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Floyd County >> 1882 Index

History of Floyd County, Iowa
Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Co., 1882.

Floyd Township
submitted by Bonnie Stickney


Edward G. Beattie, farmer and stock-raiser, section 23, Floyd Township, was born in Canada West, Dec. 20, 1837. His father, Edward Beattie, was of Scotch descent. In 1846 his father brought his family to Lake County, Illinois, and to this township in 1854, where the family still reside. His father died Jan. 8, 1873. He owns 150 acres of well improved land. He was married, Jan. 5, 1863, to Elizabeth Saltsgiver. Of their seven children, four are living - William, Lewis, Rosa, and an infant girl.

Lewis Birney, M.D., born in Syracuse, N.Y., Jan. 1, 1823, is a son of James Birney, a native of England, who died when Lewis was quite small. He was reared and educated in his native town, attending the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Toronto, Can., in 1850-1851, graduating in 1851; also graduated from College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1878. He commenced to practice in 1851 in Canada. He moved to Garden Prairie, Illinois, in the spring of 1856, and came here the following fall. He is the pioneer surgeon of the county; had a large territory to practice in; was frequently called to go forty and fifty miles. He has a large practice; is a very skillful surgeon. He is a member of the Masonic order. He was married April 27, 1846, to Mary M. Ferris. Of their seven children, six are living - Clarius C., Varriness C., Matilda A., Catharine M., Erasmus L., and Celia J. The three sons are all practicing medicine; one daughter, Mathilda A., also practiced medicine a short time. She is now the wife of L. A. Snow. Mrs. Birney's father, Hiram Ferris, was born in New York State in 1801, and her mother in Canada in 1808.

William E. Brill, farmer and stock-raiser, section 22, Floyd Township, is a native of New York State, born Dec. 14, 1834. His father, Nelson Brill, is a native of Pennsylvania, who moved to Kenosha County, Wis., in 1838, and to Sauk County, Wisconsin, in 1846. He came to Floyd County, Iowa, in 1867. He was married in 1859 to Eliza Degolia. They had one child - Charles. Mrs. Brill died and in 1865 he married Jeanette Richmond, born in Erie County, Pennsylvania. He deals in wood and lumber.

Bushnell K. Bronson, born in Steuben County, N.Y., Dec. 20, 1819, is a son of Thomas Bronson, of Connecticutt. He was educated in the Genesee College, N.Y.; came to Maquoketa City, Iowa, in 1854; in 1855 he and his brother, Jas. A. Bronson, laid out the town of Wyoming, in Jones County, IA. He build several large brick blocks there. He came to Floyd County in 1867. He went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1874 to educate his children. His son, Thomas B. graduated there in 1879, and is now Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages in the Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, Michigan. Mr. Bronson was married in December, 1857, to Marth A. Stone. Of their four children three are living - Thos. B., May, and Christina. Sidney L. died at the age of four years.

Hartford M. Brown, born in Franklin County, Vt., Jan. 10, 1820, is a son of Prisson Brown, a native of New Hampshire, who went to California in 1850. In 1833 Hartford M. Brown went to LaPorte County, Indiana, and in 1835 to McHenry County, Illinois. In 1852 he came to this county, before the land was surveyed west of Floyd Township. Indians, buffaloes, elk, deer, and bears roamed over the prairie. He saw thirty or forty deer in one drove. He was married April 16, 1847, to Lovina A. Brown. Of their ten children, four are living - Minerva, Malinda, Mary and Luella. He has served as Constable two years. They are members of the Christian church.

Abraham Butler, born in Muskingum County, Ohio, Feb. 12, 1812, is a son of Absalom Butler, a native of Maryland. He was reared on a farm and received a limited education in the common schools. He went to Fayette County, Ohio, in 1855, and came here in the fall of 1860, and settled on section 23, Floyd Township, where he now resides. He owns 160 acres of well-improved land and is engaged in farming and stock-raising. He is a carpenter and joiner by trade; also served an apprenticeship at the cabinet-maker's trade. He was married May 8, 1836, to Mary Blunt, daughter of James and Elizabeth Blunt. Of their eleven children only seven are living - Elizabeth, Mary E., Amanda, James, George W., Louisa and John. Two daughters, Martha and Matilda, died at the ages of thirty-three and twenty-one years respectively.

John Clarke, farmer and stock-raiser, section 20, Floyd Township, was born in Leicestershire, England, April 26, 1844. He is a son of Samuel Clarke, a native of England, who came with his family to America and settled in Lake County, Ill., in 1848. He received his education in the common schools and in the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Ill. During the late war, he enlisted in Company H., Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, and served fourteen months, when he was wounded and discharged. Jan. 1, 1869, he was married to Mary Green. They have five children - Nellie, Hepsy, Willie, Merton, and Perry. He came to this county in 1877. He has been Assessor the past three years.

James Coley, farmer and stock-raiser, section 34, Floyd, was born in Franklin County, N.Y., Sept. 23, 1824, and is a son of David Coley, a native of Dutchess county. He graduated in 1846 from the New York State Normal School, at Albany. He taught in Oxford and Oswego academies, N.Y. In March, 1855, he came to this county; was the first settler on the prairie northwest of Charles City, and plowed the first furrow. He was married in 1854 to Rosalie M. Willoughby, who died in 1862. Of their children two are living - Ellen and Amy. He was Township Trustee six years, President of the School Board four years, and was elected County Supervisor, but declined to serve.

Jesse Edwards, born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, Sept. 26, 1828, is a son of Joshua Edwards, a native of the same State. He came to Iowa in 1854, first going to Dubuque County, and in 1856 coming to this county. He learned the trade of carpenter when twenty years of age, and has always followed that occupation. He built most of the houses in Floyd; also built the flour-mill here. He was married in October, 1856, to Maria A. Magill. Of their two children only one is living - Jennie. Mrs. Edwards died in 1863, and Oct. 31, 1866, he married Mrs. A. E. Buckley; they have one child - Myrtle. He has been County Trustee three terms, and on the School Board several years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Albert S. Griffith, was born Oct. 26, 1836, in Chagrin Falls, a mile and a half from the birthplace of Garfield, attending the same church with him when a boy, and being personally acquainted with him. He went with his parents to Kane County, Ill., in 1850; to McHenry County, Ill., in 1851, and came to this cunty in 1853 and settled in Rock Grove. In 1859 he went to Arkansas, and in 1860 to Louisa, Ky.; from there to Indiana and sold fruit trees around Winchester; then went to Indianapolis and secured a position in the Commissary Department, but soon after joined the Eighteenth Indiana Regimental Band and served on year. In 1862 he went to Helena, Ark; January, 1863, came back to this county; June 1863, to Columbus, Ky., and in October 1863 came back to this county. In the fall of 1863 he went to Osage and ran the Moniter House one year; then returned to Floyd and ran the hotel here one year. In the spring of 1866 moved to Nebraska; peddled groceris and provisions to the hands on the U.P.R.R., when it was building; in the fall of 1866 returned to Floyd and engaged in the mercantile business; in a few years sold out and bought an interest in the flour mill now owned by Haven, Griffith & Harwood;; in 1874 resumed the mercantile business in which he is doing well; keeps a full line of general stock. He was married Nov 1, 1863, to Mary A. Rice, daughter of Andrew Rice, now of Mitchell County, Kansas. They have two children - Lillian E. and Clarence H. Mr. Griffith's father, James Griffith, was born in the Mohawk Valley, N.Y., and moved to Illinois in 1850, and to this county in 1853, where he entered 700 acres of land for himself and others. At that time the nearest postoffice was Bradford, thirty miles distant. He married Abiah Storr. They had nine children, six grew to be men and women - Harriet L., Henry L., Sarah J., Albert S., Almira M., and Elizabeth M. (now deceased).

Henry Ingram, born in County Derry, Ireland, June 4, 1811, is a son of William Ingram, a native of Cambridgeshire, England, who was an officer of the English army, and died when Henry was but seven months old. He came to America, going first to Vermont in 1830; from there, in 1847, to Massachusetts; in 1852 went to California, and in July, 1853, back to Massachusetts. In 1854 he came to this county. He was married in 1834 to Ann Sharkey. They have six children - Mary A., Ellen, Margaret, Jane, Sarah and Lizzie. Mrs. Ingram died Sept. 21, 1880. The family are members of the Catholic church. He is a member of the Alliance, also of the Mutual Insurance Company.

Alfred C. Judson, born in Delaware County, N.Y., March 27, 1845, is a son of Tarsus Judson, a native of New York, and now a resident of Floyd, aged seventy-eight years. He was educated in the common schools of Ogle County, Ill, where he went with his parents in 1854. In the fall of 1865 he went to Markesan, Green Lake, Wis., where he learned the trade of harness-making, which he has continued to work at till the present time. In 1878 he came to Floyd County and went into business for himself. He does first class work and has a good and increasing trade. He was married Oct. 17, 1879, to Isabelle Moon.

Peter D. McKinzie, born in Quebec, May 28, 1838, is a son of Dugald McKinzie, a native of Scotland. He was educated in an academy in Quebec. In 1871 he went to Massachusetts and resided in Lowell till February, 1880, when he came to Floyd County. He was married in October, 1865, in Ontario, to Margaret Shields, second cousin of General Shields. They have two children - Lizzie and Belle. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He resides on section 21, Floyd Township; owns 181 acres and is engaged in farming and stock-raising.

Ira M. Merriman, born in Hadley, Canada East, Sept. 8, 1819, was a son of Amasa Merriman, a native of Hartford, Conn., who settled in Canada at an early day. He received his education at Georgeville, Canada, and at Newbury, Vt. He went to Clinton, Ill., in 1843, and to Beloit, Wis., in 1845. In May, 1861, he came to Floyd County and bought a stock of groceries and dry goods; carried on the mercantile business most of the time for ten years. For the past ten years has kept the Stage House. Has been Postmaster and a notary public for the last fifteen years. Has been Township Clerk since 1864. He was married May 29, 1842, to Belinda R. Webster. Of their four children, three are living - Helen A., Amasa H., and Willie H. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

James Morrison, section 13, Floyd Township, was born in East Loathers, Scotland, Feb. 9, 1828. He is a son of James Morrison, also a native of Scotland. When fifteen years of age he went to sea; sailed a year and a half and landed in New York City in 1845. He lived in Tioga County, Penn., two years, and a few months in New Jersey. He then lived in Livingston County, N.Y., several years, and in 1855 came to this county and worked at the carpenter's trade; is also a millwright. He was married Nov. 17, 1858, to Jane Shaw, a native of Antrim County, Ireland, a daughter of Benjamin Shaw. They have four children - William W., James B., Helen M., and Agnes J. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

William Morse, born in Waterbury, Washington County Vt., Jan. 15, 1834, is a son of Leonard L. Morse, a native of Massachusetts, who moved with his family to Will County, IL, in the spring of 1834; to Whitesides County, IL, about 1836; to McHenry County, IL, in 1842, and to California in 1847. In 1849 he went back to Vermont, and in 1850 to McHenry County, IL, and to Chickasaw County, IA, 1853. In the same year William Morse came to this county, and bought the land he now occupies. He went to Rice County, Minn., in 1855, and in 1858 came here, and settled on section 8, Floyd Township. He was married, Jan. 23, 1855, to Lucinda O. Horton. Of their seven children six are living - Adella, Charles E., Ida M., Anna E., Frank L. and William H. He has been Township Trustee, Constable, and School Treasurer.

Harry M. Nye, deceased, was born in Vermont, Jan. 12, 1819. When about twenty years of age he went to Lake County, Ill., where, in 1843, he married Rachel J. Hubbard. Of their four children, two are living - Mrs. Mary E. Rice and Charles E. Nye. He came to this county in February, 1855, and settled on section 22, Floyd Township, where the family still live. He was a mentor of the Baptist church, becoming a Christian in early life. He was hospitable and generous, always aiding in building churches and schools. He helped organize the first Sunday-school in Floyd. He died Sept. 24, 1881. He was a kind, affectionate husband and father, honest, upright, and industrious, always one of the first in every good word and work.

Hershel Perrin, son of Ephraim Perron, was born in Washington Co., N.Y., May 24, 1836. His parents dying, he was thrown on his own resources at the age of eleven. He lived with Rev. Thos. Lang, near West Pewlet, Vt., one year; with Mr. Nelson of Hebron, four years; and then worked by the month till nearly twenty-one. In the spring of 1857, he came West to Minnesota and in July, 1857, he came to this county. He enlisted in the late war, in Company G, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry. He was at Pleasant Hill, etc.; afterward on detached service in the pioneer corps. He was married Jan. 28, 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Perrin have five children - Harriet J., Alicia M., Ephraim H., Nora and Ester E. He resides on section 28, Floyd Township.

Willard Perrin, born in Windsor County, Vt., Dec. 13, 1854, is a son of William Perrin, of the same county. He came to Floyd County in 1874, and worked on a farm one year. He clerked for Griffith two years and in a drug store one year; then, in 1878, he went into business for himself, selling drugs, groceries, hardware and school books; capital stock, $1,200 to $1,500. He does an annual business of $5,000. He was married in January, 1876, to Belle Ramsey. They have two children - Percy and Edna.

Solomon A. Quinby, born in Brookfield, Vt., March 21, 1821, is a son of Jonathan Quinby. He came to Floyd County in 1858. He is a contractor and bridge builder. He lives on his farm of 180 acres, on section 21, Floyd Township. He was married in Chelsea, Vt >, Sept. 17, 1845, to Harriet S. Woodworth, a native of that place, born Dec. 10, 1822. Of their eight children, six are living - Laura, Albert, Cassius, Carrie, Sarah, and Edith. One daughter, Ellen, died in Vermont at the age of ten years.

Robert J. Rankin, born in Burlington, Vt., Nov. 3, 1841, is a son of Hugh Rankin, a native of Ireland, who came to America about 1834. They moved to Messina, N.Y., in 1844. He was reared and educated there, and in 1858 came West and settled in Dane County, Wis., and in 1861 came to this county and settled in Floyd Village, where he lived till the spring of 1882, when he moved to the farm on section 19, and is dealing in stock. He was married Nov. 2, 1867, to Almira, daughter of James Griffith, deceased. She is a native of Ohio. They have one child - George. His father resides with him. He has been Constable for the past eighteen years. Mrs. Rankin was a neighbor of James A. Garfield.

Frank Raymond, farmer and stock-raiser, section 12, Floyd Township, was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., April 27, 1844. He is a son of James Raymond, with whom he came West in 1850, going first to Wisconsin, and in 1852 to Illinois, and in 1855 coming to Floyd County. He owns forty acres of land. He was married Jan. 29, 1872, to Mary Johnson. They have two children - Bert and Lou. He has been School Director for several years.

James Raymond, born in Cornwall, Canada, June 5, 1830, is a son of James Raymond who moved with his family to New York State in 1834, and to Fond du Lac, Wis., in 1850; from there to McHenry County, Ill., in the spring of 1852, and in June 1855, came to this county and settled in Floyd Township, where he died July 9, 1879. James, Jr., was married Nov. 12, 1871, to Mrs. Maria L. Dennison. She had one son - George Dennison. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Luther Raymond, farmer and stock-raiser, section 8, Floyd Township, was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., July 20, 1848. He is the son of James Raymond, who came West in 1850, and came to this county in 1855. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the common schools. He was married April 9, 1879, to Alecta J. Lone, daughter of Michael Lone. The had one child - Robert W. He owns 100 acres of well improved land.

Norman A. Rice, farmer and stock-raiser, section 31, Floyd Township, was born in Belchertown, Hampshire County, Mass., Dec. 15, 1817, and is a son of David Rice, a native of Guilford, Vt. He came West and settled in Walworth County, Wisc., in 1842. In September, 1852, he came to this county and settled in the wilderness. He now has 195 acres of well-improved land. He married, in 1845, Eliza Holcomb, who died in 1865. In 1866 he married Mary Shannon. He has been Township Trustee several years; is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

D. J. Richards, carpenter; postoffice, Floyd; son of David and Elizabeth (Shafer) Richards, natives of New York State and Pennsylvania respectively; they lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. David died in Ohio and Elizabeth in Indiana. They had ten children and D.J. is the seventh child; he was born in Lancaster, Penn., Feb 14, 1832, and came to Ohio with his parents in 1841, where he was educated and learned his trade, which he has followed since. In 1869 he came to Floyd County and went to manufacturing brick; this he sold and bought a farm of seventy-eight acres on section 10, Floyd Township, where he now lives. In 1856 he married Elmira Riley, native of Ohio; they have been blessed with ten children, nine living - Corbin B., born Jan. 27, 1858; Elizabeth, born 1860; Jessa, William Scott, Mary Alice, Charles Henry, Albert G., Frederick, Perly Gynette, Bertha. Mr. Richards votes the Republican ticket.

Andrew P. Seaton, born in Jefferson County, N.Y., Nov. 23, 1823, is a son of Leonard Seaton, a native of Canada. He resided on a farm till he was sixteen, his education being in the common schools. His father was a tanner and currier and he learned the trade when a boy, and worked at it fourteen years, and worked at farming fourteen years. In 1870 he came to this county and settled in Floyd Township. He owns a good farm on section 23. In 1874 he moved into Floyd and sold goods for a while. He was Justice of the Peace in 1874, and again in 1876. In 1878 he refused the office, but was elected again in 1880. He was married in Watertown, N.Y., in 1846, to Laura A. Ferguson. Of their five children, four are living - Oren A., James H., George F. and Clara J.

Philip Sharkey, born in Ireland, Aug. 1, 1826, is a son of John Sharkey, a native of Ireland, who came to America and settled in Vermont in 1831, where Philip was reared and educated. He went to Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in 1846 and came to this county in 1854, settling on section 12 this township. He was married Oct. 23, 1853, to Mary Maley. They are the parents of seven children, five of whom are living - Wm. L., Thos. J., Chas. A., Mary A., and Martha J. One son, John P., died at the age of eighteen, and another, George H., at the age of three. He has been school director fifteen years; was President of the Board of Education six years, Township Trustee, and Assessor two terms. The family are members of the Catholic church.

Abner O.B. Smith, born in Williston, Vt., Feb. 21, 1827, is a son of Hiram Smith, also a native of Vermont. He was educated in Burlington, VT, and in 1850 came West to Kenosha County, Wis. He freighted there most of the time till 1860 when he came to this county. He sold goods in Floyd and Garner, IA, for about eight years. He owns 168 acres in this county, 160 in Hancock County, and 160 in Nebraska. He resides on section 8, Floyd Township. His son, Horace W., is a physician in Garner, a graduate of Rush Medical College. He was married in 1849 to Charlotte Pierce. They have four children - Alvin J., Horace W., Florence H., and Ida. Mrs. Smith died in 1860.

Henry D. Sprague, son of Henry Sprague, of Cattaraugus County, N.Y., was born in Steuben County, N.Y., Dec. 20, 1836. He went with his parents to Jasper County, Ind., in 1845, and to Buchanan County, Iowa, in 1854. In the fall of 1854 he came to Charles City where he has since resided, with the exception of one season spent in the Rocky Mountains in the mines. He took a trip into Oregon in 1874. Jan. 19, 1862, in Rockford, this county, he was married to Charlotte Welch. Of their six children five are living - Clara J., William E., James E., Denny O., and Henry W. Nellie M. is deceased. He resided in Ulster Township till March 1, 1882, when he took charge of the infirmary in Floyd. Has held the office of County Supervisor for Ulster, three years.

William Sprague, farmer; postoffice Floyd; son of Samuel and Rachel (Skelton) Sprague, natives of New York; they came to Illinois in 1844 and Samuel died there. William was born April 9, 1830, in New York, and educated there and in Illinois; he has always followed farming. In 1855 he came to Iowa and bought his present farm of 160 acres on section 29, Floyd Township, which he has under a fine state of cultivation. In 1853 he married Eliza M., daughter of WIlliam H. and Lavinia (Edmunds) Otis. They have three children - Julia S., born July 16, 1854, wife of Noah S. Naden, of Mitchell County; Mary S. born April 13, 1864; William Otis, born May 5, 1873. Mr. Sprague and wife are members of M.E. church of Floyd. Mr. Sprague has held several of the township offices, and has faithfully discharged the duties of each. He votes the Republican ticket.

Francis M. Wheat, farmer and stock-raiser, section 23, Floyd Township, was born in Delaware County, N.Y., Feb 14, 1830, a son of William Wheat, a native of Connecticutt. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the common schools and at Delaware Literary Institute of Franklin, N.Y. He came to Floyd County, going first to Charles City in 1857; In June, 1859, moved on to his present farm of 150 acres. He was married Jan. 10, 1854, to Lydia E. Richmond, daughter of John Richmond of Schafhausen, Switzerland, who served under Napoleon Bonaparte for three years and was carried prisoner to the Isle of Malta and kept two years, when, as the only means of escape, he enlisted in the British army and was brought to Canada, and from there escaped to America. He settled in Schoharie County, N.Y., and reared a family of seven daughters and one son. He died in 1874.

Jacob Whitbeck, born in Montgomery County, N.Y., Jan. 8, 1820, is a son of Robert Whitbeck, a native of Kinderhook, N.Y. He was educated in the common schools of his native county. In 1853 he moved to Rockford, Ill., and in 1856 came to this county. His house was the first one finished in the village of Floyd. He is a mason by trade but has followed farming and stock-raising since coming here. He owns 165 acres of land on section 19. He was married in August, 1840, to Mary Fero. Of their ten children, only six are living - Henry, Nettie, Charles, Ella, William, and Lizzie. One son, Albert died at the age of twenty-two; one, Jacob, was drowned while swimming in a pond, July 4, 1868, aged fourteen. Mr. Whitbeck is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church; he helped to haul the lumber, gave largely in money and helped build the Methodist Episcopal church. He has done much for the public interests of Floyd. He and P. Sharkey were the committee who condemned the court-house at Charles City.

Hervey Wilbur was born May 4, 1811, in Chatham, Columbia County, N.Y. His father and grandfather were natives of Rhode Island, but immigrated in an early day to Columbia County, N.Y., where they experienced all the hardships of pioneer farmers. In 1814 his father removed to Otsego County, N.Y., where he lived till 1857. He was married Jan. 1, 1840, to Angeline Moore, daughter of Philip Moore, who was a native of New Jersey. He was both farmer and carpenter. While in New York Mr. Wilbur was honored with the offices of School Inspector, School Commissioner, Town Inspector of Schools, Justice of the Peace, etc. He was a Democrat and was defeated for County Superintendent and member of the Legislature, at the split of that party into "Hunkers" and "Barn-burners." In 1857 he came to Iowa with his wife and six children. They have one son, born in the "Hawkeye" State. The most of his family are living at Charles City, IA. He entered the State as a Democrat and continued with that party till the war of the Rebellion, when he was a Union man from the first, and the close of the Rebellion found him, as he is now, a Republican. He is a school teacher by occupation, but was engaged in farming a portion of the time while in New York. He has held the offices of Justice of the Peace, County Superintendent of Schools and County Treasurer since coming to Floyd County.