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Full text of "Year book of the Old setters' association, Johnson county"

■1 




5: 



uc Mc L 

977.701 
J63o ^ ^ 
32nd Kept. 
1898 
1713369 



REYNOLDS HISTORICAi: 
GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY . 



3 1833 01084 7132 



THIRTY- SECOND ANNUAL REUNION 



OP TH5 



OLD SETTLERS 



^^.^,^-^,.^,v. ..>...-> 



COUNTY 










AUGUST 25, 1898. 



Iowa CmzEN Pobushing Company, Printers. 
i 1898. 



1713369 



THE OLD SETTLERS. 



PROCEEDINGS 

AT THEIR ANNUAL REUNION AND PICNIC AUGUST 25, 1898. 



No gathering of the Old Settlers of Johnson County has 
proved a greater success than that of Thursday, August 25th, 
at the Johnson county fair grounds, not alone in point of 
numbers, but in the strengthening of fraternal ties among 
those who were the founders and builders of the state. And 
with the pioneers were many of the second and third genera- 
tion and a great number of friends and acquaintances who 
gathered to do honor to the pioneers. The Executive Com- 
mittee had made ample arrangements in the way of seats and 
water, and decorations of the old cabins. There was an entire 
lack of the business canvassing, that is, too often a con- 
spicuous matter at such meetings and only one outside house 
was represented in its" advertising. 

Well filled lunch baskets attested that the old settlers had 
not lost acquaintance with the cooking art that a half century 
ago gave high renoun to " corn pone " and prairie chicken. 
At this hour when old neighbors gathered about the tables, 
there was chat with good cheer and many were the reminis- 
cences recalled, the old tales retold, and events rehearsed of 
the forties and before and even down into the fifties, when 
Johnson county was in the West, when there was no times 
save '* hard times " and yet when men and women grew in 
moral strength and store and won from the fertile soil treas- 
ures for themselves and their children; though money was 
scarce and wealth unknown, the log cabin and the rude vil- 
lage house marked the homes of a happy people who put 



'.i^ccrti 



duty first, who praised God for the blessings bestowed upon 
them and who dying left the heritage of a good name, or who 
living in these days receive the giateful homage of the4r 
friends. 

The hour of lunch and refreshments passed, music called 
the pioneers and their friends from the seats and the tables 
clustered under the apple trees to the seats facing the plat- 
form. Rev. Charles S. Brown of the Baptist church, offered 
the invocation, after which L. S. Swafford, president of the 
day, presented Messrs. Gil. R. Irisli and Matt Cavanagh, who 
with himself constituted the committee on correspondence, 
and read letters from Johnson county pioneers who have re- 
moved elsewhere and who still recall with gratitude and 
affection the old life and old friends. These letters were 
from Richard H. Sylvester, of Washington, D. C, son of the 
former editor of the State Press; Andrew Beermaker, of 
San Jose, Cal., for many years prominent in business here; 
W. P. Cassidy, of Muscatine; Mrs. James M. Wright, of Aledo, 
Ills.; H. G. Little, Grinnell; A. J. Casaday, Albia; R. R. Spen- 
cer, Seattle, Wash., some years ago cashier of the Johnson 
County Savings Bank; Prof. Thos. M. Irish, long identified 
with the public schools of Dubuque; M. K. Lewis, of Albany, 
Oregon, and Mrs. W. H. Woods of Sutherland, Iowa. 

One of these writers, Mr. Casaday^ had arranged to be 
present, and spoke pleasantly on life in early times in Johnson 
county. There were many present who nearly forty years 
ago were his pupils in the second ward school, and in dear 
old Oak Grove just east of town, where big girls and boys as 
well as little ones owned his painstaking care. Mr. Casaday 
was one of the adventurous spirits who in 1862 voyaged over- 
land to the then new Oregon, and carries with him to this 
day an unpleasant reminder in the shape of a bullet from an 
Indian's gun that leaves him with a perceptibly halting gait. 
It was in this attack upon a wagon train that Andrew Hunter 
was killed. 

The senior pioneer on the grounds was Mr, James Walker, 
of the Valley, who came here in 1837, and though now in 
his eighty-fourth year, is a man of vigor and health, who th'"^ 
summer worked on his farm and made "a full hand." 



5 

One loved and honored pioneer's absence was noted, that of 
Mrs. Sarah A. Myers, who was detained at her home by sick- 
ness, and many were the expressions of sympathy and hope 
for her presence at the next meeting. 

Mr. E. M. Adams, of Cedar, was the oldest of the pioneers 
on the ground, 87 years, and is one of the oldest residents of 
the county. 

The coniniittee on necrology, through its chairman, Mr. 
Euclid Sanders, reported that the following members of the 
association had died since the last meeting. So far as the 
committee could ascertain the ages of the deceased are ap- 
pended: 

\ ' ■-...*.*-««-•' 

Joshua Ady 70 

Dr. T. S. Mahan 82 

Mrs. Ezra Hamilton 55 

, . D.Corlett 64 

Mrs. Rose Tanner 68 

Charlotte J. McGrew 70 

J. G. Starkey 82 

Mrs. David Borts 63 

Herman Lorenz ' yy 

J. W. S. Home ,49 

Wm. Berger 84 

R. L. Dunlap 74 

Dr. Elizabeth Hess 52 

Hon. E. Clark 82 

Joe A. Edwards 53 

Michael Borts '80 

Jacob N. Seydel .' 70 

Robert Lyon « 74 

Casper Dunkel 88 

Mrs. Josephine Miller 60 

Capt. A. J. Fickey 77 

J. B. Letovsky, Sr 77 

Samuel Lawrence : . . . — 

Dr. ^L B. Cochran , — 

gi John McComas ,47 



Mrs. Jared Hatn — 

Jaincs Dawson — 

Albert Shiland — 

Adam Kline — 

Michael Cline — 

George Wical 78 

Mrs. Carson Wray — 

Mrs. John W. Jayne ~-r 

[ulius G. Brown 84 

Isaac Koser 73 

Tames McLaup-hlin 49 

Mrs. Lucinda R. Rians Sj 

. Francis Groves 76 

Mrs. J. M. Iloflman 55 

Val Lentz 82 

D.A.Pratt — 

Alden Fletcher — 

Harvey Hall — 

David Hoo\'er 78 

Mrs. J. L. Theobald 59 

Mrs. Mary Smith — 

. , A._L. Clark — 

■ M. Freeman — 

Henry Alt 84 

Mrs. Emma Pepler . — 

Mrs. N. H. Tulloss — 

Esther L. Mendenhall — 

The meeting of the Association for the election of officers 
was held in front of the old log cabin and resnlted as follows: 

President and Treasurer — Hexry J. WiEXEKE. 

First Vice-President — CoL. John R. He.\th. 

Second Vice-Presidc?it — Sam P. Fry. 

Secretary — George T. Borland. 

Assistajit' Secretary — ^Jas. T. Robinson. 

Executive Ccininiittce — G. R. Irish, John A. Stevenson, 
R. Heyern, Euclid Sanders, Chas. Pratt. 



The following list of members present includes in the main 
only those who were reported as present by the secretary on 
payment of the annual dues. There are probably some omis- 
sions: 



E. M. Adams 
M. Adams 
J. L- Adams 
J. M. x'\dams 
J. E. Adams 
O. M. Adams 
P. A. Alderman 
W. Albright 
h. A. Allen 
Ira J. Alder 
W. Andrews 
E. Anderson 
O. A. Byington 
W. J. Brown 
A. W. Benter 
Edward Balluff 
Mrs. J. Berry 
A. Beach 
W. F. Buck 
E. R. Barnes 
J. A. Burke 
Geo. T. Borland 
Alonzo Brown 
A. W. Bradley 
Adam Borschell 
E. F. Brock way 
Henry Bird 
Ed. Breese 
Tom Brennan 
Chas. Baker 

and wife 
Mrs. F. W. Barnes 
Mrs. Isaac Bowen 



Philo Colony 
Matt. Cavanagh 
Wm. Cochran 
T. C. Carson 
IV. D. Cannon 
C. M. Calkin 
Cal. Curtis 
Ed. Crowley 
J. G. Crow 
Ed. Crain 
F.J. Cochran 
Austin Cole 
Ira Curtis 
Mrs. C. Cox 
Mrs. M. J. Cline 
J. N. Clark 

A. T. Calkins 
and wife 

M. G. Cozine 
Strawder Devault 
Bryan Dennis 

and wife 
M. A. Drake 

B. Dalton 
Mrs. E. Dennis 
F. N. English 
J. H. Easley 
H. S. Fairall 
S. H. Fairall 
W. E. C. Foster 
S. P.- Fry 

J. ^I. Files 
Isaac Furbish 



Timothy P^'airchild^ 
W. B. Fackler 
John Fountain 
Peter Flynn 
G. W. Fleming 
Thos. Fountain 
Chas. Gaymon 
Thos. Graham 
Adam Gill 
Frank Greer 
Isaac Graham 
Harry Gaymon 
Mrs. John Goody 
John Greulich 
Enoch Hope 

and wife 
Miss Anna Hope 
Lemuel Hunter 

and wife 
Geo. Hummer 

and wife 
John R. Heath 
J. K. Hemphill 
S. J. Hess 
Geo Hunter 

and wife 
Matt. Howell 
Elias Howell 

and wife 
Geo. R. Hall 
Mrs. R. Hutchinson 
J. U. Hoffman 
Ramsay Hevern 



8 



Mrs.T. Hohenschuh 
Emma Harvat 
O. M. Hoi ton 
D. H. Hastings ' 

and wife 
Katie Hohenschuh 
Jas. Hart 
Miss F. Hepburn 
Winfield Hughes 
G. R. Irish 

and wife 
iMrs. C W. Irish 
Dr. Leora Johnson 
John E. Jayne 

and wife 
John Jacobs 

D. A. Jones 

W. A. Kettlewell 
G. W. Koontz 

and wife 
M. J. Kirkpatrick 
Mrs. Kirkpatrick 
Jacob Kramer 
R. A. Keene 
Garrett Lancaster 

E. \V. Lucas 
and wife 

J. F. Larue 
J. J. Lee 
Isaac B. Lee 
Jos, Lodge 
E. B. Moore 
C. G. Moore 
Geo. Magruder 
R. A. McChesncy 
Mrs. S. H. McCrory 
James McKray, Jr. 
and wife 



Jacob Metzger 

and wife 
Phih'p :\Iiller 
L. W. Miller 
John J. Miller 
Jas. McKray 

and wife 
J. W. Morford 
IVIrs. E. K. Morse 
J. S. Mahana 
John McCollister 
Jas. McCollister 
A. H. Mueller 

and wife 
W. H. Miller 
Thos. Metcalf 
Geo. W. Nelson 
Wm. Nellson 
U. Niffennegger 
W. N. Orr 
Benj. Owen 
Al. Ohl 

and wife 
]Mrs. L. Parsons 
Mrs. M. C. Parsons 
\V. E. Pratt 
Chas. Pratt 
Wm. Pratt 

and wife 
F. A. Parrott 
Geo. Peppcll 
W. L Pratt 
Jerry Plum 
Peter Rohret 
J. T. Robinson 
F. X. Rittenmcyer 
J. J. Roessler 
Mrs. J. J. Roessler 



D. F". Rosenkranz 
W. J. Rowland 
J. F. Ruhe 

D. Rummelhart 
Thos. Rogers 
Jos. Riggs 
Phil. E. Shaver 
Mrs. C. Shillato 
Jesse K. Strawbridge 
J. G. Stover 

O. Startsman 

and wife 
I\L A. Seydel 
J. T. Struble 
Wm. Sweet 

E. Sanders 
and wife 

Geo. Schlenk 
L. S. Swafford 

and w^ife 
J. W. Schell 
J. B. Schofield 
C. J. Sweet 
J. A. Stevenson 
Horace Sanders 
S. A. Swisher 
C. A. Switzer 
J. U. Seydel 
Mrs. S. Shepherd 
Robt. Speers 
Fred Snyder 
John Springer 
John Summerhays 
,A. B. Teneyck 

and wife 
Ezra Thompson 
J. H. Thompson 
Thos. Tarbox 



W. p. Teneyck H. Wicneke David Walker 

Hiram Toms and wife J. L. Waldron 

Mrs. S.Tippenhaiier S. Weldy J. C. Wilson 

J. P. Vonstein Henry Walker, Jr. D. J. Wilson 

Dr. J. P. Vonstein Henry Walker, Sr. and wife 

F. B. Volkringer Jos. Walker Jdmes Walker 
Mrs. J. R.\'an Fleet Mrs. Edna Wilson Mrs. R. Williams 

J. J. Wceber Isaac Weeber Samnel Yarborongh 

Emory Westcott .M. E. Webster Noah Yoder 

Among the visitors from abroad were Mr. and Mrs. J. B. , 
Swafford, and Mr. and I\Irs. Balser Hormel, of West Liberty. 

G. R. Irish^ lo'iva City, 

Dear Sir: — Your kind invitation to attend the Old Settlers 
meeting of Johnson county is just received. Eet me say to 
the old settlers, if it were possible for me to be with them 
on that day I would surely be there. If there is a day in the 
year that I wish myself back in Iowa, it is the reunion day 
of the old settlers of Johnson county. However I should miss 
many familiar faces that I met so often in the almost forty 
years I lived there. 

If there is a spot in this great and glorious country which 
I would prefer to this city and valley it would be Iowa City. 

Let me say to the old settlers again that we live in the m^ost 
beautiful valley in California and our climate is considered 
the best in the United States. We have no extreme weather 
and no hard storms of any kind. We have a Hawkeye Club 
in this county of about four hundred members — all former 
residents of Iowa. We meet twice a year — once in Decem- 
ber, when we have a literary entertainment and banquet, and 
again in June when we have a picnic. 

With kind wishes to all, 

Yours very truly,. 

Andrew Beermaker. 

San Josc^ California, Augnst 8^ iSpS. 



Dubuque, Iowa, August 22, 1898. 
G. R. Irisli^ Iowa Cit)\ laiva. 

Dear Sir: — I regret that it is impossible for nie to accept 
your invitation to participate in the annual reunion of the 
Old Settlers Association of Johnson County. 

I am deeply interested in all that goes to perpetuate the 
memory of that rapidly diminishing band who have pioneered 
the civilization of our country*. 

I am proud of glorious Iowa, my native state, and justly 
proud of the men who laid the foundation of her greatness. 

All Honor 10 ulo^c sluidy pioneers who blazed the path of 
civilization from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. 

That heroic band who, with rifle and ax, faced the perils 
of forest and flood — the dangers of the untracked wilderness, 
and the vengeful enniity of its savage denizens. 

Onward and ever westward these fearless men advanced, 
like a slender wave from north to south through this great 
land, presaging the full tide soon to follow. 

Checked, and often beaten back by the fury of savage foes, 
they were never daunted, but with high courage and firm 
purpose renewed their onward march. 

Many fell by the way and were laid to rest with Nature's 
wide-spread canopy for their mausoleum, and the song of the 
summer breeze or the fierce howl of the winter's blast their 
perpetual dirge. _ _ 

But no obstacle could long hold in check men of the high 
courage possessed by the true pioneers, and finally this resist- 
less wave of v.estward progress reached and crossed the mighty 
Father of Waters, and marked its final sweep along the beau- 
tiful streams and sunlit prairies of our own loved state. 

Here and along these lines were planted the homes of the 
last of the pioneers. 

Here these men, ever mindful of the duties and obligations 
of freemen, laid deep and well the civic foundations of our 
great sisterhood of western -commonwealths, destined to domi- 
nate the nation in all those elements that constitute material 
and political growth. 



Let us, who stand so nearly related to those strong men, so 
endeavor that the lesson of their courage, steadfastness, and 
sterling honesty shall be deeply impressed upon the young 
generation just entering the arena of civic activ'ity to the end 
that the domination of the empire of the West shall stand for 
all that constitutes true and national greatness. 

Let us hope that in God's good providence, truth, justice 
and fidelity shall prevail throughout the land. 

Respectfully, 

■ T. M. Irish. 

Albany, Orhc-ox, Augu«;t t2, 1808. 
M. Cavauagh^ Secretary Old Settlers Association^ 
Iowa City\ lozua. 

My Dear Sir: — I am happy to acknowledge the receipt of 
your kind invitation to attend your annual picnic to come off 
the 25th inst. and I assure you it would afford me much pleas- 
ure to do so, but my affairs are such at this time that I regret 
to say I cannot be with you. 

The festivities of the occasion — the "feast of reason and 
flow of soul" that old Johnson county's worthy sons and sires^ 
maids and viatrojis know full well how to render, I would 
enjoy very much indeed. But prior engagements and busi- 
ness affairs preclude my doing so. You have my thanks for 
courtesies extended and I am happy to know I am remembered 
by my old-time friends. 

When I take a retrospect of the past, I find that the 
brightest and most interesting part of my life are reminiscences 
gleaned from the days I spent in and about Iowa City and 
Johnson county. 

I came to the state in 1S44 — barefooted and I might say an 
orphan boy. I had just $10.00 in my pocket that I had 
earned in Illinois by splitting rails, like unto the illustrious 
Lincoln. 

To this sum by strict economy and industry I added little 
by little, for times were hard and a dollar looked to be about 
the size of the full moon, until I amassed the large sum (as it 
seemed to me) of $50.00. I worked for Judge Cavanagh a few 



12 

months at $S.ooa moiitli, and even yet I can hear him callino- 
Gamaliel to break loose trom the strong arms of Morphens 
and build a fire. Well I tQok the hint and got up too, for I 
thought he meant me all the time. 

He finally paid me and the amount I added to my exchequer, 
'swelling it ver}' perceptibly. I went to Dubuque with Fred 
Hempstead and John Cochran and I entered forty acres of 
land-five miles from Iowa City on the Dubuque road. 

Just think of it So rods square of the earth's surface and 
down to its very centre all belonged to me individually and 
buught vvlLh i.iwn*.y earned by the sweat of the brow. Truly 
I may say that I felt far richer and happier in possession of 
• that forty acre tract, than I ever have since, when I could 
count my acres by the thousand. 

I have found this to be true, that true happiness is not 
measured by the length of one's purse. A few years later I 
married Cornith Parks and we commenced upon life's duties 
in earnest. Years brought changes, families increased that 
must be schooled. We were isolated from school house. 
Julius Hill and myself finally got a little district set off and 
built Summit school by a meagre subscription, we heading 
the list with $50.00 each, and when my two eldest started 
down the hill to school I was immensely happy. 

My feelings were those of thousands of parents, for we are 
all made from the same clay and have the same impulses and 
aspirations. ' 

In the year '61 I sold my farm to' Rob Denton and had to. 
law him to get my' pay, beating him three times out of four 
and twice in the supreme court. But life is to short to be 
spent in rehearsing the wrong doings of others, and I freely 

forgive him for what I considered a c ed mean act at the 

time. But Bob is a pretty good fellow after all. 

There are many incidents of those days crowding the 
memory but can speak of a few only. I will relate a little 
joke, (although at my own expense) that I have thus far con- 
cealed and have myself laughed about many times to thin.k 
how verdant I was, but }ou know most of us have our weak- 
nesses. Here is the joke — I had the honor to be elected 



13 

assessor of Graham towiisliip, and the Law required that I as 
such officer return the assessment roll to the county judge. 
Well being a matter of fact man I supposed that each paper 
had to be rolled up instead of beingy^/c/a/ to fill the require- 
ments of the law in returning an assessment 7'oU. So I rolled 
each paper singly and in the aggregate it made quite a large 
bundle. Well I managed some way to get them to town and 
threw them at the feet of T. H. Lee who was county judge 
at the time, and he smole one of those modest bland smiles 
that ever adorued his serene countenance as he beheld the 
Graham \.o\\\\^\\\X) assessment roll. This is the first time I have 
ever told it and would not now if I was not so far away. I 
will mention a rather strange co-incidence that occured at 
the (then) new court house in your city. I had removed from 
Johnson to Poweshiek county some two years before but hav- 
ing business at Iowa City, had occasion to go to the court 
house and as I entered one of the spacious offices I saw two 
men sitting at a desk writing busily and without noticing my 
approach, when one of them spoke my name in full, Miles K. 
Lewis^ I answered, / am here. They were transcribing the 
record and had just come to a transfer made by me. Of course 
explanations followed. There are many incidents we all re- 
member of those days, some with pleasure and some perhaps 
with chagrin. But stern old Fate has moved us all around 
upon the checker board of life as he saw fit, scattering us 
hither and thither. Some having shuffled off this mortal coil 
while others are permitted to plod their weary way along 
while the shadows lengthen. As regards myself old Fate has 
shoved me upon the western verge of the continent. I pur- 
pose making the final "round up" here in this lovely valley 
and when it shall become my turn to cross the river, I have 
given instructions to have my remains cremated, which I be- 
lieve to be the most consistent way to dispose of the dead. At 
this time, however, the Old Man has touched me lightly. My 
nerves are steady, my sight good, my teeth sound, there is no 
silver upon my locks and I don't wear a cane. 

Am engaged quite extensively in horticulture Have a fine 
young apple orchard of about looo trees that have just come in- . 



14 

to bearing with all the small fruits in abundance. Was born in 
the state of New York, have lived all the way ont to this 
coast conntry and consider this the grandest and best of all. I 
pnrpose attending the Omaha Exposition dnring next month 
and exhibit an improved farm gate, a zcurld beater. 

I hope I may meet many of yon there arid renew our 
acquaintance of the long time ago. 

Hoping yon may have a good time at your picnic with 
much good clieer all round. I am 

Very respectfully yours, 

Miles K. Lewis. 

Sutherland, Iowa, August 22, 1S98. 
J/. Cavauagh^ and McDibcrs of the Old Settlers Association of 

Johnson County^ Iowa. 

Dear Friends^ Old FrieJtds^ Friends of the days so long gone 
by: — We hardly know how to express in words, the pleasure 
and gratification we felt upon receiving the invitation to meet 
with you in your annual picnic on the 25th inst. It would 
give Mr. Woods and myself great pleasure to be able to be 
with you on that occasion, but as it is impossible for us to 
bridge the distance, except in thought, we can only comply 
with the second request and send you a word of greeting. 

Mr. Woods or Huse as many of you know, came with his 
family tu Johnson county in 1839 — a boy of eight years, and 
grew to manhood there. I, his wife, have no claim upon you 
as an old settler, although I reached Iowa Citya wife a few 
months before the railroad reached there in January, 1856. 
But many beautiful memories cluster about the lovely city in 
which so many of you have spent your lives. Johnson county 
is rich in its traditions; rich in its illustrious men, and noble 
great-hearted women, and we two, Huse and I, would love to 
take each one of you by the hand, you who have survived the 
storm and stress of life, and who are living in the past and 
dreaming of the future — after the fashion of tliose who have 
passed the summit of life and are quietly moving down the 
westward slope. -- ' 

We thank )ou from our hearts for remembering us, and 



1713369 

15 

wishing you a happy reunion and many returns of the day 
for alL We are Very sincerely yours, 

Roma W. Woods. 
W. HusE Woods. 
P. S. We extend a hearty invitation to one and all to visit 
us at our home in Sutherland. 

HusE Woods and Wife. 

Muscatine, Iowa, August 19, 1898. 
L. S. Szvafford^ G. R. IrisJi^ M. Cavanagh^ 
Tmva Citw Ioiva._ 
Gentlemen: — We thank you very much for your kind 
invitation to attend the annual picnic of the Old Settlers and 
regret not being able to attend. We hope you will have a- 
very enjoyable time and meet many times to come. 
Yours sincerely, 
■ ' • Wm. Cassidy and Wife. 

Albia, Iowa, August 9, 1898. 
Lcivis S. Sioafford^ G. R. Irish^ M. Cavanagh^ Cojninittee. 

Your kind invitation to me and my wife to join you and 
the Old Settlers of Johnson County, Iowa, August 25th, 
most gratefully received and for which we tender our sincere 
thanks. We know of nothing now to prevent our being- 
present Yours respectfully, 

A. J. Casaday. 

Aledo, Illinois, August 15, 1898. 
77? the Committee of Johnson County Old Settlers Picnic^ 

Greeting. 

Gentlemen: — Your very kind invitation to my husband and 
myself to attend your coming reunion is received, and we 
regret exceedingly that circumstances are such that it will be 
impossible to accept your courtesy at this time. Especially 
do I regret this as it is a great self-denial to be unable to visit 
the city. 

To me Iowa City is hallowed ground, it being my birth- 
place when the city was in its infancy, as I was one of the 



7r 



i6 

very first children born in the city. As I glance backward 
to my childhood I note many changes, and improvements, 
and no greater change has been wrought in any part of the 
city or county than found on )-our beautiful fair ground, 

I can remember the time that iustead of these smooth 
sweeping fields, and these buildings, this place was a howling 
wilderness, the wolves coming to my father's door (now the 
Banburry place) to eat tlie bones and whatever they could 
find, and "hoot owls" made night hideous. My early educa- 
tion is closely associated with the old building known as 
the M^chiJiuic's Academy. ?.Iy father carrying me to and 
from school. In these days ver}- few houses were to be found 
between our place and the Academy. Of them there was 
Luther Frost, the ^lac Arthur or Dr. Lowe house, Henry 
Lathrop's, Dr. Murray's house. Dr. Reynolds, two little bits 
of frame houses, one the widow Steele's, one the widow 
Henry's, and one other house in particular, an old stpry and a 
half house called the old " Mormon house " from the fact that 
at one time a family of Mormons had occupied the house. 

In those days only subscription schools existed and very 
few of them, wdiere today, as monuments of improvements 
stand your numerous and commodious ward school buildings, 
and other buildings for educational purposes. 

With the moving into the city of the railroad, the old stage 
coach moved out. With the moving out of the state capitol 
to Des Moines, the state schools moved in. At one time the 
State University, the State Historical rooms, the state institu- 
tion for both the blind and the deaf and dumb, were all 
located in the city. As my earliest educational association 
was with the Mechanic's Academy so my closing days of 
school life in Iowa City are closely associated with the old 
stone University building. I would like to speak of all my 
teachers from Miss Willson, Mr. Hill, Cole and Ritts, Dr. 
Reynolds, among the first ones I had, up to the halls of the 
University, where Professors Stone, Humphr)-s, Welton, 
Wells and Judge Parvin, respectively, gave nie instruction in 
history, mathematics, philosophy, literature and theory and 
practice. 



17 

The people like the places have changed, and as old houses 
are moved out or torn down, so the people have moved out or 
passed away. Some of the first families I can remember are 
(Uncle) John Lenderman, John Powell, 'Esquire Hampton, 
Dr. Ballard, Anson Hart, John Parrott, Matthew Teneyck, Dr. 
Bowen, Joe Stover. These are only a few, with the names 
also of your committee that I call to memor>'. 

Now when I visit the city I see beautiful dwellings adorn- 
ing College Hill where in the early forties the red men by the 
hundreds used to camp. Now the banks of Ralston creek are 
walled up and iron bridges span the chasm. Then the back 
water from the Mississippi river used to overflow the streets 
as far up the creek as Washington street, so you could not 
cross the street on foot. Then the principal streets were 
Clinton, Dubuque, City Avenue and Washington. Then the 
Iowa river was navigable by as large steamboats as the 
" Uncle Toby " which made at least two trips (perhaps three) 
to the city, and to my childish mind it was as much of a 
curiosity, to see the house on the water, as it would now be to 
see the much talked-of air ships sailing through the space 
above our heads. 

I had the pleasure of meeting with you two years ago and 
met many of the old settlers that I had not seen for a quarter 
of a century, and enjoyed the day to the fullest extent. Since 
that time two more of the old settlers, — Ezekiel Clark and 
Cousin Joshua Ady, — have crossed over the river from the 
other side of which no one ever .returns, but are numbered 
with others already there to watch for, and w^ait to greet those 
who will soon follow. 

Some of those who will meet with you at this reunion may 
be called to the other side before another year, but to those 
who have obeyed the injunction " Be ye also ready " the call 
will have no terrors. 

It was the names of your committee that led to these 
reminiscences of my chiklliood, especially that of Louis S. 
SwafFord, my dear old Uncle. 

I thank you in behalf of my liusband and myself for your 
remembrance and remain Very sincerely yours, 

Virginia E. Haxbv Wright. • 



i8 

Washington, August 6th, 189S. 
L. S. Sccallord^ G. R. Irish and J/. Cai<anagh^ Connnittce 

of Old Settlers Picnic^ Icnva Cit\\ Iowa. 

Gentlemen: — Yolir coinnuinication of the ist instant, 
invitingniy good mother and myself to attend the Old Settlers 
picnic of Johnson county, Iowa, has just been received, and it 
carries me back to the place of my birth and to my boyhood 
days, where 1 was one of the forty-three grandchildren of the 
late Dr. W. W. Woods, a pioneer of the state. 

I am pleased to note that the many years which have in- 
tervened liavc in no v.-ay diiiiinislvc-d the regard for my family 
name, and I thank you in behalf of my mother and for my- 
self for the evidence of remembrance and esteem contained in 
your communication. 

Owing to my mother's impaired health, and to the assump- 
tion of new duties just at this time by myself, it is not with- 
in my reach to accept of your invitation. 

I trust that the day is not far distant when I may visit your 
locality and endeavor in a way to renew my acquaintance 
with those who knew my family in years gone by. 

Thanking you and wishing those who may have the pleas- 
ure of participating in your annual reunion- a pleasant time, 
believe me with best wishes. 

Very truly, 

Richard Sylvester. 

SEA'rri,E, W.\SH., August 3rd, 1898. 
M. Cavanagh^ Iowa City^ Iowa. 

My Dear Mr. Cavanagh: — Your very kind invitation, ex- 
tended on behalf of the Old Settlers of Jolmson county, to 
Mrs. Spencer and the writer to be present at their annual 
picnic on the 25th day of August, received, and read with very 
plesant surprise. To be remembered in this way by my old 
friends in Iowa City is very gratifying to me, and nothing 
would please me better than to be able to accept the invita- 
tion. The distance, however, forbids. 

Wishing you a very pleasant and happy meeting and many 
recurring ones, I remain, with kind regards and best wishes. 

Yours, R. R. Spencer. 



19 

Grinnktj., Iowa, August 20, 1898. 
Af. Cavanagh^ Esq., lozva City, Iowa. 

Dear Sir: — Your favor of the i6tli is at liaiid. It would 
give nie great pleasure to accept your invitation to be present 
at the Old Settlers Association of Johnson County, on the 
25th of the present month, but a previous engagement to 
attend a like meeting on the same day at my home in Henry 
county, Illinois, will prevent. I was there when the county 
was organized on the 19th day of June, 1837. Of all who 
voted on that day to organize tlie county none but myself are 
left to tell the Gtcry. 

The meeting is to be held near Colona, where the county 
was organized. I have engaged to give a talk on the inci- 
dents of that very day. At your request I send the manu- 
script account of my first visit to Iowa City, in 1841 or 1842 
and the account of the wolf lumt I attended there. You can 
read it at 'your meeting if you think best. I will ask you to 
return it as I have promised it to another party. 

Very truly yours. 

Henry G. Little. 

, ■ AN IOWA WOLF HUNT. 

By Henry G. Little. Grinnell, Iowa. 

My pioneer experience belongs rather to Illinois than to 
Iowa, for I came to that state in 1835 and finally established 
my name near what is now the prosperous city of Kewanee, 
some fifty miles east of the present city of Muscatine. But 
in the fall of 1841 or 1842 I made a trip into what was then the 
Territory of Iowa. 

Ever since my settlement in Henry county. 111., I had noted 
during the summer season a constant stream of emigrants 
passing westward, all bound, as they said, for the "Black 
Hawk Purcha.se" in Iowa Territory, and aiming for "The 
Yellow Banks" as the most convenient point for crossing the 
Mississippi. Of course a town soon sprang up at the river 
crossing. It called itself Bloomington, but we know it now 
as the beautiful little city of Muscatine. About 1839 Iowa 
City became the capital of the territory, and the town was 



20 . X 

struck with what we call in this day "a boom." It grew 
much faster than the surrounding country was developed, so 
that supplies for the population had to be brought from towns 
along the river or more distant still. 

In some way the information came to us, nearly a hundred 
miles away, that the people in Iowa City were almost desti- 
tute of flour. As it happened I had a quantity of surplus 
wheat which I had made into flonr, and it seemed to me wise 
to undertake to dispose of it in -Iowa City. This is to ex- 
plain my share in the wolf hunt about which I am going to 
tell ■''or.. 

My journey was long and tedious and somewhat adven- 
turous, as you may imagine remembering that it was made 
in a heavily-loaded wagon, over the wretched roads of those 
days in the West. But it was quite to my taste then, when 
I was young and my strength "was as the strength of ten." 
Even the fact that few of the streams were bridged and many 
of them must be forded, did not daunt me. I had no com- 
panion but my favorite dog. Hero, who varied the monotony 
of the long days by making things lively for the wild game 
along the road. Hero had good blood in him, for he was half 
greyhound, keen of eye and swift of foot. Many a wild chase 
he gave the fleet-footed deer; but all were unsuccessful for his 
speed was not a match for that of those graceful, untamed 
creatures. 

I crossed the river at Bloomington and in due time reached 
the thriving Iowa capitol. ,1 did not fmd the people starving, 
but the}' wanted my flour, and I soon disposed of it at a good 
profit. Finding several old acquaintances and much to interest 
me about the lively little town I spent several days there. 
A few miles out Col. \Vm. H. Henderson had settled with his 
fine family of seven splendid boys. I had known him well 
in Illinois and mucli enjoyed meeting him again in the Iowa 
wilderness. I have followed the history of his family to the 
present day. Six of those stalwart sons are still living. 
Among them were four lawyers, one judge, one Congressman, 
one preacher and one good business man. The Hon. John W. 
Henderson, of Cedar Rapids, is one of the number. I have 



21 

scarcely known a family in the west with so much and such 
varied talent. 

Another old friend I found by the name of Johnson, who 
was doing a large business in brick-making. The "boom" 
was on and buildings were goin.g up as rapidly as materials 
could be provided. 

But the great excitement of the hour was caused by the 
depredations of wolves about the neighborhood. Public meet- 
ings were being held, which I found it interesting to attend, 
and the people were stirred to energetic action by the harrow- 
in <?• tales told by settlers from near and far of destructive raids 
by the prowling *' varmints." Pigs, sheep and poultry had 
been carried off, and the fanners saw their substance melt 
away till the provision for their families during the approach- 
ing winter seemed endangered. A grand wolf hunt by all 
the able-bodied men and boys in a wide region of country was 
resolved upon. Officers were chosen, rules and regulations 
adopted, and plans fully settled for turning the tables upon 
the gray terrors, and a day appointed, 

A stand was built upon a high point of land a few miles 
east of town, near the Muscatine road. Here were stationed, 
rifles in hand, the best sharp-shooters to be found in the 
country. 

The rest of the citizens of town and country were dis- 
tributed in the circle around the stand with a radius of per- 
haps five miles. 

Some were on horseback, some on foot, all were instructed 
to close in at a steady pace toward the stand, keeping sharp 
watch that no guilty animal should escape, and driving 
before them, inexorable as fate, the scores or hundreds of the 
gray rascals with which imagination had peopled the prairie, 
to the fearful slaughter which awaited them at the grand 
round-up. To avoid accidents no one was permitted to bear 
fire-arms except the rifle-men in the center. All the rest 
were armed with ferocious looking clubs. I timed mys tart 
homeward to take in the great event, driving slowly that I 
might reach the stand in time to witness the grand massacre. 
I could see the men on horseback at intervals with boys 



22 

watching the spaces between as all slowly drew nearer 
together. At last the men on the stand came in sight in 
waiting attitudes, guns in readiness, as the circle grew 
smaller. I was a short distance outside the ring, my dog 
trotting beside me, suddenly Hero gave a start and shot off 
like lightning through the grass. I saw that he had caught 
sight of a wolf which had slipped between the hunters partly 
hidden by the grass. Lashing my horses to the top of their 
speed I followed, Hero overtook the wolf, at one snap seized 
him in his teeth and whirled him over on his back. Then at 
the sight of the savage teeth and wicked eyes he seemed too 
frightened to iioid on, and dropped the wolf who was off 
again like a shot. Again and again Hero seized and threw 
him only to drop him as before. One of the horsemen now 
came to the dog's help and despatched the beast with his 
club. It was a large vicious-looking prairie wolf. The man 
threw the carcass into my wagon and we went up to the 
stand. The wolf hunters crowded around to gaze upon the 
enemy as he was held up by his long gray tail. It was the 
sole trophy of that great, historic hunt. Not another wolf 
was seen that day, and my good Illinois dog, Hero, was, after 
all, the hero of the day. All pressed forward to make his 
acquaintance, and I was offered a large sum for the dog, but 
would not part with him. 

Although more than half a century has passed since these 
events took place and I now have the weight of more than 
eighty-five years, yet few scenes of my long life are more 
fresh and vivid to my memory than those of the Iowa City 
wolf hunt on my first visit to the state which was many years 
later to become my home. 



4 68 



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