Fremont County, Iowa

Newspaper Archives

The Fremont County Herald

Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa
July 1910

  • July 29, 1910.
    • "A Beautiful Old Age"
      The Sunday World Herald, and the Sunday Register, and Leader contain an excellent likeness and a short historical sketch of the life of Mrs. Elizabeth Gray who recently her 80th birthday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. B. Thornell, in Sidney. Both the picture and the write-up are by J. F. Lewis of this city, consequently both are good.

      Elizabeth Jane Monfort was born in Indiana in 1830 and married John B. Gray in 1861. They first lived at Charleston, Illinois, but emigrated to Missouri and were living there at the breaking out of the war in 1861. The citizens of Missouri were divided in their allegiance and sympathies between the north and the south, and the unfortunate dwellers in the rural districts were preyed upon by marauding bands of guerrillas on both sides.

      Mr. and Mrs. Gray lived in the worst section of the state in this respect, the locality that produced the James and Younger boys. The father of the Younger boys was one of their near neighbors. He tried to maintain a position of absolute neutrality, but his fine horses were stolen and when he protested he was shot down by alleged union sympathizers. This so enraged his sons, Bob, Jim and Cole Younger, that they joined Quantrell's band of guerrillas, which surpassed all others in devilish cruelty.

      The Grays sympathized with the north, but tried to maintain neutrality as the only position consistent with self-preservation, and even that failed. Things got so hot that Mr. Gray loaded his family and a few personal effects in a wagon one night and took flight for the north, muffling his wagon wheels so as not to betray his movements. He was compelled to hide in a grove for 24 hours to escape bushwhackers. He finally made his way across the border of the state and settled with other refugees near Sidney, where he lived on his farm until his death, which occurred in 1889. He served eight years as county recorder in the early 70's.

    • "Says South Dakota Is Alright"
      Fred Hiatt who last fall sold his farm just north of town and bought land in Spink county, South Dakota, came in last Friday evening for a short visit with relatives and friends. Fred's many friends here will be pleased to learn that his move has proven a very profitable one and that he has just disposed of his holdings up there at a price almost double the amount paid for the land last fall, and that, too, after considerable persuasion on the part of the purchaser and an equal amount of reluctance on his own part. He takes in trade as part payment a stock of hardware at Cullom, Illinois, the balance in cash. In company of C. J. Esden of this place he left Sunday for Cullom to invoice the stock and close up the deal, and a card to one of his brothers here states that he found the stock in much better condition than he expected.

      Upon his removed to Redfield Mr. Hiatt leased his farm land to other parties and entered the employ of the Everett Denny Land company--the company through which Runyon & Mitchell of this city operate--as rental agent, and in this capacity traveled a great deal over Spink county and adjoining counties and is pretty familiar with conditions up there. Though he is now to remove to other territory, Fred is loud in his praises of that section of South Dakota and avers that the recent reports of dry weather and failing crops have been overdrawn to the point of untruthfulness. He says that further north in the state and extending up through North Dakota the drought has been severe and some sections are burned out, but in the section through which he was called to travel crops are fine; wheat made 80 percent of a full crop and present prospects are that corn will do equally as well. That farm lands are rapidly increasing in value is evidenced by the sale of his own tract. There are a great many former Fremont county people now living on farms in that region and a number of others have large holdings there as an investment...etc...etc.

Source: submitted by Walter Farwell

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