submitted by Neal Carter, November 28, 2007

Mar 22, 1900 (hand written)

The community will be shocked to learn of the sudden death of GEORGE D. MAGOON, which occurred at 9:15 last evening, at his home, corner Iowa avenue and Fifth street. The day before Mr. Magoon was actively on duty superintending the force of men engaged in repairing the old Congregational church on Chestnut street, seemingly enjoying the best of robust health. He ate a hearty dinner, but soon afterward was seized with an attack of gastrititis causing violent vomiting. This distress was accompanied by a weakened action of the heart, the physician in attendance pronouncing heart failure the cause of death.

In the passing away of Mr. Magoon the city loses its best known contractor and builder, a prominent Knight Templar and one of its pioneer settlers. He was a native of Ware, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, where he first beheld the light of day on February 11, 1825. His parents traced their ancestry back to Isaac Magoon, who emigrated from the north of Ireland to America in 1727, settling in Massachusetts. In 1827 they moved from the Bay State to Ohio, and ten years later to Warsaw, Ill. In 1840 they came to Muscatine. Mr. Magoon received his early education at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, attending an old log school house which was in a very dilapidated condition, the apertures being large enough to throw a hat through. After removing to Warsaw, Ill., he attended a public and private schools, his education being completed in an old log school house in Muscatine, on Third street, between Sycamore and Cedar. His father was a machinist and millwright and at an early age learned the use and manner of handling tools and upon attaining his majority chose the carpenter trade, the occupation he followed through life.

His first contract was for the erection of the building on Iowa avenue in which the Daily News was formerly published. In 1850 the gold excitement drew him to California where he remained four years, during which time he worked in the mines and made several thousand dollars. At Sacramento he erected several elegant buildings, and 1854 returned to Muscatine, resuming the occupation of builder and since that time has built many of the most important buildings in the city. Under his supervision was erected St. Maryís (German) Catholic church, the Methodist Episcopal church, the Presbyterian church, the Second and Third ward school buildings, Hotel Grand, the residence of P. M. Musser, the Clark mansion and many other residences.

When the war broke out he enlisted in 1861 in the 11th Iowa infantry, and was commissioned as first lieutenant, serving in that capacity until he took charge of the detached service two years before the close of the war. This was called the pioneer corps, and Lieut. Magoon found his trade useful, being appointed to build breastworks and magazines. He finished the fort of Atlanta the evening before the battle, and his force was on the grounds during that engagement, some of them being captured. While his company was guarding the train, it was attacked by Forrestís and Van Dornís cavalry, when there ensued one of the hardest fights in which he was engaged. After three years of service on southern battlefields he was mustered out of service at Chattanooga, Dec. 6, 1864, and returned to his home.

At Muscatine on September 27, 1860, Mr. Magoon was united in marriage with Miss Joanna Kincaid, a daughter of Col. Kinkaid, of the famous old Graybeard regiment. By this union two children were born, Anna, who died in infancy, and Edward, who was married to Miss Lulu Van Horne. Besides his wife, son and granddaughter, he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Richard Cadle, of Colorado, and Mrs. A. E. Martin, of Rock Island.

Socially, Mr. Magoon was the oldest surviving member of the Hawkeye Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and had been a member of De Molay Commandery No. 1, K. T., for two score years. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also to Shelby Norman Post No. 231, G. A. R., and in 1886 was present at the national encampment in San Francisco. Religiously, he was a member of the Presbyterian church. He was a successful business man, acquired a comfortable competency, and during the long years he was identified with the place did his part to encourage every deserving public enterprise and enjoyed the respect and confidence of the community generally.

The funeral appointment will be announced later.

Back to Book One, INDEX

Back to the Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page