Carroll County IAGenWeb

Biographies of Earliest Settlers of Carroll Co.
Arriving before 1870

~ Transcribed and submitted by William L. (Bill) Smith

Joseph Annear
Joseph Annear, one of the successful farmers of Pleasant Valley township, residing on Section 16, has been identified with Carroll county, since 1865, in which year he purchased eighty acres of wild land, a part of his present farm, although he did not settle here until the spring of 1870. Mr. Annear added to his original purchase and improved his land until he now owns 320 acres of Carroll county's best soil. His home farm now contains 200 acres of well-cultivated land. His fine two-story residence, which was erected in 1883, is pleasantly situated, and his barns and out-buildings are noticeably good. He has a native grove of five acres, and a good orchard covering two acres. His remaining 120 acres is located in Grant township, one and a half miles southeast of Carroll, this farm being also well improved. In connection with his general farming, he devotes some attention to raising and feeding stock.

Mr. Annear is a native of Yorkshire, England, born October 16, 1845, a son of Joseph and Jennifred (Blake) Annear. The family came to America in 1848, and located in Iowa county, WI, where the father died the same year. The mother and children lived some six years in WI when they removed to Richland county, WI. Joseph Annear was the eldest son and second child of five. He war reared to manhood in Richland county, his youth spent in working on the farm and attending the schools of his neighborhood, where he received a fair common-school education. He was united in marriage September 7, 1871, to Miss Jane Bedford, this being the first marriage in Pleasant Valley township. She was a daughter of Rev. Charles Bedford, of Pleasant Valley township (a Methodist circuit rider minister [3]). Mr. and Mrs. Annear were the first to unite with the Methodist Episcopal church in Pleasant Valley township. To them were born five children: Oletha Etta, Charles Arthur, James Albert, John Blake, and Lillie May.

Joseph Annear and Mary Jane (Bedford) Annear both came to America from England in their youth, Joseph at age 3 and Mary at age 18. Oleatha (Hessler) was born in 1872, Arthur in 1874, Albert (Bert) in 1876, and John in 1880. Three other children died in infancy, not uncommon for that time. Early history of the Annear homestead includes the horse race track. Also, this was the site where Williams Jennings Bryan spoke at one of the Old Settler's Picnics that was held annually near Carrollton. Also, the Stage Coach road was located between the house and barn on its winding path to the northwest through Hillsdale, a town that was west of Carroll and existed prior to Carroll's beginning. One of the interesting notes of history on the Annear farm was the Indian graves located south of the river on a knoll overlooking the river valley. They were marked by circles of stones and depressions. Due to the high incident of death by cholera, people were always warned not to open any Indian graves. However, some of these graves had been opened. [1 & 3]


William Bannister
William Bannister, farmer, section 15, Carroll township, came to Carroll county, IA, from McHenry county, IL, in 1865, locating on the land where he now resides, which was in its primitive condition. Held the postion of section boss on the railroad for ten years. His farm contains 160 acres of good land, which is in a good state of cultivation. He has a good, well-furnished residence, with buildings for stock.

Mr. Bannister was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1815, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Davis) Bannister, the second child and the eldest son. He remained at home until sixteen years of age, and was then employed on the railroad for several years, working three years at boiler-making. He was married in 1840 to Miss Priscilla Parker. In 1856, the family came to America, first settling in Gilvert, Kane county, IL, where they lived for six months, then removed to Cook county, IL, where they lived about seven years, before moving to Carroll county.

Mr. and Mrs. Bannister were the parents of nineteen children, five of whom were living in 1911: Sophia, Frances, Frederick, Addie and Rosie.


Harvey Bell
Harvey Bell is recognized as the pioneer business man of Manning, where he opened a grain warehouse in August, 1881, the first business house of any kind at Manning.

Mr. Bell was born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1832. He was reared principally in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, until reaching the age of seventeen years, when he left the home roof to begin life on his own account. With an elder brother, Edmund, he came to Iowa, and spent the winter of 1849-50 in Allamakee county. Later, they visited Fillmore county, Minnesota, purchased land, and became pioneers of Newburg township, in a community known as Belleville. While retuning from a visit in his old home in Pennsylvania, Mr. Harvey Bell married Miss A. A. Benton, a former schoolmate, at Davenport, IA, on July 14, 1857. The family lived many years in Belleville, then, in 1868, they removed to Houston county, Minnesota. They left Minnesota in the spring of 1871 and located at Arcadia, in Carroll county, IA, where he was engaged in the grain and produce trade until coming to Manning.


Jacob Brand
Jacob Brand, of Glidden township, settled in Carroll county in 1869. He first bought eighty acres of wild land. He now owns 230 acres of good land, which is in a good state of cultivation, and well improved. He has a comfortable house, surrounded with shade trees, commodious buildings for stock, a fine orchard and a large variety of small fruits. He has served a member of the school board, and is interested in all educational matters.

Mr. Brand was born in Holmes county, OH, September 15, 1833, son of Michael and Mary Brand, natives of Germany. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. He resided in Ohio until eighteen years of age, when he removed to Illinois, where he engaged with Walker & Co. to drive stage. May 30, 1858, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Moore, who was born in Ireland, a daughter of Patrick and Mary (Hickson) Moore, who came to America when Mrs. Brand was a babe. In 1859, Mr. Brand engaged in driving stage at Denver, CO, and in 1860 he located in Dallas county, IA, and drove stage two years, and then went to Black Hawk county, where he was engaged in farming until he came to Carroll county.

Mr. and Mrs. Brand are the parents of ten children: Frederick, John, Anna Snyder, Mary, Ella, Etta and Henry (twins), Edward, Salina and Jacob.


Craton C. Colclo
Craton C. Colclo, (current in 1911-12) postmaster at Carroll, was appointed to that position by President Cleveland, June 11, 1885, during the recess of the Senate. His appointment was confirmed by that body February 12, 1886. (He succeeded Eugene R. Hastings). Mr. Colclo, the son of James H. Colclo, a Carroll county pioneer, was born in Ohio in 1852. At one and a half years of age, his parents removed to Madison county, IA, and two years later to Carroll county.

In 1870 Mr. Colclo graduated at the Iowa State Agricultural College, and his sister Jennie graduated at the same institution in 1880. After his graduation Mr. Colclo followed teaching until the fall of 1881, when he was elected county superintendent of schools, and re-elected in the fall of 1883. He resigned that position in 1885 to enter upon the duties of postmaster.


James H. Colclo
James H. Colclo settled in what is now Union township in 1856, locating upon a farm, where he resided until 1865, when the family removed to Carroll. He erected the first hotel in Carroll. [1] Colclo House was located in at the corner of Fifth and Main and later became Burke's Hotel. [3] Previous to the advent of the railroads (in 1867) he was for some time engaged in carrying the mail between Panora and Sioux City, and also carrying passengers. In 1870 elected sheriff of Carroll county, and was identified with the interests of the county until his death, which occurred in January, 1884.

James H. Colclo was a native of Ohio. He wife, who survived him (she died in 1894 [3]), was formerly Miss Hannah J. Cretsinger, a native of Virginia. There are five surviving children: Craton C.; Mrs. Anna Sleigerwalt; Mrs. Alice E. Engleman; Jennie and Flora (the latter two being teachers in the public schools of Carroll. [1] Another daughter, Eliza (died before 1880), married Josephus Boone "Bud" Hampton on July 30, 1865, in Carrollton. Josephus and Eliza farmed in Newton township, and were the parents of five children. These children were raised by their grandparents and other families. [3] Lodemia Hampton, one of the children, was raised by Ora and Angie Carpenter who lived in Newton township, section 35, just south of the Evergreen country school. James D. Dudley was teacher at the Evergreen school, Newton township, section 25, and married his former student on February 13, 1877, at Dedham, IA. James and Lodemia Hampton Dudley farmed and built the homestead two and a quarter miles south and one mile west of the Evergreen school where Gladys and Lillian, two of their ten children were born. After homesteading in Butte, Nebraska, they returned several years later to farm south of Panora. (The story of James and Lodemia is told by Janet Wooldridge Christian, as daughter of Gladys, 7/25/1996). [3]


George Conner
George Conner, of Richland Township, became a resident of Carroll Co in 1863. He was born in Monroe Co, OH, January 24, 1830, son of Adam and Betsey (Sigler) Conner, who were the parents of ten children, George being the fourth child. His youth was passed in assisting on the farm. In 1851 he was married to Miss Melissa Sigler, also a native of Monroe Co, OH. Soon after marriage they removed to Lee County, IA, where they resided until 1863, when they came to Carroll Co and located in their present (1885) home. [1]

George and Melissa Conner first bought eighty acres of land. Their house was made of logs, with clapboard roof and no window. He has since added to his first purchase until he now owns over 600 acres of land. His present house was built in 1883 and is modern style and well furnished. He has a good barn, 36x44 feet, a native grove, and an orchard of five acres. [1]

Mr. and Mrs. Conner are the parents of ten children: Emanuel, Luther, John, Buchanan, Clarinda, Frank, Azariah, Narcissus, Oliver and Lolie. [1]


George M. Cretsinger
George M. Cretsinger was born in Putnam county, Ohio, May 18, 1851, the son of Jacob and Delilah (Harris) Cretsinger. He was a lad of five years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Carroll county. [2]


Jacob Cretsinger
Jacob Cretsinger came to Carroll county in 1856, settling in Union township, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He turned his attention to the further cultivation and improvement of the property and thereon reared his family. [2]

Jacob Cretsinger was elected to the first Board of Supervisors of Carroll county, serving from January, 1861, until he resigned turning 1864. He served as Chairman of the Board in 1863 and 1864 until his resignation. [1]

Jacob and Delilah (Harris) Cretsinger were the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters: John M., who is deceased (in 1911); Mary Ann, the wife of J. M. Gilbert, of Creighton, Nebraska; Minerva J., who is the wife of John Minnich and resides in Guthrie county, Iowa; George M., of Coon Rapids, Iowa; Isaac M., living in Guthrie county, Iowa; and Sarah E. [2]


John K. Deal
John K. Deal came to Carroll county in the spring of 1867, and engaged in teaching the school at Carrollton. In the fall of that year, he was elected county superintendent of schools, and served in that capacity, very satisfactorily, two years. He was one of the first who moved to Carroll when the town first started. When the county records were removed from Carrollton to Carroll, 1868, he changed his location with the change of county seat, as superintendent of schools. While holding that office he conducted the first teachers' institute ever held in Carroll county. In the fall of 1868 he was elected clerk of the courts, and served four years. He then engaged in a general law, banking and real estate business, in the firm name of Griffith & Deal. After the fire in 1879, he sold out his banking interest, but continued in the real estate business. Mr. Deal was elected State Senator, in the fall of 1886, by the Republican party, and his popularity is evidenced by the fact that he ran 500 votes ahead of his ticket in Carroll county (in which office he continued to serve at the writing of this sketch, in 1911). [1]

John K. Deal was born in the town of Groveland, Livingston county, New York, in 1843. His father, George Deal, removed with his family to Allen county, Indiana, settling on a farm, where he passed the remainder of his days. John K. Deal served about two years in the army during the great Rebellion, enlisting in July, 1862, as a member of Company C, Eighty-eighth Indiana infantry, and making an honorable record as a soldier. Soon after the close of his service he entered Fort Wayne College, and attended and taught school for several years. [1]

Mr. Deal was married in Medina county, Ohio, Miss Julia Gilley, a sister of William Gilley, of Carroll. They have two children: Lauren K. and Winniefred, both born in Carroll. [1]


Robert Dickson
Robert Dickson has been a resident of Carroll county since February 9, 1855. In September, 1854, Mr. Dickson and his wife started for Iowa with horse team. The fall and a portion of the following winter were spent in Guthrie county, near Lonsdale woolen mills. January 12, 1855, he pre-empted 160 acres where he now (1911) resides - eighty acres of timber and eighty of prairie. One year later he went and proved up the same. His first house was a rude log cabin 10 x 12 feet, covered with lumber brought from Guthrie county. The floor was laid loose on ice. In 1867 he erected his present residence, which is 24 x 32 feet in size, and is well furnished. The farm contains 640 acres of land, and it is one of the finest farms in Glidden township. He and his son are extensively engaged i farming and stock-raising. He has a grove of trees, of his planting, ten acres, and an orchard of fifteen acres. Mr. Dickson owns 240 acres of improved land in Russell county, Kansas. [1]

Robert Dickson served on the Board of Supervisors in 1870, and, was appointed to the office of county treasurer to fill the unexpired term of James White (year unknown). [1]

Robert Dickson was born in Vermillion county, Illinois, April 7, 1830, son of Amos Dickson, a native of Mason county, Virginia, who at the age of eighteen left his native state in company of his father, and located in Vermillion county. His wife, mother of Robert, Miss Rachel Pettis, was born in Murray county, Tennessee. Her father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Robert Dickson was the oldest of a family of nine children. When he was twelve years old, the family removed to Champaign county, same state. His early life was passed on the farm and in attending the common schools of his native state. June 4, 1854, he was married to Miss Sarah L. McGinnis, who was born in Ripley county, Indiana, and a daughter of Ed. B. and Nancy (Allen) McGinnis. Mr. and Mrs. Dickson have four children: David, who lives in Kansas; Anna E. Corcoran, of Colorado; Luella R. Merritt, of Carroll county, and Robert Y., who was born December 4, 1862, on the old homestead where he was reared. [1]


Thomas Elwood, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Elwood, one of the most prominent men of Glidden, was an old pioneer physician of Carroll Co, having arrive in 1865, when he located at old Carrollton. He experienced many of the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. He would frequently ride on horseback, thirty or forty miles, to visit patients, and in the early days his practice extended into Greene, Calhoun, Guthrie, Sac and Carroll counties. The doctor moved to Glidden in 1873, where he established a large practice, which was still active in 1885. [1]

Dr. Elwood was a native of New York City, born in September, 1834. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, and was appointed hospital steward. He was in the army until August, 1865, when he received his honorable discharge. The same year he married Miss N. J. Beal, of Dallas County, IA, and two children were born to this union: Laura and Ephai. Dr. Elwood held the office of county judge and for one term as county auditor. [1]


Dr. H. H. Gates
Dr. H. H. Gates was a pioneer physician of Carroll County, having come to Glidden in 1869 when the surrounding country was mostly in a state of nature and there were but five houses in the town. He frequently rode a distance of twenty miles to visit patients, including the sick of Guthrie, Greene and Calhoun Counties as well as Carroll County. [1]

Dr. Gates was a native of Vermont, born at Castleon, Rutland County, November 27, 1827, a son of Elisha and Betsey (Kingsley) Gates, the fifth of eleven children. His father was a cousin of General Gates, of Revolutionary fame. His early life was spent in his native county, where he received a fair common-school education. On arriving at the age of twenty-two years he went to Genesee Station, Alleghany County, New York, having learned telegraphy under Professor Morse. He was the forty-sixth telegraph operator in the United States. He followed telegraphy many years, and held many important positions, and for some time was division operator. [1]

Dr. Gates was married twice. He was first married December 25, 1849 to Miss Sarah J. Gray, a daughter of Hon. Henry Gray, of Bennington County, Vermont, and they had two children: Harley and Jennie. Mrs. Gates died in 1853. Dr. Gates moved to Iowa in 1855, locating at Wheatland, Clinton County. In May, 1857, the doctor married to Miss Mary J. Conway, of Jackson County, IA. June 1, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Thirty-first Iowa Infantry, and shortly afterward was appointed Hospital Steward, and later was commissioned Assistant Surgeon. In December, 1863, he was promoted to Surgeon, which position he filled until the close of the war. On June 28, 1865, he received his honorable discharge. [1]


Conrad Geiselhart
Conrad Geiselhart, of Union Township, was one of the early pioneers of Carroll County, having settled here in the woods in 1855. His first location was where Coon Rapids is now situated, and some time later he removed about six miles to the west, on Brushy Creek. In 1858, he located on his present (1885) farm, where he first built a log cabin, 14 x 18 feet, and here he experienced many of the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. [1]

Mr. Geiselhart was a native of Germany, born November 10, 1822, a son of Joseph and Julia Geiselhart. He was raised in his native country, where he attended school until fourteen years of age. He then worked at the stonemason and plasterer's trade for four years. In 1841 he came to America, first locating at Pittsburg, PA, where he worked at his trade, and some time later removed to Lisbon, Columbiana Co, OH. He was united in marriage in 1846 to Miss Nancy Butts, a native of that county. In 1851, Mr. Geiselhart returned with his family to PA, locating in Mercer Co, and one year later located at Pittsburg, where he remained until 1855. He then went West via the Ohio River, then up the Mississippi River, thence to Keokuk, and from there to Des Moines, Iowa, before locating in Carroll Co. [1]

Mrs. Geiselhart died March 15, 1884. They had six children at their death: John, Maggie, Ella, Ida, Frank and Ira. [1]


William Gilley
In 1911, William Gilley, then 81, was the oldest pioneer still living in Carroll county. In April, 1856, he arrived in Carroll County and settled in what is now Pleasant Valley township. Here he entered one hundred sixty acres of land adjoining the site of Carrolton which had been named as the county seat. At the time he settled in Pleasant Valley township there were only twenty-eight voters in the county. The people were all from the east, none of them of foreign birth. Roving bands of Indians were frequently seen pursuing the elk and deer that were abundant throughout this part of the state. The nearest mill was at Panora, about thirty miles away, and the nearest post office was at the same place. There were not many improvements made until after 1865, as the Civil war attracted to the army nearly all of the able-bodied men, leaving the women and children to look after affairs at home. Mr. Gilley improved his farm and increased it by addition of eighty acres, but in the meantime was elected county treasurer in 1867 and the county seat having been moved to Carroll, he took up his residence in this place in October, 1868. He was reelected to the office in 1869 and also subsequently served as sheriff and clerk of the district court and was reelected, and in 1878 and 1880 he served as mayor of Carroll. During the time that he filled the office of county treasurer he conducted a real-estate business. He purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land near the corporation line and has been largely instrumental in the improvement of the city by the erection of business properties. He engaged for a number of years in the lumber and coal business and also continued farming until about 1900 since which time he has lived retired. He still owns a beautiful farm of one hundred and seventy acres which is located a half-mile west of Carroll. [2]

Mr. Gilley was a native of Pennsylvania, born March 11, 1830, a son of Andrew and Catharine (Vandemark) Gilley, who were also natives of the Keystone state. William Gilley moved to Medina county, Ohio, in 1833, with his parents in his early boyhood. He was reared upon his father's farm, located a mile and a half from Lodi, OH. He attended the district schools and engaged in farming in Medina county until twenty-four years of age when he was married and, having decided to cast his fortune west of the Mississippi river, came to Iowa with his wife and spent the first two years on a farm near Iowa City. [2]

On January 3, 1854, William Gilley was united in marriage to Miss Leah Mohler, a native of Wayne county, OH, and a daughter of John and Susan (Mohler) Mohler. The parents were natives of Pennsylvania but removed to Ohio and located near Lodi. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. William Gilley: Willard B., who was drowned at the age of twelve; Ira M., a farmer of Grant county, Washington, living near Coulee City; Ida, now living in Carroll, who married William Trowbridge; and Emma I., also of Carroll, who married E. J. Pelsue (see original article for more details on the family). [2]


Isaac N. Griffith
Isaac N. Griffith, in 1887 a retired merchant, was one of the pioneers of Carroll, being identified with the interests of the town since 1869. He sold the first dry goods that were sold in the town. He had a large trade, his customers coming from Carroll, Sac, Crawford and Calhoun counties. He bought large quantities of furs one season, about $10,000 worth. In 1883 he retired from active business. He says language would fail to depict the trials, hardships and good times the early settlers had. [1]

Isaac N. Griffith was born in West Virginia March 3, 1813. His father, John Griffith, was also a native of Virginia (interesting wording?!), and of Welsh ancestry; he served in the war of 1812. His mother, Hannah (Thornburg) Griffith, was reared a Quaker near Winchester, VA. The parents reared eight children, four sons and four daughters. Isaac was the seventh child and youngest son. His father died when he was two years old. He remained at home on the farm until he was twelve years of age, at which time the mother and children removed to Greene Co, OH, and our subject went to learn the trade of tanner and currier and shoemaking, which he followed many years. [1]

Isaac married Miss Paulina Johnston, a native of Virginia, who had been reared a Quaker. Her parents were Pleasant and Nancy Johnston. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Griffith had six children: Hannah Ann, Benjamin T., John H., J. E., Eli P., and Helen E. Mr. Griffith remained in Greene County, OH, until he came to Iowa. He first located in Henry Co, near Mount Pleasant, where he lived until 1849, then removed to Mahaska County, where he improved a farm of 160 acres. Mrs. Griffith died 30 Dec 1850. For his second wife, Mr. Griffith married Miss Cordelia Lawrence, a native of Chautauqua Co, New York, and daughter of Jonathan and Charity (Hathaway) Lawrence, natives of Massachusetts. To his second marriage were born two children: Ella and Isaac N. In 1852 Mr. Griffith removed to Marshall Co, IA, where he purchased a saw and grist-mill. While here his wife made the first bolt of cloth used in a mill in Marshall Co. After operating the mill two or three years, he removed to Poweshiek Co, where he followed the mercantile trade until 1869, when he came to Carroll.


James E. Griffith
James E. Griffith was born in Green Co, OH, in 1843. His father, Isaac N. Griffith, removed with his family to Iowa when James E. was about one year old. They resided in Henry Co for some time, then removed to Mahaska Co, where the father settled on Government land which he had previously located. He had some trouble in holding his claim, and it was "jumped" during his absence, but he succeeded in establishing his right to the land. About 1856 the father removed with his family to Montezuma, Poweshiek Co, where he embarked in the mercantile trade. In 1869, he came to Carroll, where he still resides (in 1887). [1]

James E. Griffith was reared in Poweshiek Co, and educated at Grinnell College. In 1864 he commenced the study of law at Iowa City, and was admitted to the bar in Montezuma in 1866, where he practiced until he came to Carroll in the spring of 1867. He was the first attorney in Carroll Co, and has been well known as one of the most successful business men for nearly twenty years. For ten years he was associated with the Hon. John K. Deal, the present (1887) State Senator of this district. The firm of Griffith and Deal did a general law, banking and real estate business. Mr. Griffith's business house was destroyed by fire in 1884. In 1886 he rebuilt, and his brick building is one of the finest structures in the county. It is 30 x 100 feet, two stories in height, with basement. The cost was about $10,000, and it is located on lot 11, block 23. [1]

Mr. Griffith has practically retired from the practice of his profession, and devotes his attention mainly to loaning money, and insurance. He is a Republican in his political views, having cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. In 1869 he was united in marriage with Miss Hortense Tuttle, a daughter of John F. Tuttle, formerly a resident of Carroll, where he lived until his decease. Mr. and Mrs. Griffith have two children: Ed. and Ola. They are members of the Presbyterian church at Carroll. [1]


Arista Harris
Arista Harris, of the loan, real estate and insurance firm on Holiday & Harris, at Coon Rapids, was born in Union Township, this county, in 1858, and is a son of Isaac Harris, who came to the county in 1856, and still (in 1887) resides on section 21, Union Township. Arista was educated at the State Agricultural College, at Ames, and followed teaching four years. He married Lulu E. Millard, a native of Illinois. Politically, Mr. Harris is a Republican. The firm of Holiday & Harris was established in January, 1883, though each member had been in the business several years before the partnership was formed. The firm is doing a good business. [1]


Isaac Harris
Isaac Harris, son of the pioneers of Carroll County, IA, lives (in 1887) on section 21, Union Township, where he owns 360 cares of good land. Mr. Harris was born in Licking Co, OH, in 1824, the sixth of fourteen children of John and Cassandra (Hughes) Harris. He was reared in his native State, and there married Lydia Ann Cretsinger, who was born in Virginia in 1831, a daughter of John and Mary Magdalene Cretsinger. April 18, 1856, Mr. and Mrs. Harris started from Ohio for their Western home, and after a journey of thirty-one and a half days, landed in Dallas County, IA, and the following January moved to Carroll County and settled on the farm where they now (in 1887) live. They are among the few of the pioneers of the county who are left to recount the trials and privations of the early day. They have had nine children. Two died in infancy and one after reaching maturity. Those living are: Samuel, Lyman, Arista, Lincoln, Frank and Oliver. [1]


Samuel Wilson
Samuel Wilson, in 1885 residing on section 36, Union Township, came to this part of the State in 1854. He first settled just across the line in Guthrie County, Orange Township. Carroll County was then attached to Guthrie County for judicial purposes. The first election in this vicinity was held at Copeland Grove, Carroll County. There were not more than a half dozen votes cast at that election. Mr. Wilson returned to Illinois with his family the following spring, but soon after came back and raised a crop on his place. Not being fully decided that Carroll County was the best place to settle, he resolved to go to Nebraska. He made the change, and located among the Indians, with whom he had spent much of his early life. This did not quite satisfy him, and he returned to the homestead, but soon after went to Tuttle's Grove, where he made some improvements. [1]

In 1861 or 1862 he came to Coon Rapids, and he and Crockett Ribble built a saw mill. Two or three years later they built the grist-mill, and Mr. Wilson sold his interest to Mr. Ribble, after which he engaged in farming. [1]

Mr. Wilson was born in Mount Morris, Livingston County, New York, in 1819. His father, William Wilson, was a native of Ireland, and came to America when a young man with two brothers, settling in the State of New York. When Samuel was a child, his parents removed to Ohio, settling in Sandusky County, where they lived until their decease. The father died when Samuel was nine years of age (1828), and he was bound out to learn the trade of a blacksmith. The wife of the man whom he was bound treated him badly, and was so abusive to him, that he did not stay to complete his trade, but escaped to the woods and joined a tribe of Indians, with whom he remained the most of the time until he reached manhood. He adopted their habits to some extent, and went with them from place to place. He was in Chicago in 1832, or rather where Chicago now is, there being nothing but a fort there at that time. [1]

He was married in Will County, Illinois, to Miss Emily A. Huyck, born in Saratoga County, New York. Her parents were Abraham and Asenath Huyck, the former a native of PA, and the latter, of CT. They removed to Michigan when Mrs. Wilson was about three years old, and six years later the family moved to Will County. [1]

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson had nine children, of whom seven were living in 1885: Alonzo N., Sarah E., George A., R. L., Lillie, Daniel, and Nettie. [1]

Spending so much time with the Indians, Mr. Wilson's education was extremely limited. His book knowledge was all obtained later in life, which was sufficient to enable him to become well informed on the topics of the day. Mr. Wilson was a worthy representative of the early pioneer element of Carroll County. [1]


[1] Biographical and Historical Record of Carroll County, Iowa, 1887; as reprinted by the Carroll County Genealogical Society, 1997.

[2] History of Carroll County Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company: Chicago, 1912.

[3] Carrollton History-Cookbook, Carrollton Community Club, 1897-1997.

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