Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Star – Clipper Supplement
Traer, Iowa, December 17, 1886
History of North Tama
By Daniel Connell

Chapter III

Settlements of 1854-5 continued
The First Postmaster Etc.

Perry received important accessions during the year 1855. Peter Nungesser settled on section 3, lived on it nearly thirty years, and is now in Kansas. Hiram Klingaman settled on same section, sold to H. Cady, removed to Traer, and is now in Nebraska. Stephen Klingaman purchased on section 10; purchased a saw mill adjoining and added a grist mill, which were a benefit to the settlement. He also made brick, was the first postmaster of the settlement, and altogether an active energetic man. He was possessed of a violent temper and an insane desire to hang horse thieves, which he accomplished. The west half of Traer is located on a portion of his farm.

George Klingaman, a brother, came at the same time and subsequently purchased a farm on section 30 in Buckingham, where he died in 1879, a genial, whole-souled man who stood by his friends.

Frank Mertz, whose wife was a sister of Klingaman, resided here many years, thence moved to Grundy Center where he still lives.

James Hamilton also came with Klingaman, was a carpenter, and in 1860 he went to Missouri and enlisted into the confederate army. He was assigned to the cavalry and was made a captain. We have learned he was effective on the Kansas frontier during those trying times.

This and the following year brought families of many members-John Stoakes and wife, sons William ., Henry C., Elazor and George and two unmarried daughters. Mr. Stoakes and adult sons settled on section one. Henry went to O’Brien county in 1883, and in 1886 to Nebraska. Elazor purchased a farm in Geneseo. Mrs. Stoakes died January 17, 1873; Mr. Stoakes on Feb. 11, 1880. H. F. Gaston, whose wife is a Stoakes, settled on section 2 and still resides there. L. S. Cope, whose wife is a Stoakes, also settled on section 1.

Mr. Cope removed to Waterloo in 1865, and died there in 1873. With them came John Hopkins, a son of Mrs. Cope, who owned fifty-five acres on section 1. He sold it to Mrs. Sawyer and purchased land in Clark. Selling that he went to Bradgate, Humboldt county, where he now resides, engaged in the Merchantile business and Postmaster.

Gorham Greenleaf came from Maine and settled on section 22. In 1867 he went to Waterloo, subsequently to Providence, R. I., where he recently died.

Lyman Cody, settled on section 29, where, with his 200 acres, he has entered on his 32d year, prosperous and respected.

George Sloss settled on section 7, where he still lives with cattle on his hills and dales.

Gilbert McMillan entered land in Crystal, but for two years rented in Buckingham on section 33, then in Perry on section 4. Concerning him more anon.

Mrs. Ibby Kile with her town sons Lemuel and Freeman and daughters Elizabeth and Philinda were living on section 4, removing the next year to section 6. Mrs. Kile recently died at LaPorte, Iowa. The two daughters married and both died many years since. Lemuel died some twenty years ago.

Horace and Quincy D. Hartshorn purchased the land entered by Nelson Usher on section 9, and subsequently Quincy purchased the Connell farm on section 4. Quincy died in November 1878. At his funeral the old settlers with scarcely an exception were present, presenting an imposing spectacle. Mrs. Hartshorn lives in Dakota.

John Wilson, his wife, seven sons and seven daughters settled on sections 17 and 8 on which he still resides. Mrs. Wilson died in 1881. The sons all settled near the homestead and remained for several years intact. Finally came the inevitable. Andrew went to Reinbeck where he died. Three went to Wright county, where John junior recently died. Two daughters have also died.

L. B. Collins purchased from Mr. Baker the grove on section 30 , which has been known as Collins’ Grove and Baker’s Grove. In 1856 a postoffice was there established, Mr. Collins postmaster. In 1865 he removed to the south portion of Iowa. His son C. C. Collins engaged in business in Buckingham and is now in Traer. Allen Fowler, a brother –in-law of Mr. Collins, entered land on the same section which he still owns. J. L. Moore settled on section 23. He did not farm long, but opened a store in West Union; afterwards in Traer; thence to LaPorte, where he still resides. Henry Beatty settled on section 23, where he died in 1874. Mr. Beatty was a plasterer by trade, and was very useful in that art to the pioneers in the “fifties.”

George Bradley came with G. Greenleaf, and subsequently purchased a farm in Clark. He married a daughter of Mr. Slade, and early settler of Geneseo, removed to Waterloo and died. During this fall came Dr. Darby, whose wife was a daughter of Mrs. Kile. He wintered in the grove and returned to Ohio where he died. His widow returned, was a resident of the town, married and ten years since removed to LaPorte. John W. Southwick entered land on section 27, lived for a time at West Union and is now in Missouri.

Peter Greenlee entered on December 15, enlisted for the war, returned sick and soon died. He sold his land to Wm. Nichols. His wife remarried and resided at Toledo. Christopher Hester, a Kentuckian, entered land on section 11, now the farm of Nathan White. He had sons and daughters. They laid out a town and named it Charlottsville in honor of a daughter. The name was subsequently changed to West Union. He purchased his land from Ira Taylor. On it was a double log cabin, a portion of which was on the place recently and may be now. During the occupancy by Mr. Taylor and also Mr. Hester it was used for religious services on Sabbath mornings. In the afternoons meetings were held at the residence of the Wood family in National Grove. Being a Southern man Mr. Hester did not affiliate with his neighbors, and in 1857 removed to Kansas. Norman C. Rice entered the southwest quarter of section 15. He was an active man in public affairs. He held the office of trustee for several years and took much interest in the raising of troops during the war. He lost his first wife and an early period of the settlement and subsequently married Miss Rachel Wood, who died in Dysart. He has since remarried. Mr. Rice resides in Dysart, where he is held in high esteem. John B. Smith also came this year. He had a team and worked as he could teaming. He rented a farm from H. C. Green, on which he died of consumption in 1861. Everyone liked him.

During this year, 1855, there where a few families settled on east side of Crystal who were recognized as in the Buckingham settlement, doing business there, voting, attending church and schooling their children. There was John W. McKune on section 14, who died June 27, 1870. He had two sons and two daughters. His eldest son George is still a resident of that town. The second son, John E, better known as Ep., enlisted in company G, 14th infantry, was captured at Shiloh, and died while a prisoner. Of his daughters one married Joshua C. Wood, the other Lyman E. wood. Mrs. Margaret Morton on section 14 had several sons and daughters. Jonathan enlisted in company A, 14th Iowa infantry. He died Feb. 24, 1886. Abraham Quinn entered on section 2 Mrs. Quinn died September 17, 1864. He removed to Oregon in 1877, and died there in 1886. There was also a Mr. Buchanan who owned land adjoining McKune.

In Grant township the first settlers came in the year 1854. They were Conklin and Cornelius Gay, who located on section 23, on which was a grove known as Five Mile Grove. Can’t say from what known point it was five miles from. The Gay brothers in 1856 removed to Buckingham on section 30. Cornelius died in 1865. He married Lucy Wood. His family with Conklin in 1882 removed to Humboldt county. In December, 1855, Evander Murdock came from New York and purchased from John Connell a quarter section of prairie and twenty acre of timber on 33. He came out the next spring and opened a farm, residing on it for fifteen years or more, when he sold and removed to Cedar Falls, Iowa, engaged in raising fancy stock. He died in Florida where he went in search of health during the winter of 1885-6. Mr. Murdock was an educated man and an enterprising farmer with a liking for good horses, which he saw this country needed. On his return from a visit in the East he brought a one time famous horse called Prince Henry. The settlement not being ready for good stock he lost money in the effort to do good. John Fleming, the father of the Flemings, at an early day purchased land on the east side of the town. He improved it, getting it ready for his sons who came and have remained and increased the acres. Mr. Fleming died in 1868, and was buried in Pennsylvania. Prior to 1860 the other settlers on the east side of Grant were David Heath and L. D. Hall, relatives, who came together, and Jasper H. Scott. All of these men had sons in the army, Mr. Heath two. Concerning the soldiers a chapter will be given.

There were a few families on the north side of Carroll: Nathan Harmon, who is still on the old farm; Mr. Kibbe, now in Kansas; Nathaniel and William Randolph, who removed to Columbia township.

Chapter IV

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