Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Star – Clipper Supplement
Traer, Iowa, April 8, 1887
History of North Tama
By Daniel Connell

Chapter XXXI

Of those in the settlement to-day the oldest in time of arrival are the Wood family who came from Ohio in 1852. At that time it consisted of the mother, the sons Jonas P., Joshua C. and Lyman E., the daughters Rachel, Eva and Lucy, and a sister of the mother, together with Mrs. Hitchner, another daughter, although not living with them. They lived in a large log cabin in the northwest corner of National Grove, section 4, Perry township, on the State road – Cedar Rapids to Eldora. They opened a large farm and entertained travelers for many years, few passing through who did not stop at Jonas Wood’s, he being considered the head of the house. In those days the most of the travelers were in search of land, and the boys were frequently away finding corners and showing land, from which realizing many an honest dollar (that is if the bank was sound) Jonas was a surveyor, and his time was in demand throughout the entire county, and in a few years made Toledo his headquarters as a surveyor. About this time the brothers divided their possession, Jonas retaining the home farm, and Joshua on section 33 in Buckingham, with a piece in section 4, Perry. Lyman, better known as Dock, opened a farm on section 6, Perry. Jonas returned to his farm in 1861, and his family now reside on the land they entered in 1852. The title to it is from the United States to them. The brothers married and settled. Jonas married Miss Margaret Connell in 1856. Joshua married first, miss Elizabeth Kile in 1856. She died the next year. In 1858 he married Miss Hannah McKune, of Crystal. Lyman married miss Augusta McKune, a sister of Mrs. Joshua C. Of the daughters, Rachael married N. C. Rice, removed to Dysart and died. Lucy married Cornelius Gay, who died in 1865. Mrs. Gay now resides in Humboldt, Iowa. Eva lives with Lyman. Mrs. Wood, the mother, died in 1858. The aunt Miss Heckathorne, died in 188- at an advanced age. Another sister of Mrs. Wood was the mother of Dr. Daniel, and died in 1879, well stricken in years. The family has always been prominent in North Tama, and Jonas has a reputation as broad as the county. As a surveyor he has been on nearly every section in the county, and has run the lines on hundreds of farms. He was, in 1856, a candidate for school fund commissioner. A defection in Toledo caused his defeat and the election of a man who stole the funds. He took the U. S. census in the north half of the county in1870. Jonas was the first in the settlement to extensively engage in fruit culture, which he found profitable. The other two, while now not as extensively known away from home, in the early days were. At home they enjoy the respect of all, and have for years in their respective towns filled public office. The settlement – rather its history – without the Wood family would read like the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out.

DANIEL CONNELL was born in the city of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, June 16, 1796. He served for a time in the military service of Great Britain in a corps called out during the European disturbance occasioned by Bonaparte, which was pacified by his defeat at Waterloo and subsequent banishment. He was married in 1821. In 1830 he removed to Edinburgh, and in 1832 to the United States, locating at Norwich, Connecticut, and engaged in the manufacture of ingrain carpets. He sold to W. A. Buckingham, who was also in the same business there, and entered his employment, continuing until the business was closed by Mr. Buckingham in 1852. In that year two of his sons having located at Buckingham, Iowa, he came, accompanied by his son Robert and his daughter Margaret, to visit them. Liking the country he invested in land and returned to Connecticut. Next Spring, with his wife and youngest daughter, Mary, he removed here and became a quiet, respected citizen, a man whose name was above reproach and whose word was honor. Mr. Connell died October 5, 1875. Mrs. Connell was born the same year – 1796 – in the same town, shared the vicissitude of fortune, the hardship of emigration with six small children uncomplainingly, and cheerfully took life’s burden and carried it to the end. Her advent to the West was at a time when comforts like which she had been surrounded were not to be had. She never complained. She received a severe shock on the report that her eldest son was killed in battle, which could not be disproved of for many weeks. She gradually failed, and in May, 1866, she quietly passed to an eternal rest, aged seventy years.

JOSEPH CONNELL was born at paisley, Scotland, June 16, 1826, and was brought to this country by his parents. He served an apprenticeship and learned thoroughly the machinist trade in Norwich, Connecticut, working for a time at Worcester, Massachusetts. In the manufacturing districts of New England there was much dissatisfaction in the minds of employees of all branches with their lot and condition. A vague idea of the happiness and independence of a farmer was ever present with them, and the cheap lands of the West haunted them with a desire to possess a farm and not be tied to a factory bell. The consequence was that tens of thousands rushed with little capital and no experience into privations, hardships and debt, and were glad to return stripped of the little they had to again take up the humdrum life of watching the revolving spindle. Joseph and an elder brother concluded they would try their fortunes as farmers in a new country, and on May, 14, 1852, bid adieu to all their former friends and life. He was a anguine (?) in temperment , but frail in body. The hopes of gaining in physical strength was an inducement for the step. He did not intend to fail, said he would never go back; that he would succeed. To a brother on saying farewell added: “Cheer up Dan, I will make a home for you.” They never met again. For two years and three months he was the life of the settlement. In the autumn of 1854 he was not well and was unable to work. His father and Jonas P. Wood were one day going to Benton City to mill and to trade. As he could do nothing at home he concluded he would go with them. While at mill the miller advised their wheat be run through the fanning mill. He assisted and became heated, and as they slept in the mill he probably took cold. Next day on their way home some four miles west of Vinton he was seized with cramps. He was laid on the ground, and Mr. Wood hastened for help. A physician arrived who advised a return to Vinton. Cramps and pains increased. All the usual remedies were applied without avail. After intense suffering he died during the night. It was accredited a case of Asiatic Cholera. He died September 10, 1854, aged twenty-six – too young to die, when so much to do.

Chapter XXXI Continued
April 15

ROBERT CONNELL was born January 25, 1829, at Paisley, Scotland, and was brought to America by his parents when little more than three years old. He came to Buckingham in August, 1852. He was a weakly boy, yet he settled down to farming with a will. While not able to do a big day’s work, yet by constant doing what he could he made some money. He was sober, patient, honest, quiet, industrious and sure. Bob succeeded in gaining a reputation for uprightness, honor, charity and neighborly acts. When his mother died and his father being averse to a change in his methods of life, Robert gave himself, time and desires entirely to his father, remaining with him until his death in October, 1875. Robert never recovered his health thereafter, but gradually sank until February 14, 1876, he died quietly, having been unconscious for nearly a day, aged forty-seen years.

JOHN WILSON, who properly can be called the father of that advanced system of farming in the Wolf creek valley that has given this settlement its impetus and kept it ahead of its surroundings, is a Scotchman, born on a farm called Killpatrick, in the parish of Girvan, county of Ayer, seventy-five years since. His father had a large family and lived long in the land, and all of his children had large families, and all reached years past middle age. Their children of the third generation, as has been their days, have numerous children of the fourth generation, all throughout the genealogical tree respectable and respected. The subject of this sketch married Jean McCosh, a sister of Andrew McCosh, and they lived in the parish of their nativity until 1842, when they removed to Wigtonshire, (sic) and in 1851 emigrated to the United States, locating at Norwich, Connecticut, where and when the writer first met him. At this time they had nine children. Mr. Wilson rented a dairy farm and sold his products in the city of Norwich and its villages. Not being satisfied with the rocks and sand of that State, and his brother West having arranged to come here as already told, he entered land in Perry on sections 7 and 18, and on it still lives. The writer remembers standing in the east door of his father’s cabin one November day near dark in 1855. It was snowing. Through the flakes and gathering gloom he could discern a line of objects crossing the bridge over the Wolf, then below the mill. After crossing the line they moved down the creek making north to the west end of the forks timber. The arrival of newcomers was watched with interest, and their name and destination learned. This procession was John Wilson’s family. Heading the family and driving two yoke of cattle was Jim, the eldest son. In like occupation followed Peter; then came the father, a younger son, each driving a team of horses, and mixed in the various loads were the mother and the other six children and the household effects. They drove to the cabin of G. McMillan, who, with a large family, were living in a cabin twelve feet square, and of course were crowded. How eleven more were stowed in there must be learned from the genial Mack. In a few years they had five more children – fourteen in total. The first years Mr. Wilson, while opening the farm, raised small grain and made butter and cheese. Early seeing that cattle, horses and swine must be the sure source of profit to the farmer, he arranged for their production. It took years and labor and knowledge. All these were his and the results and the results to him were as he anticipated. His sons and daughters grew up, married and settled around him at first. Gradually some left for other fields and even death invaded the circle. Mrs. Wilson died in 1881, having lived together for forty-eight years. The next year Mr. Wilson married Mrs. Martha Stoakes Cope, daughter of John Stoakes. Mr. Wilson was educated in the strict faith and practice of the church of Scotland, and was the original mover in the foundation of Tranquility church in his neighborhood and to which he is still attached. He was also deeply interested in education and gave his children all the advantages in his power, sending them to Grinnell, and for many years taking them there and going for them at the end of terms, long before there was a railroad for the purpose. Men have an individuality and a method of procedure in business, and because others do not succeed by the methods of Mr. Wilson are inclined to think there is an error in statement. Mr. Wilson’s methods of stock raising have been successful in a profitable degree. He is enamored with the settlement and writes me: “ I had hard, hard times here until we got the greenback currency. I have the best land I have ever seen. I think the settlers that left here did not know what they were about. I have found cattle to be the best and surest paying thing. Give a steer two acres of grass, He will eat it and grow fat.” All Mr. Wilson’s success has been from his farm. He has not speculated outside in anything. He has been liberal in his giving – in alms, to church, to school, and in the scores of ways the free giver finds he has not withheld. In agriculture his interest centers.

In everything relating to the interest of the farmer he is affected, and at an early day was urging his neighbors to meet and talk of their pursuits, and twenty years ago was instrumental in the organization of the first agricultural fair at Buckingham, which, under the name of Traer District Fair is second to none in Iowa, save the State. This organization at Buckingham was the first of the kind in Tama county, and has proved the most uniformly successful.

WEST WILSON, familiarly know as the “Squire” from having been a justice of the peace in Crystal for many years, was born in Colmonel, Ayrshire, Scotland, September 19, 1820, and was raised on a farm. He resided there until 1846. Having married, came to the United States, locating in Lisbon, Connecticut, adjoining Norwich. There he rented a farm on which was a saw mill, which he successfully operated. On the farm he extensively raised vegetables for the Norwich market, and extended the business as far as to send large quantities to Worcester, Boston and Providence. He had many cows and carried on the dairy business. He desired to go where land was cheap and obtain some. He in the way that has been related herein came to Big creek prospecting in 1854, accompanied by John Wilson and George Sloss. He brought his family here 1856, having procured three quarter sections of land in Crystal. Mr. Wilson by his ambition, public spirit and knowledge, has done very much for the development of Wolf creek valley. He early invested in good stock, having a partiality for Short-horns, a business he carried on for many years, but ultimately lost money in it. In 1873 he built a ware house for grain in Traer, and later purchased an elevator, which business he has continued to date. Mr. Wilson is a social man of good parts; his company much sought; can tell a good story and enjoys one; sing a pleasing song and listen to one; can see the ridiculous side of human nature; he has a large, soft heart; his right hand in ignorance of the actions of the left. In the days of his prosperity the writer was the dispenser of alimony for Mr. Wilson of hundreds of dollars to the worthy poor. He was an early mover for the organization of agricultural exhibits, taking active part in putting in operation those at Buckingham, Tama City and Toledo, and was a large exhibitor in all. Of a prolific family his is large. By the first wife he has three sons well to do, neither of whom are at home. Of daughters living there are the wives of Edward Dodd, James Brown, Robert Whannel, John Galloway and William Cresswell, all successful men. There are four children by the second wife, one daughter of which is a student in Glasgow, Scotland.

GILBERT MCDOWELL, of Colmonell, Ayrshire, Scotland, born in 1802, was raised on a farm, particularily (sic) in sheep husbandry, came to the United States in 1856, coming directly to Perry. His wife was a sister of John and West Wilson, and were attracted hither by them. He was successful as a farmer here and respected in the community, was an elder in Tranquility church from its inception and lived a worthy life. Mrs. McDowell died in 1874 and he died in 1883. His family was a large one and credible. James was a farmer in Buckingham with a large family. He died in 1877 or ‘8. The eldest daughter married Mr. McKennon, near Cedar Rapids, a farmer, near thirty years since. One of her daughters is the wife of Mr. Huston, editor and proprietor of the Toledo Democrat. Another daughter resides at Norway, Iowa. Mrs. H. A. Hartshorn and Mrs. Charles Maxwell are here. Of other sons is Gilbert, a prosperous farmer on section eight; John on section eighteen. William is in the stock business in Traer. West is a farmer in Audubon county and David a farmer in Dakota. This family of sons and daughters have made an impression in the community for good and lasting benefit, fair types of the settlement, having given more than they received, and will leave it better than they found it. All these children were in the same town as their parents.

JOHN GAULT was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, was a blacksmith and farmer in that country. Mrs. Gault was a Wilson and they fund their way with three children to Buckingham in 1856 in company with the McDowell family. He purchased the land of Fred Church and began to improve it. While waiting to make the farm productive they opened a blacksmith shop in the village, which some years later they removed to the farm. Mr. Gault was a good man in all the name implies, was held in high repute, was eminently successful. He died in 1885, Mrs. Gault is living in Traer. David, the son, went in 1861 to Manchester, Iowa, and engaged in his trade. He married and in 1874 returned, purchased 400 acres in southwest corner of Buckingham section thirty-two, and settled down to farming, has been successful. The eldest daughter is Mrs. Peter McCornack, the other Mrs. Robert Provan.

ROBERT PROVAN came from Scotland when but a young man, purchased a quarter section on twenty-nine, Buckingham, well watered by Twelve Mile creek, for $2.50 an acre and paid for it. He also had near him an extensive range for cattle. With such a beginning to fail would have been criminal, so he succeeded. This is the true story of many others in this settlement, and we presume throughout the West. His brother William came with him, began with him. A bee buzzed in his bonnet, he chased the bee, he did not catch it.

Continued Next Week

Chapter XXXI (continued)
April 22, 1887

WILLIAM GORDON, a native of Paisley, Scotland, born in 1804, married there and removed to the United States while young. His trade was that of a weaver, textile fabrics being the only industry of that town with 100,000 inhabitants brocha shawls the principal article of manufacture. Reaching this country he found carpet weaving open to him – being the day of hand loom weaving – was employed in the vicinity of New York for a number of years, and in 1847 went to Norwich, Connecticut, and entered the employ of Goy Buckingham. In 1854 the family concluded to go west, and came to Buckingham the same year, purchasing land from Mr. Story in section thirty-three and twenty-eight. The family consisted, besides himself, of Mrs. Gordon, a son William, daughters Janet and Jane. William died in 1859 as narrated; also Mrs. Gordon in 1864. He had a son Allen in California, and when William died Allan was sent for to carry on the farm. Janet and Jane married as related. Allan married when Mr. Gordon lived with him. Allan died in 1877, after which he lived with his daughter, Mrs. McCornack, in Traer, and died in 1881. Mr. Gordon was a quiet, respectable, honorable an, and was held in repute by his neighbors. William in the early days was an active, stirring citizen, performed well his part in laying the broad and deep foundation of the settlement. He was not robust; but weak and sickly. Consumption had fastened on his lungs and he was not to live long in this rigorous climate and died universally respected, the community sadly feeling the loss. Allan, like his brother, was a sickly man of little physical strength. The climate was unfriendly to him and he sank under his burdens. He was a man held in esteem by his townsmen, and was entrusted with several town offices of trust.

ABIJAH WILBUR was an early settler. With Horace C. Green and Mr. Dusenberry, acquaintances in New York, he early made investments in land, and in 1856 removed his family hither, settling on section twenty-six, where he lived until 1863, when he sold to the Ewing brothers, removing to Green Mountain in Marshall county, and subsequently to Marshalltown where he died in 1886 at an advanced age. Mr. Wilbur was a business man. In his young days he built boats for the Erie canal and made money, which he ultimately invested here. His business habits adhered to him and he was actively engaged to the last, his mind being clear and vigorous. Mrs. Wilbur resides at Marshall town. Their family here consisted of daughter Esther, wife of James Wilson, Addie, wife of Henry Wambaugh. She resides at Denver. They had four sons: Ward, who lives in Nebraska and Charles, Judson and Daniel, all of whom are dead.

HORACE C. GREEN of Jefferson county, New York, came her in 1854, and invested in land for himself, A. Wilbur and Mr. Dusenberry. He opened a farm on section twenty-seven, living on it for a number of years and returned to New York. Mr. Green was one of the active men in the young settlement, exerting himself to the utmost to promote its prosperity by inducing a good class of men to move here, and in this respect was successful. Mr. Green was born in Adam’s Centre, New York, in 1818, and bred to a mercantile life. He was active in all public enterprises and a liberal giver. He was a trustee before the division of the town. In the early days he could not well have been spared. Following him came his brothers.

JOHN N. GREEN settled on section 2 in Perry and section 35 in Buckingham in 1861, and has remained on it all these days, a quiet, respectable man. He was born in 1820, and has raised a large family of sons and daughters.

OLIVER W. GREEN was born in 1824. He settled on section 36, Buckingham, in 1861, and died in 1870. Mrs. Green resides in Illinois. They had but one child, Charles, who married a daughter of William Goben and removed to Nebraska. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Green was noted for generous hospitality and a kind welcome, and always were pleased to meet their friends. Their friends embraced the community. They had no enemies. Few deaths are more sincerely mourned than was the death of Oliver W. Green.

LUKE GREEN, the oldest of the family was born in 1815, and came to Buckingham in 1862. He settled on section ?6 on which he continues to reside. Possessed of all the attributes of the Green family, quiet, civil, industrious, kind and generous, and given to hospitality and good works, he has rounded out the allotted three score years and ten, entering on another decade in feeble health and with the respect of the community.

EBENEZER AND WILFORD GREEN, brothers, nephews of those mentioned, were young men when they came here, the former in 1861 and the latter in 1862. They engaged at farming in Buckingham on sections 24 and 27. Ebenezer is still engaged in farming. Owing to poor health Wilf was compelled to change. He purchased the Brooks House in Traer, and for several years he has been the landlord of that popular resort of the traveling public.

JAY V. B. GREENE was born in Rensseler county, New York, in 1833 and came to Buckingham in 1861. He is a man of liberal education, enterprising and public spirited. He has been from the first a useful citizen. While never in a hurry, never refusing to assume any responsibility requiring time, always seeming to have plenty of time on his hand, it was noticed his work was always done on time. The plowing was done, seed sown, corn plowed, grain gathered, corn cribbed and a large wood pile, always ahead of his neighbors. In this way Mr. Greene has prospered and secured the confidence of his townsmen filling township and school offices of trust. Mr. Greene had two children, a son and a daughter. The son Fred, a young man of much promise, died in 1886. This was a severe blow to his parents. Andrew Green, a brother, has lived with the family here nearly from the first. The family is connected in some way with the other Greens we have understood, yet somewhat remote.

ALFRED WOOD better known as “General,” was born February 26, 1814, in the town of Ashfield, Franklin county, Massachusetts. At the age of twenty, just at the close of the Blackhawk war, he went to Chicago. At the time of his arrival he says there were about 150 inhabitants besides the soldiers in barrack. He commenced work in a lumber yard owned by a man named Washburn, the only lumber establishment in the village. Not liking the swamps he left and went to Dupage county and worked on a farm for a year. In 1835 he went to Whiteside county, at that time containing but five white inhabitants. He there engaged in farming and had a saw mill, continuing for nineteen years, and in 1854 he came to Buckingham and entered land on section 30. He has resided on it continuously to the present. In common with many of the early comers Mr. wood has experienced hard times and many vicissitudes. His wife died soon after his arrival, leaving an infant child and another boy but a few years old who subsequently died. Mr. Wood re-married in 1857 and they have a large family, all boys but one. Of fate success has crowned their joint efforts. Mr. Wood has been known as General. Few know him by any other name. Fewer still know how he came by the title. Being a New England man he formally used oxen on the farm, especially in hauling logs for his mill. He became habituated to carry the long whip as a military officer a sword. He was a large, substantial man with erect carriage in his younger days. He was the impersonation of the ideal military officer. This appearance, while driving his oxen, conveyed the idea to John Connell, who dubbed him General, and he has since retained it. A few weeks since Mrs. Wood met with an accident, and the newspaper spoke of her as Mrs. A. Wood. Many asked who she was, not knowing A. Wood.

PETER WENTCH was born in Germany in 1822. In 1851 he emigrated to the United States and went to Southberry, Connecticut, where he remained until 1854, when he came here and entered land on section 6, Clark township. While getting it ready, in which he was delayed for want of means, he worked for Clark Brothers for two years. During the thirty years past Mr. Wentch, by industry, frugality and honesty, has succeeded in a satisfactory degree. He has raised a large, respectable family of sons and daughters, enabling them, as they have been ready, to open farms around the old homestead, none of them being out of the settlement. Feeling the need of it he has given his children the advantages of schools. The success of Mr. Wentch, who began in a new country without means during times exceptionally hard – 1954-1862 – with a growing family to feed and clothe, shows what can be done on a western farm by a poor man who was not raised on a farm. The West is full of such men.

L. B. COLLINS was born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1818, where he lived working on a farm until 1850, when he removed to Cedar county, Iowa, remaining there until April, 1855. He removed to Perry, purchasing a farm on which was a grove known as Baker’s Grove from the man who entered and sold to Mr. Collins. Concerning this man Baker I have never known – where from or whither he went. Mr. Collins settled down to hard work, and the improvement of the place, which was well arranged – good land, wood and water, which in those days were indispensable. He succeeded in putting the place in order and built a new, frame house, and in 1873 he sold to Mr. Scott and removed to Marion county, Iowa, remained there ten years and went to Nebraska. Mr. Collins was a quiet man, embued with strong, native judgment, took an interest in public affairs and had pronounced opinions on political questions. He was a kind neighbor and friend. The writer on a severe stormy day in the winter of 1855-6, a mile south of Otterman’s, floundering in deep snow, had his horse escape him and had to walk to Baker’s Grove, where he was kindly cared for and assisted home by Mr. Collins. This act of a stranger made a warm corner in the heart which has not yet cooled. On that weary tramp we were interviewed by the pickets of a drove of wolves. While waiting for dark they kept at a respectable distance, and we were glad when we discerned the trees surrounding the home of Mr. Collins. Andrew Collins, a brother of L. B. Collins, was born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1823, and came here in 1856, locating on section 31, Perry. He removed to Illinois in 1861 and returned in 1868.

John Collins, another brother, was one of the first settlers.

C. C. COLLINS, son of L. B. Collins, came with his father to Baker’s Grove. He was born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1843, being but eleven years old when he came here. When young he assisted his father and attended the nearest school. He had keen thirst for knowledge, particularly of current history, and became an authority for facts and dates. Mr. Collins continued at home until one day at a neighbor’s in August, 1862, he was asked if he was going to the war meeting at Buckingham. He went. He was interested, and without previous intention he enlisted under Capt. Staley, company F, in the 18th regiment. (Concerning his military career see appendix.) He served three years, was discharged at the end of the war and returned home. Not long after he entered the store of Mr. Connell at Buckingham for one year, at the expiration of which for several months he attended a commercial school in Chicago, On his return he engaged in the hardware business with J. L. Graham; then opened a general store for himself. He married the eldest daughter of Adin Antrim. He continued business in Buckingham until 1873, when he removed to Traer, continuing in the business until the present. Mr. Collins has established a character for uprightness and business integrity, carrying with it the respect of his townsmen. He was twice elected mayor of Traer, was a member of the council, assessor for several years, and in 1883 was his party nominee for representative in the General Assembly and nearly succeeded where heretofore his party had been without hope.

Another of the large families of the community who came at an early day and from the first was an important factor and has continued prominent for enterprise and good citizenship is the Stokes family, important in numbers and influences although quiet and unassuming. John Stoakes, the father of the family, was born in England August 1, 1792. In 1797 his parents came to the United States and settled in Jefferson county, Ohio. During the second war with England the subject of our sketch was in the army for a time. He married in 1818 and was farmer for many years; then a merchant. In 1851 he settled in Van Buren county and in the spring of 1855 came to Perry township, having previously entered land on section 2, around which his numerous family gathered. Mrs. Stoakes died January 17, 1870, and he died February 11, 1880. Their eldest child is Mrs. Rider, of Sacramento, California, who has not been a resident here.

William M. Stokes, eldest son of John, was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, December 28, 1822. He settled on section 1, and like all others here at the time put up a log cabin and lived in it for many years. It was not very large for twelve of them – only 14 x 18 feet, - but those were the days of small things except families. Of their children Matthias, John N. and William are farmers in Clark, enterprising and successful. Mr. Stoakes has a desirable farm well stocked, a good orchard, house and all that tends to make a man feel contented in the decline of life.

Henry Stoakes was born May 3, 1829. His farm adjoined his fathers. He was unmarried at he time of coming, but in 1860 married Armilda, daughter of Robert Hough, who had a farm on section 11 adjoining West Union. In 1883 he sold and removed to O’Brien county and in 1886 he went to Nebraska.

Elazor Stoakes, the third son, was born March 4, 1833, being but of age when he came here. He, with a younger brother, worked his father’s place until in 1861 he enlisted, followed the fortunes of the 14th regiment for some fifteen months and was discharged on account of his eyes. He subsequently married Eliza, daughter of Robert Granger. He purchased land on section 32, Geneseo, on which he still resides.

George Stoakes, the fourth son, was born September 4, 1843, being but eleven years old when the family came here. He remained on his father’s land, caring for his parents and a sister. He married Alice, daughter of Dryden Barbour, in 1866. When his parents died he came into the possession of the farm and still resides on it, meeting with success.

HUGH F. GASTON was of the pioneers of the Stoakes, who came to spy the land in 1854. He was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1822, and until he came to the settlement was a merchant. He made money and concluded to be a farmer. He entered on section 2, and has since enlarged his boundaries by securing more of 2 and a portion of 3. In 1852 he married Elizabeth, third daughter of John Stoakes, and has a large family, eight of whom are living. Mr. Gaston has been a useful man in the settlement. In the early days he rendered good service as town clerk and justice; in 1862-3 was a member of the board of supervisors; in 1884-5 was county treasurer, and declined a continuance.

L. S. COPE came with Mr. Gaston and entered land on section 1. He was a neighbor of the Stoakes family in Ohio and married the second daughter of Mr. Stoakes. Mr. Cope was a carpenter, and found plenty of work while bringing the land under cultivation. He resided here some ten years and removed to Waterloo, where he died in 1873.

The fourth daughter is Sarah, wife of B. F. Thomas, who is mentioned elsewhere. The fifth daughter is Calla, who makes her home with her brother George.

JOHN S. HOPKINS is to be enumerated with the others. His father was the first husband of Mrs. Cope, who died in 1849. John was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, March 1, 1842. With his parents he went to Wellsville, where his father died, John being then seven years old. He was twelve when his mother and stepfather came here. John was a good scholar from a small boy, and at an early age he obtained a certificate to teach. He had an interest in the Cope farm which he disposed of and for a time resided in Waterloo. He had at a later date a farm in Clark township which he sold, and in the spring of 1884 he removed to Humboldt county. In 1886 he opened a store in Bradgate in that county and was appointed postmaster.

GILBERT MCMILLAN was born in the parish of Colmonel, Ayershire, Scotland, in 1816. He was married in 1842 to Miss Sarah Wilson, a sister of John and West Wilson. Early in 1855 they came to the States. After stopping a short time in Connecticut they came to Wolf Creek in June, entering land in Crystal at Four Mile Grove. He rented in Buckingham for two years, then went to his land and has continued on it until this day, a prominent man of marked character. Possessed of ready wit, affable, genial, kindly disposed and warm hearted, ever ready with a story or joke, there was no dull care in his company in his young days. Like other Scotch farmers of the settlement, Mr. McMillan's education was on stock, and he was the first to invest in sheep husbandry. In time came cattle of which he was a judge, also of hogs. Probably no finer display of cattle, hogs and sheep, the property of one man, was ever seen in the county than that displayed by him at a sale on his farm about 1870. Although always social and seemingly well he for years suffered much from disease, which makes his constant flow of animal spirits the more remarkable. Blot Mack from the history of the settlement and many dark spots will stud our sky. Like the others of their relatives they had a large family who are now scattered.

WILLARD SNOW was a resident as early as 1854, first in Perry, soon after in Buckingham. He was an honest man, quiet, and in his way industrious. His father had neglected him, and book learning was not one of his advantages. He had three children-two boys and a girl. The writer recalls the oldest boy and the girl when quite young visiting his store, bringing with them a black pullet which they wanted to trade for a spelling book. They obtained the book. This girl died young. The son, James M. known as Mort, enlisted served three years with credit and returned. He married and succeeded very well as a farmer. Some ten years ago they all removed to Nebraska except a son Henry, who lives on a farm northwest of Traer.

VARNUM HELM was of the type that moves on and whom their neighbors like to see move as soon as possible. Eventually reaching Benton county about 1850 from somewhere else the family had an extensive reputation. One day some men called at the house, took one of the sons out and buried him. The family moved hastily to Clark, then to Buckingham. His type is shown in the following anecdote: Timber was desirable in those days. One day Leander and Theodore Clark learning there was timber to be had in Six Mile Grove went there. Approaching the neighborhood they met a man and inquired of him the location of a certain corner. The man replied: "I don't know; I aint got no learning. I don't know anything." They passed on, soon the man cried back to them; "Say be you speculators? If you be we will steal all your timber." That man was V.Helm. He went west in due time.

DR. W.A. DANIEL was born in 1825 in Franklin county, Ohio, came here in 1853. He attended Rush Medical College in 1852 and 1853. He was county surveyor for several years while population was sparse. When demand was made for his services as a physician he gave it his attention, and for thirty years was in practice. He also carried on a large farm which is continued. In 1864 he received a commission as assistant surgeon in the 28th regiment.

HORACE A. HARTSHORN, and brother, Quincy D., came here in the spring of 1855, bought the land of Nelson Usher on section 4 which they worked together. They dissolved, and Q. D. opened a farm on section 16, which he sold to A. McCornack. He then purchased the John Connell farm on which he died in 1878. Horace continued on the original land and added to it extensively. He was born in 1828 in Erie county, Pennsylvania, and was a single man when he came here. In January 1856 he a married Philinda, daughter of Ibby Kile. She died in 1860, leaving two children. Three years after he married Agnes, daughter of G. McDowall. Mr. Hartshorn has been attentive to his farm, which has amply paid. He raises stock extensively, his farm being well adapted for stock with rich pastures, the protection of timber and unfailing water. His two eldest sons are settled in Wright county. The father of Mr. Hartshorn for many years was an annual visitor here, forming an extensive acquaintance.

EVANDER MURDOCK, was born in New York, came here in 1855 and purchased the southeast quarter of section 33 in Grant. He went back and in the following spring brought his wife and one child and commenced to get rich. They were isolated, not on the main road and neighbors not near. He added to his possessions, and in 1870 he sold and purchased a small place near Cedar Falls and went into the fine stock business. Never a healthy man he felt compelled to seek a milder climate and went to Florida. There he invested in land. Leaving his son he returned north. The following season he went south and died 1885-6. This son died there the past fall. Another son is now a farmer in Grundy county.

CONKLIN AND CORNIELIUS GAY, came in 1855, locating on section 26, Grant, on which is Five Mile Grove. This they sold in 1857 and purchased on section 30, Buckingham. Cornelius married Miss Lucy Wood, a sister of the Wood brothers. He died in 1865. A young man of correct habits and (not legible - black spot on newspaper) social in his nature, he was (not legible - black spot on newspaper) consumption. The settlement lost no young man more universally regretted. Conklin was much older than his brother and acted the part of father to the young family. The retained the farm until 1880, removing to Humboldt county, where they had a large farm finely situated. This change was beneficial to the family in all respects.

LEONARD H. THOMAS, was born in Philadelphia, March 30, 18-8. His ancestors came from England with William Penn and were among the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania. While quite young his parents removed to Highland county, Ohio, and a few years later to Preble county, where, at the age of sixteen, he was apprenticed to the potter’s trade, serving four years; was married in 1829 to Miss Lydia Phillips, and they lived together for fifty-six years. After marriage he commenced business for himself. In the village where he lived he was for several years mayor and justice of the peace and filled several other positions of trust and honor. During the days of his early manhood the military spirit was cultivated and he in common with other young men joined the militia and reached the position of major. Several times his regiment was called into active service on the border, and he was always among the first to respond. His old colonel, who a few years since was living in Adair county, Iowa, in speaking of him said: “Major Thomas was the best drill-master I ever had in the regiment.” In the spring of 1856 he sold his property and in the fall came to Buckingham – drove through with horses in a month. He had previously purchased land on section 20, and intended farming, but finding a demand for earthenware he commenced to prepare for its manufacture at once. He bauled 10,000 brick from Toledo with which to put up kiln for burning ware. The pottery did not prove a success because of poor quality of the material, and also because the long, cold winters. Still he, with the assistance of his son Frank persevered for a number of years and supplied all the towns as far as Cedar Rapids with a fair quality of ware at a much lower price than had previously prevailed. Soon after the close of the war he opened a store, and with others from Buckingham he removed to Traer and continued until 1876. He spent the remaining years of his life with his children. He had lived an active live, and when he relaxed his constitution was broken and he died April 18, 1885, in Traer.

JOHN R. THOMSA, eldest son of L. H. Thomas, was born at Winchester, August 14, 1834; was apprenticed to the cabinet-maker’s trade and became a skilled workman. He removed to Lewisburg, Ohio, and was there subsequently married. Coming to Buckingham in 1856, he opened a shop and found considerable work to do. In July, 1864, he enlisted into Co. G, 14th regiment and was at the capture of Ft. DeRussey. There he took a heavy cold which settled on his lungs, producing acute pneumonia, of which he died April 9, 1864, and was buried near that Fort. He left three children: Charles has a fine farm in Humboldt county; two daughters died of diphtheria within a week at Traer in the winter of 1877. Mr. Thomas was a young man of good parts and was held in high esteem by his townsmen. His early death was deeply regretted.

B. F. THOMAS, second son of L. H. Thomas, was born in Winchester, Ohio, March 6, 1837. He attended school until his sixteenth year, when he commenced to learn the potter’s trade with his father. He came to Buckingham in 1856. Here he assisted his father until he joined the army in September, 1861. He was ambitious to acquire branches of learning he was not able to finish while at school, and during the long winter months he studied hard and became qualified to teach and obtained a certificate and a school the winter previous to his enlistment. He joined company G, 14th regiment, and was with it at Donelson, Shiloh, Chicot, Tupello and Town Creek. He was captured a Shiloh with the regiment, and was held at Memphis, Mobile, Cahaba and Macon, Georgia. When discharged he held a sergeant’s warrant. During the service he was offered a commission in other regiments. He was discharged in November, 1864, having served three years. December 20 he married Sarah E. Stoakes, a daughter of John Stoakes. He had purchased land on section 33 and now commenced the life of a farmer. There being no land adjoining to acquire he sold in 1868 and purchased the southwest quarter of section 5 in Clark, and has resided there ever since. He was town clerk of Buckingham for several years and justice of the peace; a trustee and school treasurer in Clark. He has a farm of 240 acres, also a half section in Humboldt county, improved and managed by his son,, John L. Thomas.

DRYDEN BARBOUR, was born in 1815 and in 1851 removed to Ohio. Remaining there seven years he came to West Union in June, 1858. He purchased land near that village and worked at his trade – that of a shoe (black spot on newspaper)the village for a few years or until he got the farm in order to keep all buys. He had four sons. One died in 1858, aged two years. Theoldest, Dryden Jr. died in 1864, aged eighteen years. The second, Henry, applied himself to the farm which they made profitable. The third son, Ovid, had a taste for music which he inherited, and was enabled to prosecute his studies for two years in Germany, and is now musical director of Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa. Mrs. Barbour died in 1881. He also had two daughters. Alice is the wife of George Stoakes. Flavia married Charles Green, removed to Kansas and died there in 18822. Henry married Mary, daughter of Peter Wentch, and lives on the farm. Mr. Barbour lives with him. Ovid married a daughter of H. F. Gaston.

Continued Next Week

Chapter XXXI (Continued)
April 29, 1887

JAMES FOWLER, while not one of our settlement, residing in the Otterman settlement in Howard, was frequently among us and well known. He was born in Henry county Kentucky, in 1832. With his parents he went to Indiana in 1838. He went to Illinois in 1852, and in 1856 he came to Tama county. He had a farm and taught school for several years. When Tama City was born he went there and opened a grocery. In 1873 he came to Traer and was elected justice of the peace. During his term he applied himself to the study of law and opened an office at its expiration, and has continued in the business here.

J. T. AMES, probably the most extensive farmer in the settlement, was born in Massachusetts in 1819, and until his settlement in Buckingham in 1855 was much of a traveler, visiting many places, stopping for a time, then pushing on to another place or State. He had been in California for four years previous to coming here. From the first Mr. Ames has been a prominent man in the settlement. He was ever forward in every good work and all public enterprise has felt the impetus of his zeal. As a farmer his course has been conservative. Still his knowledge and industry has produced marked results in the line of progress. Hi line of investment has been in cattle and hogs and has proved profitable. His farm is well situated and adapted for the business, and is large and valuable. Mr. and Mrs. Ames have been unfortunate in the loss of promising children.

Asa, their eldest son, is an active partner on their farm. He is a graduate of Iowa College, and he takes the learning of the schools to apply to the farm.

ANDREW M’COSH, was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1824, and was raised a farmer. When a young man he came to the United States and stopped at first in Lisbon, Connecticut, where he had relatives. He came west about the time the Wilson families did and stopped at Davenport. For seven years he engaged in the milling trade. Having in the time purchased or entered land on section 7, Perry, he removed his family to it in 1861, and has remained on it. Of late years he has been actively engaged in raising thoroughbred cattle and horses, as well as feeding cattle and hogs, and has been fortunate. His farm is well adapted to the business. That portion on which his stock is kept is a rich bottom and well watered, Wolf creek flowing through it. Mr. McCosh is connected with the Wilson families. His sister was the first Mrs. John Wilson. Mrs. McCosh is a sister of the Sloss brothers. His oldest daughter resides in Dakota. John, the only son, is interested in the home farm.

ARTHUR PRATT, was born in Ohio in 1824. When young his parents removed to Pennsylvania. In 1848 he returned to Ohio. He learned the trade of a worker in wood, and continued at that business until 1864, he came to Perry, purchased land on section 22 and became a farmer. Unlike many mechanics he became a successful farmer. He has retired and still retains his farm but resides in Traer. Mr. Pratt has stood high in the respect of his townsmen and his political party. His son Harvey is a farmer having land near his father’s

LYMAN CODY, who came in 1855 and settles on section 29, Perry, was born in Wyandotte county, Ohio, in 1828. A carpenter by trade, the first few years here he found all he could do, while bringing his farm up to a paying basis. Having done so he devoted all his time to it. Like the most of the settlers here prior to the war he saw hard times. He economized, worked hard and succeeded. He has a fine farm of 200 acres, well improved.


There were men living here previous to 1855 concerning whom little is known. They did not remain long and left no relatives to keep up an acquaintance with the place. Norman L. Osborn is frequently named; also S. Dunkle, Otto Story and Mr. Springmire. N. Usher owned the Hartshorn place and went to Wright county, thence to Oregon. David Dean owned the Jaqua place. He moved to Wright county, and was the first county judge there. One of the sons now resides at Goldfield in that county. George Lyman owned the farm of Dr. Daniel. He thence moved to Franklin county. Fred Church, who owned the Gault farm, went to Clinton county, thence to Wisconsin, and has been dead many years. Joseph Keeler owned the Cummings land – a section – and went to Kansas. George McKelvey, on Rock Creek, went ultimately to Missouri; John D. Lutzo. Daniel Burnison and others.

PATRICK CASEY, a brother of Michael, was a respectable man who lived on section 25, Buckingham. He went to Kansas, became involved in the political troubles before the war and was killed.

John R. Hankinson settled on section 3 county line, and is now in Kansas – a man of good traits.

ELI ELDRIDGE had land in Grant. He died in the army.

JOHN BYWORTH, an Englishman, went to Missouri, and is dead. His farm was on section 34.

GEORGE KOBER was born in Germany n 1830. He came her in 1855. His farm is now owned by his brother John. He died in April, 1873, as related elsewhere.

JOHN KOBER,brother of George, was born in 1843, and came her in 1862.

ROBERT GRANGER was born in England in 1806. He died in 1886. He entered land on section 36 in 1854. Mr. Granger was an honorable, upright man who enjoyed the respect of the community for thirty years. He died recently, aged eighty years.

TOBIAS R. SHINER, better known as ‘Squire, entered land on section 34 in 1854. In 1868 he sold to Mr. Warner. He went to Missouri and died in January 1887. He was an exemplary man whom all respected. He had a large family who were respectable. S. B. Shiner, George and Alfred were brothers of Tobias. S. B. went to Waterloo and died during the war. George joined the Mormons and added wives many. Alfred went to Missouri.

ADIN ANTRIM was born in Clinton county, Ohio. He came her from Illinois in 1856, and purchased land on section 34, where he resided until 1880, when he removed to Traer. Mr. Antrim has filled an important niche in our history; not by any act of startling import, but by a consistent walk and conversation.

In the early days the United Brethren had a class in Buckinham, which accomplished much good. The principal members were the Antrims, Shiners and the Kingery family. No good thing was proposed but received their aid. In forming the character of the settlement, establishing the moral and religious worth which it has attained that extinct class of United Brethren did what they could, and it has borne good fruit.

JAMES A. STEWART came from New York in 1856. He was a carpenter and followed the business constantly. He had forty acres in section 3, Perry. He removed to Traer and died in 1885.

DAVID R. HEATH and L. D. Hall came her in 1859. One had a farm in Buckingham and latter one in Grant. They were relatives. Mr. Heath went to Nebraska and was killed by a stepson. Mr. Hall lives in Pocahontas county. His son George is a farmer in Grant.

WILLIAM C. READ entered the farm of the Ewing Bros. in 1854. He lived on it until 1867, went to Grinnell, thence to Missouri and now resides in Oregon.

JOHN G. NICHOLS was born in Rensselaer county, New York, in 1820. Mrs. Nichols is a sister of H. C. Green, and Mr. Nichols was drawn hither first in 1857 to Geneseo. He was on the road several years and in 1867 purchased a farm in Buckingham. He now lives in Waterloo, retaining the farm.

DEXTER HIGGINS came here from New York in 1855. He had land on section 23, Perry. He sold it and worked at his trade as a carpenter, living in West Union. He married Mrs. Kile. He was for several years postmaster of Wolf Creek office, removing it from Klingaman’s to the village. Mr. Higgins died about 1863.

JOHN W. SOUTHWICK, a native of Pennsylvania, came her in 1855 and entered land on section 27, Perry. At first he lived at West Union, built a house there and worked as a carpenter, there being much demand for carpenters and plasterers. When his land was broke he moved onto it, remaining until 1868. Mr. Southwick was held in high esteem. He was trustee and the first supervisor from Perry in 1861 under the township system. He is now in Missouri.

Continued Next Week

Chapter XXXI Continued
May 6 1887

DR. H. M. CLARK, the father of Leander and Theodore Clark, was a Connecticut man, a graduate of Harvard College and saw service in the war of 1812 as surgeon on a ship of war. In 1818 he left that State for Ohio, settling in Huron county. In 1860 Dr. Clark, having retired from active practice in his profession, came with Mrs. Clark to visit their son Theodore, which visit was extended. Mrs. Clark returned to Ohio on a visit in 1863 and died there. Late in the year 1854 Dr. Clark also made a visit to the old home, and was ready to return, when he sickened and died in March, 1865. Dr. Clark was a quiet, dignified gentleman of the old school, thoroughly educated in his profession.

THEODORE F. CLARK, is the youngest of the family of the late Dr. Clark, and was born in Huron county, Ohio, in 1831, and came to the settlement in 1854, and has resided here all these years. So thoroughly identified with the settlement has he been from the first that their history is interchangeable. In a business view he has been eminently successful, seemingly having found the philosopher’s stone. In company with his brother Leander he came here. On going to Dubuque to enter a quarter section of land he paid on it his last dollar. He recovered from that. The home farm is in the southwest corner of Geneseo, section 31. Mr. Clark has been recognized by his townsmen. Besides various local trusts he was a member of the board of supervisors at first from Geneseo and later from the county at large. The advantage of Mr. Clark with his acquaintance lies in his social nature. He has a fund of humor and story. In the early days no party could be a success without him, so he was there. He could play for the dance, lead the singing and tell an entertaining story. Of late years the health of Mr. and Mrs. Clark has been seriously affected. They have two children. Herman, the son, is in the banking business in Coleridge, Nebraska. May is at college.

O. GRAVATT, was born in England in 1826, and came to Buckingham with his family in 1857. He purchased land on section 27, and has occupied it until now. He has added to his domain extensively. Mrs. Gravatt died in 1878. Mr. Gravatt has a large family of children who have grown up, and but with one exception have settled around the homestead. He has been prominent in all matters pertaining to the settlement, and enjoys the confidence of his acquaintances.

DANIEL C. LADD, was born in Delaware county, N. Y., in 1828, came to Buckingham in 1855, and eventually settled on section 13, on which he remains, owning a half section, all of which he has earned since coming here; also the esteem of his fellows. He has three sons. John is in Minnesota, the others are here. Mr. Ladd has a keen sense for humor. The first time the writer saw him he had a pair of steers and a cart stuck in a slough for two hours or more, and the rain falling down. The deacon enjoyed it, but we did not see where the fun came in.

THE YOUNG FAMILY SAMUEL YOUNG was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1798. In 1861 his eldest son, who came the year previous, having purchased land in Perry, sent for the family, consisting of father, mother, two other brothers and four sisters, who arrived in the early summer of 1861. Mr. Young was one of twelve children. Brought up a farmer he continued at that avocation all his life. He died in 1874. Mrs. Young survives him.

ROBERT YOUNG, the eldest, was born in 1832. He came to Perry in 1860 and procured land on section 16, and prepared for his father’s family, who arrived the following year. Mr. Young is a canny Scotchman, frugal and industrious. He did not know what it was to be tired, and has gone on from the first accumulating property. He is a man of strong native sense and judgment.

MATTHEW YOUNG was born in 1836. He was a carpenter who spent the usual years in learning, and came her in high expectations of success. Plenty of work for such as he was, his hopes were reasonable. How little man knows of his future! Soon after reaching the settlement he was taken sick from cold contracted on the journey, and died in five weeks.

JOHN YOUNG was born in 1850. He was eleven years old when he came here, and has lived here all these years, engaged in an active business, bringing him constantly before the people. There are few better known in the settlement than John, or anyone more favorably.

Of the daughters, Janet, the eldest is the wife of Peter Whannel. Jane married William Provan in 1863 and died the same year. Lizzie is the wife of William Stevenson. Marion, the youngest, was drowned in Wolf Creek in July, 1862. It will be seen this family were unfortunate in the death of three members during the first fifteen months of their sojourn among us and it called out the sympathy of the entire population.

GEORGE SLOSS, was born in Scotland, and while yet a young man came to the United States in 1852. Of a mechanical turn of mind he became a machinist and went to Chicago and worked at his trade there. In 1854 he came to the settlement with the Wilson Brothers to look at the country. He was pleased with it and entered on section 7, Perry. The following year he brought his family-wife, one daughter and two sons. Like many of the settlers of that day Mr. Sloss saw hard times while bringing his farm up to a paying basis. Being a worker in iron he could also work in wood, so he was able to assist others in work about houses. By the time prices became enhanced during the war Mr. Sloss was able to have some thing to sell. Being a sound financeer as well as mechanic, thrifty and industrious, he left want behind. He early stocked his farm with cattle and horses and like most of his county-men, has been successful. In 1875 he became connected with Mr. Leekins in the milling business, and next year became the sole owner with his son Andrew. He pushed the business with his usual vim and success. In 1884 the mill was destroyed by fire and not rebuilt. His daughter married Hugh Dugan, of Crystal. The sons Andrew and Thomas are farmer, the latter with his father. Andrew has a farm of his own on section 12 of Crystal, adjoining his father’s farm.

ALLAN SLOSS, was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1833. Of a mechanical turn of mind he became apprenticed for four years with a millwright. He served his time and became a thorough workman, and in 1856 came to Chicago and entered one of he largest shops there, remaining until 1873. He made several trips here to visit relatives and acquaintances, and purchased land. In the latter year he moved here. His land is on section 11. Grant, and comprises 400 acres. He engaged in stock raising and has succeeded. At present he is living in Reinbeck, renting his farm.

JAMES SLOSS, was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1830. He came to Chicago in 1852, remaining there five years, then went South. When the war began he returned North, enlisted in 1st Illinois artillery December 1, 1861, and served three and one-half years, being discharged June 5, 1865. He then came to this settlement to visit, where he ultimately settled in 1871 in Perry; then purchased a farm on section 11, Grant, in 1875. Having all things ready, his wanderings over and his mind fixed on domestic life he married Janet, daughter of John Wilson. The characteristics of the Sloss brothers as known to their numerous friends are kindness of heart, generosity, sociability, honor and strict integrity.

M. L. SEAMAN was born in Erie county, New York in 1831. He came West in 1854, first to Illinois, where he engaged in teaching. In 1856 he came to Perry and purchased land on section 21. For a few years, while his farm was being made ready, he engaged in teaching. When he applied himself to the farm it was with all his energy, and like most en of the settlement who done so he succeeded. In 1886 Mr. Seaman sold the farm and lives in Traer. Mr. Seaman at an early day enjoyed the respect of his townsmen. In him they reposed trust in various public capacities in township and school. He was married in 1854 and has three children-sons. In 1886 Mr. Seaman with his two eldest sons, William and Charles, opened a bank in Kinsley, Kansas, the sons residing there, conducting the business.

Continued Next Week

Chapter XXXI (Continued)
May 13, 1887

ANDREW M’CORNACK was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1808 on a farm, to which avocation he devoted his life with good results. In 1839 he married and together at once started to the United States and settled in Knox county, Illinois, then a new country. He resided in that county twenty-five years, accumulating wealth in land and children. To them were born Peter, Robert, Mary, wife of Thomas Whannel, Elizabeth, wife of William McDowall, Margaret, who died in 1868, Agnes, wife of West Wilson 2d, and Knox, the youngest. In 1864 the family removed to Perry, first purchasing a quarter section on 16 from Q. D. Hartshorn to which he had his sons subsequently added 680 acres in that section and 17. Mr. McCornack died in 1869. His death was attributal to exposure on a severe cold day returning from Waterloo, where he had been on business. He was of robust body, and mind sound and clear. He was genial in nature, kind in disposition, made friends and retained them. His death, sudden and unexpected, was a severe blow to his neighbors and friends as well as to the family as he was universally respected. Peter, his eldest son, joined the army. He was in the 102d Illinois infantry and served three years, his term not expiring until after the family came here. In due time he was possessor of 400 acres of the farm and also lands in O’Brien county and as many in Kansas. Robt. Came with the family and had 200 acres in section 17. Having land and house they concluded to marry, Peter securing Jane, daughter of John Galt, and Robert obtained Jane, daughter of William Gordon. Some, it is seen, are gifted to fortune in this way. The brothers, like their father, could not avoid making money. In 1873 they were among the first who opened business in Traer, dealing in lumber, coal and farm machinery, and were successful. In the summer of 1886 their yard was destroyed by fire. After restocking they sold and retired. In 1883 they purchased a similar business in Gladbrook, Robert removing thither to conduct the business. This business was sold at the end of 1886, and at present they are not in public business.

JOHN WHANNEL was born in Ayershire, Scotland, in 1795, and came to the United States in 1857. He was a farmer. The farm on which he was born had long been occupied by the family, he being of the fifth generation who were born on it. His children were also born on it, making six generations. He settled in Knox county, Illinois, where he had a farm. In June, 1864, he came here and purchased a section of land on sections 6, 7 and 8 in Crystal. On his return home from Dixon, Illinois, he met with an accident, from the effects of which he died on August 29, 1864, after having opened the way for his sons, who at once took possession and from that day to this have been active, prominent men in Crystal and Grant. Mrs. Whannel died in 1870. She was a sister of Mrs. Andrew McCornack. Peter, the eldest, was born in 1834. He married a daughter of Samuel Young. Thomas was born in 1836. He married a daughter of Andrew McCornack. John was born in 1840. He married Miss Preston. Robert was born in 1842, and he married a daughter of West Wilson. John was in the army in an Illinois regiment in service when the others came here. The land of John and Robert is in Grant, the others in Crystal. Owning to the illness of his wife Robert removed to Traer in 1886, renting his farm. The farms of these men are in a high state of improvement; good buildings and convenient. They are extensively engaged in stock raising, and sow no small grain for market. They show some first-class animals both of pure and high grade. A visit to these farms amply repays those who admire fine stock. The brothers’ land adjoin. The district school is manned chiefly by their children. They employ good teachers and never complain of the taxes. The world uses them well, and they are at peace.

GORHAM GREENLEAF was a settler on section 22, Perry, in 1855, on which he lived for twelve years; then went to Waterloo and engaged in the manufacture of soap. He removed to New England and died recently. While living here he worked at the plastering business. And plastered most of the houses in the settlement. His exhorbitant (sic) charges would have made him rich could he have saved them.

MRS. IBBY KILE was an early resident of the settlement, being here in 1855. She lived here until her death in 1886. At the first date she was living on the farm of Robert Connell with two sons and two daughters, and during the winter another daughter and husband-Dr. Darby-were here. Mrs. Kile married Dexter Higgins in 1859, and Mr. Crowshaw in 1868. Both of these gentlemen died here. She had ? section 6 in Perry. Of the daughters, Elizabeth married Joshua C. wood and died in 1837. Philinda wife of H. A. Hartshorn, died in 1860. Lemuel died about twenty years ago. Freeman, after the marriage of his mother, purchased a farm on section 14, Perry, which he left and engaged in business as a carpenter in Traer.

HENRY BEATTY was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 1809, and came here from New York in 1855, and entered land on section 23, Perry on which he lived until his death in 1874. In the early day he worked at this trade – a plasterer. He was an honorable man and commanded respect. Mrs. Beatty is still living. Of his children Mrs. Crampton and husband were lost in the storm of 1856. One of his daughters is the wife of Anson Loop; another wife of R. G. McIntire, late county auditor, now deputy treasurer. William died in the army. De Albert is a farmer in Perry. Henry, the youngest, is in the newspaper business – first with Traer Clipper; next Scranton Journal, Scranton, Iowa; then Tribune, Wahoo, Nebraska, which he consolidated with the Independent, naming the new paper the Wasp.

CHARLES AND ANSON LOOP Charles Loop was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, in 1830. He came to Iowa in 1853, and to West Union in January, 1856. He worked in the settlement at a blacksmith, carpenter and in the saw mill, and was not afraid of honest work. He finally by industry and saving earned sufficient to buy forty acres, which he improved. He sold and got an eighty on section 22, where he lives, and has worked his way along, not despising the day of small things. The experience of Mr. Loop proves that in the Wolf valley a poor man, if industrious and frugal, can rise above want.

ANSON LOOP, a brother of Charles was born in 1837. He went to Scott county, Iowa, and in 1857 came to Perry. He married Ruth, daughter of Henry Beatty, in 1861. Without means except health and will power the young people commenced life. They rented land, then bought on section 27, Perry; then selling and buying on section 23; then adding to that 100 acres adjoining. Mrs. Beatty, widow of Henry Beatty, resides with them.

WILLIAM SPROLE came to Perry in 1856. He first worked for Mr. Gaston. He purchased land on section 1, working out until thee was sufficient for him to do on his own land. He was a hard working man of great strength and endurance. In those days grain was cradled, and six acres a day was his work. In 1863 he married. From that day on he has worked constant and has succeeded in extending his lands in that township and in Clark. His success has been remarkable. Mr. Sprole was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1830.

S. V. R. KELLY was born in Saratoga Springs, N. Y. in 1810. His parents went to Erie county, Pennsylvania, remaining there three years. He thence went to Ashtabula, Ohio, and in 1855 he came to Buckingham, working the Pierce farm – now the Kober farm –for three years. He had entered an eighty acres on section 14, Grant, to which he went in 1859. He gave that to his son and purchased more land on the same section, on which he still resides. Ferdinand, the son, sold his land and is now in Oregon. Mr. Kelly has always been a farmer.

JOHNATHAN L. MOORE had land in Perry in 1855. He lived in West Union. At one time he had a store there and kept the postoffice. He removed his stock to Traer in 1873. He removed to LaPorte soon after and still resides there. During the war Mr. Moore enlisted and was in the 9th Iowa Cavalry.

JAMES EMERSON in 1857 lived on section 22, Perry. After farming five years he returned to Lowell, Mass.

NELSON FELTER was a settler in Crystal in 1854. He was a quiet, steady man. He was born in New York in 1813. Mrs. Felter died in 1881. They had a large family of respectable children, a number of whom still reside in the county. Mr. Felter lives in Toledo.

PETER GREENLEE entered 160 acres on section 15, Perry, in 1855. He enlisted into the cavalry service in 1862. He became sick, came home on a furlough and died in the fall of 1863. Previous to his death he sold the land to W. G. Nichols. Mrs. Greenlee remarried and lives in Toledo.

HENRY VAN VLEIT was one of the old settlers in Buckingham in 1854. He settled first on section 35, then 36, then at a late day on section 1, Perry. He was born Vermont in 1826. He enlisted in the U. S. army during Florida war in 1841 and was discharged in 1844. He lived in New York five years, thence moved to Illinois, thence here. Mrs. Van Vleit died in 1873, and he died in 1884.

ABRAM QUINN resided near Four Mile Grove, locating in 1854. Mrs. Quinn died in 1864. He went to Oregon a few years since and died there in 1886.

Continued Next Week

Chapter XXXI (Continued)
May 20, 1887

L. P. DINSDALE, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1817. In his youth he was apprenticed to a shoemaker, serving his master faithfully for seven years as was the custom of the country and his disposition. On expiration of apprenticeship he continued at the business for four years, when his health failed, and was advised by the family physician to engage at farming. So in 1845 he left England and settled in Peterbourough, Norwood Co., Canada, He obtained land and applied himself to a new business and a new life. Not being enamored of that country and its government he was desirous to leave it for the States. In 1861 John Stevenson, a son-in-law, was here prospecting. On his return to Canada he gave such a glowing description of this settlement Mr. Dinsdale resolved to see it for himself. He came and learned the half was not told. He purchased the farm of Nelson Reed on section 34, Grant, and the boundaries have since been largely extended. The advent of Mr. Dinsdale was an important one for the settlement. He had a large family – two sons and five daughters. Of the sons: John, the youngest, died in 1870, James in the stock business with his father. One daughter is the wife of John R. Stevenson, now resident of Wright county. Another daughter is the wife of Alex Nichol, of Traer; another wife of Robert Fothergill, a merchant of Eagle Grove; another is the wife of Thomas Fothergill, of Traer. Alice is the wife of John Nicol, of Wright county. All of these came here because of Mr. Dinsdale and settled around him in Grant and Buckingham. Besides these were other relatives. Otto and John Fothergill, Abel and Jesse Green and other men from Canada, acquaintances of Dinsdale, came about the same time; also the Philp brothers, Messrs. Bell and Stavely, and a few whose names are forgotten. Nearly all have succeeded in establishing comfortable homes. Some have done more. Mrs. Dinsdale died in 1873.

JAMES DINSDALE was born in England in 1839. He is in business with his father, raising Short-horn Durham cattle and Leicester sheep, having the most important herd in the county. These men are competent judges of stock, and have done much for the improvement of the herds around them. They have instituted a yearly sale of stock, which is largely attended, as they do not sell many animals at any other time.

ALEXANDER NICHOLS Nichols was born in England, thence moved to Canada. His wife is a Dinsdale. He came to Buckingham, has land in sections 8 and 19 – a half section. He has retired and lives in Traer.

WILLIAM AN D WALTER KLINE, William Kline was an early settler in Grant, coming in 861 and settling on sections 29 and 30, and has 320 acres. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1826. He went to Ohio when he was sixteen years old, settling in Wayne county. He learned the trade of a miller, leased a mill, got married in 1850 and started to earn a living. In 1854 he came to Iowa and here in 1861. Mr. Kline is the esquire of Grant, having held the office form the organization of the town, and on the school board. They have nine children. John, the eldest son, has a farm near his father.

WALTER KLINE is a brother of William and was born in Franklin county, Pa., in 1829. With his parents he went to Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He came to Iowa in 1853 and here in 1861. In 1864 he married Mrs. Eldridge, widow of Eli Eldridge who died in the army, and have six children. The Klines are quiet, industrious and respectable men.

JOHN STUART, was born in county Armagh, Ireland, in 1814. With his parents he came to the United States in 1825 and located in Ohio. He resided there until 1840. He went to Iowa county, Wisconsin in 1842. He lived there, being engaged in farming, manufacturing lumber and in the merchantile business, for twenty-five years. There he married and raised a family of nine sons and two daughters, one of whom died here. In 1867 he with all his family came to Perry and purchased land on section 10, which adjoins Traer, from which he shipped the first car load of grain in 1873.

Mr. Stuart has a mind of an inquisitive nature and is given to investigation of such matters as are presented to him by interest. Ten years ago the loss of hogs by farmers led him to investigate the cause and find a remedy. The result of his researches was an article that proved beneficial in many cases. Of late years he has been studying and experimenting the production of sorghum and sugar from cane. He has a mill for grinding which is busy during the season for his own and neighbor’s crops. He has made two tons of sugar in all. He says it cannot be made at a profit because of glucose, Sandwich Islands and other cheap sugars. Mr. and Mrs. Stuart have been blessed in their family, their sons proving to be men of solid attainments and moral worth, nearly all being residents of the neighborhood. Mr. Stuart has seen an active life, engaged in events of historical interest. He was a member of a military company in Ohio, called by President Jackson to be ready to assist in putting down nullification in South Carolina in 1832. He was an active anti-slavery worker, assisting to protect against a mob, Fred Douglass while in search of the north star, and was at Nauvoo during the troubles of Joseph Smith, and saw his body after the murder.

JASPER H. SCOTT, of Grant township, writes as follows: “I was born in Ohio, May 16, 1820. When two years old my father moved to Indiana. I went to Illinois, and in the spring of 1859 I came out to break my land on section 36, Grant, with James Johnston and five yoke of cattle. We built a shanty 8 x 10 feet and boarded ourselves. That season we broke eighty-five acres. We set five posts to which we chained the cattle after they had been fed. In about a week we neglected to chain them one night, but next morning each pair was lying at their posts as though fastened. After that we did not tie them yet they did not stray. I left the cattle with General Wood and went back to Illinois, sold my stock and moved my family to Grant in September. I think I never had more kind and better neighbors in my life.

In the spring of 1860 I went to Mr. Wylie’s, a distance of about six miles. He was a stranger to me. He was at his sheds or barn. I told him I came to purchase wheat, corn and potatoes. He said I could have them, but I couldn’t go back until I got dinner and horses fed. I said it was not noon, but he continued unhitching the team, saying you will feel better.

The fall I came here I was out of money, and as soon as I got things fixed I went to teaming. The best I could do was $1 a day and board for myself and team. I worked seven weeks and had to wait until spring for my pay and got it in trade – goods and apple trees.

The first time I saw William Kline I was stuck in a big slough near where Dysart now is, with a load of wheat. He got off his horse and helped carry all the sacks out and the wagon, and loaded up again and would have no pay, which reminded me of the “good Samaritan.”

At another time I slewed down and broke both whiffletrees, and went to a house to borrow a pair. I got none there. The lady of the house said they had no tools except an ax. So from the wood pile I got a stick, and with the ax hewed out a pair, put on the irons and went on my way rejoicing. I hauled some corn to Cedar Rapids and sold it for twenty-five cents a bushel.

One time going with wheat I got to the house of Jake Hunt, west of Vinton, and it stormed until nest day at noon. The lanes were full and snow two feet on the level. I left the wheat and returned, reaching home the next night tired out. I did not go back for the wheat until April; then took it to Vinton and sold it for forty cents a bushel.

GEORGE KLINGAMAN, was born in Pennsylvania in 1824. He moved to Ohio in 1842, and in 1855 to this settlement. His land is on section 30, Buckingham. He went to Pike’s Peak, thence to California. He returned home, then went to Montana for a few years. Returning home he applied himself to the farm. He did in 1879. Mrs. Klingaman resides on the farm. Mr. Klingaman was of the western type, of rough exterior. He had a kind heart, and adhered to friends under all circumstances, and he was of a social disposition.

WILLIAM WORDEN, was born in Delaware county, New York, in 1832. With his parents he went to Ogle county, Illinois, in 1837. He married in 1856. In 1863 he came to Perry, purchased land on section 13 and has continued to reside on the same farm. He has had a large family, eight of whom are living. Mr. Worden is a quiet man of thrifty habits and stands well with his neighbors.

THOMPSON WIER was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1820. In 1854 he emigrated to Norwich, Connecticut. Next spring he went to Chicago. He came here in 1865, and resides on section 32, Grant. Mrs. Wier is a sister of the Sloss brothers. They have a large family which have become scattered, several being in Dakota.

MRS. MARGARET MORTON, of Crystal, with a large family came in 1855. Her eldest son, Jonathan, died in 1865. Newman is a leading citizen of the town, held in high esteem. Many of the daughters are married and do not reside in the settlement. Mrs. Morton died recently at an advanced age.


Chapter XXXI continued
May 27, 1887

THE FLEMING FAMILY John Fleming Sr. was born in Pennsylvania in 1800. He came to Grant in 1854, procuring land on section 23. He made yearly visits to the settlement, looking after his land. In 1861 a son came and erected a dwelling. He died here in 1868. He is remembered as a quiet, dignified christian gentleman of a kindly nature with a pleasant word for al. A professor or religion, he lived as a christian should. He interested himself in Sabbath schools and public services and did good in his neighborhood, the fruits of which are still visible.

JOHN W. FLEMING, eldest son of John Fleming, was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, in 1837. He learned the trade of carpenter and cabinet maker, and came to Grant in 1866. Ten years later he purchased the Wilbur farm in Buckingham. He was the first member of the board of supervisors from Grant after the organization of that town in 1868.

William, the second son, lives in section 25, Grant. He was born in 1838. He did not settle here until 1871, but previously came here yearly during the war, purchasing stock for government account.

James C., the third son, came with his father at first, and assisted in the erection of building. Returning to Pennsylvania he married in 1869. Next year he brought his wife and located on section 24, Grant.

A sister of these brothers I Mrs. S. C. McAlvey.

This family was a valuable addition to the settlement, honorable and respected.


One of the very earliest of the settlers on the east side of Spring Creek was J. G. Hull, who was know in the early days of the settlement. Coming in 1854 he made his home with the Wood family, spending the Sabbaths there. His family came in the fall of 1855. His farm embraces nearly all of section 13, and is well adapted to stock raising, to which use he placed it at an early day and derived a large income from it. Mrs. Hull died in 1872. He has two children. Frank is married and Mr. Hull lives with him. The daughter is also married and lives on a portion of the place.

A gentleman well known in the settlement and appreciated was John McKune, of Crystal, who came in June, 1855, and died in 1870. His eldest son, George, is one of the prominent men of the town. Making Traer his market he is well known and respected there. Another son, John E., was in the army and died at Macon, Georgia. Two daughters are the wives of J. C. and L. E. Wood. Mrs. McKune resides with her daughters.

The Cummings brothers came to Buckingham from Pennsylvania in 1859, and purchased the south half of section 11 and north half of section 14 from Joseph Keeler, except forty acres owned by J. D. Lutzo, which was subsequently obtained. Anthony, the oldest, was born in Ireland in 1822 and died in 188-. He was held in high esteem by all his acquaintances. Martin was born in 1830. He was in California three years, returning in 1858. John was born in 1832 and died in 1886. These brothers had large families.

E. C. Farnum came to Buckingham about the close of the war in company with Mr. Howe, a brother-in-law, and purchased on section 13, Buckingham, and has continued his residence thereon. He is an unostentatious, dignified gentleman, of social nature and pleasing. Few in the community would be more missed.

The Phil brothers went from England to Canada in 1847, and came to Buckingham in 1864, purchasing the west half of section 8. Samuel was born in 1822; James in 1827; William in 1829; Frank in 1833; and Thomas, a nephew, in 1847, in Cornwall, England. Samuel did not remain long. Frank died in 1873. His widow resides on the farm. Thomas lives in Pocahontas county. James and William are still residents of the town and are held in high esteem for manly traits of character.

W. C. Seelye came to Grant in 1861, and settled on section 25. Mr. Seelye has been a frugal, industrious, shrewd, active business man, and has prospered in a remarkable degree. A few years since he removed to Traer.

David Torrence came from Jones county in 1855 and settled on section 9, Clark. He lived there for thirty years and removed to Traer, and did in 1885. He was a gentleman well known to our people by whom he was considered by his neighbors as a gentleman of probity and integrity.

The Moss family on section 18, Clark, were considered in the settlement, doing business at West Union and at Buckingham. Henry subsequently purchased land in the latter town and went to Missouri.

Andrew Dodd was born in Scotland in 1816, and came from there to Tama county in 1861 and purchased 160 acres on section 34, Grant, and resided on it until 1832. He now lives at Berlin. Mrs. Dodd is a Wilson, and they are the parents of eleven children. Mr. Dodd was recognized by his townsmen and entrusted with various responsibilities. The boys of the family went various ways and established themselves. Robert, of Grundy Center, died during the fall of 1886.

Edward Dodd, a citizen of Crystal, is a younger brother of Andrew, and was born in 1838. He came to the United States in 1856, and to Tama in 1866. He married Janet, eldest daughter of West Wilson. Mr. Dodd has been successful. He has a well-appointed farm of 320 acres, new dwelling, barn and other houses. His farm is well stocked with horses, cattle and hogs, and Mr. Dodd is one of the substantial men of Crystal.

Henry Smith, more generally known as “Yankee Smith,” was born in Connecticut in 1816. He came from Ohio to Buckingham in 1854, and erected a house in the village, then on his land in section 34. A few years since he removed to Traer. He is a carpenter and was kept busy for many years. He has ever been noticeable for and eccentricity which is assumed and cultivated – a source to him of much satisfaction and pride. They have two children – daughters- residing in Sac County.

DANIEL CONNELL, is the second son of the late Daniel Connell, was born in Paisley, Scotland, December 3, 1824, was brought to the United States by his parents in 1832. He resided in Connecticut until October 1855, when he came to the settlement. The following year he engaged in mercantile business, at which he continued for many years. In 1880 he removed to Gladbrook, where he now resides. Mr. Connell was married in 1846 and they have five children, three of whom were born in Buckingham. All are married.

I have endeavored to present to my readers the history of our settlement. I trust it has been as interesting to them as to me, and regret it has not been better accomplished. I have done what I could at this late day; did my part in gathering the facts, and should be pleased to think that some abler pen may present a more readable work. In looking back over the one-third of a century it seems not long, yet it is nearly the average of human life. The days of the present and of the immediate past are not as the days of the last century. Great events are now crowded into a few years. Iowa has developed faster in twenty-five years than New England and New York in a hundred and twenty-five years prior to the birth of Iowa. Measured by the past, who can tell of the progress of this settlement during the next generation? The workers of the past thirty-three years leave an important task to those of the coming time-to rival them. May they succeed.

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