This territory comprises Congressional township 86 north, range 13, west of the fifth principal meridian. It is located in the extreme northeastern corner of the county. It is bounded on the north by Black Hawk county, on the west by Buckingham township, on the south by Clark and on the east by Benton county. The surface is rolling and the soil a dark productive loam in most places. It consists mostly of prairie, but some timber is found along the streams and there is a body of timber called "Six MIle Grove," in the northeastern part of the township. This grove consists of white oak, burr oK, red oak, elm, hickory, butternut, basswood, poplar and black walnut. Many fine trees were cut from the grove and the supply diminished, but there is considerable good timber left. The township is watered by Wolf creek and its tributaries. The main stream entering from the west, on section 30, and following mainly toward the east, passes through sections 20, 21, 22, 23, and makes exit toward the east on section 24. Years ago wheat was the main crop here, thirty bushels frequently being raised to the acre, but of late years this crop has been comparatively a failure, and is now but little cultivated, the attention of the farmers being turned to other products, and to the raising of stock, in which they have been very successful.
The first settlement in this township was effected in the spring of 1853 by Joseph Hill, a native of Virginia, and his son-in-law, John Riley, who was formerly from Ohio. They came here from Macon county, Illinois, with ox teams, bringing with them cooking utensils, and camping out on the way, building rafts and swimming their cattle to cross many of the larger streams. After about a month's travel, they arrived and settled on section 13 where Hill built a log house. He died quite suddenly in 1855. His widow and two sons now occupy the original claim. Riley claimed land on sections 13 and 24, and built a small log cabin on section 13. It was in this building that the first white child of the township was born. In 1864 Mr. Riley built the frame house in which he now lives on section 24.
Joseph Hill was born March 18, 1804, in Virginia. When he was but four years old his parents removed to the State of Ohio, settling in Tuscarawas county. There Joseph was married July 29, 1825, to Miss Sarah Anderson, who was born in Pennsylvania, May 3, 1804. Twelve children blessed their marriage. During 1849 they settled in Macon county, Illinois, where they lived until 1853, when they came to Tama county, Iowa, and settled in Genesco township, where Joseph Hill died June 28, 1855. Four of their children died while they were yet in the state of Ohio, and the remaining eight--William H.H., Chariry, Mary, Martin, Joseph, William, George W. and Lorenzo D.--came with their parents to this county. William H.H. was married quite young, and in 1863, enlisted in Company d, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteers and died while in service. Charity is the wife of John Riley, of Genesco township. Mary married Alpheus Goodpasture, now of Kansas. Martin was married in 1857 to Miss Mary Casey, who died April 24, 1882, leaving eight children. Joseph now lives in Vonton, Iowa. He has one child. William is married to his second wife and lives at La Porte, Iowa. George W. was married August 25, 1876, to Miss Cornelia Barber. They have three children--Lorenzo Joseph, Charity Daisy and Charlie.
John Riley, who with Joseph Hill has the honor of being the first settler of Geneseo township, was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, October 22, 1830. His early life was spent on the farm in his native county. In the fall of 1849, he started west for the purpose of seeing a little of the world. The winter was spent in Iowa, and the following spring and a part of the summer in Minnesota. From the last names State he went by boat down the river to St. Louis, where he made a short stay and then returned to Linn county, Iowa. In 1851 he located in Macon county, Illinois, where he was firstemployed in a brickyard, and later, ingaged in sawing lumber for the railroad. During 1853 he was joined in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Charity Hill, and, immediately afterwards, started in company with his father-in-law and family for Iowa. He came to Tama county, entered land on sections 13 and 24 of geneseo township and immediately removed his family there and began making improvements. He first built a rough log cabin, which the family occupied until a more comfortable abode could be construct3ed. In a864 he erected his present frame residence. Mr. and Mrs. Riley have six children--Louisa, Mary E., George W., William M., John and Barney.
In the fall of 1853 Nathaniel Spencer, formerly from New York, came here from Michigan, and took a claim on section 14. He was quite a prominent man, and took a lively interest in town affairs. It was he that proposed the name "Geneseo," for the township, and was always foremost in every public enter prise. He died in February, 1870, and was buried in the Spencer burying ground. His son William now lives on section 14.
George Busler, a Pennsylvania German, came with the Spencer family, and entered land on section 13. He died in 1856 and his family now live in Black Hawk county.
Elijah Guernsey came hrer from Lick county, Indiana, and entered large tracts of land. He built a double log house on section 23, where he lived until his death, which occurred February 14, 1861. His widow and children now occupy the place. His son is one of the most extensive farmers in the county. Elijah Guernsey was born in Canada, May 17, 1826. His parents were natives of Vermont, and soon after elijah's birth, they returned to that State. Subsequently they removed to the State of New York, and later, returned to Canada, where they lived a few years, and then crossed over to the States once more, and settled in Lake county, Indiana, where they were among the first settlers. Mr. Guernsey made his home with his parents until 1850, when he went to California, where he engaged in mining three years, then returned to Indiana. In November, 1854, he was married to Miss Caroline Phelps, who was born in Geauga county, Ohio. A few days after his marriage, Mr. Guernsey started for Tama county, Iowa, and upon his arrival entered land on section 23, Geneseo township. He improved the land and made his home on it until the time of his death. He left his widow and two children--Chester and Seriah--to mourn his death. The spring following his decease, Mrs. Guernsey, with her children, removed to Ohio, where December 10, 1867, she was married to Alvin Harrington. One child--Harry--was born to them, and her husband died February 7, 1872. The following fall Mrs. Harrington returned, with her children, to geneseo township, and with them now occupies the old homestead. During 1875 she erected the frame house in which they now live.
Another early settler of Tama county is Patrick Emmett, who came here in 1854, and claimed land on section 30, where he has since resided. He was born in 1810, in Ireland, and was married there in 1829, to Miss Catherine Ryan, who bore him six children, and died in 1845. Three years after his wife's death, Mr. Emmett came to America, and settled in Illinois, where he continued to reside until his settlement in this county. He was married the second time, in 1849, choosing for a helpmeet, Miss O'Donnel, who has borne him five children, four of whom are now living.
John L. Tedford, formerly from Ohio, came here from Linn county,in the spring of 1854, and selected land on section 21, and then returned to Linn county. In the fall he came back and built a log cabin and put up some hay. In the spring of 1855 he moved his family to their new home, where he has made great improvements and still remains. Chauncy B. Slade, a native of York State, came also from Linn county the same year and settled on section 16, where he lived until the time of his death. His son, Sardis, who was a school teacher, now resides in Waterloo.
Theodore Moore, a Pennsylvanian, came here from Michigan, in 1864, and claimed the east half of the northeast quarter of section 10, and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 11. However he did not move here with his family until 1855. He opened the first blacksmith shop in the town. He has improved his land, and built the neat frame house in which he now lives. Joel Hayward, a native of New York, came here from Michigan, in 1855, and bought land on section 21, where he lived until 1875, when he went to California, and still lives in that State. Harvey Wager, formerly from New York, came here from Michigan in 1854, and took a claim on sections 18 and 19; but sold out and took another on section 10. He moved here with his family in 1856, and first built a small log house, bringing the shingles from Muscatine to cover it. In 1869 he erected a stone house, in which he now lives.
William Tedfore, a brother of John L, came from Linn county, in January, 1855, and settled on section 21. In 1859 he started for Pike's Peak, and died in July of that year, in Kansas. His widow now lives in Palo Alto county, with her son.
Harvey Wager was one of the pioneers of 1854. He was born October 23, 1827, in Washington county, New York. When he was but eight years old, his parents removed to Michigan, settling in Round Prairie township, Kalamazoo county. There he attended the common schools for some years, and then advanced his education by two terms at a select school at Schoolcraft. When twenty-three years old, he purchased a farm in Texas township, Kalamazoo county, and a year later, was united in marriage with Miss Betsy Ann Secoy. They were blessed with eight children, seven of whom are now living: Wallace, Evangeline, Viola, Irving, Byron, Della and Albert. During 1854 Mr. Wager started west on a prospecting tour, and upon reaching Tama county, Iowa, selected a claim on sections 18 and 19, Geneseo township. He soon after returned to Michigan, where he sold his claim, and during the winter of the same year, made another trip to this county. This time he selected land on section 10 of the same township, then again returned to Michigan. In the fall of 1855 he came here and erected a house on his land, returned home, and in the spring of the following year, removed his family to their new home, and immediately began making improvements. In 1861 he erected his present stone residence. His first wife, who was a native of New York State, died in 1863. He was married to his present wife, Miss Charlotte Humphrey, of Utica, New York, in August of 1866. They have two children, Mattie and Mamie.
In 1855 the settlement of this part of the county was increased by the arrival of the Stoakes family. They settled mostly in perry township, and in that connection will be found sketches of them. Geneseo, however, contains one of these pioneers--Eleazar stoakes. He is the fourth son of John and Jane Stoakes, and was boen in Jefferson county, Ohio, March 4, 1833. His younger days were spent in helping his father till the soil, but he was given advantages so that he obtained a good common school education. He came to Iowa with his parents and made his home with them until 1861. Fired with a zeal for the welfare of his country he enlisted in the Fourteenth Iowa Infamtry, Company G, went south with the regiment and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson and Pittsburg Landing. He was taken prisoner at the latter battle,on the 6th of April 1862. He was paroled at Macon, Georgia, in June following, and returned home. In August of that year he joined the regiment at Benton barracks, near St. Louis. Here he was taken sick and was honorably discharged, on account of disability, the 8th of November, and returned again to his home in Perry township. As soon as his healty would permit he engaged in farming his land on section 2. In 1865 he purchased the southwest quarter of section 32, in Geneseo township, and thenorth half of the northwest quarter of section 5, in Clark township. He was married, March 1, 1866, to Miss Eliza, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Granger, and settled on his land in Geneseo township. He has since improved the land and erected several good substantian buildings. The house in which he now lives was built in 1882. They have six children--Thsodore G., George E., De Witt C., Alice V., Ella May and Belle.
Enoch Clay, a son-in-law of Varnum Helm, came here in 1854, and entered land on section 13. In 1857 he sold to George Wilson and went to Black Hawk county.
Another settler in 1854 was Patrick Emmett, a native of Ireland, who came here from Dubuque county, and settled on section 30, where he may still be found.
Phineas L. Sherman, a native of New York State, arrived here in 1855, and settled on section 10, where he built a log house which he covered with hay. He afterward made great improvements and built a good and commodious frame house. He died in 1875 at Iowa Falls while on a visit to his son. His widow died a few years later at Waterloo. They were both buried at Vinton. Their son, Buren R. Sherman, was elected Governor of Iowa in 1881.
Sylvester Zea, formerly from New York State, came here in 1855 and selected a home on section 28, where he lived a few years and then went to Crawford county. A few years later he came back and lived on section 20, until 1839, when he returned to Crawford county.
David Lefler, a native of Canada, arrived in 1855, and settled on section 29. He died a few years later. His family now live in Salt Lake city.
Jonathan Hall, who was quite a young man at that time, came with Mr. Lefler and afterward married his daughter and settled on section 20. He is now in Nebraska.
Jonathan Hall, who was quite a young man at that time, came with Mr. Lefler and afterward married his daughter and settled on section 20. He is now in Nebraska.
S.B. Secoy, a native of New York, arrived from Michigan, in 1856, and lived with Harvey Wager until fall, when he moved to a log house which he had built on section 10. In 1862 he erected a house on section 11 where he lived until the time of his death, in 1876. His widow is now in Michigan.
Edward Brennan, of Ireland, came here from Quebec, in 1856, and made a claim on section I.
Luther and N. Wheeler, natives of Washington county, New York, came here from Illinois, in 1867, and settled on section 26, where they still live.
George Wilson, formerly from Pennsylvania, came from Michigan, in 1867, and bought land on section 13. By profession he was a preacher, a cabinet maker by trade, and a man much respected by all. He died at tn early day and the family are now scattered.
George Meinger, of Baden, Germany, came here at an early day, and settled on section 29, where he improved the land and lived until 1874, when death called him away. His widow now lives in Kossuth county, and his son Charles lives on the claim.
Charles Meinger, a son of George and Rosa Meinger, was born in Baden, Germany, September 5, 1845, Five years after his birth, his parents emigrated to America, settling at Racine, Wisconsin, where they lived ten years, and then removed to Stephenson county, Illinois. Two years later, they came to Iowa, reaching Black Hawk county, their home until 1865, when they came to Geneseo township, of Tama county, and located on Elijah Guernsey's farm. There they lived two years, and then purchased land on section 25 and settled on it. Charles made his home with his parents until his marriage, which took place on the 4th of November, 1869. His wife was Miss Bertha Harch. They have been blessed with four children, three of whom are now living - Charlie H., Minnie and Dora. Mr. Meinger now occupies the farm on section 25, formerly owned by his father.
Another prominent settler of 1857 was MICHAEL CASEY, who came here from Vermont, and settled on section 29, where he lived seven years and then moved to section 13, where he now resides. He is one of the largest land owners in the county. Michael was born in county Clare, Ireland, in 1819. His early life was spent in tilling the soil of his native country. In 1840 he was married to Miss Margaret Buckley, who bore him two children - James and Mary. In 1845 they emigrated to America. After remaining in Quebec (their landing place) three weeks, they crossed over the States and settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where, a few months later, his wife died. During 1849, he removed to Vermont, where he was employed on the Burlington & Rutland railroad. While there, Mr. Casey was married, in 1850, to Miss Loraine Madison, of Windsor county, that State. Four children have been born to them - George (who was born in Vermont), Oscar, Henry and Alma, born in Iowa. in 1851, Mr. Casey went south, where he spent five years and five months, and then returned to Vermont. In 1857 he came to Tama county, Iowa, and settled on section 29, Geneseo township, where he had purchased 80 acres of land. He lived there until 1864, when he sold the farm, removed to section 13, where he bought land and erected the frame house in which he now lives. At the present time he has a large barn and other buildings for stock and grain on his farm, and is now making preparations to erect a new residence during the summer of 1883. Formerly, Mr. Casey devoted his many acres to the cultivation of grain, extensively, raising 7,000 bushels per year, but of late years he has turned his attention to stock raising. His farm now consists of nearly 1,300 acres. His eldest daughter, Mary, died in Black Hawk county, Iowa, April 23, 1882, leaving a husband and eight children to mourn her death.
EDWARD BRENNAN was an early setler of Tama county, coming to Geneseo township in 1856. He first entered the east half of the southeast quarter of section 1; but was afterward notified that the railroad company had entered it previously; so he was obliged to purchase it, paying $5 per acre. He first erected a log cabin, in which he lived until 1868. During that year he built the frame house in which he now lives. Mr. Brennan is a native of county Kilkenny, Ireland, born in 1811. In 1849, he left his native land and came to the United States, landing at Boston. From there he went to Bolton where he engaged in farming for a few months, then made another change, goin to Brunswick, Maine, where he followed railroading, thence he went to Vermont, where he followed the same business at Ludlow. In 1852, Mr. Brennan went to Quebec, where he served on the police force for four years, and in 1856, came to Tama county, as stated. Mr. Brennan was married in 1847, to Miss Margaret Casey. The have been blessed with seven children, four of whom are now living: Patrick, Edward, James and John. Thomas, born October 27, 1851, died January 27, 1875, of heart disease. He had gone into the timber for a load of wood, and a moment before his death, had been talking with his companions. When he was taken with the disease he fell over and expired instantly. Mary, a married daughter, was born March 24, 1848, died May 4, 1874, leaving two little children, one of whom soon followed her mother, the other is now living with her grandmother, Mrs. Brennan. Bridget, another daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brennan, was born in 1850, died in 1854.
JARED CHEASBORO came here from Illinois in 1857, and settled on section 26. Here he erected a stone house in which he lived until the time of his death.
ANDREW MCILHINNEY, a native of Ireland, settled on section 20, in 1859, on land he had entered a few years previously and on which he had built a house the year before. In this house he now lives.
After this the settlers came in more rapidly and it would be impossible in this connection to trace them with any degree of regularity. However, among those who came in since that time and are now prominent citizens, may be mentioned the following, as representing the class of Geneseo's inhabitants: William Peverill, Silas H. Horton, Isaac W. White, S. Newell West, Benjamin Bisel, Benjamin McKay, John Life, Samuel P. Maynard, Charles Jameyson, Gilbert J. Monroe, George A. Edwards, George M. Life, Romanzo Nutt, John Huey, David Taylor, T. C. Temple, Robert N. Riggs, F. L. Leslie, R. S. Anderson, C. A. Williams, G. H. Grover, G. M. Tedford, Jacob Sirine, D. F. Campbell, Rober Speer, Theodore J. Merritt, Theodore Moore, Benjamin Bruner, Daniel McIntire and others.
WILLIAM PEVERILL is a native of England and was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, February 17, 1827. When fourteen years of age he was bound out to a starch-maker to learn the trade, but after three years ran away and engaged as toker on board a man-of-war in Her Majesty's service. After seven months had elapsed, he was discovered by his master, who procured his discharge, and took him back to his forsaken trade. Upon serving his full time, he went to Scotland and worked at his trade for two years in Paisley, a town near Glasgow. He then returned to England, and opened a factory at Baseford, near Nottingham, which establishment he operated ten months, and then made a trip to America. He located at Cincinnati, where he worked at his trade five months, then returned to England, and about ten months later, again came to the United States. After spending some time in the city of Cincinnati again, he went to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he was foreman in a starch factory one year. From there he removed to Rockford, Illinois, where he was also foreman in a factory, until August, 1862, when he enlisted in company E, 74th Illinois Volunteers. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Kentucky, and Stone River, Tennessee, being taken prisoner in the latter engagement, but in less than an hour was re-taken by the Union troops. At Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he was taken sick, and in February, 1863, honorably discharged on account of disability. A scar can still be seen on the top of his head, where he was hit by a ball at the battle of Stone River, and the probability is, that if he had been one inch taller, his life would have ended then and there. Upon receiving his dismissal from service, MR. PEVERILL returned to Rockford; and the same year, traded some property there for land on section 2, of Geneseo township, this county, and removed here with his family. In 1869 he sold his farm and removed to Missouri; but after some time it fell back to him, and he therefore returned in 1871. He now owns 380 acres of land, and lives on the southwest quarter of section 2. In 1848 he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Williamson, of Old Radford, near Nottingham, England, who died at Chillicothe, Ohio, October 31, 1855, leaving her husband and three children - Christopher, Henry and Emma - to mourn her death. His present wife was Mary McVicker, widow of David Kern. They have been blessed with seven children, five of whom are now living: Sarah L., Albert L., William J., Alexander W. and Hugh G., the three last named were born in Geneseo township.
SILAS H. HORTON settled in Geneseo township of Tama county in 1863. He is a native of Tioga county, New York, where he was born January 23, 1821. He was reared a farmer and spent most of the years previous to his settlement in Iowa in his native county; however, two years were spent at Oxford, in Chenango county; and another two years at Corning, in Chemung county. The first land owned by him in this county was a number of acres on section 3, of Geneseo township, for which he traded property in New York State. Since his settlement here Mr. Horton has added many acres to his original farm, now owning 480 acres. He was united in marriage in 1847 with Miss Sally Brundage, a native of New York city. They are blessed with eight children - Esther, Eunice, Jotham, Emily, Marshall, Nathan, Mary and Adie. The family makes their home on section 2.
ISAAC W. WHITE, son of John and Sarah White, is a native of Carroll county, Ohio, whee he was born November 21, 1832. In 1849 his parents emigrated to Iowa and settled at Shellsburg, Benton county, where they were among the first settlers. His father is still living there on the original claim, and is now in his eighty-sixth year. Isaac made his home with his parents until 1858, when he was married to Miss Nancy E. Miskimen, whose parents were also early settlers of Benton county. After marriage Mr. White rented his father's farm, on which he continued to live for six years, and then removed to Geneseo township, of Tama county, and there settled on section 29, on land which he had entered in 1855. Subsequently he purchased eighty acres adjoining his lands, and at the present time owns 250 acres, the most of which is improved. They have five children - James H., Amelia, Almer, Clementine and Sarah A.
S. NEWELL WEST made his first settlement in this county in 1863. It was in Clark township, and there he lived until 1865, when he came to Geneseo township, settling on section 33, where he resided until 1882, when he sold his farm there and purchased land on section 32. In July of the same year he began the erection of the house in which he now lives. He was born in Warren county, New York, April 22, 1833. One year after his birth his parents removed to Chautauqua county, where they resided until 1839, and then settled in Erie county, Pennsylvania, near the town of Erie. the subject of this sketch spent his early life in school and on the farm. When twenty-two years old he removed to Kane county, Illinois, where he lived one year and then went to Wisconsin. He spent the first winter in the pineries of Clark county, and the following spring located in Jackson county, where he was employed in a sawmill near Black River Falls. During the fall of 1857 he returned to his home in Pennsylvania, and there engaged in farming until his removal to Tama county, Iowa. January 28, 1862, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Abbie Sherwin, of Erie county, Pennsylvania. They have been blessed with five children - John sherwin, George, Markham, William W., Royal A. and Hattie. The last named, their only daughter, was born Febuary 17, 1872, and died October 20, 1873.
BENJAMIN BISEL is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Bedford county of that State February 7, 1817. He received his education in the county of his birth, and was there reared an agriculturist. In 1850 he bought a farm in Salt Creek township, Fayette county, that State, where he lived about two years, and then purchased another one in Bull Skin townhsip, and removed to it. In 1854 he came west to Illinois, first locating in McLean county, where he resided until 1857, then removed to Willcounty, and thence, in 1861 to Kendall county. During 1865, he came to Tama county, Iowa, and settled in the northeast quarter of section 30, Geneseo township. He has since improved the land and in 1882, erected the frame house in which he now resides. Mr. Bisel was married in 1844, to Miss Susanna Wonders, who has borne him ten children, seven of whom are now living: Henry, Mary E., Amanda, Alexander, Isaac, Melvina and Benjamin F. Sarah, their eldest child was born January 11, 1845, and died December 30, 1863. Catherine M. was born July 18, 1850 and died February 14, 1862. Jacob was born March 23, 1852, and died January 23, 1864.
BENJAMIN McKAY is a
native of Onondago county, New York, born March 20, 1822. He
received his education in the district schools of the county,
and at an early age learned the carpenter trade of his father,
who was a carpenter before him. At the age of seventeen, he
removed with his parents to Warren county, Pennsylvania, and
continued to make his home with them, until 1857, when he went
to Winnebago county, Illinois, where he bought land, commenced
to make improvements and in connection worked at the trade.
During 1867, he sold his farm at an advanced price, and went to
the State of Missouri with the intention of settling there. He
found, however, upon arrival, that the country fell far short of
what he had anticipated, and therefore turned his face northward
again. He came to this State and purchased a tract of wild land
on sections 18 and 19, of Geneseo township, Tama county. Since
that time he has cultivated the same, planted groves of trees
upon it, and erected the house in which he now lives. In 1864
the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Mill
Mabel Hill, a native of New York. She bore him three children,
two of whom--George W. and Alva D.--are now living; and died
December 2, 1876. Mr. McKay's present wife was Mrs. Caroline
Marsh, widow of Joseph Marsh. She had three children by her
first husband: Estella D., Lucy E. and Alice L.
JOHN LIFE was born April 6, 1820. He was the second of six sons and stayed with his father until he was twenty years old. When the subject of this sketch was eighteen years old, his oldest brother, William, who was then twenty years old, started out with a determination to receive an education, which left a heavier weight of care upon John. Two of his younger brothers also pursued the same course William did. Henry took a medical course and is now practicing medicine in McEwingsville, Pennsylvania, and George, who qualified himself for the ministry, followed preaching until his health failed him. He is now occupied in farming in this county. Two of John's brothers, Samuel and Abraham, are farmers in Virginia. John has one sister, Annie, who also lives in Virginia. William and his wife are at the head of the Rye Female Seminary, New York, at this time. John, when eighteen years old, met with the misfortune of losing his left eye by accidently having it pierced by a twig, while in amond the timber and brush clearing land on his father's farm. The inconvenience of the loss of an eye can only be known to those who experience it. When twenty years of age, he learned the trade of wheelwright and cabinet maker, and after serving fourteen months, embarked in the business for himself, making spinning wheels, chairs, bedsteads, and other articles of furniture. He continued to work at that business until in the spring of 1862, when the late civil war was carried on to its fullest extent. His brother Abraham not feeling disposed to join the Southern army, left Virginia and went through the line to Pennsylvania, where he remained until the close of the war. John then took the care of his parents upon himself until the close of the war, when his brother Abraham returned home. In the spring of 1862, the Union Army made their first move through Highland county, and John happened to be at the mill with a grist of two bushels of wheat, taken there on horseback. While there, a party of Union soldiers came and took all the flour that was in the mill, and among others they took John's. He tried to pursuade them to let him have his, but without avail, they promising to pay him if he would come to their headquarters. This seemed to be a dangerous undertaking to him, but he gathered up courage and made arrangements with one of his neighbors to go with him; but the following morning his neighbor declined to go. This was a trying time for Mr. Life, but he moved through this perilous undertaking by himself. He was arrested twice on his way there and searched; but after reaching headquarters he was kindly received by Col. McLean of the 75th Ohio Regiment, who requested him to take the oath of allegience to the United States, which he willingly did. He then collected pay for all the flour that had been taken. He returned home in safety, and paid off his neighbors for tha flour that was taken. This course he pursued throughout the entire war, trying to save life and aid distressed families irrespective of parties.
When the war closed he made up his mind to move to Iowa, to his brother Wiliam's land on section 8, Geneseo township, Tama county. He started with his family from Highland county, Virginia, on the morning of the 18th of April, 1867. He hired a man with a wagon and team to take him and his family and goods to the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, a distance of ninety miles. He reached the railroad on the 22d, took the train on the 23d, and reached Waterloo, Iowa, on the 26th, which was then the nearest station to this brother's farm in Tama county. On the morning of the 27th of April he crossed Cedar river on a ferry boat; then hired a rig--and a poor one it was--to bring him and family to Tama county. At that time the country was very thinly settled between Waterloo and the six-mile grove in Geneseo township. After traveling seven miles south from Waterloo they came to an open prairie, which extended ten miles with no settlers, except a man by the name of Spence, who lived midway between that point and the six-mile grove settlement. Consequently, the roads were in bad condition and Mr. Life and family did not reach their place of locality until late in the everning of the 27th of April, 1867. Having no house to move into, he and his family lived with a neighbor for three months until he could haul lumber from Waterloo to build. Before his house was fully enclosed he moved his family into it and made their beds on the floor, and on the first night a heavy rainstorm came up, dashing the rain in torrents all through the house, so that their beds were soaked with water. But this did not discourage him. He commenced improving his brother's farm of 320 acres and continued until it was all under cultivation, and in the same time he bought 80 acres of section 5, on credit, by paying 10 per cent interest in advance for the first year, the principal being divided into three annual payments, which he met promptly. The land cost him $7.50 an acre. In the spring of 1882, he bought an improved farm on section 6, adjoining his other place, upon which he now resided and which he intends making his permanent home. He had a family of five children, all born in Virginia. Sarah, the oldest, was born April 19, 1846. When she was eleven years old she went to her uncle William's whose wife was then the Principal of the Muncie Female Academy, Pennsylvania, and remained with her aunt and uncle until she had finished her education. William and his wife then moved to Rye, New York, where they located and are at the head of the Rye Female Seminary. While there Sarah was married to Rev. John C. Taylor, who is now located in Cuba, New York. William H., the oldest son, was born in the 18th of March, 1849. He stayed with his father until November, 1881, when he was married to Miss Sarah B. Rohrbaugh, a native of Grant county, West Virginia. They now love on their farm of 160 acres on section 7, Geneseo township. Henry M. was born January 19, 1855, and died November 20, 1870. Mary M. was born on the 17th day of March, 1857, and stayed with her father until June 16, 1881, when she was married to H.B. Griffin, who now resides on section 17, Geneseo township. George P., the youngest son, died the 27th of October, 1870.
Another early settler in the northwestern part of Geneseo township, Samuel P. Maynard, came here in 1868, and purchased wild land on section 7, where he has since resided. His farm is now under good cultivation, and in 1871, he erected his present dwelling-house. He was born at granville, in Washington county, New York, August 15, 1828, and received his education in the public schools of that place. In 1846, his parents removed to Walworth county, Wisconsin, and Samuel continued to make his home with them until 1852, when he, in company with his brother Nathan and several others, started across the plains to California, carrying provisions, cooking utensils, etc., with them, and camping out on the way. They left their home on the 15th of April and arrived at Hangtown, California, on the 13th of August. Mr Maynard engaged in mining near the latter place eight months and then went north to Sierra county, where he followed the same occupation five years. From there he proceded to the Santa Clare Valley, where he engaged in farming until 1865, when he started for New York by way of the Isthmus. He stopped in the State of New York long enough to visit friends and then started for Minesota, spending the following winter with his father and brother at Saratoga, in that State. In the spring of 1866, he came to Iowa, first locating in Clinton county, where he spent two years and then made his settlement in gekeseo township, of this county. In 1871, he was joined in marriage with Miss Sarah Tallett, a native of England. They have three children: Chloe, May and Ralph. Mr. Maynard's brother, who went to California with him, started on his return in 1857, taking passage on the steamer Central America, which was lost, and he, with a greater part of the crew, perished.
CHARLES JAMEYSON was born November 18, 1828, in the province of Ontario, Canada. His early life was spent in school and on the farm. In 1843, he, in company with his parents, who were Quakers, came to the States and settled in Medina county, Ohio, where he learned the carpenter's trade. During 1849. Mr. Jameyson removed to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he resided two years and then came to Iowa, making hisfirst settlement in the State in Hampshire township, Clinton county, where he was one of the first settlers. There he resided until 1864, and then entering Company F, 10th Iowa Volunteers, went South and joined Sherman's command at Atlanta, Georgia. He was with that general in his triumphant march to the sea and afterwards went to Washington with him, where he was honorably discharged from service, May 30, 1865. He then returned to Clinton county and in 1868, sold his property there and came to Tama county, settling on land which he purchased in the northeast quarter of section 30, Geneseo township. Mr. Jameyson was married, in 1855, to Miss Caroline M. Maynard, of Washington county,New York. They have five children: Alice M., Champe O., Mary L., Elmer C. and Courtney R.
GILBERT J. MONROE settled in Geneseo township in 1879, and upon his arrival purchased wild land on section 28. Since that time he hasthoroughly cultivated the land, set out trees and erected the comfortable farm house in which he now lives. He is a native of New York, having been born in Delaware county in that State, April 14, 1835. His early life was spent in school and on the farm, and at eighteen years of age he was apprenticed to a carpenter to learn the trade. In 1857, he removed to Ogle county,Illinois, where he followed his trade until 1869, when he came to Geneseo township. December 5, 1861, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Jane Anderson, who also was born in Delaware county, New York. They have been blessed with eight children, seven of whom are now living: Jessie, William A., John, Guy, George, A. Archie and Gertrude M. Their daughter Nettie died when eighteen months old.
GEORGE A. EDWARDS is a native of Illinois, having been born in Putnam county, of that State, April 22, 1838. He is a son of William and Mary Edwards who were among the very first settlers of that county. He attended the district schools of his native county, subsequently completed his education with two terms at Mt. Palatime College, situated in Putnam county. During 1860 he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Millin, a native of Warren county, Ohio. Six children bless their union, Estella, Hattie, Charlie, Oscar, Walterand Clarence. In 1869, Mr. Edwards came to Tama county, and settled in geneseo township, on land entered in 1854 by george Dent, an Illinois neighbor of his. Soon after the land was entered, it was purchased by Mr. Edwards' father for $1.75 per acre. Since his settlement here, Mr. Edwards has improved the land and erected on it a good set of farm buildings. The house in which he now lives was built in 1870.
GEORGE M. LIFE is a Virginian by birth, was born in Highland county, that State, February 14, 1830. He received his early education under a private tutor, and is 1854 entered the Tuscarora Academy at Tuscarora, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1855, and in 1859 graduated from Washington College at Lexington, Virginia. he then entered the Union Theological Seminary in Prince Edward county, Virginia, but at the opening of the war came north to finish his studies, and entered the Princeton Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey. His first pastorate was at Nichols, in Tioga county, New York, where he had charge of the Presbyterian church seven years. From there he came to Iowa and located at Dubuque, where he preached one year, and then came to Tama county and settled on land which he had previously purchased, on section 17, of Geneseo township. Since that time Mr. Life has devoted his attention exclusively to the cultivation of his land. He was joined in the holy bonds of matrimony, in 1863, with Miss Anna E. C. Smith of Montour, Pennsylvania.
ROMANZO NUTT made his first settlement in this State in 1864, locating in Eagle township, of Black Hawk county, where he rented land and lived until 1870, when he bought and removed to section 1. He also bought on section 11, Geneseo township, Tama county. In 1872, he erected, on section 11, the house in which he now resides. Mr. Nutt was born in Tioga county, New York, on July 14 1819. He received his education in the common schools of his native county, and when of sufficient years, was employed in farming during the summer season, and followed lumbering the remainder of the year. In the spring he took rafts of lumber down the Susquehanna to Harrisburg and other points on the river. In 1844, he removed to Lake county, Indiana, where he lived two years and then returned to New York and purchased a farm in Broome county, of that State. Three years later, he sold it and bought a piece of timber land, which he cleared, and sold just before his removal to this State. His wife, to whom he was married in 1842, was Miss Caroline Goodnow, of Broome county, New York. They have five children—David, Elijah, Charles, Martha and Frank.
JOHN HUEY was born near Londondery, Ireland, in 1830. Four years after his birth, his mother died. When eighteen years of age he came to America, and from Boston (his landing place) proceeded directly to Holyoke, Massachusetts, and one year later removed to Chicago, where he was employed in the Broomer & Chapman car works one and a half years. He then worked in the Rock Island Railroad Company’s shops for nine years; after which, he removed to Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming near Whitewater one year, and then returned to Illinois, and followed the same occupation in the vicinity of Rockford until 1868. At that date he came to Iowa and located in Black Hawk county, where he lived three years, and then settled in Geneseo township, of Tama county, which place has since been his home. In 1880, he purchased and improved farm on section 18 and immediately removed his family to it. Mr. Huey was married October 23, 1856, to Miss Margaret McNeill, a native of Chicago, where she was born in 1839. They have been blessed with six children, five of who (sic) are now living—Flora I., Joshua C., Esther C., Mary J. and Lizzie B.
DAVID TAYLOR is a native of Delaware county, New York, where he was born in July, of 1844. His education was received in the district schools, and at Andes’ Collegiate Institute, Delaware county, which latter place of learning he attended two and one-half terms. In the spring of 1869, the subject of this sketch made his first trip to Iowa, visiting Cedar and Tama counties, and returning home in the fall. In September, 1871, he again left his native State for Iowa. Tama county was again visited, and after purchasing land on section 27, of Geneseo township, Mr. Taylor went to Cedar county, which has since been his home. In 1876, he erected the house in which he now lives with his sister, Christina. During the year of 1882, he erected on his farm, a barn 40x60 feet.
TILLOTSON C. TEMPLE settled in Geneseo township, on section 16, in 1874. When four years of age his parents moved to Hartford county, Maryland, where his father died in 1823, and the family soon after returned to Pennsylvania. When he was 16, he began to learn the carpenter’s trade, and four years later, moved to Cincinnati, where he was married, April 9, 1839, to Miss Ann Eliza Carsner, of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. They soon after removed to Vicksburg, where he worked at his trade three years, then returned to Cincinnati. After a short stop there, they went to Louisiana, and made that State their home for five years. In 1843, Mr. Temple and family settled in Rock Island county, Illinois, where they were among the early settlers. Mr. Temple here engaged in farming for six years, and from there removed to Port Byron, where he embarked in the mercantile business. He also built a saw and flouring mill and continued in business until the breaking out of the Rebellion. August 14, 1862, Mr. Temple enlisted in the 126th Illinois Volunteer Infantry; went south and participated in several engagements, being present at the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He was honorably discharged August 27, 1864, on account of physical disability, and at once returned to Illinois. He worked at his trade as much as his health would permit, and in 1872, he came to Iowa, living one year at Vinton; then spent one year in Waterloo, and in 1874, came to Tama county, as above stated. Mr. and Mrs. Temple have but one child living – Edgar W. Charlie, born March 17, 1855, died, February 24, 1856; Frank, born October 29, 1859, died February 25, 1856.
EDGAR W. TEMPLE was born at Tibedorville, Louisiana, November 28, 1838. He Received his early education in the district schools, and completed it at the Rock River Seminary, in Ogle county, Illinois. When twenty one years of age, Edgar took charge of a ferry boat, which he run six years. He then opened a grocery store at Port Byron, Rock Island county, Illinois, in company with G. D. Comstock, and continued in business two years, when he sold his interest and engaged in farming in the same county until 1872. That year he came to Iowa, spent two years in Benton county, then came to Tama county, settling on section 16, Geneseo township. In 1882, he erected a frame house into which he moved and where he now lives. December 19, 1862, Mr. Temple was married to Ellen C. Durnan. Mrs. Temple died, and Mr. Temple was again married in 1880, to Mrs. Martha E. Wales, of Hastings, New York. They have two children – Lincoln E. and Lewis P.
ROBERT N. RIGG was born in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1845. At the age of fourteen Robert, with his parents, moved to Indiana. He engaged in farming and married Miss Emma Casbon, of Wayne county, Ohio, April 15, 1869. In 1876, he moved from Indiana to Tama county, Iowa, and bought land on section 1, Geneseo township, his present home.
township assumed its present boundaries in 1856. The first
election was ordered at the house of Nathaniel Spencer. At this
time Chauncey B. Slade was elected Town Clerk; John L. Tedford
was elected as one of the first Trustees. The records are lost,
and it is impossible to give a full list of the first town
An election was held at John L. Tedford's house, in the fall of 1856, to vote for presidential electors. There were eighteen votes cast, seventeen for the Whig candidate and one for the Democratic.
At the annual election in November, 1882, held at the Geneseo Centre school house, the following officers were elected: Justices of the Peace: C. A. Williams and G. H. Grover; Township Clerk, G. M. Tedford; Constables, F. L. Leslie and R. S. Anderson; Assessor, Jacob Sirine, Trustee, T. R. McIlhinney. The Trustees holding over are D. F. Campbell and Robert Speer.
GEORGE H. GROVER, one of the Justices of the Peace of Geneseo township, came here from Clinton county in 1865. He first purchased wild land on section 5, which land he continued to improve for three years, and then bought a farm on section 7, where he has since resided. He now has a large barn, besides other buildings necessary for the shelter of stock and grain, and in 1869, erected his present residence. He is a native of Ocean county, New Jersey, where he was born August 18, 1834. When twenty years of age he went to Philadelphia, and there, in company with his brother, spent two years in horse dealing. He then located at Davenport, Iowa, but after a few months spent in a store in that place, removed to the country, where he was engaged in breaking prairie land. He was also married there, in 1857, to Miss Catherine Fullmer, a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak, where he spent several months engaged in mining, then returned to Scott county, and in the spring of 1861, removed to Clinton county, where he tilled the soil until his settlement in this county in 1865. Mr. and Mrs. Grover have eight children: Angeline C, Charles H., William I., Robert E., Alice S., George E., Mary N. and Curtis I.
matters here have received their share of public attention. In
1874 all the districts were made independent and so remain at
the present time. There are now six districts, and following is
a record of each:
School District No. 1-The first house in this district was built in the spring of 1858, and was constructed of logs furnished by the neighborhood. The people of the vicinity turned out, and made a "bee," and put up the building on the southwest quarter of section 21. Miss Frank Eaton was the first teacher in this house when completed. This building was used for school purposes until 1863, when the present house was erected on the old site. It is a neat frame building. Miss Mary Slade was one of the first teachers in this building. This is called the Geneseo Centre District.
District No. 2-The first school in this district was taught in Phineas L. Sherman's house on section 10, by his son, Eugene, in 1856. It was a select school. In the fall of 1858, the present school house was finished. It is a stone building. The stone was quarried at Camp Quarry, Black Hawk county. It is located on the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 10. Miss Lottie Baker from Black Hawk county is the present teacher.
District No. 3-The first school in this district was taught by Sardis V. R. Slade in the winter of 1856-57, in Nathaniel Spencer's house on section 14. The next school was taught in John Riley's house on section 13. Jacob Parmenter was the teacher. In 1860 the district bought a stone building on the northwest quarter of section 24. Miss Morton was the first teacher in this building. It was used until 1869, when the present building was erected on the southwest quater of section 12. It is a frame building and cost about $500. Miss Elizabeth Ladis, from Waterloo, was the first teacher in this school house. Miss Ida Estle, of Crystal, is the present teacher.
District No. 4-In 1862 the first house was erected in this district. it is located on section 31. Miss Lizzie Klingaman was the first teacher. Miss Mary Tallet is the present teacher. This is called Excelsior district.
District No. 5-There are at the present time two school houses in this district. The first school was taught in Jared Cheasboro's house on section 26, in 1864. His wife was the first teacher. The first school house was built in 1866, on the northwest quarter of section 16, and in this house, Elder Beach was the first teacher. In 1867, the building was moved to the northwest quarter of section 36. The second school house in the district was built ar MOrreville, and in it E. A. Pine was the first teacher. The present teacher is A. L. Bell. this is called Mooreville district.
District No. 6-The first and only house built in this district was erected in 1868, and is located on the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 8. Miss Jennie Hayward was the first teacher. Miss Ida Redfield is the present teacher. It is called Mt. Pleasant district.
religious service held in this township was at the house of
William Tedford, on section 21, during the summer of 1855, by
Elder Kern, a preacher of the United Brethren denomination. As
soon as the school house, on section 21, was erected, meetings
were held there once in two weeks. A society was organized here
by Elder Kern, who continued to supply the pulpit. The members
of this church have mostly removed or died, and the meetings
were discontinued some years ago.
The Methodists held meetings in Phineas L. Sherman's house in 1857. George Wilson who lived on section 13 preached. Meetings were afterward held in the stone school house on section 19, and a society was organized there by Elder Donaldson, in 1858. Peter Cromhurst was class leader. In connection they had a Sabbath school with quite a large attendance. Harvey Wager was Superintendent. In 1869, they built a church on section 19, which is a neat frame structure and cost about $2,000. Elder B. C. Barnes, of Dysart, is the present pastor, and W. C. best, class leader. There is a membership of seventy-six. Meetings are held once every two weeks. Sabbath school weekly, with T.J. Merritt as present Superintendent.
THEODORE J. MERRITT is a native of Warren county, Pennsylvania, where he was born October 8, 1842. Two years after his birth his father died, and his mother soon after removed to McKean county, Pennsylvania, where she was subsequently married to Isaac Smith. In 1853, two years after, the family removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where they remained until 1858, and then came to Iowa and settled on section 16 of Geneseo township. The subject of this sketch received his education in the public school. He was married March 13, 1867, to Eliza J. (Simons) Spencer, widow of N.K. Spencer. They have been blessed with five children, four of whom are now living: Oliver, Dell, Cora and Ida. One child died in infancy. Mrs Merritt has one son living, by her first husband-Lyman.
Religious meetings were held in the school house in district No. 6 soon after the house was built. J. L Leisher, a Free Will Baptist, was one of the first preachers here. A Protestant Methodist society was organized by Elder Griffith, with George H. Grover as class leader. There was a Sabbath school organized soon afterward with Russell Richards for Superintendent. Church services were held once in two weeks, and every week, sabbath school, during the summer. Ministers of different denominations have preached here frequently since that time. At present there are no regular meetings there, the people attending at Geneseo church.
There was a Methodist class organized at the school house in district number five in 1867, with N.P. Wheeler as class leader. Meetings were held regularly every Sabbath, and preaching every two weeks. This organization still continues to exist and meets to worship in Mooreville. Lorenzo D. Hall is class leader; B. C. Barnes, pastor in charge. There is a membership of twenty-six.
The Free Will Baptists held their first meetings, in 1864, in the school house in district No. 1. C.B. Messer, who lived on section 15, was the preacher by whom a society was organized with ten members. Nathaniel Spencer and Luther Wheeler were the first deacons. Meetings were held once in two weeks. In 1870 they built a church edifice at Mooreville. There is now a membership of twenty-eight. J.L. Leisher is the pastor.
blacksmith shop in the township was started by Theodore Moore in
1855 on the northwest quarter of section 11. He put up a log
building and covered it with "shakes." About two years afterward
this building was burned. he then erected a frame building which
is still standing. he was a horse shoer and did all kinds of
work in his line, having at that early day considerable trade
from adjoining counties.
THEODORE MOORE was born at Mooresburg in Montour county, Pennsylvania, July 11, 1826. When he was nine years of age his parents removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where they were among the first settlers. he made his home with his parents until in his twentieth year, and was then apprenticed to a blacksmith. He served one and a half years and then embarked in business for himself at Flowerfield. Mr. Moore worked at his trade in that State until 1854, when he came to Iowa in search of a good location for a future home. Upon visiting Tama county, he selected land on sections 10 and 11, of Geneseo township, and in the fall of 1855, removed his family here. Since that time he has divided his time between farming and working at his trade. He was married, in 1848, to Miss Eliza A. Brown, a native of Monroe county, New York. They have been blessed with four children, three of whom are now living-Charles, Frank and Harriet. Their youngest son, John Hamilton, was born December 26, 1861, and died June 15, 1872. He was thrown violently from a horse, and when taken from the ground was unconscious, in which state he remained five days and then died.
Among the earliest births in this township were the following:
Henry, son of John L. and Elizabeth Tedford, born March 30, 1857.
Byron, son of Harvey and Betsy Ann Wager, born August 4, 1857. He yet lives with his father.
America Hill, son of William H.H. and Charlotte Hill, born December 28, 1854. He now lives in Nebraska.
Louisa, daughter of John and Charity Riley, born March 10, 1854. She is now in Missouri.
Chester L., son of Elijah and Caroline Guernsey, born November 6, 1855. He now lives on his farm on section 23.
During the summer of 1865, a tornado swept over this township, striking first in the southern part, and demolishing a house belongig to John Lefler; passing thence north, it unroofed Andrew McIlhinney's barn, and blew down a house belinging to Mrs William Tedford; passing thence in a northeasterly direction it blew down the house of Newton Spencer, passed across the grove and on to Benton county, where it did but little damage.
The first marriage was that of Alpheus Goodpasture to Mary Hill, in April 1854. They have two children now living and now reside in Bourbon county, Kansas. The second child born to them (Arthur) died of hydrophobia at his grandmother's in this township, while here on a visit, in July, 1882. He had been butten by a mad dog six weeks previous. His remains were taken back to Kansas and buried.
ALEXANDER H. PRICE, from Ohio, came here in September, 1856, and put up a building on the northwest quarter of section 24, and opened a general stock of merchandise, with whisky in conection. Here he continued in business about three years, when he sold out his goods and disposed of the building for a school house. It has since been torn down.
Among the early deaths in this township are the following;
James Riley died May 3, 1855, of typhoid fever, at eighteen years of age. He was a brother of John Riley. His was the first burial in the Hill Cemetery.
Joseph Hill died the 28th day of June, 1855, after an illness of four days, at the age of fifty-one years. He was also buried in the Hill Cemetery.
Smese Hulse, came here from Illinois, with his brother and cousin, and were camping out on their claim, on section 24, when he was taken sick in the camp. This was during the fall of 1855. Mrs. Joseph Hill took him to her house, where he died in a few days of typhiod fever. He was buried on the northeast quarter of section 24, across the road from the Hill Cemetery.
George Busler died in the spring of 1856. He was buring id the Hill Cemetery, but his remains have since been removed to Black Hawk county.
postoffice in the township was established in 1861, and was
called Fork Postoffice. Andrew McIlhiney was the first
postmaster, and the office was kept at his house on section 21.
Mail was received once a week, it being on the route between La
Porte City and Tama. After a few years this office was
Evergreen postoffice was established in 1870, with Dewitt Hayward postmaster, and the office was kept at Joel Hayward's house, on section 21. Andrew D. McIlhinney is the present post master, with the office at his residence on section 28, with a daily mail from Dysart.
Andrew McIlhinney is a native of Ireland, born in March, 1829. He made his home in his native land and with his parents until he attained his majority, and then came to America, and settled in the State of pennsylvania. His marriage with Miss Nancy A. Smith occurred in 1859, and the same year they came to Iowa, and settled in geneseo township, on land which Mr. McIlhinney had previously entered. They have four children living-Estella J., Fayette F., Byron W. and Theressa O.
VILLAGE OF MOOREVILLE.
was staked out in 1869, by Henry Beach, a Methodist preacher.
The same year William Davidson built a store and opened a stock
of goods. He continued this business here about two years and
sold to Mr. Greenleaf, who ran it eleven months and sold to C. B
Messer, who contiued only a few weeks when it again changed
hands, C. A. Williams, the present proprietor, being the
purchaser. He afterward erected a larger building and has a good
trade. He is a native of Niagara county, New York, and came here
from LaPorte, where he had been clerking in a drug store.
In 1869, Livermore & Beach started the building of a mill, which was completed in 1871. Captain Moore, a native of New Jersey, bought Livermore's interest, and in company with Beach, ran the mill a short time. Then Moore bought Beach's interest. he soon after sold a half interest to his nephew, Charles Moore, and later sold the othehald interest to Thomas Carter, who soon bought Charles Moore's interest. In 1879, Captain Moore took his half interest back, and Benjamin Bruner bought the other half and in company they ran it a few months, whe it was burned. Mr. Bruner's wife bought Captain Moore's interest and the mill was rebuilt in 1880. It is two and one-half stories high, with a basement 30x37 feet. There are three runs of buhrs and machinery for making first-class flour. It is now run by Benjamin Bruner.
Benjamin Bruner was born November 24, 1841, in Sandusky county, Ohio. His parents were Christian and Sophia Bruner. In the fall of 1851, the family came to Iowa and after spending the winter in Iowa City, came the following spring to Tama county. Theyfirst settled in Howard township, and were one of the first families in the county. Mr. Bruner was married, September 30, 1963, to Miss Mary E. Harbaugh, a native of Medina county, Ohio. Immediately after marriage Mr. Bruner settled in the village of Monticello and, in company with his brother, bought his father's mill at that place. In 1869, they sold the mill and Mr. Bruner purchased a farm in Howard township, on which he lived until 1875, when he sold, and bought, in connection with his brother, a flour mill in York township. Four years later, he sold his interest in that mill and bought a half interest in the mill at Mooreville, which he still operates. He has three children: carl F., John G. and Robert J.
The only practicing physician in Mooreville is De. C. W. Knott. See Medical chapter.
The first postoffice was established here about 1870, as Mooreville, and Captain Moore, who named the office, was the first postmaster. William Davidson, as deputy, had charge of the office until J. R. Williams succeeded Captain Moore. Since that time Mr. Williams has held the office. There is a daily mail from Dysart.
A shop was started in this village about 1870, by John and William Tiller. There have been several blacksmiths in town since that time. The present shop is conducted by Daniel McIntire who came in 1880, and in 1882, purchased the blacksmithing business of C. A. williams. Mr. McIntire is anative of Lancasterhire, England, born March 22, 1840. When but twelve years of age he was apprenticed to a blacksmith in Scotland, and after serving six years, went to Dublin, Ireland, where he worked at his trade three months. He then returned to England and was employed in a machine shop at Liverpool a number of years. During his residence in that city, he spent three years in the employ of the Guion Steam Ship company. On the 12th day of April, 1875, he started for the United States, and upon landing in New York City, proceded to De Soto, Wisconsin, for the purpose of visiting a brother, who resided there. From De Soto, he came to Traer, Tama county, where he followed his trade two years, in company with S. Hyde, and then located at Reinbeck, Grundy county. There he engaged as a journeyman a short time and then opened a shop of his own, which he run about two years. At the expiration of that time, he returned to Traer, where he resided until 1880, and then settled at Mooreville, where he ran the blacksmith shop for C. A. Williams two years, and then purchased the stock and has since carried on the business himself. Mr. MdIntire was married in 1864 to Miss Margaret Bootle, who has born him five children-Robert, Daniel, Margaret A., Janet G. and Peter.
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