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DURANT, ANTHONY H.

DURANT, HUNTER, ROBINSON, WORSTER, BEALS

Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 4/28/2004 at 16:49:24

Biography reproduced from page 625 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Anthony H. Durant, whose demise occurred on the 21st of July, 1906, was numbered among the substantial and esteemed citizens of this county for four decades and for about thirty years conducted a drug business at Algona in partnership with his brother Henry. His birth occurred at Bathurst, New Brunswick, on the 10th of April, 1835, his parents being Henry and Margaret (Hunter) Durant, who prior to their marriage emigrated from England to New Brunswick. In 1937, when their son Anthony was but two years of age, they left New Brunswick and took up their abode on Walpole Island, Canada, continuing to reside there until the white settlers were compelled to abandon the place because of the hostility of the Indians. Henry Durant then removed with his family to Algonac, Michigan, and subsequently took up his abode in Waukesha, Wisconsin, while still later he went to Dodge county, that state. In 1865 he came to Algona, Kossuth county, Iowa, with his oldest son and there established a general store. At the end of three years he retired from business and went to live on his homestead in Lotts Creek township. About three years later he returned to Algona, where he spent the remaining years of his life, passing away in 1879. He was prominent in public affairs and held both town and county offices of responsibility. With his sons he founded and named the town of Lomira, Wisconsin, and was made its first postmaster, acting in that capacity for eight years. He was reared in the Church of England but in later life became a Methodist. His wife passed away when their son Anthony was but ten years of age. Their children were six in number, namely: Mary, deceased; Henry, who was rejected for service in the Union army because of physical disability and who passed away in 1904; Anthony H., of this review; William, who died at the age of fourteen years; John, who loyally defended the Union as a soldier at the front until killed in the battle of Gettysburg; and Eleanor Margaret, the wife of L. F. Robinson, of Orlando, Florida.

Anthony H. Durant attended the country schools in the acquirement of an education. However, the most valuable part of his learning was the result of his own efforts, and the study of history and the reading of solid literature was to him a life-long pleasure. A few months after the outbreak of the Civil war he became a member of the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving at the front with that command for three years, on the expiration of which period he veteranized and returned home on a furlough. In November, 1864, he and his brother Henry walked across the country to this state on a land-seeking trip, eventually finding a favorable site in Lotts Creek township, Kossuth county, after which they returned to Wisconsin. On the 1st of March, 1865, however, Anthony H. Durant enlisted in the Ninth Regiment of Hancock’s Veteran Corps for one year, serving in the regular army until March 12, 1866, when he was honorably discharged at Washington, D. C. During the last year of the war his father established the family home in Kossuth county, Iowa, and opened a store at Algona in association with his oldest son. When the country no longer needed his military aid Anthony H. Durant joined his father and brother and engaged in freighting from Iowa Falls and also Boonesboro, this state.

On the 13th of August, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline H. Worster, who was born in New Hampshire on the 23d of June, 1849, her parents being Abel and Harriet (Beals) Worster, natives of New Hampshire, whose sketch appears with that of C. H. Worster.

Mrs. Caroline H. Durant acquired her education in the public schools of this county and subsequently followed the profession of teaching for a few years in Kossuth and Humboldt counties. In the spring following their marriage she and her husband took up their abode on the homestead in Lotts Creek township, this county, the property adjoining that of her father-in-law. In 1871 they returned to Algona, where Anthony H. Durant embarked in the drug business in partnership with his brother, Henry, taking the place of Dr. Sheetz. This partnership was maintained with mutual pleasure and profit for about thirty years, at the end of which time A. H. Durant retired to private life. All of the time which was not demanded by the interests of his drug business he devoted to horticulture. His experiments and experiences have probably done more than those of any other man in Kossuth county to prove to the people of this county that fruit can be grown profitably here. Mrs. Caroline H. Durant owns two hundred and forty acres of land, constituting a part of the original homesteads of her husband and father-in-law in Lotts Creek township. She also owns a tract of seven acres within the limits of Algona, upon which her husband had built a commodious residence. The fine orchards on this place and also on the farm are ample proof of his ability as a horticulturist.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Durant were born six children, of whom five are living: Anthonette, who is an instructor of English in the Wisconsin State Normal School; Ellen; Carrie; Margaret; and William W., who is attending school. Anthony H. Durant, the father, was called to his final rest on the 21st of July, 1906. He was a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic and served as color bearer. His widow belongs to the Congregational church and exemplifies its teachings in her daily life. The period of her residence in this county covers almost a half century and she has become well known and highly esteemed for her many excellent traits of character.


 

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