submitted by Ronna Thuman, December 12, 2007

Mrs. Laura L. Patterson Member of the First Family to Come to Muscatine.

July, 1902 (hand written)

Last evening about 9 o’clock at her home 1216 East Second street, occurred the death of Mrs. Laura L. Patterson, after a brief illness. Although Mrs. Patterson was a lady 75 years of age she was quite active, and only for the past week has she complained of not being well and was on her feet a little over an hour before her death. She had been living alone but of late years a daughter has been here and taken care of her.

Mrs. Patterson was an early settler in this vicinity having belonged to the first white family to locate in Muscatine county. She was born in 1827 at Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio, and in 1834, when she was at the age of seven years she, with her parents, came to what was then known as Wisconsin territory. Her father was Benjamin Nye, the first white man to settle in this county. He with his family came to the mouth of Pine creek at Montpelier in 1834. He built a store and carried on a trade with the Indians, exchanging goods for furs. Mr. Nye laid out the town of Montpelier, naming it in honor of his birthplace, Montpelier, Vermont.

In 1845 Laura Lavinia Nye was united in Marriage to Robt. H. Patterson, who ran a mill for a time at the mouth of Pine creek, his father-in-law, Mr. Nye, having run both a saw mill and a flour mill before that time. Later Mr. and Mrs. Patterson moved to a farm near Moscow, at which place Mrs. Patterson lived up to seven years ago, when she moved to Muscatine. Mrs. Patterson lost her husband, Dec. 3, 1863. Eight children were born to them, four of whom are now living and mourn the loss of their mother. They are Charles M. E. Patterson of this county, B. F. Patterson of Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Belle Moore, of Muscatine, and Mrs. Piney Gardner, of Audubon, Iowa. Mrs. Patterson was one of the 50 year subscribers to the Journal, her husband having subscribed for the paper 57 years ago. She has during her life had the opportunity of seeing many wonderful changes. A tangled wilderness invested with roving tribes of Indians was here when she arrived. She has had occasion to watch the development of the country and see the many advances made by civilization. Religiously Mrs. Patterson has been a faithful member of the Presbyterian church for over 40 years.

The funeral arrangements are not quite complete as yet, owing to the fact the family is waiting for some kind of word from the son in California. It is probable however that the funeral will be held Sunday afternoon, at 2:30 from the Melpine Presbyterian church. The funeral party will leave the house in Muscatine at 12:30 that afternoon.

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