: Iowa Volunteer Cavalry; IVI: Iowa Volunteer Infantry; P.O.: Post Office; S. or Sec.: section; and st.: street.

Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Biographical Section, 1879, page 628

Mrs. LAVISA S. KINCAID, Mrs. Lavisa S (nee Steenbergen), farmer, Sec. 5; daughter of Charles Steenbergen; born in Pike Co, Ohio in 1819; niece of Hon. Robert Lucas, ex-Governor of Ohio, subsequently Governor of Iowa and Brigadier General in the War of 1812. Both of her grandfathers fought through the Revolutionary war. On the 16th of January, 1838, she married Mr. George W. Kincaid, a native of Ohio; born at West Union, Adams Co., April 24, 1811; son of Thomas Kincaid and Margaret (nee Hanna), natives of Pennsylvania and Martinsville, Va., and descendants of Revolutionary stock; both of his grandfathers fought through the war of Independence; his father, Thomas Kincaid, was aide-de-camp to Gen. Ludwick in the war of 1812-1815, and took part in the battle of the Thames about the date of the birth of his son. George W. spent most of his boyhood in West Union; his father having been Sheriff of the county for twelve years, where he attended the public schools, and at the age of 14, was apprenticed to learn the tanning business at Piketon, Ohio, where, after serving his time, he engaged in business for some years; in 1838, shortly after his marriage, he moved to La Fayette, Ind., where he was engaged as a contractor on the public works for a year; in 1839, removed to Iowa, settling in Muscatine Co., which was his home during the rest of his life; here he engaged in farming. Notwithstanding the educational disadvantages under which he labored, he was a man of great intelligence and sound judgment, and soon took a leading position in the community. He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Iowa, and also the first Commissioner of the State school fund, and was one of the Trustees, having charge of the erection of the Iowa Insane Asylum at Mount Pleasant during 1860-1862, and held many other offices of trust and responsibility during his long and eventful career. He was not only a pioneer citizen of Muscatine, to whose interest he was always devoted, but he was emphatically a patriot, and loved his whole country; in politics, he had been a Whig; was a radical Republican, and ever an uncompromising foe to human slavery; he espoused the Union cause with all his heart, and on every suitable occasion, spoke out with the fervor of a deep devotion to the cause of his country. An incident published in the local papers at the time, shows how he seized every opportunity to inspire enthusiasm and good humor in his patriotic work. A public meeting was held at which a number of speeches were made, expressing the strongest allegiance to the "old flag." One polished orator, with glowing and rounded periods, said he "was born under the "stars and stripes" and expected to die under them." Col. Kincaid followed this speaker and said, "I, too, was born under the stars and stripes; I was born in a little log cabin in Ohio; the stars shone on me through the chinks between the logs and there was a striped quilt over me." This speech brought down the house in uproarious applause, and tended to add to his popularity and influence. But he was not satisfied with speaking; he wanted to do as well as say, and he conceived the idea of raising a regiment of "Gray-Beards, " to be composed of men, who, like himself, were past the legal age of military duty. Accordingly, in 1862, he recruited what was afterward known as the 37th Iowa, or "Gray-Beard" Regiment, the recruits for which were mainly drawn from the Hawkeye State, but many of them were citizens of Illinois and other adjacent States, which he commanded till the close of the war, in 1865. The regiment was mainly engaged on garrison or guard duty, and in this capacity, rendered important service in taking the place of able-bodied troops, who were thereby placed at the front. The regiment was first ordered to St. Louis; thence to the line of the Pacific Railroad, where they did guard duty for several months; from thence, it was transferred to Alton, Ill., and placed on guard over the rebel prisoners incarcerated at that place, where they remained for about a year; from thence, the command was transferred to Rock Island; in the spring of 1864, the Colonel, with his "Gray-Beards" was transferred to Memphis, Tenn., where, in command of the second brigade, district of West Tennessee, he took part in the battle on the 23d of August, 1864; from Memphis, the regiment was transferred to Indianapolis, and thence to Cincinnati, where they were mustered out May 22, 1865. As a soldier, Col. Kincaid was a stranger to fear; no braver man ever wore the uniform of his country. As a commander, he was kind and indulgent to men whom he saw willing to do their duty, but stern and severe to refractory subordinates. He was a man of rather striking appearance, being over six feet high, and of remarkable physical strength and endurance; was one of the pioneers of Iowa, and, like most men of that period, he began life low down, and by his own energy and industry accumulated a competency; leaving his wife and family of three sonnies and two daughters, Joanna (now the wife of Mr. George Magoon, of Muscatine), Margaret Lavisa, Charles S, William M. and Warren E., a fine home and farm consisting of 500 acres, upon which Mrs. K., and that part of the family remaining at home reside, and which Col. K. improved from a rough and crude state. Mr. K. was for many years, a member of the M.E. Church, and was, through his life, a total abstainer and an indefatigable advocate of the cause of temperance. As a husband and father, he was affectionate and indulgent, and was beloved and revered by his family. He died at Muscatine, on the 19th of October, 1876, of typhoid pneumonia, in his 65th year. Mrs. K. is a member of the M. E. Church, and beloved by all who know her. She was one of a committee of three appointed by the Governor to visit and inspect the State Insane Asylum at Mt. Pleasant and Independence, which office she has held for a number of years.

Back to Biographical Index Page

Back to 1879 Table of Contents Page

Back to the Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb Index Page