Muscatine County Iowa
Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Historical Section, 1879, pages 432-442
OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION.
On the 9th of February, 1856, an Old Settlers' Society was formed at Muscatine, by the following persons: Judge Joseph Williams, T. S. Parvin, Pliny Fay, Joseph Bridgeman, Suel Foster, H. A. Jennison, R. R. Hine, Z. Washburn, G. W. Humphreys, J. P. Walton, M. Ward, W. Chambers, Jr., Giles Pettibone, Joseph S. Allen and A. T. Banks. Judge Williams was elected President, and Mr. Parvin, Secretary. The Society still exists. Judge D. C. Richman is President, and Mr. Peter Jackson, Secretary.
Mr. Peter Jackson, Secretary of the Old Settlers' Society, has carefully preserved all obituary notices of those pioneers who have passed away. From such records is here compiled a chapter on the lives and public services of those men and women who were identified with the early settlement of this county. To give even brief mention of all who have died after having gained honorable residence in Muscatine County, is a task beyond the limits of any one volume, and to the end that a safe guide may be followed in our work, we have selected only such names as appear in the Secretary's book. Hundreds of men live in a community for years without becoming public characters, but are none the less worthy of a place in the pages of local history. Still, it is obvious that unless a record is preserved, from time to time, or at their death, no writer can obtain the necessary data wherewith to construct a fitting memoir. With a general recognition of the labors of the many, in their efforts to create a new county, therefore, and without intentional errors of omission, the writer takes up the thread of his text.
The first name mentioned in the Pioneers' Record, is that of Judge Arthur Washburn, who came from New York State to Iowa, and located in this region in 1835. In 1836, he was appointed to the first postmastership created in Muscatine County, while it was yet a part of old Des Moines. The office in question was located near "the mouth of Pine," and was called Iowa. For several months thereafter, the sparse settlement in this section of Iowa went to that Postmaster rather than to that office, for their scattering mail. The office was located in the little trading store kept by Maj. William Gordon. In 1838, after the legal birth of Muscatine County, Gov. Lucas appointed Mr. Washburn Judge of Probate. In 1851, when the office of County Judge was created, Judge Washburn was elected to that position, which was financial agent of the county, as well as business administrator. During his incumbency, the Judge raised the credit of the county to par, by his economical management of its affairs. Judge Washburn held numerous offices besides those already named, and in them all discharged his duties honorably. His death occurred early in 1856, and resolutions of respect were adopted by the pioneers.
Edward E. Fay, the first Postmaster of Bloomington, died in 1840. Mr. Fay held several positions of honor and trust, and is to this day remembered with affectionate regard by his associates in the early scenes.
Adam Ogilvie, Thomas M. Isett, Amos Walton, John Vanater--these are names which awaken a train of recollection among the survivors of the early days.
Judge Joseph Williams figures more prominently in the history of the county and Territory than any other pioneer, perhaps, because of the high office held by him from the first. He was born in Greenburg, Westmoreland Co.. Penn., December 28, 1801. In 1838, President Van Buren appointed Mr. Williams Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Iowa, and Judge of the Second Judicial District. It is related of him that his genial character and generous spirit oftentimes led him into what some deemed lapses from judicial dignity, insomuch that he not infrequently joined his "bar" in a social dance after his official duties were done. In fact, he would not only dance, but even play the violin for others to dance by, and hence his political opponents termed him "the fiddling Judge." When President Tyler came into office, an effort was made to secure the removal of the Iowa Judges, and, it is said, certain men were even determined upon as the successors of the trio. When Judge Williams received word of the movement, he took steps to counteract it. A paper purporting to represent the sentiment of the District, but really gotten up in Bloomington, had been sent to Washington. Gen. Dodge had forwarded a copy of the document to Iowa; and the interested parties were not slow in getting up a counter-statement. Armed with this indorsement, Judge Williams repaired to the capital, and, on his way met certain ladies, who were traveling thither by the same coach. So genial was the Judge that he soon gained the admiration of his fair companions. Neither knew the other, but what was the mutual surprise of all when, upon the Judge's presentation to the President, they ascertained that the Judge was an aspirant for executive favor, and the ladies were members of the President's household. The acquaintance so pleasantly begun was thereupon continued, and the result of the chance meeting was the re-appointment of the original bench. When Iowa was admitted as a State, Judge Williams was elected to the Supreme Judgeship. In 1848, Hon. S. C. Hastings succeeded him in that office; but in 1849, the Judge again became the occupant of the Supreme Bench. He retained his office until 1855. In 1857, President Buchanan appointed him one of the Judges of the Territory of Kansas. a position which he held until the admission of Kansas as a State. In 1863, Gen. Veach, at Memphis, Tenn., found it necessary to organize a judicial tribunal at that post, the operations of the war having suspended the ordinary legal institutions. Judge Williams accepted a seat as one of that commission. Early in 1870, the Judge left his home in Lake Township, whither he had returned some four years prior to the last date, and went to Fort Scott, Kan. He was suddenly attacked with pneumonia, shortly after his arrival, and died March 31, 1870. His remains were brought back and interred in the county he had so long honored.
Were it possible to do so, we should be glad to record here the innumerable anecdotes connected with Judge Williams' public life; but no memoranda were preserved, and even his address, delivered before the Old Settlers' Society in 1869, is but a mere recollection. His fund of incident and story was inexhaustible. He was a genius in his way, benevolent to the extent of personal injury to himself, and plain and unassuming in an extreme degree. He was a Christian man, and joined the little band of Methodists in forming the first class, of which his wife was also a member. He also aided in the establishment of the first Sunday school in Bloomington. He was an able jurist, an incorruptible Judge, an honest man. Mrs. Mary Williams, his wife, died September 10, 1871.
Judge W. G. Woodward was born in Hanover, N. H., May 20, 1808. In 1839; he removed to Bloomington. His education was acquired at Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1828. He was admitted to the bar by Rufus Choate, in 1832. He was a highly-educated, polished gentleman, and, with his accomplished wife, added greatly to the society of Bloomington. He was chosen Prosecuting Attorney of the county at an early day. In 1855, he was elected by the Legislature Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In 1861, he was chosen State Senator, and became one of the most active members. In 1862, he was appointed Clerk of the United States Circuit Court, and retained the office until 1869, when he retired to private life. His death occurred February 24, 1871.
Isaac Magoon, a pioneer of 1839, died in 1846. Mrs. Hannah Magoon, his widow, died October 12, 1871, aged eighty-three years. Mrs. Magoon was universally respected for her many excellent qualities.
Gen. J. E. Fletcher came to Bloomington in the summer of 1838. He was a native of Thetford, Vt., and from that State he brought his wife. In 1839, he purchased lands about six miles from the county seat, and located thereon. His public life dates back to the Territorial days. He was one of the delegates, who framed the State Constitution, and, in 1846, was appointed Indian Agent for the Winnebagoes, which office he filled for eleven years. The location of the agency was twice moved during his administration. He first had quarters at Fort Atkinson; thence he moved to Mankato, on the Minnesota River; thence to a point above St. Paul. During his official term, the Winnebagoes, Sioux and Chippewas were frequently at war; but by his brave and judicious management, he generally averted disastrous results. During all those years of wild life and arduous duties, the General was accompanied by his wife, who rendered him great assistance. Mrs. Fletcher also devoted much time to the education of the Indians. The General, Mrs. Fletcher and their son, Dr. Fletcher, then a mere lad, became proficient in the Indian tongue. In 1858, the General returned to Muscatine County with his family. He was a man of noted character, of energy and industry. His death was mourned by many friends. He died in April, 1872.
David R. Warfield was born at Eastern Shore, Md., March 19, 1816. He became a resident of Bloomington in December, 1837. In the summer of that year, his cousin, Charles A. Warfield, in exploring the country from St. Louis up the river, decided to locate at Bloomington. He accordingly purchased the Bartlow claim, and two or three others, embracing, in all, that tract of land north of the east part of the city, from Eighth street for one mile back, and from a few rods west of the Iowa City road, a mile east, including about one- half of the Chester Weed farm. Mr. Suel Foster relates the following incident connected with Mr. Warfield's arrival: "In December, 1837, I think it was near Christmas, I returned to Bloomington, from a temporary trip, and was told that three men had been on the other side of the river for several days and were anxious to get over. The ice was running so thick, that no one could cross. I found two men, who were willing to venture in a skiff, to bring the three new settlers to Iowa. By this means, A. 0. and D. R. Warfield and Capt. Dunn were brought across in safety, and from that day became residents of the county. A. 0. Warfield remarked, that he and David had been in Bloomington a few days before the period of which I write, having walked from Burlington, the boats having stopped running. They had crossed over into Illinois, for provisions, preparatory to setting up bachelor's hall. They were on their return, laden with pork and other necessaries, which they had obtained of Stanton Prentiss, near the mouth of Copperas Creek, when the ice prevented their crossing. A. 0. and Charles A. were brothers. D. R., the cousin, became interested with them in the valuable tract referred to. In the spring of 1838, Asbury and David built a saw-mill on Mad Creek, near the northeast corner of the town plat, where considerable lumber was sawed. During the 'Missouri War,' Maj. D. R. Warfield was called out to defend his country, and he and I were messmates. In 1841, the Major married Miss Josephine Steinberger." The notices of the Major's life and death are uniformly eulogistic of a man who ever exerted a wide and beneficial influence. The last years of his life were devoted to farming. He died in April, 1872.
Mrs. D. R. Warfield, wife of the pioneer, died January 8, 1875. She was one of the Steinberger sisters, a niece of Gov. Lucas, and filled a most enviable and admirable place in the society of early times. She came to Bloomington in 1840.
George Bumgardner, the original County Surveyor, came to Bloomington in 1837. His name is inscribed on the pages of all the early records relating to deeds and plats of property in the Recorder's office. He it was who laid out and defined the line of Bloomington, after the formal purchase. Not only did he establish city boundaries, but he also laid the foundation of the Methodist Episcopal Society, in company with John A. Parvin, Joseph Williams, and others.
Dr. Eli Reynolds, the founder of the extinct town of Geneva, a few miles above Bloomington, and the first Representative from the region in the Belmont Legislature, located at New Boston in 1835. In 1836, he planned Geneva, and right manfully did he labor to secure the seat of justice there. As a mark of his ability, it is shown that two townships are attached to Muscatine County which might naturally belong to Scott. Those eastern towns were placed where they are still found in order to give a more central location to Geneva. How-ever, the best laid plans sometimes fail, and, when the news of the Doctor's intent came to the ears of the residents of Muscatine, there was a hurrying to and fro, and petitions were sent to Gov. Dodge in protest against the proposed change. The bill, meanwhile, had passed the Legislature of 1837-38, at Burlington, and needed but the signature of the Governor to make it a law. But that signature was never given. The measure failed of approval, and Bloomington was retained, in the amended act of organization, as the county seat. Geneva is no more. Dr. Reynolds resided in the home of his creation for about twelve years. Subsequently, he lived at Fairport and at Moscow. He died at S. R. Drury's house, at Drury's Landing, May 10, 1873. For fifty-six years he was a practicing physician.
William St. John, one of the 1836 pioneers, and for many years of the firm of Ogilvie & St. John, died April 18, 1874, in Morrison, Ill., where he had resided for about nine years. Mr. St. John was associated at an early day with many of the schemes of improvement then in vogue, and was a highly- esteemed citizen.
Gen. Ansel Humphreys came to Bloomington in the spring of 1840. He was born in Hartford County, Conn., June 1, 1792, and from his youth up he was possessed of great activity and energy. By the exercise of those mental and moral attributes which nature had endowed him with and qualified him for, he soon became a leading spirit in this community. He gained his title by a commission of Major General in the Connecticut militia, which he resigned to move West. He served with distinction in various civil offices in his native State, and held a commission as United States Commissioner for the State of Iowa from 1851 to the date of his death, which occurred April 21, 1873.
John H. Pigman, a pioneer of 1840, died April 4, 1874, aged seventy-three years. He held the office of County Surveyor at the time of his death, and served, in 1854, as member of the State Legislature.
Hon. Jacob Butler was born at Franklinton, opposite Columbus, Ohio, in 1817. In 1841, Mr Butler removed to Bloomington, and formed a law partnership with Judge Lowe. His early education was acquired through his own untiring exertions, and that fact serves as an index to his character. From the first year of his residence in Iowa he began to exert a wide influence upon the growth and history of the town of his choice. No citizen received prompter or more generous recognition of merit. His first appearance in official life followed his election to the General Assembly, in 1863, at which session he was elected Speaker of the House. He was again brought into prominence as President of the Northwest Conference of the Congregational Association, held at Chicago. He was Trustee of Iowa College, Director of the American Mission Society, President for more than three years of the Muscatine National Bank, President of the Muscatine Gas Company, and President of the Iowa Railway Construction Company. In 1872, he represented the Liberal party on the electoral ticket of Greeley and Brown, and, at the time of his death, was Vice President of the Marine Company Bank of Chicago. Mr. Butler married for his first wife Sarah, daughter of Rev. Charles Cummings, D. D., of New York, and sister of Mrs. Dr. J. S. Horton, of Muscatine. His second marriage was with Esther, daughter of Judge Maynard, of Corning, N. Y. In religious sentiments Mr. Butler was liberal, but he maintained an honorable connection with the Congregational Church from 1854. In many things he was eccentric, but that characteristic was rather the outgrowth of a strong mind and determined purpose. His death occurred April 23, 1874, in Mt. Pleasant, of acute meningitis. The citizens, the bar and the pulpit united in expressions of profound regret at his death. For many years, he won and retained the admiration of his fellow-citizens by his eloquent tongue and his powerful intellect. The fate which brought him to a mental condition the reverse of his normal state was most deplorable. His memory will ever be fresh among those who knew him in his manly health and vigor.
Chester Weed was one of the most generally known and respected men in this region of the State, as a merchant and public-spirited man. For thirty years, the firm of Weed & Bridgeman (the latter a brother-in-law of the former) was known and respected. He was a native of Connecticut, and imbibed the characteristics of the race from which he sprang, in all their better nature. His father, Dr. Benjamin Weed, came to Bloomington in 1839; and, in 1841, the son followed. In 1843, after having acted as clerk in the store of Joseph Bennett for some time, Messr's. Weed and Bridgeman formed the'mercantile copartnership which became, in the course of years, so extensively and favorably known. He was identified with the most beneficial interests of the place, and was ever a generous citizen, a thoroughly respected man. In 1873, Mr. Weed was married to Miss Cora Chaplin, and the bridal couple made an extended European journey, the second enjoyed by Mr Weed. He loved the good and the beautiful, and left his impress on those with whom he came in contact. The local press, in speaking of his sudden demise, remarked that there was "no one on whom his mantle could fall."
William Chambers, Sr., was born in North Carolina, June 5,1793. He served with distinction in the war of 1812. In the spring of 1836, he came, with his family, to Muscatine County, whither he was preceded a few weeks by his son Vincent, with whom he settled on a farm about six miles from town. In 1866, he took up his residence, with his son, in Muscatine City. His death occurred in December, 1874. The bereavement to the family was augmented by the sad coincidence of the death of Mrs. Mary Chambers, wife of John, one of the pioneer sons. The wife was the daughter of John S. Lakin, who came to Bloomington in 1840. She was married July 13, 1854, and, about 1871, removed, with her husband, to Leavenworth, Kan. The body was brought to Muscatine, and the funerals were solemnized at the same time. Both father and daughter were respected by the entire community, and the dual affliction created a profound impression upon the society which knew them so long.
J. B. Dougherty, Sr., a pioneer of 1842, who purchased the first drug store of W. H., Hollingsworth at that time, and continued in the business until 1875, died July 14, 1875. He was identified with the growth of the town, and always took a deep interest in its prosperity.
William E. Leffingwell died October 23, 1876. He came to Muscatine County in 1836, where he at once began the labor of improving a farm in Wapsinonoc Township. In 1844, he became a resident of town, and was repeatedly honored by office at the hands of his fellow-citizens. He served as County Commissioner, Clerk of the County, Justice of the Peace, City Treasurer, and Mayor. He left behind him an honorable record, and is remembered with affectionate regard by all who knew him.
Col. George W. Kincaid, accompanied by his wife, came to this region in 1839, and located in what is now Seventy-six Township. Col. Kincaid, although past the age of military duty, was foremost in the cause of the Union in 1861, and was the prime mover in the effort to raise a regiment of old men. The Thirty-seventh Regiment, known as the famous Gray-Beards, was mustered in under his supervision, and he commissioned Colonel thereof September 17, 1862. He was Vice President of the Pioneers' Association of Muscatine County.
Gen. John G. Gordon, who acquired the title by commission from Gov. Briggs, of Iowa, in 1847, came to this county in 1844. He was never a seeker after office or notoriety, and held no place of prominence; but, as an earnest worker in the ordinary methods of life, his rank was among the foremost. He died in 1877.
Samuel Lucas located four miles west of Bloomington in 1838. He resided upon the same farm continuously until the time of his death, in 1878.
The foregoing pages contain but briefest mention of such names only as the Pioneers' Association records contain, who now are numbered among the dead. Of the host of other men who, coming at a later period, have helped to build up the city of Muscatine and form the character of the county, we cannot speak in detail. If names are omitted which should appear in these pages, the cause of the delinquency lies not with the writer. Many more might, doubt-less, be added to the list, and the historian who comes after us will find materials for a greater work.
THE NYE TRAGEDY.
The tragic ending of the life of Benjamin Nye, who disputed titles with Err Thornton as to first settlership, forms one of the few dark pages in the history of this county. The story is thus told by one who remembers the facts in the case:
"Nye was a type of the rougher sort of pioneers, and a worthy man and one who possessed the confidence of his neighbors so far as to elect him County Commissioner, and to other local offices, was fearless as a lion and implacable as an Indian. It is stated that in some way becoming involved in a controversy with a noted border desperado known as Maj. Gordon, Nye attacked him, and in the fierce fight with 'bowies' which followed both were supposed to have been fatally wounded. Nye, at least, recovered, and first came into contact with George McCoy as a farm hand in his employ. McCoy wooed the daughter of his employer, but had to run away with her in order to get married, which Nye never forgave to be on speaking terms thereafter. In 1840, McCoy was elected Sheriff of Cedar County, serving as such several terms; but getting the fever, in 1849 he started for California, leaving his wife and children living in Tipton, in a house that stood where Casad's coal office now is, and under the shadow of that same old cottonwood, which was placed there by McCoy's own hands. Leaving suddenly, McCoy placed all his affairs in the hands of an old personal and political friend, S. A. Bissell, afterward. known as Judge Bissell, who was then a very important figure in local affalrs of all kinds, and held a high official position, especially enjoining upon him care for his wife and children. The latter injunction was alleged to have been too literally obeyed--at all events when McCoy had been in California about a year the news came from his far- away home in Iowa that the family cradle had just been re-occupied and the census at his hearthstone increased by one. He dropped everything and hastened back with vengeance in his heart.
But the journey was a long one in those days, and time was given for much reflection--so much so, that instead of doing hasty murder on his arrival, he avowed his only object to be, to obtain his own children and take them back to California with him. Thc friend in charge, on hearing of McCoy's arrival, took to his bed and was sick for some time, but no doubt was greatly relieved, when McCoy finally sent him word that he might go to and from his official duties without fear, even if the permission was coupled with such a threat, in case he should be found elsewhere, as kept him most religiously to the prescribed line of march. In the mean time the wife and children were at Ben. Nye's, in Muscatine County; and, although McCoy was reminded of the character of his father-in-law, and advised to proceed by legal process only, he took a wagon and a couple of trusty men--one of whom is a resident of Tipton to-day--and, learning that Nye would be in Muscatine on business, on the 3d of March, 1852, made a raid on his premises, got the children in the wagon and was away without hindrance. But it so fell out that Nye soon returned; and, learning the situation, sprang into his own wagon, and drove at racing speed, until he overtook McCoy eight miles on the road toward Tipton. Passing the team of the latter, he turned his own across the road, handed the lines to his companion, and jumping out demanded the children. McCoy produced a revolver, and warned him that death would be the penalty of interference; but the old borderer advanced to the wagon without flinching, and actually, seized one of the children, although the pistol had twice been fired at him meanwhile. But being unarmed, he then suddenly changed his tactics, and rushing to the fence, seized a heavy stake, and again advanced. McCoy, by this time, had jumped from the wagon, and stood with his pistol leveled. He waited an instant too long, however, and down came Nye's club, and the pistol went whirling into the road, while the arm that held it fell disabled at its owner's side.
But this time the old grizzly had met his fate! Without hesitation, McCoy drew a huge bowie-knife with the other hand, and springing upon his antagonist, twice buried it to the hilt in his body--the last time actually turning it in the wound. Either gash was sufficient to let life out, but still Nye's determination defied death for several days. McCoy, on his part, put his children in a place of safety, and went at once to Muscatine and surrendered himself to the authorities. He was examined before Judge Williams, and released upon the plea of having acted in self-defense, and is, to-day, a Justice of the Peace and prominent citizen in a flourishing California village.
Mrs. Azuba Nye, widow of Benjamin, and the first white female settler in Muscatine County, died on the original claim made in 1834, March 4, 1879.
The county was formally organized in the year 1837, as is shown in detail elsewhere in this work. It is impossible to give a list of those who came to the county in 1837, for the number reached far up into the hundreds. The year following, a census was taken, which showed the population of Muscatine County to be no less than 1,247.
It is a fact which cannot be denied successfully that all new countries attract a certain element of society which is far from desirable. The "floating population" which hangs upon the outskirts of civilization does no good to a region infested by it; but its presence is almost sure to be made manifest by an era of lawlessness which retards the material growth and improvement of the country. FortunateJy, Muscatine County was soon rid of that idle, speculative class. The leaders in the community were men of such stanch determination and honest purpose that idlers found the locality an unpleasant one for them, and moved further West. The opeQing up of still new regions, during the ten years succeeding the first improvements in this county, induced many to select homes along the Iowa Valley and elsewhere, with a view to making themselves leaders and original proprietors in the towns which sprang into existence, and also to become large owners of the fertile prairie-lands of the interior. These causes, among others not so apparent, produced a marked change in the population of this county, in 1846. The census returns taken under the Territorial government were as follows: 1838, 1,247; 1840, 1,942; 1844, 2,882; 1846, 1,485.
We are able to give some of the prominent names in the roll of settlers who came prior to 1840, and are recorded in the Old Settlers' Society's register. We do not pretend that the list is a complete one, but we give all whose names have been furnisned us by reliable parties. The settlements in the several townships are spoken of more in detail in the chapters devoted especially to the towns and villages. We give the names appended in about the order of their coming, by years only.
Beginning with the assumption that settlement was made in 1834, we have: Err Thornton, Lott Thornton, Benjamin and Azuba Nye.
1835--James W. Casey, John Vanater, John McGrew, Arthur Washburn, Dr. Eli Reynolds.
1836--Suel Foster, Moses Couch, William Gordon, John J. Huber, Thomas Burdett, H. Burdett, Addison Reynolds, Samuel Gilbert, Hiram Gilbert, William St. John, Thomas B. Holliday, John H. Miller, John Holliday, Samuel Holliday, Elias Holliday, Levi Thornton, J. H. Benson, Edward E. Fay, J. Craig, John Reece, Henry Reece, Joseph Reece, Harvey Gillett, William Beard, William P. Wright, L. C. Hine, Mr. Higley (the pioneer peddler), and his son Jonas, Joshua Stearn, Browning Stearn (first settlers on Muscatine Island), Frank Casey, W. H. Sams, Solomon Bair, William Hunter, John Cobb, John Marble, Daniel Edginton, Samuel Kinney, R. C. Kinney, Aaron Blanchard, Samuel Parker, Giles Pettibone, Jonathan Pettibone, John Champ, Silas Maine, Charles Maine, Norman Fullington, Adam Ogilvie, T. M. Isett, Mr. Norton and wife, William Chambers, Sr., and his sons Vincent, William, Isaac, Anderson and John Aaron Brewer, James Chambers, S. C. Comstock, J. H, Franklin, Henry Mockmore, Robert Bamford, Charles Drury, who laid out Moscow in 1836.
1837--Joseph Bridgman, Richard Lord, Silas Lathrop, Isaac Lathrop, Samuel Shortridge, John Briggs, Asa Gregg, Henry Funck, Adam Funck, William Sparkes, Thomas Starks, S. Clinton Hastings, Robert Davis, H. Wiley, Silas Goldsbury, George Bumgardner, William G. Holmes, Addison Gillett, Samuel Stormes, John Frierson, John Main, Ahimaaz Blanchard, George Storms, Jeremiah Fish, Charles H. Fish, Pliny Fay, H. H. Hine, John Miles, David Kiefer, Robert Smith, Jacob Kiser, Wilson Wright J. Richman, Robert Graham, John Lawson, Martin Sutherland, Alexander Ward, L. T. McGrew, Amos Walton, Isaiah Davis, Alexander Ward, Myron Ward, John Kindler, Dr. Maxon, A. Whiting, William Todd, H. Sany, S. Richardson, F. Richardson, C. Rayburn, A. Cone, Daniel Mauck, Isaac Mauck, S. C. Trowbridge, Giles Pettibone, John Morford, J. Berg, J. C. Cole, J. S. Yates, J. G. Morrow, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Vandever, John Miller, S. Colver, Dr. H. Lee, Jacob Long, James Bidwell, Peter Bidwell, John S. Abbott, Robert McClaren, Benjamin Baston, John Shefrey, A. L. McKee, Luke Cunningham, Joseph Mounts, Thomas J. Starke, Nathan Parsons, James Davis, Samuel Parker, Christopher Burns, Levi Chamberlain, Samuel Starr, the Coombs fami]y, Anderson Pace, Aaron Usher, Niles Higginbotham.
1838--T. S. Parvin, Judge Joseph Williams, M. M. Berkshire, A. T. Banks, J. E. Fletcher, Samuel Lucas, Thomas Morford, D. R. Warfield, A. 0. Warfield, Josiah P. Walton, John W. Walton, S. W. Stewart, W. D. Viele, Peter Jackson, Henry W. Moore, Abraham Smalley, J. A. Reuling, A. M. Winn, Andrew McCurdy, J. Williams, Jr., William Morford, R. Morford, B. T. Howland, J. W. Brady, George Barney, Mr. Hawkins, Irad C. Day; D. R. Petriken, W. S. Ayers, A. West, James Beatty, John M. Kidder, J. M. Brockway, A. Brockway, W. Tebow, Charles Browning, James Phillips, A. Farnsworth, Samuel Bamford, Horace Deming, John lsler, Amos Lillibridge, Azel Farnsworth, Benjamin Lilly, Alonzo Standard.
1839.--John A. Parvin, J. M. Kane, G. W. Kincaid, J. McCloud, J. A. Purinton, E. T. S. Schenck, C. A. Abbott, Mathew Mathews, Clark Mathews, W. W. DeWeber, Hiram Mathews, Benjamin S. Olds, G. E. Daniels, G. W. Humphreys, Samuel Tarr, S. N. Candee, F. H. Stone, James Weed, Z. Washburn, J. K. Williams, M. Gilbert, J. E. Israel, George M. Kinsley, Dennis Jeffers, Joseph Bennett, D. C. Cloud, William Leffingwell, J. Scott Richman, William A. Gordon, John Giles, S. D. Viele, Samuel Sinnett, Isaac Magoon, George D. Magoon, W. G. Woodward, A. R. Woodward, Alexander Dunsmore, Shepherd Smalley, John Smalley, William Smalley, Jackson Smalley, Henry Smalley, Tiley Smalley, S. Whicher, J. Ziegler, J. A. McCormick, G. W. Hunt, A. M. Hare, H. Q. Jennison, Stephen B. Brophy, L. Truesdale, William Brownell, G. A. Springer, P. Fryberger, Benjamin and Edward Mathews, who were brought here by C. A. and D. R. Warfield, as emancipated slaves from Maryland, Daniel S. Smith, Silas Hawley, Barton Lee.
It is possible that some errors have crept into the arrangement of the foregoing list, but great care has been taken to avoid such mistakes. The names are all copied from records and papers, or taken from statements made to the writer in person. The settlers here enumerated were in the county prior to 1840, beyond question, and probably came as indicated. The list might be swelled to include hundreds of other names, but such a task as the preparation of the roll would be is obviously impossible.
Among the men who have claimed Muscatine as their place of residence, the one who has gained the most wide-spread celebrity is Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain). When but a young lad, he came with his mother and brother from Hannibal, Mo., and located in Muscatine. Orion Clemens purchased an interest in the Journal, and Samuel worked as printer in the office. This was in 1853-54. After a time, the restless spirit possessed young Clemens and he started out upon a "tramp," with little besides that magic passport to a printing office--a "composing-rule." It was during his sojourn at Hannibal and at this place that Clemens imbibed that profound reverence for the profession of Mississippi pilot, which he so admirably described in his Atlantic Monthly papers. The young printer journeyed on from place to place, until he finally reached Philadelphia, and while there wrote letters to the Journal at this place, descriptive of the City of Brotherly Love. The first letter published was one concerning the Fairmount Water Works. These letters evinced so much native talent on the part of the writer that they were generally commented on. Subsequently, Clemens reached California, in his wanderings, and there he blossomed out into a successful humorist. His later triumphs are too fresh in the minds of the people to need special mention here.
Judge S. Clinton Rastings occupied the most prominent position of any of the earlier politicians. He was chosen Representative in Congress in 1846, and served one term. He was appointed to the Supreme Bench, as Chief Justice, January 26, 1848, and served until January 15, 1849. He exercised a decided influence on local politics during the formative years of the county, and his name is found in many of the official records and early law documents. In 1849, he removed to California, where he was placed upon the Supreme Bench, and is noW one of the capitalists of the Pacific Slope.
Judge Henry O'Connor, noW Solicitor of the State Department at Washington, was, for a quarter of a century, a power in the politics of Muscatine County. As a lawyer of marked ability and a gentleman of admirable qualities, he is known and respected by his former associates.
Hon. T. S. Parvin, who came in 1838, was from the first a prime mover in all educational and other beneficial enterprises. He is esteemed the foremost man among those who laid the foundation of schools in Muscatine, and is remembered for his, untiring devotion to the higher interests of the town. His removal to Iowa CIty was a serious loss to this place.
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