Second Settler in Union Township
(From HISTORY OF MITCHELL AND WORTH COUNTIES, IOWA, 1870, Page 875)
The second to settle in Union township was Darius Gardner, who in November, 1856, settled down upon section 21, out on the prairie. During that terrible winter he and his family dwelt here in their humble cabin, but not so lonely and cheerless as might be supposed. Mrs. Gardner, in speaking of their experience says "There was a constant stream of travel from Bristol, in Worth county to Osage, Mitchell county all winter on the crust that had formed on the deep snow. This crust was some two inches thick. At that time, as there was only one other house on the road between these two points, a distance of forty miles, travelers made it a point to stop over night with us. Our cabin was often full to overflowing. We often hung lights on the roof and at the windows to guide the luckless traveler who was overtaken by night on these trackless and dreary prairies, to help guide him to warmth and safety. As our nearest neighbors was four miles off, the travel made life endurable, which otherwise, would have been a desolate and dreary existence. "What a picture of the trials and endurances of the pioneer families arises before us as these words are scanned, given as they are, by one of that noble band of women who followed their husbands into the trackless wilderness and helped to make it blossom as the rose. Mr. Gardner, however, lived to see the country settle up and his family surrounded by friends and neighbors and reaping the just reward of indefatigable labor. The family still occupy the original homestead.
Transcribed by Gordon Felland, March 20, 2008