submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007


MRS. AZUBA NYE, widow of Benjamin Nye, who settled at Pine Creek, in the northern part of this county, in 1834, died on the 4th inst., in her 81st year and was buried at one o’clock to-day. She was the oldest resident of this county. She had been an invalid for a number of years, and at the time of her death was residing in the family of I. N. Purcell.

Some one familiar with her history, which is so interwoven with pioneer life in this county, should write a sketch of her life for the JOURNAL. Who will do it?


Of Mrs. Azuba Nye, the oldest Resident of Muscatine county.

As was announced in the papers, Mrs. Azuba Nye departed this life March 4th, 1879. Her long and eventful life demands more than a passing notice.—She was born in the State of Vermont, August 2d, 1798, and at the time of her death was in her 81st year. She was married to Benjamin Nye in June, 1821, with whom she came to Iowa, then Wisconsin Territory, in the fall of 1834, and settled with her husband at the mouth of Pine Creek, in this county, where she resided until the time of her death. Her husband purchased the land on which they lived from the Government and at once began its improvement, and soon thereafter erected a mill on Pine Creek and for himself and family provided a comfortable home.

Their union was blessed with two daughters, both of whom are now living—Mrs. Harriett Marsh and Mrs. Laura Patterson. Mrs. Nye had lived a widow since 1852, her husband having been murdered in that year by his son-in-law, McCoy, the former husband of Mrs. Marsh. For some years before her death she was in failing health, and for the three last years was bed-ridden most of the time, but during her affliction she retained her mental faculties almost unimpaired.

In the death of Mrs. Nye the County of Muscatine loses an old and esteemed resident—in fact, the first white woman that made this county her home. Her life in the early settlement of this now populous county, was in strong contrast with her life in her old Vermont home.

The comforts of civilization were exchanged for a rough and almost wild life on its outskirts, her female neighbors being almost exclusively squaws of the red man who then roamed over the wild lands of Iowa. But her life on the frontier did not mar those kind and noble traits of character which all her acquaintances and friends knew her to possess in an eminent degree. A woman of keen perception and strong mind, she was quick at arriving at conclusions, firm in her opinions and a true friend, ever ready to aid the worthy poor and relieve the afflicted. Her long life had its fore trials, her greatest affliction being the loss of her husband, twenty-seven years ago. She was a firm believer in the Christian religion, but did not unite with any denominational church. She lived a Christian life and died with full assurance of her acceptation by the Redeemer of mankind, and of a blissful future.

Her funeral was attended by her daughters and their families and numerous friends and neighbors. Rev. A. B. Robbins officiated, and it is a fact worthy of mention that he performed like services at the funeral of her husband, twenty-seven years ago.

Mrs. Nye lived to a good old age and her death was not unexpected. We will remember her for her kindness and charity; for her noble traits of character; for her warm friendship, and her exemplary life. May she rest in Peace. ---COM.---

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