Genealogy Trails

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 Slater)

Resident of County Nearly Sixty-Three Years, Dies
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 Interesting Career
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 county.

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 16.

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 forded.

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 ground.

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 death.

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 now 91.

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 about $25,000.

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 Men’s Club.
Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler

DIXON, 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 in
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 days.

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 this removal.

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 Connelley

Though a Prussian by birth, this gentleman, with something of a common school education, and a wealth of restless energy, that has carried him over half the globe, had bid adieu to his kindred and come to make his home in America, before attaining his majority. Born in March 2834, he came to this country i 1851. He is "a much traveled man," whose experience has been wide and fortune varied. It is continued series of alternate prosperity and disaster unmarred by a solitary "failure" in the popular exception of the term. In the bright lexicon of his youth, there was no such word as fail. A published account of his life reveals him possessed of an energy akin to "Old Hictory," of whom tradition has a distinguished statesman to say: "If he wants to go to heaven all hell can not prevail against him." The Cincinnati Enquirer of a recent date commenting upon Mr. Schweitzer's career, had this to say: "These various callings have taken him over half the known world, and his career has been checkered with varying success and misfortune, and the variety and many changes in his business life, are in striking contrast with his steadfast adherences to the Democratic party."
Indiana's Representative Men in 1881: Containing Biographies of the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Indiana, by John E. Land, Pg 110-111 - transcribed by J.S.

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