Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 427 & 430
submitted by Charlene Nichols Hixon, December 4, 2007

an Early Settler of Orono Township.

Albert Judson Brockway was born at Brockwayville, Jefferson county, Pa., Sept. 18, 1831, and died Jan. 8, 1896, after a lingering illness.

In the spring of 1842 his father, James M. Brockway, removed to the Territory of Iowa, settling in Cedar township (now Orono), Muscatine county, where he resided until his death, leaving four sons, Judson the eldest, living on farms in the same township.

A. J. Brockway, the subject of our sketch, was married Dec. 7th, 1856, to Miss Mary Nichols, daughter of Samuel Nichols, founder of the town of Nichols, in this county. She was born in 1835 and died in 1861. He was again married to Elizabeth Nichols, cousin to his first wife, June 4th, 1863. She was born in 1841, in Iowa, and survived him His children by his first wife are Mrs. John D. Nash, of Nichols, and Myrton W. Brockway, of Chicago: By his second wife, Mrs. J. Marion Parmalee of Muscatine, Vinnie E. Grace, A. Laura Belle, and Mark L. Brockway. One daughter and three infants have died.

Another pioneer has fallen. Mr. Brockway was the last of the original settlers of Orono township. He who has gone in and out amongst us for almost fifty-four years has finished his labors and gone to his reward.

The esteem in which he as held by his fellow men was manifested by the positions of trust he held in the community from time to time. He was a member of the Reform church and an elder in that society for a number of years, and will be much missed by the ministers and brethren in the church of his choice.

Judson Brockway was familiar with all the vicissitudes and hardships of pioneer life, as he was a bright lad of twelve when his father came to Iowa ……… (line missing) ……labors and trials of those early days.

His farm was bought from the government and improved and beautified by his own hands. He leaves a comfortable and substantial home embowered in a wealth of evergreens as a monument of his industry and good taste.

His keenest enjoyment was found in his home, and in the care of its environments. Majestic pines planted in his early manhood sheltered the home of his ripened age and will wave above his last resting place. Public-spirited to a fault, the development of the country was a subject dear to his heart. His hand was stretched forth for the advancement of every good enterprise and he often forgot his own private interests in his zeal for the good of the commonwealth.

Those who loved him most were moved to tears by the spontaneous tributes of friends and neighbors to his worth and memory. One who had known him from his boyhood said: “He was a good citizen in the best sense of the word; his influence was always cast on the right side; he was an anti-slavery man and a prohibitionist when it meant opposition if not persecution to stand by his principles, but he never wavered in his testimony and support of the right.”

A man of strong convictions, intense in feeling and candid in expression, he still so tempered his speech with wisdom and charity that he seldom gave offense to those who differed from him in opinion, friends and opponents respecting his honest principles, his tender conscience and faithful adherence to duty as he saw it.

A man of a warm, social nature, and an open-handed hospitality, born of the pioneer days, and fostered all his life because it was a part of himself, his doors were open both to friends and strangers, and none failed to find a welcome to his fireside. Many of his plans were incomplete, much work left unfinished, but the record is in the hands of Him who knoweth the secrets of all hearts, and pitieth our infirmities.

“Is life a failure when a man doth fall
With harness on, and labor waiting for his hands?
He who begins no work, leaves none undone;
But when a life is rounded to the brim
With honest labor, and with deeds of love.
Though much is left unfinished, still
God counts it a success; a work well done,
That sets the harps of heaven ringing with the praise
Of him who girded up the loin, and the soul
With strength, to run the race with patience
And gave grace to lay the labor down undone,
For other hands to finish.”

The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. s. Ream, at the Reform church. The Scriptures read were parts of the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians and the 14th chapter of John, the text being taken from 2d Tim. 3:6, 8. The church choir sang appropriate hymns for the occasion. Beautiful floral decorations were received from relatives in Chicago and Des Moines.

Mr. Brockway also leaves four brothers – Hon. E. L. Brockway

*** another article on Page 430 ***


A. J. BROCKWAY, the notice of whose demise occurred in this paper on the 8th inst., was one of Muscatine county’s oldest settlers, having passed his life in Orono township since 1842. He was born at Brockwayville, Jefferson county, Pa., Sept. 18, 1830, and died Jan. 6th, 1895. When 12 years of age he and three brothers came with their father to Iowa and settled in this county he being the eldest.

Mr. Brockway was twice married, his first wife being the daughter of Samuel Nichols, founder of the town of Nichols. She died in 1861 after five years of wedded life, leaving two children, Mrs. Jno. D. Nash, of Nichols, and Myrton W. Brockway of Chicago. In 1863 he again took the marriage vows with Miss Elizabeth Nichols, a cousin of his first wife and to them were born nine children, five of whom, with the widowed mother, survive to mourn his loss, they being Mrs. J. M. Parmlee, of this city, Vinnie E., Grace A., Laura Belle and Mark L. The deceased was a thorough Christian and a perfect gentleman, one whom all loved, honored and esteemed and of whom it might well be said, he was a man.

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