Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Star – Clipper Supplement
Traer, Iowa, December 10, 1886
History of North Tama
By Daniel Connell

Chapter II

In 1853 there were but few additions to the young settlement which as yet had no name except Big Creek. The first arrivals were on January 1, being Ira and Giles Taylor with their families. Moving from Ohio during the autumn they reached Tipton. There they hired a house and left their families pushing west. Liking the country they purchased land from N. Osborn, and doing what was necessary they returned to Tipton. In due time all were on the road for the haven of their hopes, arriving on New Years day. A Mr. Spade was a settler this year, also Volney Helm, in Buckingham. Daniel Connell, who came in the summer of 1852, returned in the fall to Connecticut, and in the spring of 1858 came back bringing his wife and daughter Mary. Mrs. Connell died in Buckingham in May , 1866. Mr. Connell also died there in October, 1875; Robert in February, 1876; Joseph in September, 1854. Margaret, wife of J. P. Wood, still resides on the old farm and Mary, wife of John Zehrung, an early settler of Toledo, resides at Lincoln Nebraska.

During the year 1853 the first settlers arrived in Geneseo in the persons of Joseph Hill, wife and eight children, and John Riley, a son-in-law, who took land in sections 13 and 24. Mr. Hill died in June, 1855. A portion of the family still reside on the old homestead. Nathaniel Spencer with a large family settled on section 14, where his son William now resides. Newton, the eldest son, was killed by lightning on the home farm some seventeen years ago.

During 1854 there arrived in Geneseo Elijah Guernsey, who settled on section 23 and died a few years thereafter. Patrick Emmet settled on section 30; John L. Tedford on section 21; Chauncy B. Slade from New York on section 16; Enoch Clay on section 13.

The arrivals in Perry during 1854 were but few. Mr. Baker, who entered land on section 32 including the grove which took his name, sold in 1855 to L. B. Collins. Willard Snow settled on section 2, which he afterwards sold, and purchased in Buckingham. Some ten years ago he sold out and went to Kansas. There were also two men, one named Rolf the other Whitney. They did not remain long.

During the year 1854 the arrivals in Buckingham were Alfred Wood from Massachusetts, more recent from Illinois, who entered land on section 31. Mr. Wood was one of the earliest settlers of Chicago. Leander and Theodore F. Clark settled on section 25, on which they lived for several years. Their subsequent purchases were in Geneseo on section 36, where Theodore made his home and still farms it.

Leander removed to Toledo in 1857. A Mr. Horton, who sold to Mr. Ames, was here this year. Not long after his coming he and a son were drowned while crossing Wolf creek at Union ford. This ford was just below the town line bridge on land of Jay Green. Fred Church, from Clinton county in 1856 sold to John Gault and returned to his old home, engaged in selling dry goods and died in a few years. Robert Granger entered on section 36 where he still resides, the patriarch of the township. William Gordon, his wife, son William and daughters Janet and Jane, from Norwich Conn., entered on sections 28 and 33. William Jr. died February 27, 1859: Mrs. Gordon in January, 1864, Janet married Dr. Daniel. Jane married R. C. McCornack and now lives at Gladbrook. In 1859 Allan, another son, came from California and resided on the farm until his death, December 18, 1877. Horace C. Green invested in lands for himself. Abijah Wilbur and Mr. Dusenbury, of New York State. Mr. Green was a prominent, active, public-spirited citizen. He finally located on section 34. In 1872 he removed to Jefferson county, New York, where he still resides. Mr. Green was the means of drawing a number of good families to the settlement, among whom may be named his three brothers, Luke, John and Oliver, John G. Nichols, J. V B. Greene, Joshua G. Hull, of Spring Creek, and also Abijah Wilbur.

Henry Van Vleit entered on section 36, afterwards moving to section 1 in Perry, where he died a few years since. Henry Smith, better known as “Yankee” Smith settled on land twenty-five years, sold to W. T. Noll and removed to Traer, being there still. At first he worked as a carpenter and for himself erected the first house n the village of Buckingham. He owned a quarter section in section 10. Perry, which he sold to John Stuart. There were three Smiths in the town, and to distinguish them, they were called Yankee Smith, Timber Smith and John Smith.

That portion of Crystal township whose inhabitants were in a measure drawn to Buckingham for business and to vote received this year its first settler in the person of Nelson Felter and his large family on sections 15 and 16. John S. Townsend settled on section 21, the whole of it. West Wilson, known as the ‘Squire, this year settled on section 13 and also a forty acres on section 4 in Perry, upon which the next year a portion of the village of Buckingham was platted. He did not bring his family until the next year. George Root came Jan. 14 of this year.

The year 1855 witnessed large accessions to the infant settlement, particularly to Buckingham and Perry. George Kober came this year from Connecticut. He worked around until having saved sufficient money and in 1859 he purchased eighty acres in section 34. In 1861 he sold that to J. V. B. Greene and purchased a quarter section in section 26. In April, 1873, while at work plowing with an assistant named Axon, they gathered wild parsnip and both partook of it. Soon after they went to the house for dinner. On the way Axon felt the effects of the poison. On getting him to bed Kober said he was not well and would lie down. In a short time both were dead. Mr. Kober was an industrious, thrifty man, frugal and saving, and left a desirable property.

Geo. Lyman settled on section 34, a portion of which became the north half of the village of Buckingham. He sold out the next year to Dr. Daniel and removed to Franklin county.

James A. Stewart was a carpenter and was of great assistance in the settlement. Living first in the village, he eventually purchased forty acres on section 3 in Perry, adjoining the village on the east. He subsequently removed to Traer, where he died in 1885.

Gilbert McMillan rented first a farm on section 33, then one on section 4 in Perry. In the fall of 1856 he removed to land he had entered on sections 2 and 10 in Crystal.

John T. Ames purchased land in 1854 – section21 – bringing his family in 1855. With him came a brother-in-law, William C. Reed, who settled on Westside of section 24. He resided on it till 1867. He removed to Grinnell, Iowa, and after that to Breckenridge Missouri; from there some three years since to Oregon.

Mr. Reed was an honorable, upright, generous, intelligent man of marked characteristics. He did much to shape the religious and moral character of the settlement. He was one of the chief founders of the Congregational church, which, beginning with seven members, has blossomed into the strong church now in Traer.

Daniel C. Ladd worked first for Mr. Ames, entered land in section 13, then purchased an adjoining quarter in section 24.

Andrew Boylan worked first in Buckingham; then settled on section 4 in Clark; then on 16 in Buckingham; then removed to Traer, still retaining part of his land.

George Hemstead entered the northwest quarter of section 11. He enlisted into Capt. Clark’s company, 24 Infantry. His health failed in two years when he was discharged. After the war closed he removed to Nevada territory, selling his land to W. S. Spencer.

S. B. Shiner was a cooper and had a shingle mill in Buckingham. He finally went to farming on his land on section 32. He sold that to John Provan and removed to Waterloo where he died soon after.

Tobias R. Shiner, an elder brother, better known as Esquire Shiner, owned the southeast quarter of section 34, where he resided for many years, removing to Breckenridge, Missouri, where he still resides.

John Byworth came with the Shiners and entered adjoining land with T. R. on the north. He went to Missouri with him, where he died three years ago.

Peter P. Wentch lived near Clark’s mill until he was ready to open his fine land in section 6, Clark township.

G. Jaqua settled on sections 28 and 33, Abijah Wilbur on section 26. About the close of the war he removed to Marshall county, then to Marshalltown, where he died in 1886.

John G. Scott was an Englishman who came with the Shiners and Byworth. He was a shoemaker by trade at which he worked until 1859 when he went to Pike’s Peak. He afterwards enlisted in U. S. service prior to the close of the war, and was stationed at El Paso, Texas, and died. His widow married John Byworth.

S. V. R. Kelly lived a number of years on section 34, thence removed to land entered by him in Lincoln township on which he still resides.

Henry and Jacob Daniel, brothers of Dr. Daniel, were cabinet makers. In 1861 Henry removed to Waterloo, Iowa, and Jacob to Denver, Colorado. They still live in those towns.

Eli Eldridge, a relative of Alfred Wood, came from Massachusetts and purchased on section 25; sold that and bought an eighty in Grant, and worked around as he could fined it. He enlisted into the 28th regiment and died in the service.

Daniel Donnell Jr. engaged in selling dry goods, and 1880 removed to Gladbrook where he still resides.

Chapter III

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