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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 3/22/2004 at 11:04:52

Biography reproduced from page 67 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Andrew Marcus Horton, who passed away at Santa Paula, Ventura county, California, on the 13th of March, 1889, was long numbered among the prominent and influential citizens of Kossuth county and was a leading factor in journalistic circles as the editor of The Republican, published at Algona. He was born at Brownsville, Jefferson county, New York, on the 31st of December, 1840, his parents being George and Sabra (Mills) Horton, who were married on the 29th of January, 1829. George Horton was sixth in line of descent from the Puritan, Barnabas Horton, born in the hamlet of Mouseley, Leicestershire, in 1600, who left England about 1635 and settled in Hampton, Massachusetts.

Barnabas Horton and his wife were charter members of the Congregational church organized in 1640 by Rev. John Youngs of England, Rev. John Davenport and Governor Eaton of New Haven. In October of the same year thirteen members of this congregation with their families sailed to Long Island and founded the town of Southold, the first settlement on the east end of the island. Barnabas Horton thus was one of the founders of Southold, Suffolk county, New York. The home built by him was the first erected in the settlement. Barnabas Horton died on July 13, 1680, and was laid to rest beneath an English marble stone that still stands in the cemetery at Southold, bearing an epitaph the stanch old Puritan had written himself.

Ten children survived him. The eldest, Joseph, had married Jane Budd, a daughter of one of the original Rye, Westchester county, New York, Southold settlers, and had moved west, and was living in the very borderland of civilization. David Horton, fourth son of Joseph, of Rye, moved farther into the wilderness of western New York. James, the great-grandson of David Horton, born January 23, 1773, was the grandfather of Andrew Marcus Horton, and six years after his marriage to Martha White he settled upon Point Salubrious, a beautiful peninsula in Chaumont Bay, Lake Ontario. George Horton, the father of Andrew Marcus Horton, was two years old at this time. The winter of 1819-20 was spent in building a stone house on the point, and it was to this home that George Horton brought his bride, Sabra Mills. This old house still stands. George Horton moved to Brownsville, where, in a cabin in the woods, Andrew Marcus was born. Mrs. Sabra (Mills) Horton was of Scotch descent, her mother being a McPherson, and a daughter of William McPherson, who served through the Revolutionary war in a New York regiment.

Previous to entering the army Andrew M. Horton had the advantage of nothing higher than the public schools of Brownsville and Chaumont, New York. At twenty he enlisted in the Union army, sustained in his loyalty to his country by the fervent patriotism of his mother. Two sons were already at the front but the mother told Andrew that his place, too, was there.

The report of the adjutant general of the state of New York contains this summary of Andrew Horton’s services for his country. “Andrew Horton, aged twenty years, enlisted September 18, 1861, at Watertown; mustered in as private in Company E, Sixth New York Volunteer Cavalry, October 3, 1861, to serve three years; appointed corporal September 11, 1862; sergeant, November, 1863; reenlisted at Culpepper, Virginia, December 16, 1863; appointed first sergeant June 1, 1865; transferred to Company E, Second New York Provisional Cavalry, June 17, 1865; honorably discharged at Elmira, New York, August 22, 1865.”

He was with the cavalry division of the Army of the Potomac in these important battles: Antietam, September 17, 1862; Fredricksburg, Virginia, December 11, 1862; Dumfries, Virginia, December 27, 1862; Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863; Ashby’s Gap, June, 1863; Gettysburg, July 1-4, 1863; Wilderness, Virginia, May 5-11, 1864; Sheridan’s raid, Shenandoah Valley, May, 1864; Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1-12, 1864; Deep Bottom, Virginia, July 27, 1864; Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864; Fisher’s Hill, September 22, 1864; Cedar Creek, October 27, 1864; evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, 1865; Sheridan’s raid from Harper’s Ferry to Petersburg, 1865; surrender of Lee’s army, Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865.

Through these desperate, bloody battles he passed unscathed and received the wound which finally resulted in his death in a skirmish known variously as the battle of Cedarville, Guard Hill or Front Royal, Virginia, on August 16, 1864. The bullet which would have ended his life lodged in an old bull’s eye watch that he had bought from a comrade, who had taken it from an old secessionist on the Richmond trail. He wrote home at the time: “I received no injury except a severe contusion on the left side.”

He was ordered to the hospital off Sandy Hook, but the dirt and the horror of it made him sick at heart and he rejoined his regiment. During the war his regiment had taken part in one hundred and forty-three engagements and lost four hundred and seventy-two men, including forty-one officers. On the flag of the regiment, by special order, was placarded a list of seventy-seven engagements.

After his discharge Mr. Horton entered a business college at Syracuse, New York, and later took a course at Union Academy, Belleville, New York. After graduation he became consular agent at Cape Vincent, New York. The position in the consular service was to his liking and shortly he was given a more important position as consular agent at Coburg, Canada, under the American consul, A. D. Shaw. It was a place of promise but governed by politicians and, unwilling to submit to their control, he resigned in 1870.

In the same year he started west with Greeley, Colorado, as his objective point. He visited friends in Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa and decided to locate in Algona, Iowa. For a year he was principal of the public school, and on March 4, 1872, he took editorial charge of the Algona Times.

The paper had been established in October, 1871, by B. J. Castle, a democrat. It was sold to Horton, Jones & Company, the partners being J. B. Jones and Milton Starr, and the politics changed. Nearly a decade was spent in building up The Republican. They were years of Mr. Horton’s most earnest endeavor. Milton Starr, who had bought the interest of J. B. Jones and had become an equal partner in the business, at the time of Mr. Horton’s death wrote:

“He made the paper pronounced and radical from the start, and a faithful exponent of his opinions, which he held strongly and advocated with great force and convincing power. He, at that early stage in the temperance movement, took a decided stand for prohibition, while his republicanism was of the stalwart type.”

His observation of farming methods led him to advocate dairying and stock-raising, and among the first he took up the cause earnestly through the paper. That his efforts were not without effect is witnessed in the herds of cattle that furnish the Kossuth county farmer with his most profitable product. The paper grew steadily and the best interests of the community were always served through the columns of The Republican.

In 1881, when failing health had made it necessary to sever his connection with the paper, Mr. Horton wrote in his valedictory: “No human being can rise in judgment to charge that this newspaper has ever advocated any cause or principle through the ascendancy of which he or she has been or could have been wronged. I think I may make this broad statement without fear of contradiction and without subjecting myself to the charge of egotism. And just now and here is the time and place when one can most fully appreciate the ability justly to make such a statement.”

For four years, beginning with January 1, 1873, A. M. Horton served as county recorder of Kossuth county.

On the 1st of January, 1875, at Algona, Iowa, Mr. Horton was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Margaret Reed, a daughter of Samuel and Jane (Boone) Reed, who were married in Ireland. They were of Scotch-Irish descent and came to the United States immediately after their marriage, settling in eastern New York. They were among the pioneer settlers of Wisconsin, taking up land in Waukesha county in 1840. Mr. and Mrs. Horton has two sons. George Reed Horton, whose birth occurred on the 30th of September, 1875, was married on the 24th of December, 1904, to Mabel Frances Smith, a daughter of Lewis H. Smith. Homer Francis Horton was born on the 1st of September, 1880.

Andrew M. Horton had expected to live in Algona with his family but this he was not able to do, and soon after selling his interest in the paper he went west in search of health. He went first to California, then north into Washington. He saw the opportunities offered in that country and attempted with three others to buy one hundred and sixty acres of land that is now the business portion of the city of Spokane. The deal was not made and he secured some land in the Big Bend country, where he lived out of doors, hoping to restore his health. He returned to Algona but went west again to live another brief period on his land. On his return to Algona he took hold of a dairy paper for a few issues but was compelled to leave the rigors of an Iowa winter.

He left in the fall of 1886 for California, took up real estate with a cousin in Orange, but was obliged to give it up. He never returned to Algona. He had retired from the active management of the paper to take up a battle with disease. The wound he had received in the war had affected his heart too seriously to mend. Early in 1888 he went to Santa Paula, Ventura county, California, and there his family joined him the first day of June. A rapid decline set in. The end came peacefully shortly after midnight, Wednesday, March 13, 1889. He had lost in this last fight. He had asked that he be buried in the cemetery at Santa Paula. It was a soldier’s wish to lie where he fell. So, at the foot of the hills that rise toward the heights of the Sierra Nevada range, he was laid to rest.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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