submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007


CENTER GROVE, Fulton Twp., Aug. 5th, 1880.

The following notice of James Schoonover, who departed this life in Fulton township, on the 3d, inst., has been handed us for publication:

    Mr. Schoonover was born in Randolph county, Va., September 17, 1806. Was in good health and bid fair to live to the good age of his father, who was 104 years at his death. December 26, 1829, deceased married Elizabeth Teeter, and in the spring of 1839 left Virginia for Iowa with his wife and five children, floated down the Kanawha river in a canoe with his family and goods to Parkersburg, took steamboat, unloaded his canoe five times on the way, jumping mill dams as he came to them and exposing himself as no one would dare do to-day. Landed at Rock Island May 15th, 1839; settled on Black Hawk creek, Scott county, where he lived four years; buried his wife while there, April 21st, 1840.

    Of the hardships the early settler endured we know but little. Having a family of five motherless children to care for, and suffering for months with chills and fever, deranged from those terrible headaches, so that he even lost his reckoning and found himself lost to the day of the week; falling through a temporary bridge over the Black Hawk he broke three ribs. These are some of the trails he had to endure. For his second wife he married Thankful Randall, at Center Grove, and whose wife was killed by the falling house by that tornado that passed through the Grove June 4th 1844.

    In 1843, Mr. S. settled in Fulton township, or what was then included in Montpelier township, Muscatine county. He had four children by the present wife, only one living—Benjamin, who is now on the old homestead, which is a fine, well improved farm of over two hundred acres.

    The first house he built at the Grove was the one in which the first school in the township was taught, and was used for meetings. It stands to-day shingled by his hands and doing good service. The lumber of which it was made he rafted from Wisconsin pineries.

    He was interesting in conversation, particularly so in relating incidents that occurred during his frontier life. He was not much of a hunter, yet his wife says one morning before breakfast he killed two deer and one wolf. He gave but little attention to politics, yet the old records of 1845 show that he was then acting as Justice of the Peace in Montpelier township. He was liberal, particularly with his church, where, aside from his family, he will be sadly missed.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. E. C. Haskell, in the Center Grove M. E. Church, of which denomination deceased has been a member for the past 56 years. Having given his heart to God at seventeen years of age.

In the death of Father Schoonover the wife has lost an effectionate husband, the children a kind an loving father, the church a faithful co-worker and Christian, the community a good citizen.--N.--

Back to Book One, INDEX

Back to the Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page