Owen County, Indiana
DAVID E. BEEM, of Spencer, was born near Spencer, Owen County,
Indiana, June 24, 1837. His parents were among the first pioneers of
that county, his father settling there in 1817. In 1856 he entered the
State University at Bloomington, and graduated from the classical
department in 1860. He was the first man to enlist in the war from Owen
county, and assisted in the organization of the first company recruited
- Company H, Fourteenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers. In 1894 he
served as judge-advocate of the Department of Indiana, G.A.R. At the
close of the war he began the practice of law at Spencer, and has
continued in it to the present time. He has held no lucrative offices.
In 1880 he was a delegate from the Fifth district to the national
Republican convention, and after voting thirty-four times for James G.
Blaine, finally voted for James A. Garfield. In 1888 he was chosen
presidential elector from his district. In 1886 his name was before the
Republican State convention for the nomination for State Treasurer.
BUCHANAN, William John,
wholesale grocer; born, Gosport, Ind., Apr. 6, 1872; son of Henry M. and
Hannah T. (Foreman) Buchanan; educated in public schools of Indiana and
Illinois; married, St. Louis, Aug. 7, 1894, Helen G. Whitman. Began as
clerk in retail grocery at Morrisonville, ILL., continuing until nearly
of age; then came to St. Louis and was with Adam Roth Grocery Co., later
with Benjamin W. Clark Grocer Co., until 1905; president of the Krekeler
Grocer Co. for several years, now president Buchanan Grocer Co. Office:
510 N. Main St. Residence: 3653 De Tonty St.
(Source: The Book of St. Louisans, Publ. 1912. Transcribed by Charlotte
PIONEER OF COUNTY IS DEAD
J.F.M. COOPER Resident of County Nearly Sixty-Three Years,
Member of Fifth White Family to Settle Here
Cooper Witnessed First Election in County, Attended First Court, Heard
First Sermon, and Helped Build First School House in County - An
J.F.M. Cooper, aged 79, a real pioneer of Marshall county, a member of
the fifth white family to settle in the county, and a continuous
resident here for nearly sixty-three years, died, this morning at 8.20
at his home, No. 6 West Webster street. Mr. Cooper's death was due to
a gradual breaking down, a complication of a partial paralytic
condition that has been apparent since last July.
Mr. Cooper improved materially after the light stroke of the past
summer, and was able to get about the house with the aid of a cane.
About three weeks ago, however, he grew worse and since then has
failed rapidly. His death was a peaceful one, and the old man entered
into his long sleep fifteen minutes after relatives had called to see
him and had then expected he would survive several days.
Has Had Interesting Career
Mr. Cooper has had a remarkably interesting career, and especially
so from the fact of his long residence in the county and this active
interest in affairs of the day, which he retained until the last year
of his life. He has seen Marshall county grown from a barren
wilderness to its present high state of cultivation and improvement,
and a good memory, with which he was blessed, made it possible for him
to impart the knowledge of the early days to others.
Beginning his residence in Timber Creek township in the spring of
1848, Mr. Cooper was privileged to witness some of the distinctive
features of early development. His family made the first permanent
improvement to land in the south part of the county. Mr. Cooper
witness the first election held in the county. He attended the first
session of court ever held in the county, and heard the first public
sermon preached in the county. Aside form these interesting incidents
he assisted in building the first school house ever erected in the
Came Here From Indiana
When Joseph and Martha Jane Ferguson Cooper decided in their Owen
county, Indiana home that they would come to the far-distant territory
of Iowa, it was not without a due consideration of the dangers they
must brave here they became safely settled in a new home. They started
with one tam of horses, and on of oxen, in the fall of 1847, and
finally landed at Adkin's Grove, two miles southwest of Kellogg, in
Jasper county. Accompanying this sturdy couple were their large family
of children, ten in number. Their son Marion was then a little past
It was no easy task, emigrating in those pioneer days, for there was
not a railroad in any of the country traveled, and but very few
bridges. The route taken was via Terre Haute, Ind., where a bridge was
found over the Wabash river. Over the Sangamon, which was crossed at
Bloomington, the river was forded, but at Peoria, the Illinois had a
bridge. A steam ferry boat let the emigrants cross the Father of
Waters at Burlington, but every other stream, big or little, was
This big pioneer family of Iowa spent the winter of '47 in the little
Jasper county grove, and in the spring migrated farther north, with
the exception of the two married daughters, who remained in Jasper
until the spring of '49, before joining their people in Timber Creek.
But Four White Families Here
On the evening of April 6, 1848, when the Cooper family reached
Timber Creek township form Jasper county, and pitched their tents on
what is now the "Ed" Monohon farm, six miles south of this city on
Center street, there were but four white families in all Marshall
county. "Joe" Davidson was the first white settler, having come here
in June 1846. William Asher came in the spring of '47, and Dr. Bush
and "Wash" Asher landed here in the fall of '47. The fifth family to
arrive began at once to get "settled," and to young Marion fell a
large portion of the work in hewing the native oak timber into a
substantial log hut. in that time there was not a single foot of land
owned by a white man in the county, the earliest of the settlers not
having yet got their grants from the government.
The Coopers had not been in their new home long until another child
came, a son, Carl Clinton, born June 12, 1849, who was one of the very
first white children born in the county.
Indians Were Numerous
At the very time the Coopers reached Marshall County the Indians
were not so numerous as they had been or as they were a year or two
later. Old Indian Town, in Tama county, was then the reservation, and
at times there were anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 camped along the Iowa
river, depending on the season of the year. The government had bought
much of the land and moved the tribes down into northwestern Missouri.
The reds did not like the new country, however, for they became ill
with the ague and its attendant chills and fever. They began coming
back in 1849 - not only the Iowa Sacs and Foxes, but Winnebagos,
and Pottawattamies. "Indian heap sick; heap shake. Ugh! Ugh!" was
about all the English they knew.
Begiin to Get "Sassy"; White Scared
Upon returning in large numbers from the south the Indians began
to get obstreperous in 1849, and the settlers became alarmed. There
were quite a "large settlement" in Timber Creek township by the time -
eighteen or twenty families - numbering between fifty and sixty
people. The men feared for their wives and children, so daring were
the reds in the little acts of delitry and petty thieving. A council
was held, and it was decided to build a fort. This was how Fort
Robinson came to be built in 1850 on what is now known as the old
David Birks farm. The fort was ninety feet square, and was constructed
of sold oak timbers, hewn for the express purpose. Port holes every
few feet admitted the rifles of the sturdy frontiermen, and the ground
on the outside was cut away so that if an attack were made the bullets
from the Indians' guns would pass above the heads of those inside.
Barrels were stocked with water, and larders with provisions,
anticipating an attack, but none came. The government was on hand with
tropps[sic], and the Indians were sent back to Missouri.
Games Abundant; No Game Laws
Game of all kinds was abundant in those days, consequently there
were no need of, nor were there any game laws. Marion Cooper was handy
with his rifle, and kept the family larder well supplied, not only
with the game, but fish. Marion and his next two younger brothers,
James and Joseph, had one gun between them, and wild turkey, duck,
prairie chickens, grouse, and quail fell to their aim in large
numbers. If the young hunters preferred something larger and more
exciting, the timber and prairie abounded with wildcat, deer and
wolves. Timber creek was then twice its present size, and no purer
water was ever drunk by any settlers in a virgin country. Fish were
plentiful, and could be secured at any time of the year. The Iowa
river was one-third again as large as it is now and as there was not a
mill dam from the mouth up, this stream afforded another fine fishing
Hunted Where Marshalltown Stands
The three young Coopers hunted and tramped over all the land that
is now called the city of Marshalltown, for there was not even the
slightest sign of a town here until 1853, five years after they came.
They often ventured on hunting expeditions as far north as the river.
Much of the present townsite was prairie, but the river was skirted
with timber, which ran in streaks out from the stream, extending
farthest to the south from where Fifth and Sixth streets are now
situated, and gradually diminishing from that point east to Center.
The strip of big oaks that extends thru the present residence property
of D.W. Norris Jr. and on the Duffield place, are remnants of the
thickest patches of native timber.
At that time the Coopers went to Oskaloosa for their groceries, and
took their grist to a mill at South Skunk river, three miles north of
the Mahaska county capital, to exchange it for flour or have it
ground. Another favorite milling place was Wilmer's mill, ten miles
above Sigourney, in Keokuk county.
Elder Cooper Buys First Land
Every foot of land in Marshall county then belonged to Uncle Sam
and it was Joseph Cooper, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Joseph Ferguson,
who entered the first land in Marshall county. The men rode horseback
to Iowa City, following an Indian trial along the south side of the
Iowa river, and on June 1, 1848. Mr. Cooper entered the first land
ever granted a white man in Marshall county - 160 acres at $1.25 per
acre. Mr. Ferguson entered an "eighty" one mile east of his
brother-in-law's farm. Today each of the tracts is easily worth $100
an acre, and probably couldn't be bought for that.
Native of Indiana
John Francis Marion Cooper was a native of Own county, Indiana,
where he was born Nov 2, 1831. He had been twice married, and his
second wife survives him. Mr. Cooper's first marriage was to Miss
Elizabeth Alexander, of Timber Creek, in 1853. She died in this city
June 11, 1898. On Dec 20, 1899, Mr. Cooper married Mrs. Mary Jane
Griswold, widow of Fordyce H. Griswold, who was then living in the
home where Mr. Cooper died, and where Mr. and Mrs. Cooper have
lived since their marriage. The old Cooper home in this city was at
533 North Second street, which Mr. Cooper owned at the time of his
Mr. Cooper was an old-time democrat in politics, and in the earlier
days was prominent in his party's affairs in the county, having at one
time been chairman of the county central committee. In religion he was
a Baptist, or "hard shell" Baptist as the denomination to which he
belonged was known. In the affairs of the Marshall County Old
Settlers' Association Mr. Cooper had taken an active part for many
years, and was a former president of the association.
Leaves Several Brothers and Sisters
In the large pioneer family of the county, several members,
brothers and sisters of Mr. Cooper, are still living. The oldest
sister living is Mrs. Mahala Smith, of Ferguson. James M. Cooper, who
lives in this city, but who is spending the winter with his daughter,
Mrs. Glen Coppock, at Pasadena, Cal., is the oldest brother. The next
oldest brother in J.N. Cooper, of this city, and the youngest is Carl
C. Cooper, of Eagle, Neb. the other sisters are Mrs. Laton Butin,
(Mary Cooper), who lives at Dorchester, Neb; and Mrs. Samuel Windrem,
(Nettie Cooper), of Richmond, Cal. A half brother, Joshua Cooper,
lives in Idaho, as does also a half sister, Mrs. Emma Bradley. Another
half sister is Mrs. Lucy Irp, of Dorchester, Neb. and at Dorchester
also lives Marion Cooper's stepmother, Mrs. Catherine Cooper, who is
The children of the family who are dead are David E. Cooper, the
oldest son, who died in Montezuma in 1906; Mrs. Seth Smith (Martha
Cooper) who died in Timber Creek township in 1864; Marcus, who served
in Company ? Fifth Iowa Infantry, and died in Jasper county, eight
years following the lose of the war; and Mrs. Amanda Jane Smith, widow
of the late Judge W.C. Smith, of Albion, who died at Eldora in the
spring of 1907.
Mr. Cooper had no children of his own by either of his wives, but with
the first Mrs. Cooper took two children and reared them as their own,
altho they were never legally adopted. The children were Harry D.
Corder and his sister, Mary. Mr. Corder now lives at Vancleve, and his
sister is Mrs. Downey, and lives in Illinois.
Still Owned Old Farm
At the time of his death Mr. Cooper owned the old farm six miles
south of the city on Center street, consisting of 175 acres, now
tenanted by Grant Kuhns. A part of the farm was the original land
entered by Mr. Cooper's father. While Mr. Cooper could not be rated as
wealthy, he was in comfortable circumstances, and was worth probably
Funeral on Friday
Mr. Cooper's funeral will be held at 1.30 Friday afternoon from
the Baptist church, Rev. James McGee officiating. Interment will be in
the old family lot in the Timber Creek cemetery.
Evening Times-Republican, 25 Jan 1911 (Marshalltown,
Iowa) - transcribed by J.S.
DARNELL, Rowland, lumber dealer; born Freedom, Ind., Dec.
9, 1854; received common school education and spent one year at State
University of Ind.; began his career as employee of J.T. Williams of New
York city, he remained with that house for three years, then went to
Indianapolis, where he became associated with Bell Bros. lumber dealers;
in 1876 he went to St. Louis with this firm, and in the fall of 1880 he
came to Memphis as a member of the firm of Bell Bros. & Darnell; a
year later he sold his interest in the business and formed a partnership
with his father under the firm name of I.M. Darnell & Son; they
operated in Dyer and Lauderdale Cos., Tenn. until 1888, when the
principal offices were located in Memphis; in 1898 the son withdrew from
the firm and established firm of R.J. Darnell (Inc.); member of Business
Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co.,
Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler
JOSEPH was born on the 15th of April, 1830, in Highland county,
Ohio. He was married in Owen county, Indiana, on the 12th of September,
1850, to Miss Elizabeth Morris. Four years later they came west to
Faribault, [Minn.] and the following spring to Morristown, [Minn.] where
they were pioneers, and staked out a claim in section twenty-six, now
known as Nathan's addition of the village of Morristown. On the 30th of
April, 1864, he enlisted in Company I, of the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer
Infantry, and served till the close of the war. He then returned to his
home in this place and has since devoted his time to its cultivation.
Mr. and Mrs. Dixon have ten children, five of whom are married and five
still remain at home.
(Source: History of Rice County, Minnesota, Published by Minnesota
Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. 1882)
Submitted by Veneta McKinney
WILLIAM Q. ELLIOTT, who joined the
pioneers of Rice County in the early '70s, has been one of the
conspicuous men in that section of the state for many years. His
sturdy energy as a farmer brought him liberal rewards, and he has used
his means and influence to do good in many directions. He sent a large
family of children into the honorable walks of life, has staunchly
upheld the forces of religion and morality in his home community and
state, and at the age of fourscore his usefulness still continues,
especially manifesting itself in his official work with the Friends
University at Wichita.
He comes of substantial American
ancestry and the family for generations have been stanch Quakers. Mr.
Elliott was born in a stronghold of the Quaker Church
in Wayne County, Indiana, February 19, 1837. Wayne
County, Indiana, was largely settled in early days by Quakers from the
Carolinas. His grandfather, Exum Elliott, came out of North Carolina
1815 and was one of the pioneers whose
physical strength cleared away the forests and established
civilization in that then wilderness section of Eastern Indiana; The
wife of Exum Elliott was Catherine Lamb, of Guilford County, North
Carolina. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters, all of
whom reached mature years, married and with the exception of one
daughter had children of their own. Exum Elliott died at the age of
eighty-six and was laid to rest in the Friends Cemetery at West Grove,
Indiana. Mark Elliott, father of William Q., was born in North
Carolina December 28, 1813, and was two years of age when his parents
came north. On August 27, 1835, in Union County, Indiana, he married
Mary Haworth. Both were members of the Society of Friends and they
were married by the Quaker ceremony. Her birthplace was her father's
farm of 200 acres, comprising an island in the Holsten River in the
State of Tennessee. Her father, Joel Haworth, moved from Tennessee to
Union County, Indiana, and bought a large tract of government land at
$1.25 per acre in gold. His daughter, Mary, was the oldest in a large
family of children.
Mark Elliott lived on a farm in Wayne
County, Indiana, where he died in 1858 and was laid to rest in the
same cemetery where his father's and mother's remains repose. He left
his widow with seven children, four sons and three daughters. Mrs.
Mark Elliott afterwards came to Kansas and died at Sterling February
23, 1902, at the age of eighty-eight years, two months and twenty-one
Of the children of Mark Elliott and
wife, William Q. was the oldest. Hannah, the second, married Isaiah
Sleeper and both died at Baldwin, Kansas, where Mr. Sleeper owned a
farm. The son, Joel H., was, curiously enough, a "fighting Quaker,"
and made a brilliant record as a soldier. He served throughout the
Civil war, being captain of Company M of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry.
Through the influence of Governor Morton, the Indiana war governor, he
was raised to the rank of major in the Seventh United States Cavalry.
That was perhaps the only case up to that time where a volunteer
officer was promoted to a higher position in the regular service than
he had held in the volunteer forces. In the regular army he served
under the command of the brilliant General Custer, and took part in
that memorable fight against the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians on the
Washita River in what is now the State of Oklahoma in 1868. He and
sixteen men were ambushed in that engagement and all of them were
butchered by the savage Indians under the Chief Black Kettle. His body
was left uncared for on the battleground for two weeks, but was
finally laid to rest in a national cemetery in Oklahoma.
The fourth child of Mark Elliott and
wife was Permelia, who lived at Richmond in Wayne County, Indiana,
widow of Oliver Miller, who died on his farm in that county. She died
in September, 1917. Elton B. is a lumber merchant at Indianapolis,
Indiana. Sarah Elizabeth, who died at Sterling, Kansas, in 1916,
married M. J. Barr, a retired resident of Sterling, Kansas. The
seventh and youngest child, Lewis D., died of diphtheria in Indiana at
the age of seven years.
William Q. Elliott spent his boyhood
in Wayne county, Indiana, during the 40s and 50s. that was a period
when public schools had not yet come into established vogue in
Indiana, but he received a good training in the Friends Monthly
meeting School at West Grove, where his teacher for sever years was
Jeremiah Griffin. Besides his experience on the farm he taught
school five winters, the first term before
he was seventeen years of age. While his father was a large muscular
man six feet two inches high, he suffered during his last years with
sciatica, and William during that period remained at home and looked
after the farm and in other ways cared for his invalid parent.
February 4, 1858, Mr. Elliott married
Rebecca Jane Jackson. She was born in Wayne County Ind. January, 1838.
Her father, Joseph W. Jackson, was rated as the wealthiest farmer of
that community, and when he died at the age of sixty his estate was
valued at $250,000, acquired through his extensive operations as a
farmer and pork packer. Her mother died in Wayne County six years
before her father. Rebecca Jackson was the oldest of thirteen
children, eight sons and five daughters.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs.
Elliott went to Vermilion County, Illinois, where they rented a farm.
They lived there for seven years, and then returned ' to the old
homestead, Mr. Elliott taking charge as manager after the death of his
father. In the meantime his attention had been attracted to the free
and new lauds of Kansas, and in the fall of 1873 he came to the state
and filed a homestead1 claim on eighty acres in what was then Reno but
is now Rice County. That original homestead is now owned by his son,
Sylvester J. In March, 1874, Mr. Elliott and his family located at
what was then known as the Village of Peace, now Sterling, and they
remained there until July 1, 1875, when they went out to the homestead
and occupied the house and barn which had been erected preparatory to
Mr. Elliott was not only a good
practical farmer but a thorough business man, and with unlimited
confidence in the future of Kansas he invested heavily in lands,
buying from the railroad companies, school lands and also developed a
timber claim, until he was owner of 3,300 acres. Nearly all of this he
has since sold. The development of the land for farming purposes and
the beautifying of the landscape occupied his time and energies for
many years. Mr. Elliott did much as a practical forester and also as a
horticulturist. Beginning in 1876, he planted large numbers of black
walnut, catalpa and cottonwood trees, and those grew until they
constituted large groves on his farm. In 1878 he set out an apple
orchard of twenty acres and in 1882 he sold a thousand dollars worth
of peaches from five acres of seedling trees. When in his prime as an
agriculturist he bred and raised horses, mules and hogs and was one of
the leading stock ranchers. In 1880 Mr. Elliott established the Rice
County Bank at Sterling and conducted it for seven years.
Mr. Elliott's first wife died in
September, 1913, and since her death he has moved to the Town of
Sterling and is now living retired. He is a large stockholder in the
Farmer's State Bank of Sterling.
Mr. Elliott was the father of fifteen
children, and including those living and his grandchildren and
great-grandchildren he now enumerates 101 descendants, a record
comparable to that of the patriarchs of old. For the purposes of this
history a brief reference should be made to each of the children. The
oldest, Mark, born October 29, 1858, in Vermilion County, Illinois, is
now a farmer in Reno County, Kansas. Mary Elizabeth, who was born
January 30, 1860, in Vermilion County, died in infancy. Joseph W.
Jackson, born in Vermilion County February 20, 1861, is now in the
farm implement business at Haviland, Kansas. Cassius Clay, born in
Vermilion County July 19, 1862, is a stockman and rancher in Idaho.
Eupha Jane, born in Vermilion County September 12, 1863, died in
infancy. Selena Margery, who was born after her parents moved back to
Wayne County, Indiana, on Match 29, 1865, is the wife of Albert Snook,
and they live on a farm a mile east of Sterling, Lincoln L., born in
Wayne County, Indiana, February 17, 1867, is a painter and decorator
by trade, but owns 800 acres of farm and ranch land and lives at
Haviland. Sylvester J., born in Wayne County July 6, 1868, is
one of the leading farm owners and business men of Sterling. William
Q., Jr., born in Wayne County February 17, 1870, is a farmer near
Sterling. Charles Sumner was born in Wayne County March 25, 1872, and
died at Sterling, Kansas, in 1874. Clarkson Taber was born August 22,
1874, his being the first recorded birth of a white child on the town
site of Sterling. He is now a farmer in Reno County, Kansas. Caleb B.,
born at the old homestead in what was then Reno County July 11, 1879,
is a merchant and also owns eight ranches at Delta, Colorado. Laban
Moody, born in Reno County July 11, 1879, is a farmer in Ellis County,
Oklahoma. Stanley P., born at the old homestead December 5, 1880, is
also a farmer in Ellis County, Oklahoma. Chester Garfield, the
youngest, born in Reno County, Kansas, October 11, 1883, occupies the
old home farm. On November 6, 1914, Mr. Elliott married, near Hoyt,
Kansas, Mrs. Irene B. (Brooks) Dale, who was born back in Wayne
County, Indiana. Mrs. Elliott is a sister of Mrs. Jonathan Thomas, a
resident of Topeka, noted for her wealth and generosity.
Reference has already been made to Mr.
Elliott's connection with the Friends University at Wichita. He is
vice president and a director of that institution, and chairman of the
board. He is also chairman of the building committee that now has in
charge the erection of a gymnasium to cost $40,000. He has been
entrusted with the handling of a large part of the endowment fund in
loaning this money on real estate. Mr. Elliott is a member of the
Kansas State Historical Society, and has been a lifelong republican.
He took an enthusiastic part as a boy in the first republican
presidential campaign in 1856, when General Fremont was a candidate.
He cast his first presidential vote in 1860 for Lincoln.
Source: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans By William Elsey