submitted by Neal Carter, Aug. 25, 2007


Old Settlers’ Meeting
Journal April 8, 1872

A meeting of the Old Settlers’ Association was called at the office of Cloud & Broomhall, Monday, April 8, 1872, at 10 a. m. for memorial action in reference to the death of Gen. J. E. Fletcher, President of the Association.

On motion of Mr. Suel Foster, Hon. John A. Parvin was called to the chair.

On motion of Fred. Stone, Geo. W. Van Horne was appointed Secretary.

After remarks from Mr. Joseph Bridgman, Wm. Gordon and others respecting the funeral rights of deceased, Mr. D. C. Richman moved that a committee of three, with Joseph Bridgman, Esq., as chairman, be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the loss of the Association in the death of its lamented President, and of its sympathy with the bereaved family. The motion was adopted, and Joseph Bridgman, Suel Foster and D. C. Cloud were made the committee.

On motion of Mr. D. R. Warfield, the meeting adjourned to meet at the same place this afternoon at 2 o’clock, to hear and act upon the resolutions of the committee. Adjourned.

John A. Parvin, Chairman
Geo. W. VanHorne, Sec’y.

The following resolutions were adopted at the afternoon meeting:

    WHEREAS, In the dispensations of an overruling Providence, Gen. J. E. Fletcher, our long-time fellow citizen, and President of our Old Settlers’ Society, has been removed from among us by death, and

    WHEREAS, We, the old settlers of Muscatine county desire to express our high esteem for him as a citizen, friend and Christian, therefore,

    Resolved, That in the death of Gen. Fletcher our Society has lost one of its most worthy members, and the community a valuable citizen.

    Resolved, That we extend to his bereaved family our heartfelt sympathy in this their great bereavement.

    Resolved, That in token of our respect for our deceased friend, and his family, we will attend his funeral.

    Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented by our chairman, Hon. J. A. Parvin, to the widow and family of the deceased, and that the same be spread upon the records of our society.

Jos. Bridgman
Suel Foster
D. C. Cloud


ANOTHER PIONEER GONE – Gen. J. E. Fletcher, one of our pioneer citizens, died Saturday evening, after an illness of only a few days. He attended the Episcopal festival Tuesday evening, and seemed quite well and cheerful, but caught cold going home, as is supposed, and his disease assumed a congestive nature, which buffled all medical skill.

The following sketch of his life and tribute to his worth as a citizen is from the pen of one who knew him long and intimately:

Gen. J. E. Fletcher was a native of Thetford, Vermont. He was an early settler of this city, coming here in the summer of 1838, when Iowa was made a separate Territory. He attended the first land sale in the Territory, in November, 1838, at which he bought lands six miles west of the city, upon which he located in the fall of 1839, and went to farming, having previously returned to Vermont and married his surviving wife. He had resided a few years in Ohio before he came to Iowa.

Gen. Fletcher has held many responsible offices in this Territory and State. He was a member of the Convention which framed the old State Constitution, taking an active and important part in the formation of our fundamental law.

In 1846 he was appointed by President Polk an Indian agent, for the Winnebagoes, and served in that capacity eleven years, having removed the location of the agency twice, making three different places in the Territory of Minnesota, where he resided --- Fort Atkinson, on turkey river Mankato on Minnesota river, and high up the Mississippi river, above St. Paul. Few agents indeed are ever better calculated to manage a tribe of Indians. The Winnabagoes, Sioux and Chippewas were frequently at war, and he often was instrumental in saving much bloodshed. With quiet apprehension, decision and firmness, and great courage to face and surmount all difficulties his valuable services in his long career as Indian agent, to the Government, and to the Judiciary, are incalculable.

In all these arduous duties, General Fletcher was accompanied by his faithful wife, who rendered him great assistance; besides she spent much time in teaching the Indians the English language from books. Dr. Frank Fletcher, their oldest son, was, when they went among the Indians, quite a young boy. He played and frolicked with the Indian boys, and soon learned their language so well that he became his father’s interpreter.

Gen. Fletcher returned to his farm, one mile west of this city, in 1858, where he has ever since engaged in farming. He leaves his dutiful and afflicted wife and eight children – five sons, and three daughters, his oldest son having studied medicine, and settled in that practice, a few years ago in Detroit, Mich.

Gen. Fletcher was of marked and noted character, -a man of talent, energy and industry, actuated at all times by truth, right, and justice; affection, benevolence and kindness, which, based upon the foundation of Christianity, enabled him to accomplish much good in this life, and to gain in a high degree, the esteem friendship and love of a wide circle of acquaintance, who find that in him they have lost a great and good friend. To the poor he was indeed a friend in time of need, -- they will not soon find one to fill his place.

As a citizen of the city and county, we have lost a great and good man, in whose councils we have so often found wisdom, goodness and benefit, and we mourn his loss.

The community are moved, with compassion and sympathy, for his bereaved family. --- SUEL FOSTER

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