Harrison County

Barney's Grove

(Six Mile Grove)


Location

Barney's Grove was probably in Cass Township , section 18. (1)

History

It is uncertain when the settlement was established, but the locale likely gained its name from Henry and Lewis Barney, who moved to Cass Township of Harrison County in 1847. (2)

Henry and Lewis Barney, Uriah Hawkins, Isaac Ellison, Edward Houghton, Judge Stephen King, Reverend Kirtland Card, and William Jolly were the first inhabitants of the area. William Jordan was likely another early resident of Barney's Grove. (3) Alonzo R. Hunt, who married Margaret Dobson at Union Grove of 1850, was at one time also a resident. (4)

The settlement's Frontier Guardian representative was Uriah Hawkins. (5)

Mormons arrived in 1847. Lewis Barney and William Jordon signed the petition for the Kanesville post office, dated 20 January 1848. (6)

Describing multiple communities where the Latter-day Saints lived, including Barney's Grove, one turn-of-the-century historian wrote, "Strictly, they were not villages or even hamlets, merely the collection within easy distance of a handful of farm houses in a grove on a creek, with a school or church and perhaps a mill or trader's stock. They resembled rather the ideal farm communities or settlements of some modern sociologists." (7)

Harrison County

Cemeteries


There was an early burial place on land that N. D. Barnes later owned. The Reverend Card buried an infant daughter there, probably in the first half of the 1850s. (8)

Reverend Card moved his daughter's remains to a new location, “Whitesboro burying ground,” sometime after burying her on what became Barnes' land. (9)

Greenwood Cemetery (aka Greenwood - Whitesboro Cemetery (on the south side of Hwy 44 approximately 1/4 mile east of Hwy 30).  This cemetery is the cemetery where Reverend Kirtland Card reburied his infant daughter. Likely, it is near the location of Barney's Grove.

Notes:
  1. History of Harrison County, Iowa: Containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county: Together with portraits and biographies of all the Governors of Iowa and the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), 218.
  2. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 216, 218.
  3. United States Census, 1850.
  4. Pottawattamie County Marriage Records.
  5. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian (4 April 1851).
  6. Maurine Carr Ward and Fred E. Woods, “The ‘Tabernacle Post Office' Petition for the Saints of Kanesville, Iowa,” Mormon Historical Studies (vol.5, no. 1, Spring 2004), 152, 159, 174.
  7. Clyde B. Aitchison, The Mormon Settlements in the Missouri Valley. A Paper Presented by Clyde B. Aitchison, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, before the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society, January 11, 1899 (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1907), 23.
  8. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 215, 218.
  9. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 218.

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Bigler's Grove

Location

Bigler's Grove, at the time of the Latter-day Saints' occupancy of the site, was undoubtedly a large grove of trees, a distinguishing feature on the plains landscape. Even in 1891, the portion of Bigler's Grove that sat in Boyer Township was still one of “the largest bodies of native timber land.”(1)

It was located in Boyer Township. (2)

It was near Thompson Creek. Creeks abound in the area, including Willow, Elk, and Hog Creeks. The Boyer River and its tributaries lie a short distance to the east and south of the site of Bigler's Grove Cemetery. (3)

History

Bigler's Grove appears to never have been established as a town in the sense of having an official incorporation or platting of the town. Bigler's Grove did have a post office for a short time: “Three to 4 miles northwest of Magnolia (Sec. 18, Magnolia Twp. 80N, R43W). Established April 8, 1867, Lucy A. Waldo; discontinued December 8, 1869.” (4) An interesting note is that the post office was some five or six miles from the site of Bigler's Grove Cemetery in spite of their contemporary existence. This fact illustrates the looseness of the Bigler's Grove community. Although Bigler's Grove is not explicitly included in the source of the following quote, it apparently fits the general description: “Strictly, they were not villages or even hamlets, merely the collection within easy distance of a handful of farm houses in a grove on a creek, with a school or church and perhaps a mill or trader's stock. They resembled rather the ideal farm communities or settlements of some [1899] sociologists.” (5)

Charles Smith and his father, William moved with their families to Boyer Township in 1849 or 1850. They “settled on section 29 . . . The family were all of the Mormon faith and practice.” (6) Whether or not this section later became part of Bigler's Grove settlement is difficult to know. It is near the sections identified with Bigler's Grove (sections 18 and 19), bordering on the southeast tip of section 19. (7) “Thomas Thompson came in the autumn of 1852, and settled where he now lives on section 18, at Biglers' Grove. He lived in a log cabin until 1856, then built his present house. . . . [In 1853] came David Fry and family, John McIntire and family, John Holeton and family. McIntire moved to Monona County , and Fry died in 1875. . . . B. Abrams . . . settled at Bigler's Grove, on section 19. He died there in 1878.” (8) “W.H. McHenry came with his parents to this county in about 1853, locating at Bigler's Grove. He is now a large landowner, living north of Woodbine. . . . Dr. John Cole came from Indiana in 1855, lived at Bigler's Grove one winter, and in the spring of 1856, settled on section 11, where he made his home the remainder of his days, dying about 1880; he built the brick house now owned by George Pugsley.” (9)

Although it is difficult to know beyond Charles' and William's families who were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many residents eventually joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1860s. So many joined the RLDS Church, the church established a branch there in March 1863.

The settlement did not have other names, but the RLDS branch name was changed from the Bigler's Grove Branch to the Morning Star Branch in 1865. (10) Bigler's Grove has alternate spellings as well, including “Biggler's” Grove and “Biglar's” Grove. (11)

Charles and William Smith came in 1849 or 1850. Their residence may not have been in Bigler's Grove, per se, but it was nearby. “John Jeffrey came to the county in the summer 1851, and purchased a Mormon claim [implying he himself was not LDS] on section 18.” Apparently, there were other Mormon pioneers in Bigler's Grove of whom there is no record, unless Jeffrey bought land from William or Charles Smith, which is unlikely since Charles stayed in the area until his death in 1869. (12)

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=88489 –This is a link to a map showing Bigler's Grove Cemetery . For better directions to the area, go to www.mapquest.com and search for Woodbine, IA, which is nearby.

Cemeteries

Bigler's Grove Cemetery (“Southeast corner of the intersection of Orange Avenue & 190 th Trail”) appears to be the original burial ground of the settlers of this community. (13) Although the first two deaths recorded in the area (William Smith, 31 May 1864 and Hiram or Hyram Palmer, 3 September 1868) are not included in the list of those buried at the cemetery, Charles Smith, who died in 1869, isburied there. (14) It was in existence at least by 1869. (15)

Link to persons that we know are buried there

http://iowagravestones.org/cemetery_list.php?CID=43&cName=Biglers+Grove.

  1. History of Harrison County , Iowa . Containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County. Together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Iowa , and of the presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), 180.
  2. History of Harrison County , Iowa, 180.
  3. http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=88489 ; www.mapquest.com , search for Woodbine, Iowa and compare with the map from epodunk.com.
  4. Guy Reed Ramsey, Postmarked Iowa : A List of Discontinued and Renamed Post Offices (Crete, Nebraska: J-B Publishing Company, 1976), 195.
  5. Clyde B. Atchison, “Historical Addresses: the Mormon settlements in the Missouri Valley ,” L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University , Provo , Utah .
  6. History of Harrison County , Iowa, 180.
  7. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/twp/rangemap.htm.
  8. History of Harrison County , Iowa, 181.
  9. History of Harrison County , Iowa, 182.
  10. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/church/RLDS_Biglers_Grove.htm.
  11. Southwestern Iowa Guide: Geology--Points of Interest—History (Federal Writers' Projects of the Works Progress Administration, 1936), 85; Ramsey, Postmarked Iowa : A List of Discontinued and Renamed Post Offices, 193, 195.
  12. History of Harrison County , Iowa, 180.
  13. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 180.
  14. http://iowagravestones.org/cemetery_list.php?CID=43&cName=Biglers+Grove.
  15. ibid; also http://iagenweb.org/harrison/church/RLDS_Biglers_Grove.htm.
  16. ibid.

List of community residents forthcoming


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Brown's Grove

(Brown's Camp, Calhoun)


Location

Brown's Grove is, of course, a grove of trees located “in the northwestern portion” of the township in which it lies. It is one of three groves in the township, which together make three thousand acres of woodland.

It is in Calhoun Township. (1)

The settlement was located “in the southern part of section 19, Calhoun Township , near the west bank of Willow River.” (2)

History

“The first settlement in this township means the first in the entire county. Prior to 1847 it is not known or believed that a white man ever invaded this section of the great Missouri slope, for the purpose of becoming a settler, but during that year two came in for actual settlement. One was Daniel Brown, who had been a pioneer in Illinois and left at the time of the Mormon exodus, he being of that religious faith himself. He came from Florence, Neb. in the autumn of 1846; he came on a hunting expedition to the county and found land that suited him, where the village of Calhoun now stands. He came back in January, 1847, built a cabin and split some rails, but owing to sickness at his home in Nebraska he was called home – one William Litz coming over at the request of the family to notify him of the serious illness of his married daughter, Mrs. Polly Hammond, who died in the month of March 1847. Early in April of that year he brought his family to his newly chosen location in Calhoun Township . He and his son William ‘claimed' the northwest of the southwest of section 31, and also the northeast of section 31. He platted Calhoun village in 1853 and was a resident until his death, in 1875. His daughter, Mrs. B. H. Dennis, now lives at Missouri Valley. The aged mother died in Utah in 1890. The date of his actual settlement was April 7, 1847 . . . He was a fit man to honor an undertaking calling forth the genius and noble traits of genuine character found so frequently among those who pushed on as vanguards to civilized life. In January, 1847, Mr. Brown constructed a rude log hut, on the prairie where later stood the thriving village of Calhoun. In April, of that year, he, with his family, made a claim and became the first permanent settlers in Harrison County, Uriah Hawkins, of Cass Township, coming in July of the same year, 1847.” (3)

“The first land bought in Harrison County was sold to Daniel Brown – [an] eighty-acre tract, where Calhoun was subsequently built.

“A sufficient number of settlers had made claims in 1852 to justify the organization of a county. Committees were sent to the land office at Council Bluffs to bid on claims and protect the working citizens from the heartless speculator. These committees were instructed to bid one dollar and a quarter per acre and to carry death into the ranks of those who should bid against them.

"Once the earliest settlers arrived, they “at once began tilling the soil and were blessed the following autumn by a beautiful crop. Soon after harvest they found ready sale for all they had to spare to the large number of Indian traders, passing north to hunt and trade. Mr. Brown used to relate how that he did not see a dollar for months at a time and had hard work to keep clothing for his family. The money put in circulation by these traders helped him over and the pioneer and his household were the happiest of the happy!" (4)

“Mr. Brown, assisted by Messrs. Wills, Beldon & Johnson, laid off the town of Calhoun July 5th , 1853, on the E. hf. S. W. qr. of Sec. 19, Town. 79, N. of Range 43, west. This little place commenced under auspicious circumstances, and soon was a trading point of considerable importance. Mr. Hardin commenced the Mercantile business in the town, but the first heavy stock was by his successors, the firm of W. S. & E. W. Meech , in 1855. At an early day, the town of Calhoun was one of the most important business points in the county, but the railroads have left it on each side, at such a distance as to [affect] materially its business interests.” (5)

“The first term of school (private subscription) was taught in the winter of 1849-1850 in a log building erected for the purpose on a bluff overlooking what was later the village of Calhoun .” (6)

The 1868 history of Harrison County describes the pioneers' dwellings thus: “the ‘log palace,' with neither windows, doors, shutters or floor.” (7)

"Brown's Grove or Brown's Camp eventually became 'Calhoun . . . the first village in Harrison County . It was platted August 19, 1853 by Daniel Brown.' ” (8)

Daniel Brown was the Frontier Guardian agent. (9)

“Closely following Brown's settlement came William Litz and the following May came four other families and settled in the county –Messrs. J. Vincent, O. M. Allen, G. Cleveland and Eleazer Davis.” (10)

Daniel Brown originally moved to Calhoun township after a quarrel with President Brigham Young. He stayed in Iowa for more than a quarter of a century. One of his sons, James, had joined the Mormon Battalion and stayed in Utah . On two separate occasions, he visited his parents going to the perform missionary service. Daniel confessed to James during his first visit in 1858, that he wished he still had the faith he once possessed. He commended James's faith, but remained uncommitted to return to The Church of Jesus Christ until James's 1860, during James's second visit. Daniel was eventually re-baptized and received his endowments in Utah. (11)

Agrippa Cooper went to Utah in a nameless company in 1852. Daniel Brown went to Utah “During the year 1874 . . . for, at this time he was re-baptized into [T]he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and on the 12 th of October of the same year he went through the Salt Lake Temple and received his own endowments.

“[Erold Wiscombe was] unable to ascertain whether Daniel had moved his family to Utah permanently, or if they were in the process of moving. However, in the following spring, on the 2 nd of February 1875 his life came to an end at Calhoun, Harrison County, Iowa, at the age of 71 years, and on the 4 th day of that month, he was buried in the county in which he [had] been the first white man.

“His good wife, Elizabeth Stephens Brown lived in Utah for the remaining 15 years of her life after her hus[b]and died. She passed away at Farmington , Davis County , Utah on the 12 th of October, 1890, in the 81 st year of her life. She is buried in the Farmington cemetery in Davis county on the family plot of her daughter Lucy Brown Rose.” (12)

Cemeteries

The map at the following link gives directions to the cemetery: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formtype=address&country=US&popflag=0&latitude=& longitude=&name=&phone=&level=&addtohistory=&cat=&address=&city=Missouri+Valley&state=IA&zipcode

Calhoun cemetery definitely dates to the 19 th Century, however, whether it is a pioneer cemetery or not is open to research. As the photographs available on-line do not allow for close perusal of the vague markings on the stones, a personal visit to the site would be helpful in determining the age of the graveyard. (13)


Notes:

  1. History of Harrison County , Iowa . Containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County. Together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Iowa , and of the presidents of the United States . (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), 208.
  2. History of Harrison County , Iowa . Containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County. Together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Iowa , and of the presidents of the United States . 208.
  3. David C. Mott, “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa,” Annals of Iowa (Iowa City: Iowa State Historical Society, 1910-12), vols. xvii and xviii, 53.
  4. History of Harrison County , Iowa . 208.
  5. Works Progress Administration, Southwestern Iowa Guide: Geology—Points of Interest—History (ca. 1936).
  6. History of Harrison County , Iowa . 209.
  7. 7. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian ( Kanesville , Iowa ), 4 April 1851.
  8. History of Harrison County , Iowa . 209.
  9. Wiscombe, “Biography of Daniel Brown, 1804-1875,” 14-16, 27-30.
  10. History of Harrison County , Iowa . 209.
  11. G. F. Waterman, History and Description of Harrison County , Given in Townships (Magnolia, Iowa: The Western Star Book and Job Office, 1868), 33.
  12. Erold Clark Wiscombe, “Biography of Daniel Brown, 1804-1875,” film 920, #58, 30-31, Manuscript Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  13. Waterman, History and Description of Harrison County , Given in Townships , 32, in History of Harrison County , Iowa . Containing Full-page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County. Together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Iowa , and of the presidents of the United States . 209.

List of community residents forthcoming


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Harris Grove


Harris Grove

Location

Harris Grove village was located 26 miles north of Council Bluffs in LaGrange, Jefferson, and Union Townships, Harrison County, Iowa. (1) Harrison County was part of Pottawattamie County at the time the LDS pioneers lived there. It spanned the LaGrange, Jefferson, and Union Townships. The Latter-day Saints found springs and streams plentiful with the major creek bearing the same name as the village (Harris Grove) and running through the town. The grove of trees in the community was extensive (about 5,000 acres) and fit for providing firewood and building material for the people living there. “Harris Grove . . . was a large body of timber . . . located in Lagrange, Union and Jefferson Townships, the greater part of it lying south of Harris Grove Creek, in LaGrange Township. The timber consisted of burr oak, red oak, black walnut, red and white elm, basswood, hackberry, mulberry, white hickory, black cherry, thorn apple, white willow along the creeks, and an occasional cottonwood. “The water in the creeks, during the greater part of this period, was clear and sparkling except for a short time following a heavy rain.

“Small fish such as chub and shiners were in great abundance and afforded the boys rare sport in catching them with a pin hook fastened with a string to a hazel rod. “Springs gushed from the ground at short distances apart the entire length of all creeks. The banks of Harris Grove Creek, and of its smaller branches in most places were about a foot higher than the water and extended back from the water's edge, with few exceptions, from one to eight rods, where a second rise of ground, quite abrupt, formed a boundary for the higher creek bottom. The shore strip of land or border was covered in many places with marsh grass, water lilies, cat tail, flags, and bull rushes. It was miry in many places as was the bed of the creeks.

“The beavers had a dam in the creek in the NW ¼ SW ¼, Section 2, LaGrange Township, just below where the Mill Frame built by Ezra Perry and Michael Rogers stood, and was often used by the boys for a ‘swimmin' hole.'” Later, a large influx of settlers to the area depleted the forest which resulted in erosion, changing the topography of Harris Grove Creek. (2)

History

John Harris was the first to move to the grove that became his namesake. The 1891 History of Harrison County states that he arrived in the spring of 1848, (3) while McKenney writes that he came in 1846. (4) His cabin “stood just a little west and south of the center of the NW ¼ NE ¼ of Section 12, La Grange Township.” Between 1848 and 1852, nearly 300 Mormons lived in Harris Grove, (5) though permanent settlement began in 1851. By this time, about thirty cabins had already been built.

People who were not adherents to the LDS faith lived in Harris Grove concurrently with the Saints in 1851-1852 before the Mormon pioneers removed to Utah Territory. At least six families of other faiths had moved to Harris Grove by the end of 1852. Some of these newcomers moved into vacant cabins left or sold to them by Latter-day Saints. (6)

While some left earlier, the majority of the Saints living at Harris Grove left in the spring of 1852. They “left their cabins and went into camp in SE ¼ NE ¼ of Section 14, Lagrange Township. This place has since been called ‘Vore's Hollow. In May they broke camp and with food for the journey, and with all their household goods packed into canvas covered wagons, drawn by cow and ox teams, started on the long and tedious trail that was to lead them to promised bliss and happiness, in the land of Brigham Young, away out in Utah.” (7) The branch chose three men to be “captins” of groups of “teens,” namely George W. Taggart, William B. Adams, and Robert Wimmer. (8) Many of the families from Harris Grove traveled either in the Allen Weeks or the Robert Wimmer Company. (9) Both of these leaders had lived in Harris Grove (10), and Robert Wimmer had been Harris Grove’s Frontier Guardian representative. (11) The Wimmer Company left Kanesville in “early July 1852,” and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 15 September of the same year. The Weeks Company left Kanesville 18 July and arrived in the Salt Lake valley 12 October 1852.

Although the Mormon pioneers' stay was temporary, they did not deny themselves the blessings of civilized life. They built a school house sometime before May 1851, which doubled as a site for Church leadership meetings. This school house, mentioned in the Church's “Record of Members,” is probably the same mentioned in the 1891 Harrison County History, which describes “a rude log hovel . . . over on section 6, of Union Township and the first teacher was James McCurley.” (12) The Mormons also built a log tabernacle, which McKenney says was used for Church meetings, “social gatherings, and for a wagon and blacksmith shop.” (13) He further states, “[The] tabernacle was a double log building,” possibly 576 feet square, (14) and was one of few meeting places for the Mormons. Its presence made Harris Grove a unique and important community in the area. (15) In addition to the tabernacle, the Saints built a whip-saw mill, which was used to make boards “for various purposes such as wagon boxes, coffins, and food containers.” (16)

The Saints lived in log cabins, “usually sixteen by eighteen feet in size, about seven feet high, with a small garret made by poles laid crosswise of the building, the ends resting in notches cut between the two upper logs. A floor was made on these cross poles by the use of small saplings cut for the purpose. This apartment was used as a chiffonier.
“The Mormons, by using logs that were hewn on opposite sides, built a few cabins called ‘Hewn log cabins,' to which a number were added by the permanent settlers. These houses were very much prized by the ladies of the period. After the settler had selected and staked out the site upon which the house was to be erected, he would, with oxen, snake or drag the logs from the woods, placing the right number of logs at each side of the selected site, then this being done an invitation was extended to attend the ‘Raising' upon an appointed day, sickness being the only thing that could detain them from attending.
“The permanent settlers, to make more room, often moved a vacated cabin or built a new one within about eight feet of the one in which they lived. The space thus left was logged up at the sides and covered by a joining the roof of both houses, and was used as a spare bed room or as a place to store many articles not in every day use . . .
“About each of these cabins was a small field, fenced with rails or brush, from which these migrating people obtained sustenance except that which was supplied by nature, such as game and wild fruits, and some groceries that were procured at Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, twenty-six miles away.” (17)

“Harris Grove: A post office (1863-67) first in section 14, LaGrange Township, and later moved to one or more locations in the township before it was discontinued.” (18)

Settlers in Harris Grove: James Orander, William Howard, Asa Earl, Thomas W. Reeder and SArah (Howard) Reeder, John A. McKenny, Michael I. McKenny, Thomas McKenney, James B. McCurley, John Rogers, James D. Rogers, Simeon J. Comfort, Alfred Longman, Samuel Jack, Jacob S. Vanderhoof, William Cokeley, William Haner, Joseph L. Deforest, Jackson Daugherty, Stuart Alexander, and Charles Carvalhoe. (19)

Births

Harriet Maria Taggart Goodridge writes, “I was born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, September 2, 1848, my parents having left Nauvoo February 1, 1846. I was the daughter of Fannie Parks and George W. Taggart. My father returned to Iowa, December 17, 1847, after having been discharged from service with the Mormon Battalion. From this time until July 1852, he worked at Harris Grove, making wagons, and preparing for the journey across the plains. In 1852, we left Iowa for Salt Lake City, arriving there Oct. 17.” (20) Cirus Bates (3 June 1849), Ann Jenett Bates (30 September 1849), Allen B. Weeks (21 October 1848), Ormos Bates Nay (25 April 1850), and Milando Pratt (30 September 1848) were all born in Harris Grove and received a child's blessing at the hands of Orson Pratt. Mary Elmina Weeks (21 October 1848) and Henry A. Zufelt were born in Harris Grove as well and received a child's blessing by Ormos E. Bates. (21) Others born at Harris Grove include Thomas G. Wimmer (10 May 1847), Moroni Ward (8 June 1851), Abraham Junius Perkins (11 August 1848), and Harriet Maria Taggart Goodridge (2 September 1848). (22)
For directions to Harris Grove from Council Bluffs, follow the directions at the site below, then take 296th St. heading east. The Harris Grove Cemetery and Chapel are near the intersection of 296th and Quentin Tr. <http://www.mapquest.com/directions/>

Cemeteries

The Saints began a cemetery at Harris Grove, probably around 4 March 1849, the date of the earliest death mentioned at the settlement. (23) The Saints note only three deaths in their official Church record. The Frontier Guardianreported just one death. (24) The earliest burial date was 4 March 1849. See paragraph above.

In 1879, the citizens of Harris Grove moved their dead from the original LDS cemetery to a new site, leaving the dead of the departed “Mormons” where they were. McKenney states that the “remains of about twenty persons were not removed, and are now lying beneath a cultivated field.” (25) Considering this statement, either substantially more Mormon pioneers died than are recorded, or many of those “twenty persons” were not of the LDS faith. Whatever the explanation of the 20 unmoved graves, it seems likely that more than three people died among the approximately 300 LDS residents of Harris Grove in four year’s time. One possible explanation for the lack of recorded deaths is that not everyone buried their dead in the cemetery. McKenney writes of at least one “little Mormon girl” buried away from the cemetery by a tree with the name “Elizabeth” carved on it. (26) To see a list of people buried in today’s Harris Grove Cemetery, pictures of the graveyard, gravestones, the Harris Grove Memorial Chapel, and its physical address in Harrison County, Iowa, visit the following website: <http://www.rootsweb.com/~iaharris/cemetery/harris.htm?o_xid=9872&o_lid=9872&o_xt=9872>.


Notes:

  1. Horace H. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 1851-1861(Democrat Print,1923), 3.
  2. McKenney, 3-4.
  3. History of Harrison County, Iowa: containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county: together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Iowa, and the presidents of the United States(Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891),246. McKenney states that John Harris arrived in 1846. The “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” Microform No. 1741, p. 13 indicates that an LDS branch was organized in Harris Grove on 15 July 1848
  4. McKenney, 3.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ronald G. Watt, Iowa Branch Index, 1839-1859(1991), 35; United States Federal Census, 1850, 90-94; “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 14-31. Microfilm #1741, Family History Library, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  7. McKenney, 3.
  8. “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 1, 3-4.
  9. Watt, Iowa Branch Index, 1839-1859, 35; “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 14-31; United States Federal Census, 1850, 90-94. See lists prepared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints online at lds.org. See Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868: Robert Wimmer Company (1852); Allan Weeks Company (1852)[online]. Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2005.
  10. Watt, Iowa Branch Index, 1839-1859, 35.
  11. Orson Hyde, ed., Frontier Guardian(Kanesville, Iowa), 4 April 1851.
  12. “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 3; History of Harrison County, Iowa,249. James B. McCurley is mentioned on the United States Federal Census, 1900.
  13. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 6-7.
  14. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 6, 9.
  15. The pioneers built tabernacles at Council Point, Harris Grove, Kanesville, Pigeon Creek, and Tennessee Hollow.
  16. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 7.
  17. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove,3.
  18. David C. Mott, Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa(Iowa City: Iowa State Historical Society, 1910-1912), 53; David C. Mott, “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa,” Annals of Iowa, vol. 17, Oct. 1910-Jan. 1912.
  19. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 17-31.
  20. Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 15, 298.
  21. “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 45-48.
  22. Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah(Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1966), 1254; Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia: a compilations of biographical sketches of prominent men and women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1971), Vol. 1, 459, Vol. 2, 198; Kate B. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage(Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977), Vol. 15, 298.
  23. “Record of Members, 1848-1852,” 37.
  24. Lyndon W. Cook, Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian, 1849-1852(Orem, Utah: Center for Research of Mormon Origins,1990), 16.
  25. David C. Mott, “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa,” Annals of Iowa 17 (3): 533. McKenney, Pioneer History of Harris Grove,6.       
  26. Ibid.

View list of community residents


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Leland's Grove


Leland's Grove
http://www.cityofharlan.com/

The two room log cabin on the left was built in 1856 by Benjamin Leland.  It was originally located at Leland’s grove but in 1970 was moved to Potter’s Park Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa.   The right log cabin was built by John McIntosh in 1857 in Galland’s Grove, Grove Township.  They are on display and a part of the Shelby County Historical Museum (SCHM). (1)

Location

Leland’s Grove was a thickly wooded area, around 300-400 acres, in the Southwest corner of Shelby County.  It was just west of Mosquito creek and as Ron Chamberlain says, “it is just a rocks throw from Harrison County.”(2)   Leland’s Grove was found in Cass Township, T79 R40 S31 just south west of Portsmouth. (3)  It lied about “35 miles east from Council Bluffs, on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul railroad.” (4) 

History

Leland’s Grove was settled by and named after Benjamin Leland in 1856.  Leland, who had previously lived in Galland’s Grove, walked up the ridge along the Mosquito Creek from Council Bluffs and established Leland’s Grove.  Benjamin Leland was born in Ohio 1824. (5)  He was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Eden Smith to Erie County, Pennsylvania in April 1843. (6)  The Leland family stayed in Iowa, left the Mormon Church and joined the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. (7)  The settlement lasted until 1890.  Currently the timber has been cleared out from where Leland’s Grove was located.  A memorial or sign was placed at the gravesite for the Benjamin Leland family.  There aren’t tombstones there because they were all destroyed.  (8)

Residents

Name of settler (year settled) place of origin. (9)

Leland, Benjamin L. (1854) Ohio
Lytle, Samuel H. (1856) Ohio
Bell, Thomas (1865) England
Bullard, Jonathan (1868) Canada
Butler, V.H. (1862)
Gollop, John (1859)
Hall, David (1868)
Halliday, Henry (1864) England
Handy, William (1869) England
Hewitt, Buck (1855)
Leytham, Richard (1865) England
Shackelton, B.S. (1869) England
Shearer, George (1855)
Springer, B.V. (1862) Indiana
Tutty, David (1856)

From the Iowa census 1860. (10)
June 12th 1860  Leland’s Settlement in the south west corner of the country.
Benjamin L. Leland    38        abt 1822          Pennsylvania   Farmer
Elizabeth Leland         27        abt 1833          Illinois             Housework
John C. Leland            10        abt 1850          Illinois  
Deborah M. Leland     8          abt 1852          Illinois
Mariette Leland          6          abt 1854          Illinois
Emaline Leland           4          abt 1856          Iowa
Charles T. J.                2          abt 1858          Iowa
Rachael M. Cram        46        abt 1814          New Hampshire
Josephine Cram           5          abt 1855          Missouri

John Gallup                 49        abt 1811          New York       Farmer
Marietta Gallup           42        abt 1818          New York       Housework
Isaac N. Gallup           21        abt 1839          New York       Farm hand
George W. Gallup       15        abt 1845          New York       Farm hand
Elijah Gallup               13        abt 1847          New York      

David Jones                60        abt 1800          Pennsylvania   Farmer
Mercy Jones                54        abt 1806          Maryland         Housework
Aaron Jones                15        abt 1845          Ohio                Farm hand
Janice H. Jones            10        abt 1850          Iowa

Lorenzo M. Cracken   42        abt 1818          Indiana           Farmer
Delorus M. Cracken    38        abt 1822          Indiana            Housework
Gorge Cracken            19        abt 1841          Illinois             Farm hand
Asa Cracken                10        abt 1850          Iowa

The Leland family name has pretty much died out but the Lydle name continues.  Lydle is the family name for one of Benjamin Leland’s daughters. (11)

Cemeteries

Leland’s Cemetery is located between Portsmouth and Persia, just west of highway 191. (12)  Specifically it is in Cass Township T79 R40 S31, Shelby County “35 miles east of Council Bluffs”. (13)  There are 3-4 graves of Leland family members. (14)


Notes

  1. Ron Chamberlain, phone interview, by Rachel Briggs, October 5, 2009.
  2. Ron Chamberlain, phone interview, by Rachel Briggs, January 28, 2010.
  3. Iowa Genealogy Web Project, Leland Grove Cemetery.http://www.iagenweb.org/shelby/cemetery/leland_grove_cemetery.htm (accessed December 9, 2009). 
  4. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Journal of History, volume 12-13 (Lamonl, Iowa: The Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, January 1919), 272-276 http://books.google.com/books?id=hZYUAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA272&lpg=RA1-PA272&ots=rh6iPWNcLg&output=text (accessed December 9, 2009).
  5. Ron Chamberlain, phone interview, January 28, 2010.
  6. BYU Studies Since 1959. Biographical Registers – S, found under the entry of SMITH, Eden. http://byustudies.byu.edu/Resources/BioAlpha/MBRegisterS.aspx (accessed October 7, 2010).
  7. Shelby County Historical Museum. Flyer. (712)755-2437.
  8. Ron Chamberlain, phone interview, January 28, 2010.
  9. Iowa Genealogy Web Project,Shelby County, Iowa Early Pioneers. http://www.iagenweb.org/shelby/history/pioneer_early.htm (accessed Feb. 19, 2015).
  10. www.ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) Census place: Harlan, Shelby, Iowa; Roll:  M653_339; Page: 685; Image: 247; Family History Library Film: 803339.
  11. Ron Chamberlain, phone interview, January 28, 2010.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Leland Grove Cemetery. http://iagenweb.org/shelby/cemetery/leland_grove_cemetery.htm (accessed November 12, 2009).
  14. Iowa Genealogy Web Project, Leland Grove Cemetery.

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Lytle's Grove

(Little Sioux)

Lytle's Grove

Location

The settlement of Lytle’s Grove was located in the northeastern corner of Little Sioux Township in Harrison County, Iowa.  The Missouri River runs east of the town and the Little Sioux River cuts diagonally through the township to join the Missouri River near Section 27.  The city is named after the Little Sioux River and was formally organized in 1854.  Prior to the organization of the city and county, all the settlements in the area of the future Little Sioux Township were lumped under that one name. This makes deciphering references to Lytle’s Grove difficult to sift out from other early settlements in the area.

History

In April 1857, early settlers in the town created the Little Sioux Township School District (1) and their post office was established on July 1, 1857 with Silas W. Condit as the Postmaster. In that same year a massacre occurred near Spirit Lake just south of the settlement which made early inhabitants fear that future settlers would not choose to settle in Little Sioux. In spite of these fears the Indian threat did not hamper the expansion and development of Little Sioux.

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (RLDS) was established in Little Sioux in 1876.  D. M. Gamet was the presiding Elder. A majority of citizens in the city joined this church and Little Sioux eventually became stronghold of the early RLDS Church (2).

The economy of Little Sioux during initial settlement was empowered by farming and saw mills that cut a great deal of lumber from the 2,000 acres of forest surrounding the town (3).  James F. Scofield built the first saw mill in the year 1857 (4).
Many of the initial settlers are buried in the cemeteries surrounding Little Sioux, namely Little Sioux Cemetery, Fountainbleau Cemetery (formerly known as Old Murray Hill Cemetery), and Conyers Cemetery. A description of the most prominent settlers follows.

Residents

Silas W. Condit was one of the first to arrive and settle Lytle’s Grove. He arrived with his family and the family of T. B. Neely in 1848.  He remained in Iowa instead of going west with the Mormons for reasons of the polygamous teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and their Prophet Brigham Young.  Condit also might have left the Mormon church under the suspicion that his brother, Amos W., had been shot and killed by a man named Gean at Trader’s Point.  It was believed that Gean was being harbored by the Elders of the Church (5).

Silas Condit married three separate times. His first marriage occurred on June 17, 1842 to Julia N. Parker.  She gave birth to Parker S. Condit on May 3, 1843, who would live in Little Sioux with Silas and the other members of the family.  Julia died on January 17, 1844, and Silas married his second wife, Sarah P. Hiscock, on September 27, 1844.  She bore Mary A. in 1845, John H. in 1847, Leonard D. in 1859, Sarah M. in 1852, Cordelia in 1855, Julia A. in 1856, Dannet S. in 1859, and Frederick in 1867.  Sarah passed away on May 3, 1867.  Silas Condit’s third wife, Cordelia Waldo, was born on September 15, 1839.  Cordelia gave birth to Lottie E. in 1871, Frank A. in 1873, Bertha M. in 1876, and Catherine C. in 1878 (6, 7).

Silas provided for his family as a chair maker (8), simultaneously laying out the village of Little Sioux with T.B. Neeley.  Through these endeavors and his relations with the Indians he was given the name ‘Tunger-Maw-Le,’ which means ‘big knife.’ He died on October 27, 1879 (9).

One of the most prominent members of the Condit family in Little Sioux was Parker S. Condit. He was married May 10, 1863 to Sarah A. Garnett.  She gave birth to Edgar S. on April 4, 1864; David S. on January 5, 1866; Mary A. on August 4, 1869; and Elizabeth C. on September 25, 1872.  Sarah died on November 27, 1872.  Parker’s second wife, Clarissa C. Pangborn, was married to him on September 27, 1873.  Their children were Raymond N. S., born on August 4, 1874; Peter on October 10, 1875; Mary E. on September 9, 1877; and Charles E. on September 12, 1879. Eventually Parker moved to River Sioux, where he established one of the first ferries across the Missouri River in the Little Sioux Township (10). Parker Condit has thankfully written down many stories of his early life in Lytle’s Grove.  He and his family had many encounters with the Indians. During some of these encounters, they were gravely threatened.  The courage of the family is evident from his tales:

Three Indians came after we had gone to bed, and smashed in the door. One fell over the plank table standing in the middle of the room, and which contained all our dishes. (We had no cupboard). He began putting the contents of the dishes in the buffalo skin he had tied around himself for a coat. Another was talking to father and the third sitting by the fire with his gun pointed at father, and kept fooling with the lock. Mother, who was in bed, said to father, "Silas, do you see that Indian with his gun pointed at you?" Father answered, "Yes," then mother jumped up seized the rifle standing at the head of her bed, cocked and leveled it at the head of the Indian with the gun. Father took the rifle away from her, and put it back in its place. The Indians then all ran out leaving everything as they had found it (11).

Another story illustrates the courage of Parker’s mother:

One winter day when father was away and mother was washing, five buck indians came in, pushed us children away from the fire and sat down. When mother asked them to move they made faces at her and refused to move. Mother picked up a heavy iron shovel intending to hit one of them on top of the head with the edge of it, but it turned in her hands and came down flat giving him a heavy blow. At this the Indians all jumped up and shook hands with her and called her heap brave squaw (12).

Adding to the hardship of frontier life, Parker recalls only having eight or so terms of formal schooling in his childhood. He writes of braided rags being used to make wicks for their fish oil and deer tallow lanterns, while buckskin suits were sometimes sewn with the sinews of a deer’s spine (13).

Another early settler was Nathaniel Neely, who helped settle Little Sioux proper in 1852. He was father to Sarah A., James, Robert H., T. B., Louisa (The first girl married in Harrison County), Mary J., Martha E., and Hugh Neely.  Nathaniel died in 1875 and his wife Malinda died in 1861.  They are both buried in the Murray Cemetery, now known as Fountainbleau Cemetery, along with their children, Malinda and Robert (14).

Thomas B. Neely (T. B.), son of Nathaniel Neely, helped Silas Condit settle the area and helped attain the amenities of a post office and other outside support for the town with his connections to the State government.  He was married to Maggy, and their children were Isabella, born in 1864, Frank T. (1865), George M. (1868), Charles A. (1870), James H. (1873), Irene P. (1875), Maggy M. (1877), and Leroy R. (1879). (15)

Thomas Neely owned a portion of land that was on the outer edges of Little Sioux.  Charles Larpenteur, Michael and Jerry Quinn, and Thomas and William Flowers settled a new town which encompassed part of Neely’s land.  Larpenteur and his associates named it Fountainbleau, after his hometown in France.  Jerry (or Thomas) and Michael Quinn settled on Section 19 in 1854.

In seeking compensation for the illegal improvement of his own property without permission, Neely states that, “I did not ask cash payment for the land, but an interest in the town.”  When confronted, Larpenteur and the others referred him to Michael Quinn, who stated, “‘You have no right to complain, you[r] claim joins the townsite which will make it valuable.’”  Rebuffed, Neely discussed the issue with Silas Condit:

Mr. Condit wanted to know what I was going to do, I told him ‘I would kill the town too dead to skin.’ ‘Why! You cant do it,’ he said, ‘it will take money to do it now.’ ‘But if it was done would you consent to have a town on your claim?’ I said. He said he would, but would not take any part in the killing, as that would not be right so I sold him a claim for a townsite. At that time Iowa had but one member in Congress, Gus Hall, a good democrat. I asked him if he could get a post office located and a postmaster appointed without a petition. He said he could where he knew the parties, then I asked him to get the office removed from Fountainbleau to Sec., 24-81-45 and appoint S. W. Condit post master, and have the office changed to Little Sioux, and dispense with Larpenteur. Being well acquainted with the Congressman, he knowing the injustice done me, he acted on my suggestion.
Fountainbleau Cemtery in Little Sioux Township, Iowa

As a result of Neely’s request to Gus Hall, the post office was removed from Fountainbleau, and placed instead in the town of Little Sioux, with Silas Condit acting as post master. Other officers of the post office in Fountainbleau were likewise removed or directed to do their work in Little Sioux (16).  After relations between the Quinns and Thomas Neely soured, T. B. Terry bought the Quinn’s land on Section 19 and the two brothers moved west (17).

In 1853 the Indian wife of Charles Larpenteur was killed by the Omaha in a dispute with the Sioux.  On the April 3, 1854 he married Rebecca White.  She died on March 28, 1899 in Little Sioux.  Charles died on died on November 15, 1872 and is Buried in the Fountainbleau Cemetery, which is located just North of Little Sioux (18, 19).

David M. and Hannah Gamet settled in Little Sioux and established the first general merchandise store in Lytle’s Grove in 1857.  He was also engaged in the hotel business, his hotel being the headquarters for the stages between Sioux City and Council Bluffs.  He left the LDS church because, like Silas Condit, he rejected the polygamous teachings of Brigham Young.  A few years after he had settled in Little Sioux, President Joseph of the RLDS church came to his house and David began his affiliation with them as a Bishop and President of the High Priest Quorum in Little Sioux (20).

Moses German was born in Ohio in the year 1820 and he settled in Little Sioux around 1855.  He soon became Deputy Sheriff of the county and a well-respected citizen of the area.  While living in Little Sioux he was married to Elizabeth Jane Brazelton (aka Eliza J.) in the late 1840’s. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Lodomillo, Clayton, Iowa. They had two children named Mary F., who was born about 1848, and Ollis or Allis E., who was born about 1843 (21).

Elijah Ellis came from Ohio in 1851 to Little Sioux but returned to Ohio soon after. His family then came by boat in 1855 and rented a farm and lodging from the Martins for one year. Elijah’s children were William J. (born in 1857 in Ohio), John M. (1858 in Iowa), Delmon (1862), Jsobal or Estel (1864), Elijah S. or Elbert (1867), Essie (May 1870), and Mary, born in 1872 (22).
Gabriel Cotton (Lovoen or Lovsen) settled in the early 50’s. He was married to Mary Jane King in 1848 in Iowa. He sold his plot to Mr. McCauley in 1856 and moved on to Bingham Canyon, Utah.  Alice Cotton was born to Gabriel in May of 1867. Gabriel died on July 24, 1873 (23).

George Montague was a local Blacksmith in the area and Mormon preacher in the area but when his wife died he left to Wilburton, Oklahoma.


Notes:

  1. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/twp/twplsiou.htm, Feb. 19, 2015.
  2. History of Western Iowa, its Settlement and Growth:A Comprehensive Compilation of Progressive Events Concerning the Counties, Cities, Towns, and Villages—Biographical Sketches of the Pioneers and Business Men, With an Authentic History of the State of Iowa(Sioux City: Western Publishing Company, 1882), 307-308.
  3. History of Harrison County, Iowa: Containing Full-Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County Together With Portraits and Biographies of All The Governors of Iowa, And the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), p. 185; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  4. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/iowa/harrison/littlesioux/index.htm, July, 29, 2005.
  5. http://www.condit-family.com/info/parkerCondit.html#silasStory, April 30, 2008.
  6. Jotham H. Condit and Eben Condit, Genealogical Record of the Condit Family : Descendants of John Conditt, A Native of Great Britain, who settled in Newark, N.J. 1678 to 1885 (Ward & Tichenor: Newark, NJ, 1885), page 88-89.
  7. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?rank=0%2c0&pcc=2&gl=33&gsco= United+States&gsfn=&gsln=Condit&gskw=&submit=go&o_xid=0039743482 &o_lid=0039743482&o_xt=39743482&cj=1&o_xid=0001155785&o_lid=0001155785, (accessed April 30, 2008).
  8. Condit, 88-89.
  9. Pearl Wilcox, Roots of the Reorganized Latter Day Saints in Southern Iowa (P.G. Wilcox: Independence, Missouri, 1989), p. 158.
  10. http://www.condit-family.com/info/parkerCondit.html#silasStory, April 30, 2008.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/bio/geneal21.htm, Feb. 19, 2015.
  15. www.ancestry.com, 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) images reproduced by FamilySearch; Census place: Little Sioux, Harrison, Iowa; Family History Library Film 1254343, NA Film number T9-0343, page number 16A (accessed April 30, 2008).
  16. T. B. Neely, http://www.condit-family.com/info/littleSioux.html, April 30, 2008.
  17. http://www.condit-family.com/info/littleSioux.html, April 30, 2008.
  18. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/twp/twplsiou.htm, article by Mark Grassman., Feb. 19, 2015.
  19. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/cemetery/fountainbleau.htm.
  20. History of Western Iowa, its Settlement and Growth, 306-309.
  21. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wilsey/pafg1269.htm, Feb. 19, 2015.
  22. www.ancestry.com and www.familysearch.org, April 30, 2008.
  23. www.familysearch.org, April 30, 2008.

View list of community residents


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Magnolia


Magnolia Map

Location

Named for the prized, sweet-scented Southern flower (1), Magnolia village is located in Harrison County, Iowa in Magnolia Township. The surrounding lands were described in the 1891 book, History of Harrison County, Iowaas containing great variety.  The chief stream, Willow River, flows through the south and east of the township, very close to Magnolia village.  Added to this major waterway are six creeks, Allen, Thompson’s, Huffman, Steer, Hog, Elk and Bloomer Creeks, along with 2600 acres of natural timber. (2)  The description ends with this comment:

            Magnolia is situated upon high, rolling bench land, gradually sloping in all directions, and finally merging into pleasant valleys, admirably formed for draining the several benches, which present sites to suit almost every fancy and taste, whether high or low, level or sloping; surrounded on either side by fine groves of timber, and supplied with an abundance of the purest water.  Its location was well chosen, and at an early day bid fair to become the best place in all the county. (3)

History

The plat for the village was originally done by County Surveyor George H. White in 1853. Lots were later sold at auction in December of the same year, with 64 lots being sold at prices between $5 and $60. Due to “some irregularity of records,” this platting was rendered inadequate, and on July 5, 1854, another plat was created and finally placed on record on February 19, 1855. Each platting staked off section 5, township 79, range 43 and section 32, township 80, range 43 as the location for Magnolia Village. (4)  In 1861, the platting for a new Magnolia City was filed by Judge James Hardy.  This plat was located barely west of the original city, and granted greater rights to town government than had previously been enjoyed. (5)  Magnolia was also the site of Harrison County’s first post office in 1854 and the first store in 1857.  Since no route existed to take mail to Magnolia’s post office, mail was carried from Council Bluffs by private subscription.  This arrangement ended after two years, when a route was finally created between Council Bluffs and Sioux City via Magnolia. (6), (7)

The location of the Harrison County Seat was moved several times throughout the 19th century, but it was first located in Magnolia in 1853 with the original organization of the County.  The locating committee consisted of A. D. Jones of Pottawattamie County, Abraham Fletcher of Fremont County and Charles Wolcott of Mills County.  These three were heavily influenced by a leading citizen of Magnolia, James Hardy.  Neighboring townships Calhoun and Logan had been “sharp competitors” for the location of the County seat, but because of Mr. Hardy’s influence, they lost their bid to Magnolia. (8), (9)  Bitter resentment remained for years in Calhoun and Logan, and petitions to change the location of the County Seat were frequently made.  Magnolia held the Seat until 1875 when, “fires. . . slowly re-kindled by selfish, yet human motives” (10) wrested it from Magnolia and placed it in Logan.  The vote to move the County Seat to Logan was won by a slim majority of two.

The first court house in Harrison County was built in Magnolia village in 1854.  Having been appointed the County Seat a year earlier, this development hardly needed the encouragement of Judge James Hardy.  The construction was funded by money received from the sale of town lots.  A small and simple structure, it nevertheless met the needs of the day.  After only twenty years, it became apparent that the courthouse was decaying and was largely unsafe as a site of business and records storage.  Despite its importance as a reminder of Magnolia’s role in the County, it was demolished in 1873 and replaced by a frame office building. (11)

Magnolia was settled by a mix of disaffected LDS and non-LDS people, many of whose lives shed greater light on the creation of Magnolia village.  Several early community members who had been baptized LDS never followed the greater LDS population to the Salt Lake Valley, among them George Blackman, (12) Lucius Merchant, (13) Jonas Chatburn, (14) and Stephen Mahoney. (15) Most of them later joined the RLDS church, which was first established in Magnolia on March 17, 1870, (16) the first chapel being completed in 1874 and housing a thriving congregation by 1891. (17)  The importance of these pioneers in settling Magnolia is reflected in the high regard by which others in the community held them.  Attorney Joe H. Smith remarks in his 1888 history of the County, “If I was required to select men whose every day life was to be the gauge for moral worth, I would be free at the present to say that I could find none in the county superior to. . . Mr. George Blackman, Mr. Lucius Merchant, [and] Mr. A. W. Locklin[g].” (18)  The lives of these pioneers of Magnolia village are significantly important in considering the early days of the settlement, providing color and life to an otherwise forgotten legacy.

Residents

George Blackman settled on section 29 in Magnolia Township during the spring of 1851.  He is considered the earliest permanent resident of Magnolia Village, claiming 320 acres upon his initial settlement.  Born in Leeds, Ontario, Canada in 1828, (19) Mr. Blackman and his family later moved to Missouri in 1833.  An 1891 history of Harrison County identifies Mr. and Mrs. Blackman as members of the LDS Church, (20) but no actual record exists of their baptism.  Mr. Blackman’s mother was certainly baptized sometime before 1845, as she received her endowments in the LDS temple at Nauvoo Christmas Eve of the same year. (21)  Baptism is required prior to a temple endowment being given, and so it follows by association that her son George was probably baptized as well.  Though no ordinance records of any kind exist for George, there is a note that he attended the Nauvoo 1st Ward. (22)  All these evidences point to a strong possibility that George was a baptized LDS member with his mother. 

Persecution of the Mormons in Missouri forced the Blackmans to move to Nauvoo, Illinois before 1846, when further persecution forced them to move again to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  George lived here with his parents until 1849, when he set out to make his own name and fortune.  On June 11, 1850, George married Harriet Staley in Pottawattamie County. (23)  That same year, George moved to Harrison County, near where Magnolia village was soon to be platted.  During the year he prepared the land for his family’s settlement.  He began a log house in 1851 and once the other preparations had been completed, his family joined him, (24) the earliest settlers of the area around Magnolia and possibly the first settlers in Harrison County.  Sometime before 1900, Mr. Blackman and his wife relocated to Boyer, Iowa, and then moved further to Woodbine, Iowa.  It was in Woodbine, in 1901, that George Blackman passed away. (25)

Lucius Merchant was born in Franklin County, Massachusetts, February 26, 1817. Lucius moved in 1842 to Hancock County, Illinois, where he remained until 1851.  While in Illinois, in 1844, he married Hortensia Patrick.  Over the next 23 years they had nine children. Mr. Merchant also received an LDS Patriarchal Blessing on February 12, 1843 and a temple endowment in the Nauvoo temple on February 6, 1846. (26)  No record exists of his baptism, but it can be assumed that Mr. Merchant was baptized into the LDS Church prior to his move to Hancock County, Illinois.  Indeed, his baptism may have prompted this move.  In 1851, Mr. Merchant and his family moved to Harrison County, Iowa, settling on section 8-80-43 of Magnolia Township, deciding not to follow the LDS Church to Salt Lake.  Mr. Merchant built a log house and ten acres of fence, considered the first permanent land improvements in Magnolia Township. At this time, Harrison County had not yet been separated from Pottawattamie County, and three County commissioners came to Mr. Merchant seeking permission to use his homestead as a temporary County Seat.  Mr. Merchant declined the offer, stating that he intended to build a farm on his land, not a city. (27)  Mr. Merchant lived on his property in Magnolia until his death in 1895. (28) 

Stephen Mahoney was born in Elkton, Maryland in 1809.  He married his first wife, Margaret, in 1830 or 1831, and they had eleven children.  Sadly, Margaret passed away in 1850, (29) three months before the family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  In April 1850, Stephen and his family joined the westward trek of the Mormons to the Salt Lake Valley in company with 130 others.  Mr. Mahoney and his family, however, stopped at the Missouri River at Council Bluffs.  Each of his eleven children accompanied him, with one, Lucinda M., perishing in the journey.  In 1851, Mr. Mahoney married his second wife, Martha Beaver, who had set out westward from Philadelphia with other Saints.  Martha and Stephen had six children together.  The family eventually settled in 1852 Harrison County, abandoning the trek west.  Mr. Mahoney settled on section 33, township 80, range 43.  He partnered with Jonas Chatburn to build the first grist-mill in Harrison County. (30)  Mr. Chatburn thereafter became his partner.  They worked together for 16 years in farming and milling, building the first saw-mill and adding a lath and shingle mill as well. 

Stephen Mahoney is another Magnolia pioneer who seems at first glance to be the perfect candidate for membership in the LDS Church.  Yet much like George Blackburn or Lucius Merchant, few records remain to aid in uncovering his religious identity.  Family records indicate that Mr. Mahoney was baptized in Maryland in 1842 by Elisha Davis, (31) yet no Church record of his baptism exists.  There is, however, a record of his brother’s baptism in 1842 by Elisha Davis. (32)  Furthermore, Mr. Mahoney named a son born in 1860 ‘Elisha,’ perhaps in memory of the missionary who had introduced his family to the LDS faith. (33)  These evidences point to Stephen Mahoney being a baptized member of the LDS Church.  But Mr. Mahoney eventually changed his views, as he and his wife are recorded as early members of the RLDS Church. (34)  Most of the LDS settlers of Magnolia follow this pattern.  They began the move to the Salt Lake Valley, but upon reaching Iowa, they removed themselves from the LDS Church.

Mr. Mahoney was held in high esteem amongst his fellowmen.  In the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa, it is written of him, “In sketching the career of a pioneer possessed with such sterling traits of character, and one who indeed laid the cornerstone of Harrison County, in many ways, the writer is baffled to know what particular line to mark out, in order to give a correct history of such a man’s life; but, suffice it to say, his good works follow him, and he ‘builded far better than he knew.’” (35)

The honorable judge Jonas Chatburn was born in Lancashire, England in 1821.  Early in his life Jonas became acquainted with machinery, having an apprenticeship with a machinist at the age of 14.  This would prove important in his role in building the first mills of Harrison County and Magnolia.  In the year 1843 he was married to Mary Burton.  They left for the United States in the vesselGenessee,(36) arriving in New York on July 2, 1844. (37)  Mr. Chatburn then moved to Philadelphia for five years, after which he lived in New Jersey where he had experience repairing steam saw mills.  In the spring of 1850, he and his wife in company with about 100 others began a trek west, their goal being the Salt Lake Valley.  When they reached Council Bluffs in Iowa, they separated from the LDS Church members moving farther West because of disputes concerning the practice of polygamy.  The family lived in Mills County for a time, where Jonas worked at a saw mill.  In 1853, he and his family settled in Magnolia Township. (38)  One year later, he and Stephen Mahoney built the first saw mill of Harrison County on the banks of the Willow River near Magnolia village. (39)  A story is recorded of the first use of this mill, Mr. Chatburn fashioning burrs for grinding corn out of common prairie boulders and using his wife’s wedding veil as a bolting cloth.  The story continues:

            Having all complete to attach to the power of the sawmill, except the belting, raw cow-hide was cut into strips and the mill set to work.  One grist was ground out and Mahoney and Chatburn went to supper, and while about the table told the family. . . . big stories as to how much they proposed to grind the following day.  But how frequently are men’s hopes suddenly blasted.  When they returned to the mill, lo, and behold, the wolves had been there and eaten up the raw-hide belts, leaving the corn mill detached from the power. (40)

The belting was later repaired, and the mill ground the first meal, sawed the first plank and rolled the first wool in the County.

Jonas Chatburn later served as judge of Harrison County from 1861 to 1863. (41)  While there is no existing record of Jonas Chatburn’s baptism into the LDS church, there is a record showing he belonged to the RLDS Church. (42)  Many members of the RLDS Church were former members of the LDS Church, making it a strong possibility that Judge Chatburn was baptized LDS at some time.

Like his contemporaries George Blackman and Lucius Merchant, Henry Lockling was also among the earliest settlers of Magnolia.  But Mr. Lockling was never affiliated with the LDS Church.  His father, Artemius or Artemus W. Lockling, was born in Vermont, and came to Pottawattamie County, Iowa in 1849.  In 1851 he moved to Harrison County, where he and his wife, Thirsa Streeter Lockling, lived the remainder of their lives.  Henry, however, was never permanently settled in Magnolia, at least not at first.  Born in Vermont in 1833, Henry moved with his parents to Iowa.  He eventually took up the trade of carpentry, gaining early experience in building the first houses of Magnolia Village.  But he left his family home in the spring of 1856, marrying Eliza, or Elza, Jane Pate of Harrison County and then moving to Blair Nebraska.  With a number of other men he helped lay out the town of Cummings City.  Lots were sold after the spring of 1856, but by the fall of that same year, further plans for the town were abandoned as, “The place never amounted to much.” (43)  Mr. Lockling returned to Harrison County, buying land in Raglan Township on section 24, close to his father’s settlement in neighboring Magnolia Village. (44)  He might have helped his father build the family’s frame house during this season.  Mr. Lockling later bought a portion of his father’s farm, where he resided until his death in 1916. (45)

Judge James Hardy, Sr. was born in Somerset County Pennsylvania in April 1813.  He had a good business education while growing up in Pennsylvania, contributing to his influence on Harrison County and Magnolia village in particular.  In 1833 James married Minerva Tomlinson and moved to Ohio for three years.  He and his family lived in several other places over the next 16 years, including Steuben County, Indiana and in 1850 Mills County, Iowa, where he was elected the first Sheriff of Mills County.  Mr. Hardy was not entirely satisfied with life in Mills County, however, and he made a final move to Magnolia in 1852.  He cultivated a sincere interest in Harrison County and was richly rewarded by the regard in which people held him.  An 1891 history of the County writes of him, “He always took an active part in any enterprise that in his judgment would build up the interests of Harrison County, and was ever ready with donations of land and money to help such matters along, and no man was more popular in the county than was ‘Judge Hardy,’ as he was almost universally called.” (46)  James Hardy was instrumental in locating the County Seat to Magnolia in 1853, and he also served as County Judge from 1854-1857. (47)  During his tenure the first court house in Harrison County was constructed in Magnolia.  Judge Hardy’s biography in the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa is laden with praise, and closes with this comment, “Of all the pioneer band none were more highly respected than Judge Hardy, who was a kind father, a considerate husband, a good citizen and a trustworthy friend to all who lived within the radius of his acquaintance.” (48)

The honorable Daniel E. Brainard was born in Rome, NY on February 16, 1808.  When Mr. Brainard left home, he began working in the mercantile business in Illinois.  At the age of 24 he was married at to Elizabeth Pickett in Illinois.  He then moved to Iowa, possibly as early as 1837 when Iowa was still part of Wisconsin territory.  In the year 1855 Mr. Brainard prepared two wagons for a move to California.  Upon arrival at Council Bluffs, however, Mr. Brainard chanced upon an old friend, Elder Moses F. Shinn.  Mr. Shinn recommended him to settle in Harrison County, instead of travelling all the way to California.  Mr. Brainard and his family were persuaded, and they abandoned their move to California in favor of moving to Magnolia, Iowa.  Mr. Brainard immediately continued his mercantile business in Magnolia, renting a building until 1857 and then building his own two-story store—the first store in Harrison County.  The second story of Mr. Brainard’s store eventually housed a Masonic lodge in 1858. (49)  Mr. Brainard also served as Country Treasurer and Recorder from 1856 to 1857, (50) and beginning in 1857 he served as County judge until 1861. (51)  During his judgeship, in September 1857, he ordered the County Townships to be re-organized.  Each Township from this time forward has been separated into civil townships. (52)  After serving as a judge, he was a special agent for the post office for four years.  Judge Daniel Brainard died in Magnolia, Iowa on December 4, 1892. (53)


Notes:

  1. Joseph H. Smith, History of Harrison County, Iowa: Including a Condensed History of the State, the Early Settlement of the County, its Topography and Natural Advantages (Des Moines: Iowa Printing Company, 1888), 149.
  2. History of Harrison County, Iowa: Containing Full-Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County Together With Portraits and Biographies of All The Governors of Iowa, And the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), 158.
  3. Ibid., 165.
  4. Ibid., 164-165.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., 166.
  7. Smith, 111.
  8. Smith, 19, 140-141.
  9. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 499.
  10. Ibid., 33.
  11. Ibid., 34.
  12. www.ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1860; Census Place: Magnolia, Harrison, Iowa; Roll M653_323; Page: 813; Image: 331; Family History Library Film: 803323.
  13. www.ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1860; Census Place: Magnolia, Harrison, Iowa; Roll M653_323; Page: 806; Image: 324; Family History Library Film: 803323.
  14. www.ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Census Year: 1900; Census Place: Harlan, Shelby, Iowa; Roll: T623_459; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 165.
  15. www.ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1860; Census Place: Magnolia, Harrison, Iowa; Roll M653_323; Page: 815; Image: 333; Family History Library Film: 803323.
  16. Smith, 445.
  17. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 170.
  18. Smith, 447.
  19. www.ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1860; Census Place: Magnolia, Harrison, Iowa; Roll M653_323; Page: 813; Image: 331; Family History Library Film: 803323.
  20. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 972.
  21. Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints1830-1848 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984-1988), 5:649.
  22. Ibid., 650.
  23. Frontier Guardian, August 21, 1850, as cited in Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian 1849-1852 Lyndon W. Cook, compiler (Orem, UT: Center for Research of Mormon Origins, 1990), 29.
  24. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 971.
  25. “Blackman—George & Harriet,” Ancestry.com, http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/ 11474544/person/-183442482/media/2 (accessed April 20, 2010).
  26. Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints1830-1848 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984-1988), 30:689.
  27. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 725-726.
  28. “Clintsman/Lockling Family Tree,” Ancestry.com, http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/ 13054861/person/32808225?ssrc= (accessed April 29, 2010).
  29. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 431.
  30. Smith, 118.
  31. “Stephen Mahoney,” Ancestral Trails Genealogy Web Site, http://www.ancestraltrails.ca/ walker%20for%20web-o/p562.htm#i50870 (accessed May 5, 2010).
  32. Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints1830-1848 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984-1988), 29:127.
  33. www.ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1900; Census Place: Magnolia, Harrison, Iowa; Roll T623_436; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 84.
  34. Susan Easton Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1993), 4:204.
  35. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 431-432.
  36. Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa (Chicago: W. S. Dunbar, 1889), 297-298.
  37. www.ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Census Year: 1900; Census Place: Harlan, Shelby, Iowa; Roll: T623_459; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 165.
  38. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 490.
  39. Smith, 118.
  40. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 163.
  41. Smith, 194.
  42. Susan Easton Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1993), 2:152-153.
  43. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 516.
  44. www.ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Year: 1860; Census Place: Raglan, Harrison, Iowa; Roll M653_323; Page: 780; Image: 298; Family History Library Film: 803323.
  45. Ibid., 515-516.
  46. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 499.
  47. Smith, 194.
  48. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 499.
  49. Ibid., 165, 168.
  50. Smith, 195-196.
  51. Ibid., 194.
  52. Ibid., 145.
  53. Ancestry.com, Iowa Cemetery Records (database on-line), Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000 (accessed April 29).

List of community forthcoming


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Pisgah

History and list of community residents forthcoming


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Six Mile Grove

See Barney's Grove


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Smith's Camp


Smith's Camp

Location

Smith’s Camp shares the same location as Tennessee Hollow in section 35, township 78, range 44 in Harrison County (1). It is located about 2 miles south of what today is Missouri Valley, Iowa (2)

History

Residents of Smith’s Camp are recorded as the founders of Tennessee Hollow (3). Because the settlers intended Smith’s Camp to not be permanent, it is hypothesized that they changed the name from Smith’s Camp to Tennessee Hollow when some residents decided to stay in the settlement instead of continuing to the valley. Smith’s Camp could have been named after William Smith, one of the first recorded settlers (4). They attended Shirt’s Camp Branch which was close by to the east of Smith’s Camp (5).

Residents

Many of the residents, although they all came from Tennessee or the surrounding states, each went separate ways after they dwelt in Smith’s Camp.

Charles W. Smith married Margaret Stephens at Smith’s Camp on November 21st, 1850 by Isaac Allred (6). Charles and Margaret didn’t leave for Utah and instead in the 1856 Census they are listed as living in Boyer, Harrison County, Iowa (7). They are both buried in Bigler’s Grove Cemetery which is north of Smith’s Camp (8).

Mitchell Stevens and Arta Emeline Mangum married on March 20th, 1851 by Isaac Allred in Smith’s Camp (9). Arta had been widowed and had a small child of 2 years old when they got married (10). Although there is no record of them traveling to Utah, it is recorded that Mitchell Stephens was baptized and confirmed a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 26 January 1877 at Beaver, Beaver, Utah, by E. C. Brand (11).

Levi Bracken married Allen Mathews and Sarah Ann Clark together on August 8th, 1849 (12). They left with the Uriah Curtis Company in 1852 for the valley (13).

Hezekiah Stevens married Catherine Niswanger on April 2nd, 1851 by Isaac Allred (14). They left the valley sometime after 1856 and according to the 1860 Census they lived in San Salvador, San Bernardino, California (15, 16). Then in 1870 they lived in Crescent, Iowa (17).

Adam Stephens and his wife Polly Reynolds Stephens, parents of Margaret and Hezekiah Stephens, also resided in Smith’s Camp (18). There is no record of them leaving and they are buried in Fairview Cemetery in Pottawattamie County (19).


Notes:

  1. RootsWeb. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/Lost_Newbies/1999-07/0931555798.  
  2. Maps.google.com
  3. IAGenWeb, Harrison County Iowa St. John’s Township. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/twp/twpstjoh.htm
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ronald G. Watt, Iowa Branch Index 1839-1859, Shirts Branch, pg. 77-78.
  6. Pottawattamie County Marriage Records, November 21st, 1850.
  7. Ancestry.com. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
  8. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=105785350
  9. Pottawattamie County Marriage Records, March 20th, 1851.
  10. Ancestry.com. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
  11. Ancestry.com. Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
  12. Pottawattamie County Marriage Records, August 8th, 1849.
  13. Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, "16th Company," Deseret News [Weekly], 18 Sep. 1852, 2.
  14. Pottawattamie County Marriage Record, April 2nd, 1851.
  15. Ancestry.com. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
  16. Year: 1860; Census Place: San Salvador, San Bernardino, California; Roll: M653_64; Page: 652; Image: 38; Family History Library Film: 803064.
  17. Year: 1870; Census Place: Crescent, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Roll: M593_416; Page: 148A; Image: 299; Family History Library Film: 545915.
  18. Ancestry.com. U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
  19. Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Stephens&GSfn=Adam&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=20904729&df=all&

Photo Credit: http://www.mycountyparks.com/county/Harrison/Park/Old-Town-Conservation-Area.aspx


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Tennessee Hollow

Tennessee Hollow

Location

Tennessee Hollow was the name of an area in Harrison County settled by scattered Mormon pioneers, roughly 2.5 miles north of where Willow Creek diverges from Boyer River, in section 35, township 78, range 44. It was named unofficially, having never actually been platted, possibly in honor of the home state of many of the original settlers (1), or simply for an apparent similarity to Tennessee (2). Harvey Kirkland, whose family bought farmland from departing LDS Church members in 1855 (3), describes the valley at its time of settlement as, “A beautiful, fertile valley, with a clear stream fed by springs and whose banks were only a few feet high” (4). This unnamed stream emptied into the Boyer River, where the town of St. John’s would eventually be settled on sections 26 and 27, township 78, range 44. (5, 6).

History

In 1848, John Reynolds, William Smith, Sr., Charles Smith, Jr., Adam Stevens, George Lawrence and several Mangum families all became the first settlers of Tennessee Hollow (7). John Reynolds and his wife Martha were originally from the Carolinas, but the birthplace of their daughter, Jane, reveals that they had recently lived in Tennessee (8). William Smith is listed with an unknown birthplace, his wife Elizabeth from Kentucky, and their children a mix of Kentuckian and Alabaman. Charles Smith is also listed as having been born in Alabama but his two sons included on the 1850 census were both born in Tennessee. Blacksmith Adam Stevens (Steaphens) was born in Tennessee and lastly two Mangum families and one Mangrum family are listed in the 1850 census. John and Mary Mangum were both born in Alabama (9) as was Emaline Mangum, (10, 11) who was a widower (11). William and Sarah Mangrum with all their children were also born in Alabama (12). George Lawrence is not listed in the 1850 Census, whether in the Salt Lake Valley or in Iowa. This indicates that he was either en route to the Salt Lake Valley or had never lived in Tennessee Hollow. Yet the association of early Tennessee Hollow settlers with the Southern States is not enough to prove the source of the name. Gail Geo. Holmes, however, suggests that the area was named Tennessee Hollow simply because it looks like Tennessee (13). It is probably the case that the community was named with both inspirations in mind.

Many communities vie for the distinction of being Harrison County’s first settlement. Tennessee Hollow is often lauded for this distinction (14) but such a claim is not entirely valid. Calhoun in Calhoun Township was first settled by Daniel Brown in 1847 (15) and the earliest settling of Tennessee Hollow dates later, in 1848 (16). In fact, Tennessee Hollow was never intended to be a permanent settlement. Many LDS migrants bound for the Salt Lake Valley, especially those from Nauvoo had little to prepare themselves for the trek westward. Instead of departing for the Salt Lake Valley immediately, they left Nauvoo and built temporary establishments throughout southwestern Iowa, clustered near Kanesville in the hopes of preparing a greater and safer means of crossing the great American west (17). Attorney Joe H. Smith mentions such a sprawl in his 1888 History of Harrison County, “Prior to 1850, few of these [Mormons] squatted on the lands west of the Boyer river, but through all the groves, and on the skirts of timber around all the groves, on that part east of the Boyer, the wayward Mormon was a prominent factor” (18). A more temperate history of Iowa, written in 1903, verifies Smith’s bold and sometimes emphatic opinion (19). Tennessee Hollow seems to have been one of these LDS camps. The great majority of people who lived in Tennessee Hollow were LDS (20, 21) and the date of its settlement indicates it as one of many widespread communities generated by the 1848 LDS settlement of Kanesville.

Oak Grove Looking in from entrance
Oak Grove Looking in from entrance (26)

Despite their distance from the center of Mormon activity at Kanesville, the inhabitants of Tennessee Hollow appear to have remained fast and true in their faith. This was not always the case, as the histories of other far-flung semi-LDS communities like Magnolia, Calhoun, Leland’s Grove and Union Grove all attest. A 1915 history of Harrison County credits Tennessee Hollow as being the place of the first public religious services held in St. Johns Township and possibly Harrison County. What is most interesting, however, is the fact that a log tabernacle seems to have been built for the LDS Church meetings (22). Two other sources verify the existence of a log tabernacle at Tennessee Hollow. A clipping from the newspaper Missouri Valley Times News mentions it in reminiscence (23), Dr. McGavren’s biography from 1891 identifies it as the place of his school (24), and the same 1891 history gives the ‘Mormon Tabernacle’ a more specific location, “on the northwest of the southeast of section 35” (25). This location places it roughly in the same area as Oak Grove Cemetery, in line with historian Gail G. Holmes’s opinion that, “Very likely, a cemetery was started near the tabernacle. Today that cemetery is known as Oak Grove Cemetery or Olde Town” (27). The 1891 History of Harrison County dates the first burial of Oak Grove Cemetery in 1858, “on the north half of the southeast quarter of section 35” (28). This is several years after the movement of LDS members away from Tennessee Hollow. Yet despite this fact, it is probably the case that the first burials of what is today Oak Grove Cemetery went unrecorded, and that these first recorded burials of the later settlers followed the habits of the early LDS settlers. The settlers did not all move off to Salt Lake at once, which provided time for overlap with the non-LDS settlers and the passing of community information like the location of sacred burial grounds. Furthermore, it is evident from the specified locations of the cemetery and the tabernacle that they were close, within ¾ of a mile (29). Thus, Holmes’s opinion that a cemetery was begun near the log tabernacle cannot be too far from the truth.

The ‘Mormon Tabernacle’ of Tennessee Hollow also appears to have housed the first school in Harrison County. A non-LDS settler, Dr. Robert McGavren, came to Pottawattamie County in 1850. He had recently left a joint medicinal practice with a Dr. McChesney in Ohio. Taking a boat down the Ohio and Missouri Rivers, he landed at Kanesville on 4 May, 1850. On the 18th of the same month, he bought land on section 1 of township 78, later formed into Hoosier Township in 1856 and finally named St. Johns Township in 1860. Dr. McGavren’s services were rarely needed by the Mormon settlers, and money being scarce, he was eventually forced to find work in Gentryville, Missouri. After six weeks of work in Missouri, Dr. McGavren sold his practice for a handsome profit and returned to his family in Iowa. He continued practicing, but on the first Monday of December 1850, he began teaching a school in the LDS log tabernacle. The 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa relates, “he received his pay in various commodities, one portion paying in rails, another in a churn and tub, while others brought beef, and in one case two bushel of turnips were brought to him; but seldom ever seeing any cash.” (30) He continued to teach for the next three months, and, “After mingling with the Mormons, in the capacity of a school-teacher, his practice as a physician began to increase, and from 1852 up to 1870, his services as a physician were in great demand” (31). In 1851, Dr. McGavren was asked to find a County Seat for Fremont County (32), and in 1858, he moved from his home near Tennessee Hollow to a new settlement, St. Johns, along the banks of the Boyer River. As recipients of the past, we are indebted to Dr. McGavren for his role in creating the St. Johns City and St. Johns Township sections of the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa. Dr. McGavren lived in St. Johns until his death in 1896 (33).


Notes:

  1. History of Harrison County, Iowa: Containing Full-Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County Together With Portraits and Biographies of All The Governors of Iowa, And the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), p. 252; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  2. Gail G. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s): Mormon Developments, 1846-1853, in the Missouri and Platte River Valleys of Southwest Iowa & East Nebraska (Omaha, NE: Omaha LDS Institute of Religion, 2000), 67; BX 8673.4, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  3. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 253, 955.
  4. “Recall Early Settlement,” Missouri Valley Times News, quoted in Dennis Walsh, “Harrison County History—Early Mormon Settlement,” Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/history/history6.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).
  5. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 256.
  6. Alfred T. Andreas, “Map of Harrison County, State of Iowa” (Chicago, IL: Andreas Atlas Co., 1875), 138.
  7. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 252.
  8. www.ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) images reproduced by FamilySearch; Census place: District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa; roll M432_188, p. 139A, image 283. The name ‘Reynolds’ is spelled ‘Runnels’ in the 1850 Census, probably because the census-taker had a hard time understanding a Southern accent.
  9. www.ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) images reproduced by FamilySearch; Census place: District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa; roll M432_188, p. 139B, image 284.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Frontier Guardian, May 2, 1849. The Frontier Guardian shows that Emaline Mangum was actually widowed before her journey to Tennessee Hollow. It also reveals that in the course of Emaline’s journey to Iowa she chartered travel up the Missouri River on the ill-fated steamboat Dahcota. The Dahcota wrecked during the trip, and one unknown child drowned in the accident. Emaline was fortunate, however, for both she and her child survived the wreck and afterwards made their way to Tennessee Hollow.
  12. www.ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) images reproduced by FamilySearch; Census place: District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa; roll M432_188, p. 137B, image 280. The name Mangrum is probably another sample of misunderstanding due to a Southern accent.
  13. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), p. 67.
  14. “Recall Early Settlement,” Missouri Valley Times News, quoted in Dennis Walsh, “Harrison County History—Early Mormon Settlement,” Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/history/history6.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).
  15. Erold Clark Wiscombe, Biography of Daniel Brown, 1804-1875: A Short Sketch of the Life of Daniel Brown, Pioneer, Colonizer and the First White Settler to Build a Home in Harrison County, Iowa, p. 17, MSS 5909, L.Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  16. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 252.
  17. Clyde B. Aitchison, The Mormon Settlements in the Missouri Valley . A Paper Presented by Clyde B. Aitchison, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, before the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society, January 11, 1899 (Lincoln, Nebraska: Jacob North & Co., Printers, 1907), 21; BX 8673.4, L.Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  18. Joseph H. Smith,History of Harrison County, Iowa: Including a Condensed History of the State, the Early Settlement of the County, its Topography and Natural Advantages (Des Moines: Iowa Printing Company, 1888), 85.
  19. Benjamin F. Gue, History of Iowa, vol. 1, From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (New York: The Century History Company, 1903), 236.
  20. Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1830-1848 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984-1988), 36: 446, 24: 210-225. The name ‘John Reynolds’ is found in Black’s list of early members, specifically in volume 36. The names of the Mangum families from Tennessee Hollow, however, are not found. But there are five other Mangums in Black’s list who were also born in Alabama, found in volume 24. It is probably the case that these are family members of the Mangums mentioned in this article, and that they all moved together to Iowa after joining the LDS Church.
  21. “Recall Early Settlement,” Missouri Valley Times News, quoted in Dennis Walsh, “Harrison County History—Early Mormon Settlement,” Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/history/history6.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).
  22. Charles W. Hunt and Will L. Clark, History of Harrison County, Iowa: Its People, Industries and Institutions (Indianapolis, IN: B.F. Bowen and Company, 1915), quoted in Dennis Walsh, “The Latter Day Saints Church—Harrison County History,” transcribed Mona Sarratt Knight, Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/history/latterdaysaints.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).
  23. “Recall Early Settlement,” Missouri Valley Times News, quoted in Dennis Walsh, “Harrison County History—Early Mormon Settlement,” Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/history/history6.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).
  24. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 255, 308.
  25. Ibid., 255.
  26. Dave Howard, “Oak Grove Cemetery—Looking in from Entrance,” Famroots Data Photos Histories, http://famroots.org/showmedia.php?mediaID=15834 (accessed June 25, 2010).
  27. Holmes, Old Council Bluff(s), p. 67.
  28. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 256.
  29. Alfred T. Andreas, “Map of Harrison County, State of Iowa” (Chicago, IL: Andreas Atlas Co., 1875), 138.
  30. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 308.
  31. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Vicki King, “Harrison County Iowa Obituary Index: Surnames G through M,” Harrison County IAGenWeb Project, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/obit/g-m.htm (accessed 16 June 2010).

List of community residents forthcoming


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Twelve Mile Grove

Location

Twelve Mile Grove was located in Douglas Township, which is bounded on the east by Shelby county, on the south by Cass Township , on the west by Boyer Township and on the north by Harrison township. (1)

Douglas Township was a prairie township, except a thousand cares in a small grove, including "Twelve Mile Grove." Picayune Creek and small feeders run through township. Picayune Creek was named by a band of land seekers, one of whom said, "I would not give a Picayune for this country!" (2)

History

Organization of Douglas Township dates back to 1868. It was named in honor of Stephen A. Douglas. The first settler to arrive in the area was a Mormon named Pierce, who came in 1851 or 1852. The Mefferds and Mathew Hall soon followed. In about 1856 residents started a public school at George Mefferd's home, but a school building wasn't erected until after the Civil War. A RLDS branch was formed at Twelve Mile Grove on 24 April 1864 and continued ten years until the membership transferred to Six Mile Grove branch. (3)

Twelve Mile Grove was listed in the U.S. postalrecords as a post office in Warren County in 1863, but the location was not found. (4)

The Frontier Guardianof September 19, 1851, printed the following advertisement:

"STRAYED.

"SUPPOSED to have strayed from the Twelve mile grove, on or about the 28th of July, FIVE HEAD OF CATTLE. One red, has a big or swelled jaw, about 6 years old; one brindled, with a white stripe crossing the shoulder, and long horns, (had a rope on them;) one red and white, with one ear pierced, these two about 5 years old; one white spotted with red; and one red, with horns turned back, about 4 years old and rather small.

"Whosoever shall give information of the above, which will lead to their recovery at the Frontier Guardian office, for Bishop Lane, shall receive a righteous man's reward.

"N.B. They have all been severely marked with the whip.

"Kanesville, Sept. 19th, 1851." (5)

Deaths

The Frontier Guardianof 6 February 1852 reported the following death:

"Twelve Mile Grove. Hawkins, Samuel H., a native of England, 22 January 1852, at Twelve Mile Grove, 48 years Old." (6)


Notes:

  1. Walsh, "Harrison County Iowa Genealogy Douglas Township," Nov 2005.
  2. Walsh, "Harrison County Iowa Genealogy Douglas Township," Nov 2005.
  3. Walsh, "Harrison County Iowa Genealogy Douglas Township," Nov 2005.
  4. The Iowa Ghost Towns Project, November 2005.
  5. Myrtle Stevens Hyde, Kanesville Advertisements (Ogden, Utah: Myrtle Stevens Hyde, 1993), 128.
  6. Lyndon W. Cook, Death and Marriage Notices from the Frontier Guardian, 1849-1852.

List of community residents forthcoming


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Union Grove

(Unionville, Unionburg)

(Dobson's Grove)


Union Grove

Location

Union Township, though not instituted as a Township in Harrison County, Iowa until 1858 (1), was the site of a very isolated community beginning in the early 1850s. The village Union Grove was a small collection of homes built near a grove with the same name. At the time of this settlement, two creeks, called Pigeon and Mosquito, and their various tributaries ran through the Township, while nearby groves, Union and Wakefield provided all the necessary timber for residents (2). One of the original settlers, Thomas Dobson, describes the town as being built on “a branch of Pigeon Creek.” (3) When the greater Union area became the Union Civil Township in 1858 (4), many of the farms of Union Grove were found on sections 22-27. Its isolation is underscored by historian G.F. Waterman’s comment that, “Although the township has not filled up quite so fast as some others, I know no reason why it will not be numbered among the best of farming land. True, its farmers may have to go farther than the most of Harrison county farmers, but their lands are just as rich” (5).

History

Union Township Map
Union Township, circa 1875 (12)

Different histories provide different versions of the founding and construction of Union Grove.  The 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa contends that Thomas Dobson and Riley Hough first built homes in the area in 1849, Mr. Hough building his home at the point where Union Grove would later exist.  The same history recounts that Samuel Wood first arrived in November 1850, settling on section 23, and that Thomas Sellers arrived at “about the same time” (6). But another account leaves out Mr. Dobson and Mr. Hough, claiming that Samuel Wood, Mr. Sellers, a Mr. Egon and a Mr. Lelan were the first settlers in Union Grove in 1853 (7). It is probably the case that both of these accounts are true, and that Samuel Wood is given greater distinction as the first permanent inhabitant of Union Township. Dobson and Hough likely did not live in the area long enough to merit such distinction.

Union Grove continued to experience small spurts of growth throughout the later nineteenth century, with new residents trickling in every so often. Many of these new settlers were family to the original inhabitants. While there is no record of Thomas Sellers himself, there is a mention of the death of Mrs. Thomas Sellers, the first adult to pass away in Union Grove (8). There is also a biography in the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa of an Alfred Sellers, probably Thomas’s nephew. Alfred was convinced by his uncle to move to Union Grove in 1853, and he began farming section 21 (9). What is most interesting about the Sellers’s land is that, according to the 1891 History, “He and his uncle bought out some old Mormon claims, upon which had been erected log cabins, and a few acres of hazel-brush land under cultivation” (10). This comment indicates that several LDS church members lived in the area some time prior to or in conjunction with the settlement of Thomas Dobson, Riley Hough, Samuel Wood and Thomas Sellers. These Mormon settlers may have actually been far-flung farmers from the nearby LDS town of Harris Grove, founded mainly by John Harris in the year 1848. The 1891 History of Harrison County states that about 130 LDS members lived in or near Harris Grove between the years 1848-1852 (11). By 1853, however, when Alfred Sellers arrived, these LDS members had left. It may be that Thomas, acquainted with the departing LDS people, encouraged his Alfred to move nearby and continue the efforts of the LDS pioneers. Sadly, any trace of the LDS people’s part in settling Union Grove has gone unrecorded. However, it is possible that the Mormon pioneers in this early settlement were organized in what was known as “Dobson’s Grove,” due to the Dobson family’s choice of residence.

The absence of plat details indicates that either Union Grove was never officially platted by County officials or records of the platting have been lost over time. But the community’s general association with Union stuck for good reason. The following story recounts the memorable naming of Union Grove:

             It was an old-time custom, both East and West, when a barn was to be ‘raised’ for the boss carpenter to go to the ridge pole, and while on the highest point to give a name to the barn, after which he would throw a jug or bottle of whiskey down to the assembled workmen. When pioneer Thomas Dobson's log house was erected, in the fall of 1850, on the suggestion of Dobson, who said he had never lived in a community where such great unity prevailed as here, Samuel Wood mounted to the top of the house and being minus the whiskey, he threw a gourd full of nails with all the strength he possessed, at the same instant crying aloud Union Grove (12).

Eight years later, Samuel Wood made an official petition that Union Township be incorporated into Harrison County. His petition was granted on September 6, 1858, and the first election of the Union Civil Township was held in his home on October 5 (13).

Another problem arises with the missing plat details. Today it is extremely difficult to sort out just who the town’s inhabitants were. Union Grove is also sometimes referred to as Union, which further complicates the matter. The town resides of course in Union Township but the distinction between the two is frequently confused. It is, however, discernable if the section number of the particular land plot belonging to the inhabitant is known. The 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa thankfully gives much of this information, along with the names of several early settlers.

Small milestones mark the early progress of Union Grove, revealing a picture of small growth and little influence. Union Grove does not exist today and it seems to have hardly existed as an actual town in the nineteenth century. There is almost no evidence of any town growth beyond population changes. New move-ins were enthusiastically recorded, but further information about the town is scant. Union Grove is never placed in the County spotlight like the large towns of Magnolia, Calhoun or Missouri Valley. Records of the town instead focus on individual histories of residents, with small recorded details. These are perfect for genealogists but frustrating for small-town historians. The first marriage was performed by John Nay on December 22, 1850, uniting Alonzo R. Hunt and Margaret Dobson, and is recorded to have been at both Union Grove and Dobson’s Grove; the latter being the only known mention of the settlement (14). Taking place prior to the establishment of Harrison County, the marriage was originally documented in the Pottawattamie County Marriage Records (15). The only civic progress reported in the 1850s is educational, a first school in Union Grove taught by Mrs. Azuba Smith in 1857 in Samuel Wood’s own cabin (16).

Union Grove must have seen some commercial success, for a mail route was eventually established here (17). LeRoy Hafen writes that, “The growth and extension of the overland mail service is a reflection of the conquest of the West. In tracing this topic one encounters most of the agencies of frontier expansion” (18). The importance of post offices in frontier Iowa cannot be ignored, given their role in communications, not only with the community but also its neighboring provinces. Acting as the very lifeline for a group of communities in times of emergency, a post office needed to be established upon a solid base in order to guarantee a reliable route. Union Grove, therefore, must have been a community of some substance by 1864 when a post office was created on section 23. This places the Union Grove post office very close to the modern-day location of Cox Cemetery. Howard S. Smith was appointed the first postmaster (19). William Smith later took his place, and William Brown succeeded him. Samuel Wood, at age 68, worked as a postmaster’s assistant to William Brown in 1884 (20). Wood’s appointment as assistant had not yet been officially recognized when Mr. Brown suddenly left the post in 1868, a result of late debt payments. As a result, Wood’s new appointment as postmaster was delayed. In regards to the delay, the county official in charge of post offices, Judge D. M. Harris, wrote Wood in regards to the job, “I am a Democrat and you are a Republican. I have been acquainted with you for thirty years, and if there is anything in it an old settler should have it.” Wood replied, “Regarding politics, my first wife's name was Mary, but for short we called her 'Polly,' consequently my polly-ticks are nine—seven girls and two boys” (21). Wood never heard back from Harris, but he was shortly appointed postmaster and served for two years until 1870. The last postmaster was H. B. Peckenpaugh (22) after which the post office was discontinued on April 15, 1892 (23).

Residents

Samuel Wood of Union Grove
Samuel “Uncle Sammy” Wood (27)

Much of Union Grove’s history revolves around the character of Samuel Wood, or “Uncle Sammy,” as he was more generally known. He was born to Henry Wood, a soldier of the War of 1812, and Esther Cranmer on 23 May 1816. Samuel and his parents were at some point baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though a record of the date has not been found (24). Samuel began to support himself at the age of 21, first with a job as a store clerk in Kingston, Missouri and a year later moving to Caldwell County, Missouri to teach school (25). Here in the spring of 1838 he married Mary Merrill, daughter of Thomas and Susan Merrill. They had 11 children together (26). Also occurring in 1838 was the October 30 massacre of LDS members at Haun’s Mill. By this time anti-Mormon feelings had long been simmering in Missouri. They reached a tragic peak at this point, inflamed by the Battle of Crooked River on October 25 and nearly coinciding with the extermination order given by Governor Boggs on the 27th, although no connection beyond coincidence exists between the two events (27). Young Samuel Wood was at Haun’s Mill that day, and barely escaped with his life. The only record of his experience is found in the RLDS newspaper, The Saints’ Herald. When the Missouri militia rode into the town, Samuel “ran to the blacksmith's shop but could not get in for those already in had barricaded the door. He then ran across the river into the woods on the other side of the stream, the bullets falling all around him as he crossed the river” (28). Samuel’s life was probably saved on account of the closed blacksmith door, a building hatefully singled out by the mob and from which few escaped with their lives (29). Surviving the massacre, Samuel left with his family for Illinois, later moving to Iowa in 1840. He lived first in Lee County, then moved to Kanesville. A fire in the spring of 1848 destroyed much of his property in Kanesville and convinced him to move again. On November 12, 1850, he settled at Union Grove in Harrison County, Iowa (30). The first school in Union Township was taught in Wood’s cabin in 1858 and the first store in the Township was built on his property. He later operated the store, closing it after two years. Samuel’s first wife, Mary, passed away on April 11, 1865. He took a second wife, Nancy A. E. Copeland, but she also succumbed to the same unhappy fate. A third marriage to Mrs. Jane (Follette) Gunneth followed in 1873 and Samuel and Jane had one son, Charley (31). On September 7, 1895, Samuel Wood died in his home in Union Grove (32). No better epitaph can be stated than that in the 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa, “his has been a life of wonderful historic events and the name of ‘Uncle Sammy WOOD’ will be remembered and referred to long after he has departed from the scenes of this life” (33).

Thomas Dobson was born in Ohio on February 8, 1819 to a tight-knit pioneer family. The Dobsons moved across Midwestern America with one another. Thomas and probably his entire family were baptized on 28 December 1836, thereafter moving to Hancock County, Illinois in 1843. This was followed by a move to Pottawattamie County, Iowa in 1846 (34). Writings from Thomas Dobson himself reveals that his first encounter with the Union Grove area was in 1846 but only to camp while “in company with several others. . . in quest for game and wild honey” (35). That year he relocated to a more southern settlement near Kanesville known as Allred’s Camp, later becoming the clerk for the LDS Allred Branch (36). The area surrounding the grove of trees must have impressed Thomas, for in 1849 Thomas, his father Benjamin and perhaps two other brothers, John and Joseph, returned with their families to Union Grove (37). This fact is verified by Thomas’ biography (38) and Susan E. Black’s compilation of early RLDS members (39). Just a few years later in 1852, the Dobsons began looking for a new, less isolated home. Shortly after their first visit to Mason’s Grove in Crawford County, Thomas relates that, “We returned home, entered into partnership with another man, procured a whipsaw and commenced sawing out lumber for wagon boxes for the overland travel to California and Salt Lake (40).” They seem to have been reluctant to leave Union Grove for any place but out west. Yet when Jesse Mason of Mason’s Grove convinced them that his home would not be as remote as they feared, they abandoned such plans and moved with their families to Mason’s Grove, arriving on the 20th of May, 1852 and ending any further association with Union Grove (41). In addition to Thomas Dobson, the whole Dobson family is thought to have lived there: the father Benjamin and his wife Keziah Wolf, and his siblings John, Benjamin, William, Elihu, Margaret, and Elizabeth (42).

Unlike Samuel Wood, and Thomas Dobson, very little is known of Riley Hough. It is possible that the Riley Hough spoken of in the 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa (43) is actually Joel Riley Hough of Pottawattamie County, Iowa who is found in Susan E. Black’s compilation of early LDS (44) and RLDS members (45). A Riley Hough in the 1850 Pottawattamie Census (46) matches the Joel Riley found in these records. Mr. Hough’s obituary in the January 10, 1900 edition of The Saints’ Herald relates that he came to Pottawattamie County in 1848 and resided there until 1894, presumably moving closer to family in his old age. Five years later he passed away (47). However, it is possible that Mr. Hough left Pottawattamie County for a time. While it is not likely that he took part in Thomas Dobson’s 1846 expedition for game and honey, he may have been looking for a permanent settlement in Pottawattamie while he and his family stayed in Union Grove. Or perhaps he and his family moved to Union Grove sometime during the 1850s, occupying the home Thomas Dobson vacated. In any event, it is clear that Riley Hough was not a permanent resident of Union Grove.

Religion and Union Grove

Graves of H. And Azuba Smith
Graves of H. And Azuba Smith

Thomas Dobson’s reference of a journey to either California or Salt Lake raises not only a question about his religious commitment but also about the vigor of religious feeling among all the settlers of Union Grove. As with most early settlements in South-western Iowa, the influence of the nearby LDS settlements must be considered. Susan E. Black’s many-volume Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 and Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are again invaluable resources in considering these questions. These two sources show that Thomas Dobson was indeed a member of the LDS church (48), and that he later joined the RLDS church (49).

There also may have been an early LDS influence from the neighboring city of Harris Grove, northwest of Union Grove. Many of Union Grove’s children were educated in “a rude log hovel, left by the Mormons” on section 6 of Union Township, close to Harris Grove in LaGrange Township. The school was first taught by James B. McCurley in the winter of 1851-1852 (50). An LDS influence in this way is possible, for the majority of LDS members did not leave Harris Grove until 1852 (51).

Samuel Wood was definitely an LDS member, as his name is not only recorded in Black’s list of early RLDS members (52), but his biography in the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa relates his connection to the LDS church, a biography he helped to write (53), Wood did not choose to move west with the majority of active members. This may smudge his character in the eyes of some, but Iowa historian Edgar Harlan reminds us that works are the best judge of character. He states of the LDS members who chose not to travel to Salt Lake:

             Many of these retiring or rejected members, looking about, discovered for themselves the haven for practical farmers, settled or scattered up and down the valleys of the Missouri River and its affluents in Iowa.  They are the richest and most progressive of the state.  Their names are among those of the best in the public annals and private affairs of Western Iowa (54).

Despite his inclusion in Black’s collection of early RLDS members, Riley Hough’s obituary explicitly states that he was not a member of the RLDS church, saying instead that, “He united with the [LDS] church in 1831 or 1832, and continued a faithful member until the death of Joseph and Hyrum, but never united with the Reorganization (55).

Cox Cemetery

Sometimes referred to as Unionburg cemetery, Cox Cemetery is located very near the old site of Union Grove, in the same plot of land where the Unionburg post office operated. The cemetery contains a number of members of the Cox family, descendants of William B. Cox who lived on section 23 and probably owned the land the cemetery occupies today (56). There is no doubt, however, that many settlers of Union Grove buried their loved ones in this cemetery. The remains of Alfred Sellers, Howard S. Smith, Mary ‘Polly’ Wood, Francis Peckenpaugh and many others are all contained in Cox Cemetery.


Notes:

  1. History of Harrison County, Iowa: Containing Full-Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County Together With Portraits and Biographies of All The Governors of Iowa, And the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1891), 231; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  2. G. F. Waterman, History and Description of Harrison County, Given inTownships (Magnolia, IA: Western Star Book and Job Office, 1868), 21.
  3. F. W. Meyers, History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement(Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911), 1:43.
  4. History of Harrison County, Iowa, 233; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  5. Waterman, 21.
  6. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 231, 375; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  7. Waterman, 21. Nothing is known of Mr. Egon, but the Mr. Lelan mentioned may well be Benjamin Leland, the eventual founder of Leland’s Grove.
  8. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 233, 375; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  9. Ibid., 231.
  10. Ibid., 459.
  11. Ibid., 246.
  12. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 234; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  13. Ibid., 233, 375.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Pottawattamie County Marriage Records, December 22, 1850.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid., 234.
  18. LeRoy R. Hafen, The Overland Mail 1849-1869 (Cleveland, OH: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1926), 16.
  19. History of Western Iowa: Its Settlement and Growth (Sioux City, IA: Western Publishing Company, 1882), 320.
  20. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 234; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Guy Reed Ramsey, Postmarked Iowa: A List of Discontinued and Renamed Post Offices (Crete, NE: J-B Publishing Company, 1976), 197.
  24. Susan Easton Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1993), 6:378.
  25. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 376, 375; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Alexander L. Baugh, “Was This Really Missouri Civilization?” The Haun’s Mill Massacre in Missouri and Mormon History, ed. Thomas M. Spencer (Columbia MO: University of Missouri Press, 2010), 103-104.
  28. “Obituary for Samuel Wood,” Saints’ Herald 42, no. 42 (October 1895): 676.
  29. Baugh, 105
  30. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 231, 375-376; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. The Saints’ Heraldsays he settled in 1851, but this date is much less specific, and probably in error.
  31. Ibid., 376.
  32. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 6:378; “Obituary for Samuel Wood,” Saints’ Herald 42, no. 42 (October 1895): 676.
  33. “People Mentioned in the Frontier Guardian.” (Brigham Young University, 2009).
  34. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 378; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  35. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2:539.
  36. Meyers, History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, 1:43.
  37. Ibid., 2:548.
  38. Ibid., 1:45.
  39. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2:539.
  40. Meyers, 45.
  41. Ibid., 175.
  42. Ibid., 46.
  43. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 231; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  44. Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1830-1848 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984-1988), 23:974.
  45. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3:551.
  46. www.ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) images reproduced by FamilySearch; Census place: District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa; roll M432_188, p. 130A, image 265.
  47. “Obituary for Joel Riley Hough,” Saints’ Herald 42, no. 2 (January 10, 1900): 32.
  48. Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1830-1848, 14:163.
  49. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2:540.
  50. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 234-235, 249; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  51. Horace H. McKenney, “Pioneer History of Harris Grove, 1851-1861,” Pioneer Histories of Harris Grove, 1851-1861, http://iagenweb.org/harrison/bio/harrisgrove/harrisgroveindx.htm (accessed July 12).
  52. Black, Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 6:378.
  53. History of Harrison County,Iowa, 378, v; F 627, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  54. Edgar Rubey Harlan, A Narrative History of the People of Iowa, with Special Treatment of Their Chief Enterprises in Education, Religion, Valor, Industry, Business, etc. (Chicago: American Historical Company, Inc., 1931), 218.
  55. “Obituary for Joel Riley Hough,” Saints’ Herald 42, no. 2 (January 10, 1900): 32.
  56. Bureau of Land Management—General Land Office, “Land Patent for William B. Cox,” Document number: 2819, Accession/serial number: IA0370_.163.

List of community residents forthcoming


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Walker's Grove

Location

Walker's Grove was located in the southern part of Washington township (1). Its latitude and longitude are 41°30'41"N 95°34'34"W. Walker’s Grove covers the Graybill-Spears-Cowgill Cemetery (2).

It has only native timber in the township (3).

History

Hugh Walker was the first man to come to Washington township and start building homes. He came in 1849 and settled at the grove (4).

Walker’s Grove is named after Hugh Walker, who arrived and settled in 1849. He was the first to arrive in this township. When he settled in the grove, he began building homes (5).

The first school in the township was taught in Walker's Grove at a private house.


Notes:

  1. Walsh, “ Harrison County Iowa Genealogy Washington Township , Dec 2005.
  2. http://carto.byu.edu/mp/#.
  3. Walsh, “ Harrison County Iowa Genealogy Washington Township , Dec 2005.
  4. ibid.
  5. http://iagenweb.org/harrison/twp/twpwashi.htm.

List of community residents unknown


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Woodbine


Woodbine Woodbine

Images from: http://www.itsjudy.com/harrison/1868%20townships/boyer.htm

In 1866, Woodbine, Iowa, was named from a vine in England and began it's growth as a trade center. A well balanced community with locally owned utilities, a variety of housing, an excellent school system, industrial growth, added facilities for health and extended care, a focus on youth and community development, an expanded Carnegie Library, and added recreational activities. A unique city with seven churches, and an old country school and railroad museums, an annual rodeo and Applefest festival. (2)

"In about 1850 two school houses were built, one at Bigler's Grove and one at Woodbine. The Episcopal Methodist organized a church with six or seven members.  From this small beginning, a church has sprung up with two to three hundred members and a new church building has been erected in Woodbine. (1) Woodbine

One of the first settlers in 1849 to Boyer Township was Lorenzo and Ann Butler. Mr. Butler is said to have had the first store in the growing settlement. In true frontier fashion, the Post Office was located in the store. Mrs. Butler was the first Postmistress and she was allowed to name the office. Remembering the flowering vine, which had clambered around the door and windows of her English home, she chose the name "Woodbine". In 1854 a saw mill and corn cracker were erected about 1½ miles east of the present town. In 1862 a woolen mill was added and after the Civil War, a flour mill was built. The town was platted in 1866, the same year in which the Chicago Northwestern Railroad began regular runs from Cedar Falls to Council Bluffs. (3)

"Woodbine was laid off in October, 1865, on prairie, where up to that time not even a wagon road crossed the town site.  The town now contains about three hundred buildings, all told.  It contains two dry goods stores, two hotels, two drug stores, one grocery store, one saddle and harness shop, one lumber yard, two physicians, and one produce dealer.    When this town was first laid off the railroad company had their station here, and proposed to build their round house, tank, machine shop at this place, but in the summer of 1867, they changed their design and moved their division to Dunlap, and there built these contemplated buildings.  This was hard on Woodbine.  But there is one thing which the company can never do, and that is to take the surrounding country from them.  While it must be admitted with the loss of these buildings the town lost much, still when we look at the broad farms, and know in less than one year, they will number twice what they now do, we feel that Woodbine is scarcely up with the country.  It is emphatically a farmer's town, and will be supported by them.   They come here to market their grain and produce, and buy their merchandise.   Although it is not expected that Woodbine will become a great city, it is confidently believed that it will always be a good trading point, and although its growth may not be as rapid as other places, it will continue with a permanent healthy growth." (1)


Notes:

  1. http://www.itsjudy.com/harrison/1868%20townships/boyer.htm
  2. http://www.woodbineia.org/history.htm
  3. http://www.itsjudy.com/harrison/1868%20townships/boyer.htm

List of community residents forthcoming


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