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Davis County >> 1882 Index

History of Davis County, Iowa
Des Moines: Iowa Historical Company, 1882


Unless noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Martin, Volney submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Martin, Volney, farmer and stock raiser, section 23, post office Troy.

Mathews, A. submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Mathews, A., farmer, section 11, post office West Grove; was born April 10, 1823, in Bracken County, KY, and at the age of twelve years moved with his parents to Marion Co., Indiana. His parents were Theodore and Frances, natives of Virginia. In the fall of 1856 he came to this county, first settling in Fox River township for three years, then in Wyacondah township nine years, and during that time was engaged in milling. In 1868 he moved to his present farm, in this township, where he has since resided, his farm consisting of ninety acres of finely improved land. He was married in Sept. 1845 to Elizabeth Higgins. They have ten children: Nancy Ellen, Maria F., George W., Wm. A., Mary J., John, James T., Nettie B., Minnie and Edward. He is a member of the M E Church.

McAvoy, James, Deceased; was born January 9, 18009, in County Down, Ireland. His father was a sea-faring man, and gave his son a thorough education. At the age of 18 he came to America, and went to Washington, D. C., and soon after secured a contract on the national pike; but lost his earnings by the failure of the chief contractors. He then went to Greencastle, Indiana, and then to Stilesville, Indiana, still working on public works, canals and railroads. During the Mexican war he enlisted in Capt. Crawford's company, Second Indiana Volunteers, and served till the regiment was disbanded. He came to this county in 1850, and located where the family homestead now is; consisting of 327 acres of improved land. He was married December 2, 1833, to Miss Jane Cunningham, a native of North Carolina, born May 19, 1811; the marriage taking place at Stilesville, Indiana. Mr. McAvoy after living an active and useful life, passed away September 27, 1872, much regretted by all. A man of brilliant education, ready wit, and thorough knowledge of the world. He was a war democrat and visited the army several times during the rebellion. He left a family of four children, Charles J., Larissa A., and Lewis C., living at home, and Christopher C., married, and John F., deceased in 1858, aged 19. Charles J. served during the war, enlisting in August 1862, in Company G, Second Iowa Infantry, and was in the battles of Bear Creek, Buzzard's Roost, Kenesaw Mountain, and was with Sherman through Atlanta and Savannah; and then to Washington, being in the grand review, and mustered out June 14, 1865. Since which time he has been engaged in farming.

McClure, Wm. H. submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin  

McClure, Wm. H., farmer, section 20, postoffice Floris; was born Oct 12, 1829; in Jessamine Co, Ky. At the age of one year he moved with his parents to Orange co., IN., where he lived about 15 years. In the fall of 1844, his father moved to Iowa Territory and settled in Van Buren Co., and three years later came to this county. He settled on the farm he now owns in 1854, consisting of 320 acres, now highly improved. He is engaged in stock raising. He was married 11 Mar 1851, to Miss Letitia Prevo, daughter of L T Prevo, who came to VB co in 1837, and moved to this county in 1840. They have been blessed with nine children.

McCONNELL, DAVID J., farmer, section 1, postoffice Drakeville; is the owner of about 1,200 acres of land. He is a native of Dearborn county, Indiana. When a child, his parents moved to Johnson county, Indiana, where he grew to manhood on a farm, receiving a common school education. He was born April 8, 1822; at the age of twenty-seven, settling on his present farm. He was elected a member of the board of supervisors in 1875, the court house being built and completed during his administration. He was married in Indiana, in 1845, to Miss Sarilda Beard; they have had seven children, Sarah M., now Mrs. Reynolds; Jesse W., William W., James E., John D., Mary A. and Seymour B., deceased. Mr. M. is a member of the Masons, Jefferson lodge, No. 86, at Drakeville.

William McCord submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

McCord, Wm.; page 672: has 227 acres of fine land, in section 11, with good house, barn, orchard and surroundings.  He was born January 6, 1825, in Knox county, Indiana.  When fourteen years old his father died, leaving him to support the family, eight sisters and one brother.  In 1840 his mother moved to Illinois, and in the fall of 1853 he came to Davis county.  Was married September 1, 1848, to Miss Eliza Ann Nixon, a native of Warren county, Indiana.  They have no children, but have adopted Rosie Alice Abernathy.  Mr. and Mrs. M. are members of the Christian Church.

McCRACKEN, WM, farmer, section 12, postoffice Drakeville; was born in Hendricks county, Indiana, December 26, 1843; and at the age of five, came with his parents, Isaac and Susan M., to this county. Here Mr. McCracken grew to manhood on a farm, receiving a good common school education. He owns a good farm of 320 acres, in section twelve. He was married in this county, September 16, 1866, to Miss Lizzie Riley, a native of Warren county, Indiana. They have had six children, John W., James H., Mattie, Oscar, Eddie, and Ralph, deceased at the age of two years. Mr. McCracken is a splendid specimen of the western farmer and is highly respected by those who know him.

McCullough, John, one of the pioneers of Wyacondah, owns a fine farm of 270 acres, of the best land in the township, and one of the best residences. He is engaged in farming and stock-raising, and has held most of the township offices; has been justice of the peace for twenty years, and is the first man in the county who thought brick would stand freezing, and was engaged in making brick for eight years. He was born in Wayne county, Indiana, a son of john and Elizabeth McCullough, of Pennsylvania; his grandsire, James, came from north of Ireland. He lived in Wayne county until twenty-four years old, received his education in the common schools, came to this township October 12, 1848, buying what was known as the Willis farm. He was married, January 31, 1850, to Miss Martha Young, of Wapello county, daughter of William and Jane Young. They have had eleven children: Mary L., Boots, Mandy M., Thomas J., William Y., Sadie F., Samuel, Mattie, and four deceased, Jane Caroline Yates, Elizabeth, George W. and John. Mr. M. is a democrat in politics, and a genial gentleman. His postoffice is Savannah.

D. M. McFadden submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

  McFadden, D. M.; page 662: farmer, post office West Grove; was born July 13, 1847, in Clinton county, Ohio. When eight years old, his parents, Frank and Sarah Ann, came west and settled in Grove township, this county, near Stiles. When about seventeen, he commenced teaching, and after three years, he engaged as salesman with T. F. Collins, in Stiles, for three years. He then located on a good farm of eighty acres, in this township. He was married in December 1868, to Miss Nancy Meklin, of West Grove township, who died September 10, 1869.  He married again, July 13, 1871 Miss M. J. Shook. They have had four children, Jennie A., Rosa A, Samuel H., and James H.   Mr. M. is a member of Franklin lodge, A. F. and A.M. No. 14, and in politics is a democrat.

John McFadden, M. D. submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

McFadden, John M. D.; pages 672 & 674:  post office Stiles; was born April 1, 1852, in Clinton county, Ohio.  At the age of four years he came with his parents to Iowa and they located in this township (Grove).  He was reared on the farm and received a common school education, then entered the University at Mt. Pleasant, which he attended about two years; then taught school, at the same time reading medicine.  He entered the Medical College at Keokuk in the winter of 1873-4, and graduated in the class of 1874-5, before he was twenty-two years of age.  He then came to this place and began practicing, which he has continued ever since, and has enjoyed a very lucrative practice.  He was married in April 1877, to Miss S. K. Breneman.  They have two children: William W. and an infant not yet named. The doctor is a member of the Masonic order, and K. P.  He and his wife are members of the M. E. Church. 

Merritt, Marion, manufacturer of coopers' stock, postoffice Pulaski; was born in Davis county, April 14, 1851; was here raised to manhood, and received a common school education; spending his youth on his father's farm. His father, John Merritt, is now living, at the age of seventy-four, in Fox River township, being one of the oldest settlers in the county. At the age of 19, Mr. M. engaged in business for himself, dealing in live stock. In 1875,he enmigated to California, and engaged in lumbering in Tehama county; and later at farming. He was married September 14, 1873, to Miss Marietta Hanshaw, of this county, who died in California, December 6, 1878, and is buried at Red Bluffs, in that State. She was aged 22, and a sincere christian lady, a member of the Christian Church. He was successful in California, but the death of his wife changed his life, and he returned to this county, and went into his present business in the spring of 1880.

Merritt, William, farmer, postoffice Unionville, was born in Hancock county, Indiana, July 18, 1837, and emigrated to Sullivan county, Mo., in 1839, and five years later came to Davis county. He was raised a farmer, and at eighteen his father gave him his time as legacy, when he embarked in the merchandise business on Fox River, in this county. His farm is located on Soap Creek, and contains 40 acres, well improved. He was married, July 17, 1872, to Miss C. Rice, a native of Randolph county, Indiana, and their union has been blessed with three children, Sally, John and Nancy.

J. W. Milligan submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Milligan, J. W.; page 697: merchant, Pulaski; was born July 11, 1842, in Van Buren county, Iowa; obtaining his education in the common schools and Troy Academy.  He came to this county with his parents, in 1855, and assisted his father on the farm till he was twenty-three, when he struck out for himself; as a farmer, till 1871.  He then commenced business at Pulaski, occupying the same building ever since, and doing a thriving business in general merchandise of all kinds; and has recently added a dress-making and millinery department, presided over by his wife.  He was married February 15, 1866, to Miss Martha J. Taylor, a native of Indiana.  They have six children: Charles H., Ida E., Hattie I., Walter C., James C., and Garfield.  Mr. M. is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and has been township clerk beyond the recollection of the oldest inhabitant.

Millsap, J. L., farmer and stock-raiser, postoffice Stiles; was born March 22, 1841, in McDonough county, Illinois, where he lived till he was fifteen years old, with his parents on the farm, and was educated in the public schools.  He then came to Iowa with his parents and settled in this county, growing to manhood on the farm.  August 2, 1862, he enlisted in company B, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, and mustered in at Keokuk.  He was first engaged at the Yazoo River in December of the same year.  Was at Vicksburgh, Grand Gulf, and Jackson; was there transferred to the First Iowa Battery, and engaged in the fight at Jackson, thence to Vicksburg, and in many others; at Mission Ridge, and Lookout Mountain.  The next spring was returned to his regiment, and was with Sherman, until he was taken sick; on furlough; went to Louisville; did guard duty; rejoined the regiment at Atlanta in time to join in pursuit of "Hood;" went with Sherman to the sea, and then through the Carolina's; was present at surrender of "Joe Johnston," also at the "Grand Review" at Washington, and was discharged at Davenport.  Then returned to this county and farmed till 1873; then went to Nebraska, took up his soldier's homestead, remained long enough to secure it; then, in 1876 returned to this county, and has been farming ever since.  He owns eighty acres of finely improved land, and a nice home.  He was married March 21, 1867, to Miss M. A. Collins, a native of Ross county, Ohio.  They have three children, Mary F., Thomas F. and Claudia M.  Mr. M. and wife are members of the M. E. Church.

Moots, John S. submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin  

Moots, John S., farmer and stock raiser, post office Oak Springs; is a native of this county, born Oct 9, 1850; lived at home with his father, George M., until he was twenty seven, getting his education in common schools. He now owns a farm of 50 acres of well improved land on Soap creek. He was married, Feb 10, 1878, to Miss Ruthanda Mounts, a native of this county, and they have one child, Evans. Mr. M is a member of Jefferson Lodge No 86, AF & AM at Drakesville.

Moots, George submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin  

Moots, George, farmer and stock raiser, section 30, is a native of Logan Co., Ohio, born Dec 13, 1808. He was raised a farmer and educated in the subscription schools. At an early age he went to the harness and saddler trade with John Hooper of Clark Co., Ohio, and at the end of two years embarked in business for himself in Logan Co. Five years later he came to Scotland Co., MO, and five years later to Davis Co, Iowa, where he has lived since. He staked out the first claim in Marion Twp, on what is now section 24, before the Indians gave possession. He has been a very successful farmer, although once he had his house burned down, and once had a large security debt to pay. His farm is located on Soap Creek, and contains 120 acres, brick house, good barns and orchard. He was married in June 1833, to Miss Mary Moots, a native of Ross Co., Ohio; they have had eight children.

MORRIS, HARVEY M., farmer, postoffice Bloomfield; was born June 18, 1842, in Van Buren county, Iowa, and at the age of five returned with his parents to Indiana, their native State, and four years later came to this county.  He enlisted August 17, 1861, in company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, and the first year fought bushwhackers in Missouri and Arkansas, and then Price, Marmaduke and Kerby.  He veteranized in 1864, and while home on furlough, March 6, 1864, he married Miss Sarah Shadle, and six days later rejoined his regiment, and was ordered to the front; being in seventeen battles; wounded once; struck twice with bullets, and mustered out August 9, 1865.  Mr. and Mrs. M. have had four children, Ida E., Mary M., William F. and James N., an infant, deceased.  Mr. M. is a carpenter by trade, and highly respected.

Mounts, Rebecca submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Mounts, Rebecca, section 22, post office Oak Springs; is a native of Ross Co; born May 17, 1822; was educated in subscription schools, and reared on a farm, living with her parents, until she married John Mounts, who was a native of Ross Co, Ohio, living until he was grown, then he moved to Pekin, Illinois, and two years later returning to Ross Co. Six years later they came to this county where she has lived ever since. Mr. Mounts died 7-5-1874, since which time, she has, with the help of an agent, managed her farm of 400 acres. It is well improved, under good cultivation, with good orchard and buildings. She has been the mother of nine children, seven now living.