Taylor County, Iowa History 1881 by Lyman Evans
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
(Page 592)
In many respects Jackson is the most noted township in the county.  It has the first history.  Up to 1851 it included all of Taylor county.  The first settlers of Taylor county located in Jackson.  They were Matthew Hindman and Isaac Guyll.  Hindman located on section 8 and Guyll on section 14.  They came in 1843, seven years before the present State line was run.  In 1844, probably when there were but these two families in the county, Jesse Guyll and Martha Hindman were united in wedlock at the residence of Mathew Hindman, who was the bride's father.  In 1844, after this marriage, a son was born to James H. and Melissa A. Burge.  He was given the name of William Thomas Burge.  Pasetta Guyll was the first girl baby that visited the county or the township.  Alexander Guyll died in 1844 on section 14, and was buried on the same.  The physician who ministered to the physical ailments of the people in those early times was Dr. Torrence, of Maryville, Missouri, who is now dead.  The first religious services were held at Matthew Hindman's; Alexander Spencer furnished the sermons.  He was of the Methodist denomination.  The first school was taught in 1845, on section 15; fifteen pupils attended.  The teacher was Smith Haubble.  His compensation was two dollars and fifty cents for each pupil for three months; in other words, he taught fifteen scholars three months for $37.50.  This was raised by subscription.  The first school-house was built on section 15, in 1845; it was made of round logs; the plaster was mud - pure and undefiled.  The people built it for themselves and their children.  The public was to no expense in the matter.  That was thirty-six years ago - a long time.  The old school-house - the first in (page 593) Taylor county, is no more.  Not the vestige of a log remains to mark the place where it stood when the kingdom of Taylor was the home of the savage, the beasts and the birds.  The next school-house was built by a Mr. McGuire in 1855, at a cost of two hundred and fifty dollars.  It was located near Mr. Daniel Hoover's.  The first teacher, after Haubble, was John O. Meehan, who taught on Mr. B. B. Hoover's farm.  Mary Edmiston wove the first cloth.
The nearest neighbors that the Hindmans and Guylls had, lived fifteen miles distant, and that was in Missouri.  After six months, immigration brought one or two families a trifle nearer.  Whatever necessaries of life that were required which their guns did not bring them, or that were not raised, could not be obtained nearer than St. Joseph, Missouri.  This was a distance of seventy-five miles, over streams that had never seen a bridge, and across prairies that had never dreamed of roads.  To cross a stream, shallow water with a pebbly bed must be hunted, and the divides were taken as roads from one house and from one place to another. 
The soil of Jackson township is well adapted to farming purposes.  For stock raising it cannot be excelled in the county.  Honey Creek, which is quite a stream runs down its west side.  It is fed by several small tributaries.  The west branch of Platte River takes in the larger part of its eastern boundary.
James Gartside, who came to the county in 1850, and located there, was one of its most prominent citizens.  He died at Red Oak, Iowa, in 1877, and an entire county mourned the loss of man universally esteemed.  He left a widow and four children who live in the county.  The daughter married Mr. Joe Turner, who resides in the township.
George Larison came in 1857, and John W. Wood, a man passionately fond of horticultural pursuits, and eminently successful in them, in 1855.  He lives in section 17.
Daniel Hoover settled on section 9, in 1854, and has been a prosperous farmer, and a well known and popular citizen throughout the county for many years.  His brother, B. B. Hoover, came about the same time.
The Methodist church has an organization at Straight school-house.  It was organized at the Forest Grove school-house in an early day, and was removed to the Straight school-house.  It has a membership of seventeen.  Rev. T. P. Newland is the pastor.  A successful sabbath-school is also conducted there.  Jackson township ranks fairly in educational matters.
(Page 719)
ALLEN, JOHN, farmer, section six, post-office Bedford, was born in Scotland, December 11, 1836.  When twelve years old his parents immigrated to this country, settling in Alleghany county, Maryland, where they remained four years, then moved to Preston county, Virginia.  Our subject received a limited education in the common schools.  In the spring of 1857 he came west and located in Knox county, Illinois, where he engaged in mining for three years.  In 1860 he went to California, and while in the gold fields of the Pacific Slope he spent his time in mining.  He returned to Knox county, Illinois, and in 1865 came to Taylor county, where he has since resided.  He was married October 23, 1863, to Miss M. Stuart, of Knox county, Illinois, but a native of the Empire State.  Four children are the fruits of this union: William F., Milton H., Anna Mary (deceased) and Cora May.  Mr. Allen owns a good farm of 122 acres, good house, barn and orchard.  He is a man of excellent qualities.  Is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
BARNUM, J. Q., farmer, post-office Bedford, was born in Ontario county, New York, where he remained until twenty-one years of age.  Was educated in Canandagua Academy.  He enlisted in the Fifteenth New York cavalry, serving as a private two years and eight months, and participating in the battles of New Market, Piedmont, Lynchburg, Winchester, Five Forks, Appomattox and Petersburg.  After the surrender of Richmond his regiment was sent to Kentucky, where he performed provost duty until the fall of 1865, when he was honorably discharged.  He returned to his home in the Empire State, remained one year, then came to Taylor county and to his present location.  He is now engaged in farming and stock-raising, in which he is being eminently successful.
(Page 720)
CHAVASSE, J. H., farmer, section ten, post-office Bedford, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, April 20, 1856, where he grew to man's estate - his youth being spent in school at Ripton, Derbyshire.  At seventeen he went to Burrickshire, Scotland, where he resided about four years engaged in farming.  In February, 1877, he sailed for America, and in March following came to this state, stopping for a time in Winneshiek county.  He then came to Taylor county, and has since made it his home.  He was married June 16, 1880, to Mrs. Mary E. Gilman, of Middleton, England.  they are the parents of one child (Thomas John), born May 13, 1881.  Mr. C. has a farm of 325 acres in the best cultivation, with good residence, barns, etc.  Himself and wife are members of the Church of England.
GARTSIDE, JAS. (deceased), was born in England, November 4, 1822, and was there educated.  Immigrated to America when nineteen years of age, first settling in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, where he resided until 1849, engaged in a woolen factory.  Came to Taylor county in October, 1850.  Was married October 7, 1846, to Miss Ellen Ashworth, also a native of Great Britain.  Four children have blessed their union:  Orelbia Thomas, Wm. Henry, B. W. and Mary Ann Elizabeth.  Mr. Gartside died in October, 1877.  He was a member of the I. O. O. F. fraternity.  WILLIAM H. (son of Jas. Gartside, deceased), was born in this county May 21, 1852, and excepting two years while at work in his father's woolen-mills at Clarinda, has made this his home.  He was reared on a farm, and educated in the common schools.  He has an excellent farm of two hundred acres, good buildings, orchard, etc.  Is a jovial old bachelor, and possesses excellent business qualifications.
GARTSIDE, BENJ. W., farmer, section twenty-four, post-office Bedford, was born in this county April 21, 1854.  He is a son of James Gartside, whose biography will be found above.  Was reared on a farm, and acquired a liberal education in the common schools.  Was married August 29, 1878, to Miss Ella Fleming, also of this county.  Two children have blessed this union:  Bertha Allura and a babe.  Mr. G. owns a fine farm of 163 acres, neatly arranged, good buildings, and all the requisites of a pleasant home.  Though a young man, he possesses that energy and business capacity which will insure him success in life.
HARBISON, A. J., farmer, section fifteen, post-office Bedford, was born in Dubois county, Indiana, March 23, 1848.  He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools.  Excepting the period of his service in the army, his whole life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits.  He enlisted in October, 1864, in company E, Thirty-third Indiana, and served under (page 721) General Sherman.  After his discharge he returned to his home in the Hoosier State and remained until 1872.  He then came to Taylor county, engaged in farming, and was married in October, 1867, to Miss Mary Potts, also a native of Indiana.  They are the parents of four children:  Thomas E., Miles D., Carrie E., and William B.  Mr. Harbison has a fine farm of eighty acres well improved, comfortable house and other buildings.  He is a neat farmer, good neighbor and an excellent citizen.
HOOVER, D., farmer and stock-grower, section nine, post-office Bedford.  Prominent among the enterprising farmers of Jackson township we find Mr. H.  He was born September 10, 1825, in Hardin county, Kentucky.  When four years of age his father died and his mother moved to Breckenridge county, of the same State.  He there arrived at man's estate and received his education.  At eighteen he came to Iowa, stopped in Lee county, where he remained eleven years, then went to Gentry, Missouri, remained one year, and in the fall of 1854, came to Taylor county.  Shortly after arriving here he entered 320 acres of his present farm and at once commenced making improvements.  He was married December 29, 1849, to Miss Sarah Jane Hinkle, of Lee county, Iowa, formerly of Vermillion county, Illinois.  Of their children seven are living:  Josiah, Edgar D., and Edward B., twins, Clinton D., Charles S., Mary A. and Lenora.  Three are deceased:  Josephine, Otho, and Ann Eliza.  Mr. H. is located on one of the best stock farms in the county.  It contains 640 acres, fine residence surrounded with a beautiful lawn, commodious barn, etc.  His farm is watered by three never failing springs which furnish him with an abundance of water.  He is now extensively engaged in stock growing and feeding.  Has held the office of county supervisor, is connected with the Masonic fraternity, and a member of the M. E. Church.
HOOVER, O., post-office Bedford, was born in this township, January 9, 1860.  He has here grown to manhood and received a liberal education.  At the age of nineteen he engaged in teaching school, which business he followed for a time.  The greater portion of his time however, he has devoted to agricultural pursuits.  He is now superintending his father's large farm and has the reputation of being one of the most industrious and promising of Taylor county's young men.
LARISON, GEORGE, farmer and stock-grower, section twenty, post-office Bedford, was born in Shelby county, Indiana, August 11, 1828, where he grew to manhood and was educated in the common schools.  He came to Taylor county in October, 1857, and settled in Benton township near Bedford.  He moved to his present location in 1868.  January 24, 1850, he married Miss Eliza Jane Halbrook, also a native of the Hoosier State.  They (page 722) are the parents of ten children:  Robert, Franklin, Mary Jane, now Mrs. J. H. Roe, William C., Elvira, Catherine, John Elmore, Hattie May, Cassie Lillian and Ray.  Mr. Larison owns a farm of 170 acres well improved, with good buildings, orchard, etc.  Subject is now engaged in stock raising and has a farm well adapted to that business.  He and Mrs. L. are members of the Baptist Church.
LAMUNYON, J. A., farmer, post-office Bedford, was born in March, 1829, in Joe Daviess county, Illinois, and remained there until he was two and a half years old when his parents moved to Adamson county, Kentucky, and located near the Mammoth Cave; there our subject received a common school education, and remained until he was twenty-five years of age.  In 1854 he moved to Warren county, Illinois, where he made his home for twenty years.  He came to Taylor county in 1874 and located on his present farm.  His entire life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, and by properly directing his efforts he has made it a success.
McMURRAY, DAVID B., carpenter, post-office Bedford, a native of Tennessee, was born December 30, 1843.  When about three years old his parents moved to Iowa and settled in Appanoose county, and in that county and Davis our subject was reared and educated.  In 1861 he left the farm for the field of battle, enlisting in company G, Third Missouri cavalry, and participated in many of the severest engagements of the rebellion.  He took part in the fight of Mount Zion Church where two hundred Federals encountered and drove six hundred Confederates, killing twenty-seven and wounding one hundred and fifty, with but slight loss to the Federals.  At the close of the war he returned to Unionville where he attended school and prepared himself for teaching, which business he followed several years.  During the time he was engaged in teaching he studied law, and was admitted to the bar by Judge Day in 1872, after which he traveled in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and other Western States; he then returned to Bedford and engaged in the carpenter business.  He is now contracting and building.
OLLCOTT, A., deceased, born in Muskingum county, Ohio, in 1833.  Remained in his native State about twenty years, then came to Iowa and settled in Wapello county, where he lived until 1874.  Came to Taylor county in the last named year and remained until his death which occurred five years later.  Mrs. Ann Ollcott, relict of the above, was born in Ross county, Ohio, June 19, 1838.  Lived there twelve years, then came with her parents to Wapello county, Iowa. While there she was married to A. Ollcott, the ceremony taking place November 26th, 1856.  They were the parents of nine children:  Anna, Mattie, Frank, Charles, Norman, Ida, Jennie, Maria and Lida.  Mrs. Ollcott is located on a splendid farm of 225 (page 723) acres, good house and other buildings, orchard of twelve acres, and is engaged in stock-growing and feeding.  She is a lady of extraordinary business ability and with the aid of her children conducts her large farm successfully.
ROWE, E. S., farmer, section twenty-eight, post-office Bedford, was born in Lincoln county, West Virginia, September 13, 1840, and when twelve years old his parents moved to Andrew county, Missouri, and remained there six months, then came to this county.  Subject was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools.  When twenty-two he went to Nebraska and remained there for a time, then returned, and in 1863 went to Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.  He returned after a short visit and remained here two years.  He next went to Nodaway county, Missouri, and made that place his home for three years; he then returned again to this county, and in 1870 located on his present farm.  He was married December 29, 1863, to Mary Ann Davis of this county, but formerly of Missouri.  Four children have blessed their union: Isaac, Minerva, Eldrad S. and Anna May.  Subject is located on a farm of 160 acres with excellent improvement; he also owns another in Worth county, Missouri, and one and a half miles from his present home.  He is energetic and industrious, and one of Taylor county's most substantial farmers.
WOOD, W. J., farmer and stock-grower, section twenty-one, post-office Bedford, a native of the Sucker State, was born in Edgar county, March 1, 1837.  There he tilled the soil and attended the schools of his neighborhood.  In 1855 he moved to Nodaway county, Missouri, and remained there until 1875, excepting the period of his services in the army.  He enlisted July 7, 1861, in company I, First Nebraska, for three years.  Participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Cape Girardeau, Black Water and others.  The last year of his service was spent in fighting bushwhackers.  Was discharged November 10, 1864, at Omaha, Nebraska.  At the battle of Shiloh he had his clothes riddled with bullets.  He came to this county in 1875.  Mr. Wood was married January 29, 1864, to Miss Asenath Ray of Nodaway county, Missouri.  Of their children five are living;  Antoinette, John H., Daisy D., Ella and Otho Don; one, Leon, is deceased.  Subject has a good farm of 100 acres, a fine large house and barn, and an abundance of fruits.
WOOD, JOHN W., farmer, section seventeen, post-office Bedford, a native of the Empire State, was ushered into this life October 30, 1829.  His early youth was spent in agricultural pursuits and in attending school.  When fourteen years of age our subject went to Michigan and remained there about three years, spending the last two working at the harness trade. (Page 724) He then returned to his native State, where for half a decade he made his home.  In 1853 he came to Iowa, locating in Scott county, where for a time he tilled the soil.  Three years later he came to this county and settled in Washington township, residing there two years, he then moved to Bedford and made that his home until 1869.  While there he took two trips to California prospecting.  In the last named year he purchased his present farm, and at once took possession.  He was married June 3, 1849, to Percy Martin, a native of New York.  This union has brought them sixteen children, nine of whom are living:  Maynard W., Harry A., Emma A., Waddie, Jas. G., Frank M., Albert E., Carrie M., and Alta J.; seven are dead: Ellen E., Elsie M., George W. H., Charles and three babies.  Mr. Wood is located on an excellent farm of 427 acres, well improved with a magnificent three-story house, large barn, orchard of 500 trees, and as fine a vineyard as the county affords.  He has held the office of justice of the peace seven years.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.