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James L. Byrd and Family

James L. Byrd, and his sons, Clark, Abraham, Aaron, Thomas, Jonathan, James and William, arrived in the Spring of 1852 and staked out a large tract of land in the vicinity of where James L. Byrd now lives. Mr. Byrd built his cabin in that year and in the fall returned to Wapello county to get his family. R. D. McGeehon, distant five miles, was his neighbor. Mr. Byrd hauled his first seed wheat and potatoes from Des Moines. He sometimes went one hundred and fifty miles, to the Hackberry Ridge, in Missouri, for supplies. He often sent his grain to Rockport, Missouri to be ground. Mr. McGeehon and the other settlers sent their grists to the same mill. Mr. Byrd recollects of attending an election at Cold Spring in the fall of 1852, but his recollection is not clear as to who were voted for officers. He recollects that the voters were himself, his sons Tom and Abe, J. Bradshaw, V. M. Bradshaw, Mason Gill, V. M. Conrad, Wm. Hamlin, (now of Exira) and R. D. McGeehon. The hack that carried the mail drove by Mr. Byrd's, and he recollects of often helping the hack across Buck Creek with a bed cord. He also recollects of keeping Milt Donnell, the driver, numerous times for nothing, for the sake of company, when corn for horse feed was worth $1.50. Mr. Byrd is a native of Kentucky, and was one of the pioneers of Indiana, in his early life. When a member of the county board in Putnam county, Indiana, more than thirty years ago, Mr. Byrd gave the casting vote that built a court house in that county. In June, 1869, as a member of the Board of Supervisors of this county he gave the vote that removed the county seat from Lewis to Atlantic.

From "History of Cass County, Iowa Together With Brief Mention of Old Settlers," by Lafe Young, Atlantic, Iowa, Telegraph Steam Printing House, 1877, pg. 7-8.

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