Muscatine County Iowa

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, page 239

M. P. PACE, a leading farmer residing on section 11, Sweetland Township, is one of the honored pioneers of Muscatine County, of which he became a resident in 1835. He was born in Virginia, on the 25th of February, 1815. His parents M.P., and Nancy ( Richards ) Pace, had a family of seven children, namely; Joseph. F.A., Frank, M.P., Jane, Elizabeth and John. When our subject was four years of age the family removed to Washington County, Ky., there residing until 1831, when they became residents of Morgan County, Ill. Securing a farm, the father engaged in its cultivation for three years, when, accompanied by his family he went to Warren County,Ill., remaining there until the fall of 1835. At that time Mr. Pace came to Iowa, bringing with him our subject to aid in surveying the land for a claim. They returned for the family in May, 1836, when they took up their permanent residence in the northern part of Muscatine County. By hard labor the land was cleared, and a comfortable home secured, but in 1846 the death angel visited the pioneer cabin, taking from it the loving mother. Ten years passed, and then Mr. Pace too was called to his final home.

On the 2d day of April, 1843, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Amanda Chambers, a daughter of William and Sarah ( Anderson ) Chambers. Her father was a native of North Carolina, born June 5. 1793, and, with the exception of the time of his service in the War of 1812, spent most of his life in agricultural pursuits, though he took great interest in the various business enterprises of his sons. He was united in marriage, Feb. 17, 1814, with Sarah Anderson, who was born in Madison County, Ky., May 3, 1795. She was a near relative of Col. Anderson, who belonged to Gen. Washington's staff, and was also related to Gen. Anderson, one of the heroes of Ft. Sumter. For several years Mr. and Mrs. Chambers resided in Kentucky, and then removed to Indiana, where they made their home for twenty-one years. In 1836 they started for what was then the Far West, reaching Muscatine, Iowa, on the 11th of May. They located in the town now known as Fairport, there residing for two years, when they removed to a farm which Mr. Chambers engaged in cultivating until 1865, when he moved to Muscatine City, and there resided until the time of his death, which occurred in 1874. There were eight children in the family: Vincent, who was born Nov. 30, 1816, became the husband of Margaret Neely, daughter of William and Elizabeth Neely, and resided in Akron, Colo., where for two years he was engaged in the wagon-making business; his death occurred at Muscatine, Feb.19, 1889. William, born Nov, 26, 1818, is the husband of Cynthia Long, daughter of Ware and Nancy Long; Anderson, born Nov. 26, 1820, was married in Texas in 1885; Isaac, born Oct. 14, 1823, died June 3, 1851; Amanda, born Feb. 26, 1825, is now Mrs. Pace; John, born March 22, 1829, is the husband of Mary Laken; Sarah A., born Dec. 25, 1831, is now deseased; Nancy J.,born June 12, 1834, is now the wife of William Bagley, son of Rev. Bagley, a minister of the Christian Church. Four sons of this family were the stockholders in the Chambers Lumber Company, which was at one time the largest lumber firm in Muscatine County.

In 1874 the death of Mrs. Chambers occurred; the same year her husband also departed this life. Four generations were present at his funeral, numbering over fifty relatives, comprising every descendent of the deceased save five grandchildren. Swiftly following the sad news of his death, word was received of the death of Mrs. John Chambers, who died at her home in Leavenworth, Kan., two hours later, and her remains were forwarded to the home of her childhood for interment.

We will now return to the history of our subject. After the marriage of Mr. Pace and Miss Chambers he engaged in farming and stock-raising, which occupation he has followed continuously since. By industry and enterprise he has accumulated a comfortable competency, and is now the owner of 460 acres of the finest farming land in Sweetland Township, which is under a high state of cultivation. It is stocked with the best grades of horses, cattle and hogs, the machinery is of the most improved styles, and everything about the place testifies to the thrift and enterprise of its owner. He is one of the oldest pioneers of Muscatine County. His life has been identified with its history for fifty-three years, during which time he has always been in the front rank in the work of civilization and progress, and the county owes not a little of her growth and prosperity to his able and untiring efforts. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, are earnest workers in their Master's vineyard, and do all in their power to promote the cause of Christianity among men.

Mr. and Mrs. Pace are the parents of eight children, five of whom are yet living: Elery W., born Aug. 30, 1846, is now the husband of Mary McFarland, whom he wedded Dec.31, 1868, and resides in Des Moines, where he owns a meat-market; Sarah, born April 12, 1849, died in infancy; Iona N., born July 28, 1859, is the wife of M.A. Nye, a grocer, residing in Creston, Iowa; Emma C., born May 19, 1852, is the wife of Dr. William C. Beatty; Eldridge G., born May 23, 1854, is the husband of Kate Shellabarger, daughter of John and Mary Shellabarger, and is engaged if farming near the old homestead; Elvin Y., born May 19, 1856, wedded Ida Heniker, and is now living on his father's farm; Susie H., born April 9, 1858, is the deceased wife of Abraham Knapp; Douglas A., the youngest, was born May 19, 1860, and died Aug. 28, 1861. We are pleased to record this sketch of the noble pioneer and his family, who are universally known and respected throughout Muscatine County.

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