The article below is from the "History of Buchanan County, Iowa", written 1881 by Percival and Percival, published by Williams Bros, Cleveland.  It is a township history and has several biographies at the end of it.


This township was organized and set apart as a separate and independent township on the twenty-first day of September, 1858, as shown by the following order of the
county judge:

State of Iowa.)
Buchanan County.)

In the County Court of said County.

Be it known. That on this twenty-first day of September, 1858, on petition of Philetus Mackey and Albert Risley and others, a new township in said county is hereby constituted and formed, consisting of the thirty-six sections of Congressional township eighty-eight, range seven, and in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants thereof, it is ordered to be styled Middlefield.

Stephen J. W. Tabor,

County Judge.

The first election in the township was held at a schoolhouse in the fall of 1858, and the following officers were elected: G. Smith, R. Stoneman, and M. Broadstreet,
trustees; Daniel Leatherman, assessor and constable.

The present officers are: A.J. Hagelrigg, Joseph King, and Patrick Farrell, trustees; E. A. Barnard, clerk; W. T. Sharp, assessor; L. P. Stutson and J. W. Sharp, justices;
John Plank and A. Miller, constables.


Patrick M. Dunn settled in the southeast part of the township April 2, 1850. He settled in the timber, and he remains now, as he was then, entirely surrounded by a beautiful forest, and his residence is situated on Buffalo creek. There is no doubt he was the first white man to build a cabin in the then wilderness of Middlefield. He was a native of Kings county, Ireland, being born there September 29, 1800. He came to the United States September 29, 1836, with his wife and two children. He and his wife, in those early years, went each year twice to Dubuque for groceries and such things as they needed. At one time he went to Quasqueton for some meal, one week going each way, and, at last, on Saturday night he succeeded in getting ten pounds of shorts, which he carried home, and it was used to make bread for the family. He had scarcely any companions or friends in those days except the Indians, who were wandering in the timber in large numbers, but showed no signs of hostility whatever. Mr. Dunn has four children, one boy and three girls.

Daniel Leatherman and his family were the next settlers here. They came June 2, 1854, settling out on the prairie, where there was nothing to guide them when they first came, and while their house was being built they lived for six weeks in the wagons they came with. A few acres were broken that year, and a little sod corn raised, also a fine patch of water-melons. His was the only house built out upon the prairie, and probably the first frame house built in the township. The stage road from Dubuque by way of Coffin's Grove, to Quasqueton, passed by their house, and this was the only house from Quasqueton to Coffin's Grove, a distance of twenty-three miles. At night a light was placed, in the east window in the upper story of the house, so that wanderers out on the prairie could see the light as they were coming in from Coffin's Grove. Many poor fellows were lost out upon the boundless land, who have seen the light in Leatherman's house, and there found a place to rest their wearied bodies, and found also a host and hostess with hearts as large and open as creation itself. Never was one turned away in those early days, though it truly seemed there was not even room for one more, the house both above and below being crowded. Mr. Leatherman was born December 18, 1814, in Indiana, and was of German descent. Mrs. Leatherman was a native of Kentucky. He came to Iowa with ox and horse teams. He died on the farm where he first settled, on the twelfth day of November, 1876, leaving a wife and ten children surviving him. His wife still owns and occupies the old homestead, and has the vigor of earlier and happier years. When he first came Mr. Leatherman employed much of his time teaming between Quasqueton and Dubuque, and the lumber of which his house was built was mostly drawn from Dubuque, a distance of seventy miles. He was one of the first magistrates, and he and his wife were members of the Baptist church in Quasqueton.

R. Stoneman settled here in 1855, near Leatherman's, he being Mr. Leatherman's first neighbor. Mr. Stoneman lived here probably ten years, and then went to Kansas, where he now lives. He had a family of some eight children, all of whom went farther west with their father.

George Smith was another of these early pioneers. He came about the some time as Stoneman in 1855. He remained here only about eight years; his wife died here, and then he soon emigrated to Kansas, where he still resides. He was a Wesleyan minister, and held the first religious services in the settlement.

William Broadstreet became a settler here in 1854, not far from Leatherman's, and on the farm now owned and occupied by William Braden. He remained but eight or nine years. He is still a resident of the county, living in Liberty township.

Mr. McWilliams settled in the township in June, 1854. He came from Ohio, of which State he was a native. He lived here until about the year 1865 and then moved to the south part of the State, where he died. He had a son in our late civil war Henry McWilliams, who was killed in the same battle in which a son of Mr. Leatherman was killed.

Stillman Berry came to the State in May, 1855, settling first in Quasqueton, but the same year bought the land he now lives on in Middlefield township. He was a native of Maine and had but one child a girl, who is now Mrs. Olive Perkins, who has four children and lives on the old homestead with her father's family.


Charles W. Cray established a creamery here in the spring of 1881. He has one churn with a capacity of fifty pounds of butter, and ordinarily churning once a day, uses the milk of six hundred cows; he also purchases cream from the farmers. He uses horse-power in churning. One man operates the creamery, and two teams are engaged in gathering cream.


A cheese manufactory was established here in the spring of 1881 by Mealler Brothers, on the farm of B. Dunlap. They make what is termed Swiss cheese, weighing from eighty to one hundred pounds each. They use the milk of two hundred cows. There are two men employed in their manufactory. They will make in the season four cheese each day, using a large copper kettle. The cloth in which the cheese is enclosed is imported from Switzerland.


A cemetery company was organized here about 1874. They have a good burying place. But previous to the organization of this company the people used the same grounds for the burial of their dead.

Buffalo creek passes through about the centre, entering the township at the northwest corner and passing through to the southeast corner. There is another small creek in the south part of the township called Leatherman's creek.

A post office was established here in about 1872, and L. P. Stutson appointed first postmaster. W. T. Stutson, his son, is the present incumbent. The office is called Middlefield. They have a mail here twice a week.


The timber is mostly in the southeastern part. There are about two hundred acres in the township, and that along Buffalo creek. There are, however, about the dwellings of the settlers, some fine groves that have been planted by them.

The surface is a rolling prairie, the soil of a dark loam and is very productive.

The first birth here was that of Edward L. Leatherman, April 4, 1855. He died September 29, 1879, at the family residence in the township.

The first wedding was that of Willard S. Blair and Permelia Ann Leatherman, June 24, 1855. Mr. Blair is dead, and his wife is married to Mr. A. M. Benton, and now lives in Linn county, Indiana.

The first religious services ever held in the township were by Rev. G. Smith, in 1855 or 1856, in the pioneer school-house that had just been built.

The first crop raised in the township was turnips, sod corn, and a few potatoes, by Patrick Dunn, in 1850; this, the first year that Mr. Dunn came to the township. This little crop gladdened the heart of Mr. Dunn and family.

The first wheat in the township was raised by P. M. Dunn in 1851. It was cradled and the crop was a good

W. T. Stutson keeps a general store in the west part of the township, which is a great convenience to the people.

The principal productions in this township are corn, oats, timothy seed, hay, flax, sugar-cane, and buckwheat.

In the early days of this township some of the farmers took their surplus products to Dubuque, but the expense of going there would frequently amount to more than their loads, the prices of everything then being very low wheat not more than twenty-five cents per bushel.

There was in the early days considerable suffering in the winter of 1856-57, on account of the severe cold weather.

There was at the time the early settlers came quite a large quantity of game, and more especially when Dunn first settled away in the timber. There were deer, geese, lynx, catamounts, and a few otter along Buffalo creek. W. J. Dunn killed a large number of lynx, and they are occasionally heard now in the timber.

The first school taught in this township was in a school-house that Mr. Leatherman and one or two other residents had built, and' the first teacher was Malinda Gageby, now Mrs. Samuel Braden, and living in the same township. The teacher was paid in the same way that the house was built by subscriptions from the people.

Among the early teachers were Henry Blank, A. Scott, R. Stoneman, Nancy Merrill. A second school-house was built near Stillman Berry's, in about the centre of the township.

The first entry of land in this township was made by Patrick Dunn.


In 1856 and 1857 the Indians frequently came to the township in large numbers, camping along the Buffalo, passing the time in hunting, fishing, and begging among the few settlers, but committing no hostility whatever. The Buffalo was a favorite haunt of theirs.

In 1858 the crop here was an entire failure; wheat killed by the blight and not worth cutting, and on the twenty-eighth day of August, 1858, a frost came and killed all the corn. Then their little all was gone, but yet they were hopeful, and with brave and true hearts, and by the strictest economy, they managed to live through the winter, and as one of these brave men expressed it, living mostly on Johnny-cake, and he says, "although we had the school-marm to board, that's the way we lived." But now there is plenty and to spare throughout the entire length of the township; fine and beautiful farms, with tasteful, spacious residences.


When the first settlement was made here the farmers were of opinion that tame grasses, like timothy, clover, etc., could not be successfully raised here, as also trees for groves. But now that doctrine has become entirely obsolete, the farms are entirely in tame grass, including the pastures, and the country is dotted all over with beautiful groves, giving it a fine appearance. Had not this opinion obtained such strong hold among the people, years ago trees would have been planted and grasses grown. But some strong minded persons broke away from this old fogy idea, and were at once successful; then others followed, until now we see the fine results.


J. W. Gilmore was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1850, and resided there until he was eighteen years of age. He then came to this county and settled in Middlefield township, where he has since resided all but two years, when he was travelling. He bought his farm in 1878. It contains eighty acres, under good cultivation,
an orchard, etc.; altogether, a very pleasant home. Mr. Gilmore was married April 2, 1878, to Miss Emma Scott, who was born in Winnebago county, Wisconsin, in 1857. They have no children living. Their son, Charles M., died February 17, 1880, aged six months. Mrs. Gilmore is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Gilmore is a good, sound Republican and a first-rate citizen. He is one of our most enterprising young farmers.

Alonzo J. Foster was born in Parkman, Piscataquis county, Maine, February 22, 1841. His parents went to Boone county, Illinois, when he was about four years old. That region was then new, and emigration to it was only just begun. Mr. Foster lived there until he was fourteen, and then went with his parents to De Kalb county, Illinois, where he remained until he was twenty-eight, with the exception of the time he was in the army. He enlisted in the fall of 1861 in company C, Fifty-second Illinois infantry, and served nine months, when he was discharged on account of the disease scrofula. Mr. Foster enlisted as a private, was elected second sargeant, and afterwards orderly. He was in the battle of Shiloh, where nearly half of his company were killed. In 1869 Mr. Foster moved to Benton county, this State, where he engaged in farming four years. In 1873 he came to Buchanan county, and bought his farm in 1874. He has one hundred and sixty acres under good improvement, with good substantial buildings. His orchard produces a good supply of apples, as well as other fruits in their season. Mr. Foster was married in the fall of 1861 to Miss Mary Bishop, of New York City. She died in May,
1870, at the age of twenty-eight. She bore three children, two of whom died in infancy. The other, Frank E., died October 15, 1880, in his sixteenth year. Mr. Foster was married a second time January 11, 1873, to Mrs. Susan J. Henderson, nee Kapple. She was born in Lake county, Ohio, August 9, 1832. She had four children by a former marriage, three of whom are now living. Their names are Nona M. Henderson, born September 9, 185S, married John F. Seymour, of St. Peter, Minnesota; James K., born February 9, 1860; Lizzie, born June 30, 1862; John, born December 9, 1864, died June 25, 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Foster have two children: Fred C, born December 11, 1874; and John W., born September 5, 1875. They have a pleasant home, well supplied with valuable books and an abundance of newspapers. Mr. Foster is a prominent man in his township, and is highly respected by his neighbors. In politics he is a Republican. His wife belongs to the Congregational Church and he to the Methodist. Mr. Foster was census enumerator in 1880.

Deacon Stillman Berry was born in Sumner, Maine, July 15, 1811. His parents, John and Deborah Berry, moved to Paris, Maine, when he was about four years of age, they being among the early settlers in that town. Here Mr. Berry passed his early days, and, after becoming of age, engaged in farming for himself. He stayed in Paris until 1855, and then came to Buchanan county. After residing two years in Quasqueton, he moved upon the farm he now occupies in Middlefield township. He is one of the very oldest settlers in this vicinity. Mr. Berry bought one hundred and sixty acres of prairie and forty of timber, but has since disposed of half of it. There were no improvements on the place worth mentioning. The farm is now an excellent one; the buildings, both house and barn, are good, and pleasantly situated. About the house is a grove, also an abundance of fruit trees. Mr. Berry has labored long and successfully in Buchanan county, and now enjoys a comfortable home in his old age. He has seen the desolate prairie change its aspect and become the home of a thriving agricultural community; and knows as well as any other man what were the real difficulties and hardships which entered into the lives and labors of those who were our earliest settlers. Mr. Berry was married April 25, 1837, to Miss Persis Cushman, who was born in Bethel, Maine, November 16, 1813. They have had but one child, a daughter, who now lives in the same house with them. Mr. and Mrs. Berry have long been earnest and faithful workers in the Baptist church, which Mr. Berry joined at the age of twenty, and his wife at the early age of fourteen. He is a deacon of the Winthrop Baptist church; also held the same office in Maine, and during his residence in Quasqueton. They are both exemplary Christians, and as such are honored and esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances.
Their son-in-law, Deacon A. W. Perkins, is also a Maine man and an old settler in this county, having come here in 1856. He was born in Woodstock, Maine, August 8, 1835. He worked at farming in various parts of his native county until he came west. Since coming here he has resided in this township, with the exception of the time he spent in the service of his country. He enlisted in August, 1862, and spent three years in company H, Twenty-seventh regiment Iowa volunteers. He took part in eleven engagements, but was fortunate enough to escape bullets, though his health suffered so greatly that even yet he has not entirely recovered. For two years after he returned from the war his health was extremely precarious. Mr. Perkins was married January 22, 1S57, to Olive, only daughter of Deacon Berry. She was born in Paris, Maine, March 23, 1838. Following are the names and dates of birth of their children: Julia A., born December 30, 1857, married Rev. A. S. Leach, of the Methodist church; Luther S., born May 5, 1859; Cynthia A., born June 27, 1862; Gilbert A., born July 23, 1868; Addie O., died August 30, 1879, aged four years and ten days. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, Luther and Cynthia, are members of the Baptist church. They are all sound Republicans.

E. J. Wigg was born in Norfolk, England, May 13, 1820. When he was eighteen years old he started for America alone. After spending two years in New Jersey and one on the Hudson, he settled in the western part of Ulster county, New York, where he engaged in farming for twenty-one years. In 1863 he came to Buchanan county and purchased the farm on which he now lives; this farm contains one hundred and forty acres of prairie and thirteen acres of limber. There is a good orchard on the premises, as well as shade trees, etc. Mr. Wigg was first married in 1841 to Miss Harriet Giles, a native of England. She died in 1848, leaving two children Harriet A., who died at the age of eighteen; and Cordelia E., who resides in this township. He was again married in 1857 to Mrs. Mary A. Burnett. She was born in Greene county, New York, in 1832. They have five children living and four deceased, two of whom died in infancy. Their names are: Ellen A., born April 16, 1859; Christina, born March 16, 1861; Eddie P., born August 13, 1864; John R., born March 10, 1868; Alice B., died at the age of two years and four days, and Charles W. when seven months old; their youngest, William J., was born November 9, 1876. Mrs. Wigg had one daughter by a former marriage, Sarah E. Burnett, born August 18, 1854, married J. B. Lewis and lives in Republic county, Kansas. Mrs. Wigg belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Wigg is an earnest Green backer. He is a prominent and highly esteemed citizen, and has held several important local offices. He served one term as county supervisor; was justice twelve years, secretary of school board thirteen years, and has been township assessor four years. He  is a man of whom everybody speaks well.

H. T. Stutson was born in Hillsdale county, Michigan, February 18, 1844. When twelve years of age he came to Muscatine county, Iowa, where he resided until 1861, and then moved to this county and settled in Middlefield. His father, Mr. L. P. Stutson has been in this county the same length of time. Mr. H. T. Stutson enlisted August 15, 1862, and served until January 16, 1863, when he was discharged by reason of a surgeon's certificate of disability. Mr. Stutson purchased his farm of eighty acres in 1868. He has one of the finest young orchards in this vicinity which produces yearly a variety of choice fruit. His farm was unimproved when it came to his possession, but it is now a pleasant home made so by the labors of Mr. Stutson and his wife. He was married November 4, 1869, to Mrs. Cordelia E. Campbell, nee Wigg. Mrs. Stutson has four children by her former marriage. Their names and ages (in 1881) are as follows: William H. Campbell, nineteen; Edward V., sixteen; Cordel E., died in 1866, aged one year; Cordelia C., thirteen. Her children by Mr. Stutson are: Charles H., aged ten; Earnest A., eight; Harriet E., six; Vernon C., two. Mr. Stutson is postmaster at Middlefield, and
has held that office the past eight years. He has also been constable for several years. Mr. and Mrs. Stutson are agreeable and pleasant people, and well spoken of by their neighbors. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he is an earnest Greenbacker. His ancestors have all been patriots. His great-great-grandfather was one of seven brothers, all of whom were in the Revolutionary war. Two of his uncles were killed in the Rebellion.

Charles W. Cray, one of the very oldest settlers in this county, was born in Harrison county, Ohio, October 7, 1831. He worked at blacksmithing from the time he was sixteen years old until he was thirty-four, and has since been a farmer. He came to Quasqueton in 1852, when that town was the only one of any importance in this region. Emigration had just begun to find its way to Buchanan. Mr. Cray worked at his trade in Quasqueton until 1864, though he purchased in 1862 a part of the farm on which he is at present. He has added to it and now owns four hundred and eighty acres one of the largest and best farms in the county. Mr. Cray is finely situated; his is the best set of farm buildings in the township. His residence, built in 1875, is two-story, large and beautiful; it is on a fine site, surrounded by trees, etc. He has a large orchard of choice trees. Altogether, he is now in a position to enjoy fully the good things of this life. He is a large and successful farmer, deals quite extensively in stock usually keeps one hundred and fifty head of cattle, one hundred and fifty to two hundred head of hogs, and sixteen horses. In past years he has kept a large number of sheep. He now has forty cows and runs a creamery. Mr. Cray has seen Buchanan county changed from a wild prairie, inhabited by Indians, wolves and wild game, to a large and prosperous community, enjoying all of the privileges of advanced civilization. Mr. Cray was married July 23, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Parker. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, November 30, 1836. They have six children Charles W., born May 1856; Elmer E., born February 11, i860; Viola M., July 9, 1862; Nora Louretta, December 16, 1865; Mary A., May 3, 1869;
Reverdy G., November 8, 1875. All are living at home at present. Mrs. Cray belongs to the Congregational church. Mr. Cray and wife merit and enjoy the esteem of their fellow citizens.

William Harrison Blank was born in Niagara county, New York, May 18, 1840. When he was about five years old, his parents, Jonas and Salome Blank, moved to Du Page county, Illinois, where he resided until 1870, excepting a lengthy term in the service of his country. Mr. Blank enlisted in the fall of 1861, in company K, Thirty-sixth Illinois infantry, and served until November, 1865. He took part in some of the great battles; was in the following engagements : Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, and several others. He enlisted as a private, but was promoted to corporal. He received a rupture in the engagement at Resaca, which has since caused considerable inconvenience. Mr. Blank came to Buchanan county in 1870, and purchased his farm the same year. He has recently added forty acres to it, making a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of very good land. He built the house and barn himself; both are substantial and well made. There is an orchard on the place. Mr. Blank does a good farming business and is engaged in dairying. He was married November 30, 1865, to Miss Martha A. Plank, who was born in Memphis, Missouri,
January 26, 1845. They have two children living, one deceased: William Henry, born September 2, 1866; Franklin Wentworth, born February 14, 1869; Jonas Sylvester, born January 24, 1872, died February 12, 1874. Mr. Blank is a thorough Republican. His family has a high social standing. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mrs. Polly Leatherman was born in Knox county, Kentucky, September 18, 1815. Her father was Castleton Wilson; he died before she was born. Her mother married John Lynch, and Mrs. Leatherman was brought up in his family. They moved to Indiana when she was three years old, and it was there she passed her early years. She married Daniel Leatherman, January 8, 1835. They lived in Putnam county, Indiana, two years, then moved to Cook county, Illinois, where they remained seventeen years. In 1854 they came to Buchanan county, and settled in Middlefield township, on the farm where Mrs. Leatherman still resides. They camped two weeks while building a house. Before the house was finished the family occupied it, the boys sleeping out-doors in wagons, and the girls and their mother making themselves as comfortable as possible by putting up sail cloth to keep off rain. They even passed one night in the house with an umbrella over their heads to keep off rain. Despite these rough experiences, Mrs. Leatherman was never homesick or discouraged. There were but one or two houses in the township when they came here, and only two houses in sight on the prairie. March 11, 1854, Mr. Leatherman entered three hundred and sixty acres of Government land, two hundred and eighty of which Mrs. Leatherman still owns. In 1854 Dubuque was the principal point for trade; thence was brought a large part of the lumber used by Mr. Leatherman in building his house. Wolves were plenty upon the prairie, and it required great vigilance to keep them from the sheep and other stock. In the face of such obstacles Mr. Leatherman and wife made themselves a comfortable home and reared a large family. Mr. Leatherman died November 12, 1876, in his sixty-second year. He was a man of sterling integrity and was widely known and respected. Following are the names and dates of birth of the children: Pamelia Ann, November 14, 1835; married Willard S. Blair for her first husband, is the wife of Moses Benton, Newton township; Lucy Frances, September 21, 1837; married Joshua Perkins, Quasqueton; Castleton, November 19, 1839, was killed at the battle of Champion Hills, May 16, 1863; Simeon, May 6, 1842; married Miss Helen Brown, resides in Liberty township; Hannah, April 3, 1844; married Henry Blank, resides in this township; James Wesley, August 16, 1846; married, resides in Republic county, Kansas; Mary Ann, February 4, 1848; married A. B. Patterson, Liberty township; Armilda, March 23, 1852; married Dwight Manson, Cono township; Eva Rosetta, August 23, 1853; married G. W. Blank, Quasqueton; Edward Daniel, April 4, 1855, died September 23, 1879; Rhoda, June 28, 1858; Mary Ellen, November S, 1860, married Ora Coffin, this township. Mrs. Leatherman enjoys good health, and is well contented. She is the oldest settler now living in this township, with one exception. She is a member of the Baptist church.

A. J. Hazelrigg was born in Linn county, Iowa, in 1843, which was his home until he was twenty-seven years old. He served in the army three years; enlisted July 4, 1862 in company A, Eighteenth Iowa infantry; was mustered out in August, 1865. His regiment was on the frontier a great part of the time, in Missouri county, Kansas, and the Indian Territory, though it took part in some quite severe engagements. Mr. Hazelrigg came to Buchanan county in 187 1 ; bought an eighty acre farm in this township, and sold it in 1875, and immediately purchased the place on which he is at present. He has one hundred acres all improved. Mr. Hazelrigg was married in 1866 to Miss Helen E. Marshall, a native of Wayne county, Pennsylvania. She was born in 1842. They have four children living and one deceased. Their names and ages at this writing are as follows : Sidney
Marshall, thirteen; John, eleven; Frank, died October 26, 1874, in his second year; Mark C., five; Mary L., one year and six months. Mr. Hazelrigg is a sound Republican, and as a citizen stands well in the community.

Patrick Farrell was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland, about the year 1832. He left there in 1853, and came to New York, where he lived until 1857, working at railroading principally. In 1857 he came to Iowa, and remained about a year in Delaware county. In 1858 he settled at Winthrop, where he resided until 1865, taking contracts in work on the railroad. He built the first dwelling house in Winthrop, though two others were erected about the same time. In December, 1862, Mr. Farrell went to Missouri, and soon afterward enlisted in the Twenty-second Iowa infantry, and served four months; he was then obliged to return home on account of sickness. In 1865 he moved to Middlefield township, and engaged in farming. He bought the farm on which he is at present in 1867. He has one hundred and seventy acres, all improved. It was a wild lot when he made his purchase. Mr. Farrell's house, built by himself, is large and convenient. He has a good farming business. He has a pretty place and is well situated to enjoy life. Mr. Farrell was married in 1857 to Miss Sarah McMann. She was born in Urlingford, County Killkenny, Ireland, in 1836. They have had ten children, seven of whom are living. Following are their names and ages: Ellen M., twenty-two; Thomas, twenty-one; Katie A., nineteen; Robert W., sixteen; Cornelius F., fourteen; Perry J., twelve; Henrietta J., died aged five; Michael, died aged three; Heber M., died when one year old; Sarah J., four. Mr. and Mrs. Farrell belong to the Catholic church. They are well informed, intelligent people. Starting poor, they now enjoy a good home as the reward of their labors.

E. Touhey was born in County Clare, Ireland, in the year 1838. He came to America in May, 1847; landed in New York; soon afterwards went to Canada; then, after some travelling and moving, finally settled in Middlefield township, in 1854, on the spot where he still resides. This makes Mr. Touhey one of the oldest settlers in this township. In 1854, he entered forty acres of Government land. Since that time he has made several additions, and some sales, besides giving eighty acres to his son. He now owns three hundred acres of excellent land, well supplied with water and wood. Wolves and deer were abundant at the time he came here, and were frequently seen in large droves. Mr. Touhey started poor, but now possesses a fine property, all acquired by his own work. He is now considered one of our wealthiest and most prosperous citizens. Mr. Touhey was married, in 1852, to Miss Mary Flannigan, who was born in County Clare, in 1838. They have twelve children, with names and ages as follows: John, aged twenty-four; Mary Ann, aged twenty-two; Lawrence, aged twenty-one; James, aged eighteen; Thomas, aged sixteen; Margaret, aged fourteen; Bridget, aged twelve; Jane, aged ten; Celia, aged eight; Edward, aged six; Agnes, aged four; William Francis, aged two. Mrs. Touhey's mother, Mrs. Margaret Flannigan, is now living with her daughter. She is a native of Ireland, County Clare, and is now over seventy years of age. The family are Catholics. Mr. and Mrs. Touhey have brought up a large and industrious family. Their oldest daughter has taught five terms of school and is at present teaching in her home district. The family have many friends. Mr. Touhey will build a new residence this season, large and convenient.

John Dobbins was born in county Louth, Ireland, in 1840. He left Ireland in 1859, and came to this State, settling in Dubuque, where he lived about eleven years, working on steamboats on the Mississippi river. In 1870 he came to Buchanan county, and settled in this township. He has since sold his farm, and bought the one on which he now lives in April, 1875. He has recently bought eighty acres, making one hundred and sixty acres, all improved. He has a good and very pretty house, built in 1877; it is a very fine farm residence. Mr. Dobbins is an industrious and thrifty farmer; keeps a good stock of cattle, hogs, etc. He is engaged quite extensively in dairying keeps seventeen cows and makes a large amount of butter. Mr. Dobbins was married, in 1867, to Miss Margaret Doyle, who was born in County Louth, Ireland, in 1845. They have six children living, one deceased: Sarah E., aged thirteen; Mary C., aged eleven; Thomas H., died when fourteen months old; John T., aged seven; Patrick M., aged five; James, aged two; Stephen F., aged four months. Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins belong to the Catholic church. They are well contented, prosperous, and happy. Like so many of their countrymen, they started with little, and have earned their property by constant labor. Mr. Dobbins works hard, and deserves his property.

P. M. Dunn, the oldest settler in Middlefield township, and one of the first in the county, was born in King's county, Ireland, and brought up in County Derry. He came to New York State in September, 1836, and lived there two years, and then moved to Hartland, McHenry county, Illinois, where he resided until 1850, when he came to this county and settled on the Buffalo in the southern part of Middlefield, where he still lives. At that date there was not a house in the township, and it was four years before any other families came. Indians were seen frequently, though they were not troublesome. In 1850 Mr. Dunn's nearest neighbor was seven miles distant. Quasqueton contained three or four houses, and Newton township, one. Mr. Dunn was a jury man in the second term of court ever held at Independence. Court was held in an unfinished building without floors, the jury room being in another house. As may well be imagined, Mr. Dunn found life at that early date not all pleasant, but he always managed to keep his family well supplied. He entered a quarter-section of land at first, but afterwards became the owner of a whole section. He came here with twenty-one head of cattle, also a wagon and some other farming implements. He has built up a fine property to support him in his declining years. He owns a fine house, and the other buildings are good. He has sold a large part of his farm, but still owns one hundred and ninety-five acres, besides two lots in Masonville. His land is especially valuable because of the large amount of timber
upon it. There is an extensive natural grove surrounding the house. His house is a pleasant one. Mr. Dunn and his wife toiled long and earnestly, and succeeded in making their work count for usefulness. They brought up five children, four daughters and one son: Mary Ann, the wife of John McIlvenna, resides in Dakota; William John, married, resides in Newton township; Sarah, married George H. Johnson, lives on the old place; Catharine, died August 2, 1878, aged about twenty-six: Jane, the wife of Gustavus Linkley, Coffin's Grove, Delaware county. Mrs. Dunn died May 12, 1878, aged seventy-eight. Mr. Dunn is now in the eighty-first year of his age, and is quite smart for his years. He belongs to the Catholic church. He is an old-style Democrat, extremely liberal in his views, and believes in the motto, "Principles, and not party." Mr. Dunn has seen this county converted from a wilderness to its present prosperous condition. Few men have been here longer than he.

Jacob Nehls was born in the province of Pomerania, Prussia, March 8, 1830. He lived there until he came to America in 1852. He first stopped three months in Dayton county, Ohio, and then came to Dubuque county, Iowa, where he engaged in farming for twelve years. In 1865 he moved to Middlefield township, Buchanan county, where he has since resided. He bought his farm the year of his coming, which was mostly unimproved. He built the house and barn himself His residence is one of the finest in this vicinity. Mr. Nehls also has two hundred and forty acres of good land. His barn, thirty-four by thirty-eight feet, is one of the best in the township. Mr. Nehls is finely situated in a nice house, and is in a position to enjoy life fully. He was married in 1851, to Miss Emma Wilken. She was born in Prussia May 8, 1829. They have four children living, and two deceased: Robert, born 1852, married; resides in this township; Helen, born 1854, married Albert Sauer, resides in Newton township; Clara, born 1856; died in 1879; Charles, born 1857; Emma, 1860; Ludwig, 1866; died in 1873. Mr. Nehls and wife are agreeable people, and their social standing is most excellent. Mr. Nehls is a sound Republican and a most worthy man.

H. R. Smith was born in Elgin, Illinois, January 22, 1844. There he resided until twenty-one years of age. In the year 1866 he came to this county and resided at Winthrop three years. He then bought the farm on which he now lives in Middlefield. It contains two hundred and forty acres, all improved, and is now one of the best farms in the township, though it was wild prairie when purchased by Mr. Smith. He has a good farm and a good home, and farms quite largely. His house, built in 1875, is large and convenient, and he has also a substantial barn twenty-eight by eighty feet. Mr. Smith keeps seventy-five to one hundred head of cattle usually, has forty cows and does an extensive business in dairying. He has a creamery fitted up in first-class style. During the season of 1879-80, Mr. Smith sold over one thousand dollars worth of butter, and expects to do even better the present season. He is one of the most successful farmers in the township. Mr. Smith was married March 8, 1865, to Miss Mary Western, born in Savoy, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, May 4, 1837. They have four children Jarvis, born March 9, 1866; Nathan W., November 7, 1868; Ray B., September 21, 1874; Grace, August 20, 1878. Mr. Smith is an earnest Republican. He is an active business man, and is one of our solid citizens.

Jesse Doyl was born near New London, Canada, July 30, 1814. When eight years of age his father, Henry Doyl, moved to Detroit, Michigan, where the subject of this sketch resided until 1825, when he moved to Ipsilanti, and remained until he was twenty-two years old. He next went to Branch county, Michigan, where he took unto himself a wife and worked at farming twenty-five years. From Michigan he went to Winnebago county, Illinois, and remained seven years. In 1868 he came to Buchanan county, and settled in Sumner township; lived there seven years, then moved to the farm in Middlefield, where we now find him. Mr. Doyl has one hundred and eighty acres, mostly improved. His house and farm buildings are good. He keeps from thirty to fifty head of rattle, and does a good business, especially in dairying. He usually keeps about twenty cows, but during the year 1880 he milked only fifteen, and from them made and sold two thousand two hundred and ninety-eight pounds of butter. His cows brought him in exactly thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents per head for the year. Mr. Doyl has adopted the wise plan of keeping an exact record of all receipts and expenditures, and thus knows at the end of each year just what branch of farming has paid and what has not. He was married February 25, 1838, to Miss Mary Ann Holcomb; she was born in Onondaga county, New York, in 1817. They have had six children, and five are living Theodore, born February 27, 1839, died March 3, 1839; Elizabeth, born August 9, 1840, is the wife of Clinton Gould, Girard township, Branch county, Michigan; Esther, born April 20, 1842, married Joseph Russel, resides at North Platt, Nebraska; Polly Ann, born August 9, 1847, married James Prescott, lives in Black Hawk county, Iowa; Ellen, born June 15, 1851; Luella Icelona, born February 8, 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Doyl adhere to the principles of the Free-Will Baptist church. Mr. Doyl is a Republican. His family are highly esteemed by their neighbors and acquaintances.

Henry Gates was born in the province of Pomerania, Prussia, in 1825, and resided there until 1869, working at cabinet-making. At the latter date he came to the United States, and settled in Cono township, this county, and engaged in farming. He bought eighty acres of wild prairie, improved it, and built a house upon it. In 1874 he sold it and bought another eighty acre farm in Middlefield, where he now resides. This farm was but little improved and had no buildings. Mr. Gates put up a house the year that he came, and has since been making improvements constantly. In 1880 he made a nice, convenient barn, and will soon add other farm buildings. Mr. Gates makes and uses his own tools, and does his own carpentry, thus saving quite an amount of expense which other farmers are obliged to meet. Mr. Gates was married in 1849 to Miss Louise Jahnke,
who died April 12, 1877, aged fifty-five years. They had six children, three of whom are now living, viz: Minnie, aged twenty-four; William, twenty-two; and Julius, nineteen. He was again married in 1879 to Miss Elizabeth Alphus. She was born in Bellevue, Iowa, in 1861. They have one child, Henry, one year old. Mr. Gates belongs to the Presbyterian church. He is an earnest Republican and a most worthy citizen. He is an intelligent man, and keeps well informed upon current topics.

John V. Spees was born in Green county, New York, in 1820. He left there when four years old, and went with his parents to Allegany county. New York, where he was brought up. When about twenty-two years of age he moved to Michigan, where he resided two years and during that time w-as married. Then he moved to Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where he remained twelve years. From Wisconsin Mr. Spees came to this county in 1859, and settled in Liberty township, where he remained twelve years, and has since been in Middlefield. He has taken up and improved three wild farms since he came to this county, and certainly has had his share of that kind of work. He bought the place where he now lives in 1866. It consists of two hundred acres, mostly improved. Mr. Spees farms quite largely keeps about seventy head of cattle, also hogs, horses, etc. His stock is equal to any we have seen in the county. He usually keeps from ten to twenty horses; has at present nine the best lot to be found anywhere in this vicinity. He has thirty cows, and makes a large amount of butter. Besides what he used for his stock, Mr. Spees sold about two thousand bushels of grain during the past season. During the two years just passed he has raised over sixteen thousand bushels of corn and oats. He works about three hundred and fifty acres, and is a most thrifty farmer. Mr. Spees was married March 30, 1848, to Miss Louisa R. Harwood, who was born in Ontario county, New York, in 1825. They have eight children living, four deceased: Achsa A., married Addison Spees, resides in Santa Anna, California; Alice, Lovina, the wife of Jacob Swartzell, Liberty township; Henrietta M., married W. D. Palmetier, lives at Geneva, Wisconsin; John H., married, resides in Marshall county, Minnesota; Willie E., Frank M., Edith F., James Monroe the four last being at home. The second oldest of their sons, Fremont C., died April 4, 1879, aged twenty-three years. He was accidentally killed while working in a grain elevator in New Richmond, Wisconsin. He was caught in the gearing of the machinery and crushed in a frightful manner. He was a fine young man, beloved and respected by all his acquaintances. Clarence G., their next son, died when five years old. The other children were two daughters, Marion and Jessie. The former died when one year and a half old, and the latter when only a few days old. Mr. Spees is a Republican, and as a citizen his standing is most excellent. He has held several local offices.

Albert Merrill was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, February 17, 1848. His parents left Ohio when he was about one year old, and Mr. Merrill was brought up in Buchanan county. His father, John Merrill, still resides in Liberty township, where he first settled in the county. Mr. A. Merrill lived in Liberty township until 1878, when he moved upon his farm in this township. He has two hundred and forty acres of good land, all well improved. The land is situated in a pleasant part of the township, and is one of the best farms in the neighborhood. Mr. Merrill's house is pleasantly situated, with fruit and shade trees about it. He was married January 23, 1879, to Miss Fannie L. Kershner. She was born in Livingston county, New York, February 12, 1855. They have one child, Willis H., born November 21, 1879. Mrs. Merrill is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Merrill is one of our well informed, industrious farmers and best citizens. Though he was quite young when he came to this county, few have been here longer than he.

William A. Scott, one of the old settlers of our county, was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1814. He lived in that State until 1855, then went to Ohio and remained three years, after the lapse of which he came to this county, in 1858, and settled in Liberty township. The first four years he rented a farm, then bought eighty acres of wild prairie, and afterwards bought and sold several pieces of land. Mr. Scott came here early, when settlers were few, and has seen the greater part of this county's growth. He has worked constantly for many years, and now in his old age is in possession of a comfortable home and a good property. Mr. Scott was married in 1837 to Miss Rachel Condit, a native of Mercer county, Pennsylvania. She died May 30, 1861, in the fifty-second year of her age. She bore him four children, one of whom is now living. Their names are as follows: Ira C., born June 9, 1838, died while in the service, on the anniversary of the day he enlisted, October 27, 1865, having served exactly four years; Mary, born April 26, 1840, married Jesse G. Merrill, who died in March, 1868, and is now the wife of Deacon E. P. Brintnall, of Winthrop; Alfred M., born January 4, 1842, died April 13, 1878; Elizabeth, born November 29, 1844, died in February, 1847. Mr. Scott was married a second time, in January, 1862, to Miss Margaret Oliver. She was born in County Derry, Ireland, in March, 1817. Mr. and Mrs. Scott belong to the Winthrop Congregational church. Mr. Scott is an Independent in politics. For a man of his years he is remarkably active. He is well known in the county, and has many friends.


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