York Township

Carroll County Biography

In addition to the farming operations which he has pursued nearly all his life, Mr. Dunshee has for the last few years been interested in dairying, having for this purpose about 125 cows, and all the necessary equipments for carrying on the business in a porfitable manner. He is one of the largest land-owners of York Twp, having 320 acres in one body, 140 acres adjoining his home farm, and the latter comprising 240 acres on section 20. All of thisland is under a good state of cultivation, and the homestead especially is well-improved.He also owns the original homestead of his father-in-law, Asa French.

Mr. Dunshee rents a large proportion of his land, Upon one farm he has 50 cows, over 50 on another, and 25 at the place opposite his homestead. These are mostly cared for by his tenants. he may be most properly termed a self-madem an, as he has accumulated his property solely by his own industry and perseverance. Upon arriving in this county he had one 5-frank piece and ten-cent piece and from this limited amount of capital he has built up his present estate. He knows all about the difficulties and hardships of pioneer life, has worked early and late, through sunshine and storm and furnishes a fine illustration of what a man may accomplish by steady persistence and industry.

The parents of our subject were Jonathan T. and Leah 9Thompson) Dunshee, who, at the time of the birth of their son Robert, Dec. 15, 1831, were residing in Cambridge VT. The latter was there reared and educated and at the age of 20 started for the West. Coming to this county,he worked on the farm of Norman French four months at $12 a month, then making other arrangements, continued a member of the family about 2 years. Having then accumulated a little money, he purchased five yoke of cattle and commenced breaking prairie for the pioneer armers around. This he pursued four seasons, then purchased 80 acres of wild land, turned the sod and built upon it a small house. On the 2nd of Jan. 1860 he was married to Sabrina Reynolds, wo became the mother of one child, which died and herself lived only a little over a year after her marriage, passing away on the 9th of June 1861.

Our subject contracted a second marriage Jan. 22, 1863 with Betsy, daughter of Asa M. and Clarissa (Sumner) French, who were natives of Vermont. The paternal grandfather was Jacob French. Asa French came with his family to Illinois in May 1850 making the journey via the Erie canal to Buffalo, thence by the Great Lakes to Chicago and from there by rail to St. Charles, completing the journey overland by team to this county. They were accompanied by the father of our subject, who came to visit his daughter, Mrs. Norman French adn later returned to New England.

Asa French, for a time after taking up his residence in York Township, prosecuted farming on rented land, then purchased a farm at the point of the bluff on section 22. Here the parents lived and labored until the death of the mother, which occurred July 10, 1880. Two years later Mr. French went to Dakota and made a visit. After returning he then visited a daughter in Nemaha County KS and there his death took place March 28, 1883. The children of the parental family are recorded as follows: Norman S. Oct. 9, 1837 and lives in Dakota; Lucina Jan 5, 1839 married Alonzo Whitney and is a resident of Whiteside COunty, this state; Betsy, Mrs. Dunshee wsa born March 25, 1842; Cynthia, Mrs. C.P. Bristol of Baileyville KS was born Aug 12, 1844.

To Mr. and Mrs Jonathan T. Dunshee there were born 12 children - Mary, Mrs. Norman )1) French; Timothy T a resident of York Twp; Elizabeth who died when an infant; Lucy J., Mrs. James Bennett a resident of York Twp; Robert our subject; Amasa T. a resident of York Township; Heber B. died at Cambridge VT when 15 years old; Lenora, Mrs. Chandler Nichols a resident of York Twp; W. Garrison lives in Sedgwick County KS; Charles H died at Dalton GA while serving as a soldier in the Union Army; George W, enlisted during the late war in Co C 92nd IL Inf and died of measles at Danville KY; Triphena died in York Twp. Dec. 3, 1875.

Mr. Robert Dunshee, politically votes the Republican ticket; he has served as Road Commissioner and as a member of the School Board several years. He cares nothing for official preferment, having about all he can attend to in looking after his farming interests. Mrs. Dunshee is a very excellent lady, and a member in good standing of the Baptist church. The father of Mrs. Dunshee was born in Weathersfield VT Nov. 21, 1801; and her mother in Morristown, that State June 7, 1804.

Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 946

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