Elijah Buell Pioneer Home Site Marked

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; Friday, July 4, 1930, P. 3
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Revered As Pioneer Who Enriched His New Homeland.

“Elijah Buell was a man who had more than the land-hunger that attracted so many of the early settlers into this land when it was still the territory of Wisconsin, later that of Dubuque county, and still later Clinton county, Iowa. He was a man who had a vision of new commonwealths and being young and vigorous, with means enough to finance a venture into untried lands, he came into Iowa. And we today, assembled here, pay tribute to one who was of the type that has made the state of Iowa so fine a place in which to live, has made the state the place whence men and women have gone to stations high in the history of the world of art, politics, finance and commerce.”

That is the thought given this morning by Mrs. Estelle LePrevost, historian for Clinton chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and chairman of the historic spots for the same organization.

The occasion was the dedication of a bronze memorial marker placed on a native boulder on the site of the first log cabin home of Elijah Buell in the year 1835. This is the first marker of this kind to be placed in Clinton county but it will not be the last for the chapters at both Clinton and DeWitt are studying other historic spots with a purpose of marking them.

Elijah Buell was signally honored as being the first white settler to come into what is now Clinton count. Then it was Dubuque county, territory of Wisconsin and he established at what is now the corner of Grant street and Twenty-fifth avenue, North, his first home. He remained to assist in the building up of Clinton county and the territory of Iowa. He gave to the people of the community the influence of a man unafraid of the Indians who were still living in the immediate neighborhood, of the elements that seemed to try the spirits of the venturesome people in the new land, of the depredations of evil men who are found in every pioneer border land. He looked ahead. He helped establish the first mail route across the prairies of Iowa, circulating the petition among the scattered settlers that the authorities at Washington would recognize their needs. He aided in the establishing of the government of township and town and accepted offices in the community, serving carefully and well. And he died, having accumulated a competence that was taken by literal hard labor and careful planning from the virgin fields and prairies of Iowa, high in esteem of his fellow men. No man could give more to his posterity. No man could ask more from his fellows.

Unveiling Ceremony.
When the Daughters of the American Revolution planned this dedication and unveiling ceremonial and the date was set, an invitation was extended to all the known descendants of Elijah Buell to return to Clinton for this event, unusual and outstanding in the history of Clinton county. Those who have come are honored guests today of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

They are Mrs. George M. Spencer of Seattle, Wash., only living child of Elijah Buell, Estelle Buell Kahl of Boonville, Mo., and Dorothy Buell Hughes of Cedar Falls, and George, Paul and Rachel Hughes of Cedar Falls, great grandchildren.

A breakfast was given in their honor this morning in the Mystic Workers community building, attended by members of the Clinton chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and those nearest of kin. This was at 7:30. Thirty-four were present, Mrs. Matthiesen read letters from relatives living in Washington, D. C., Oregon, Idaho, Missouri, Illinois, and North Dakota. All expressed regret at their inability to attend the dedication.

At nine o’clock the program was offered at the site of the first Buell home, carried out as follows:

Elijah Buell DAR BoulderLlewellyn Van Fleet played a cornet solo.
The Rev. A. W. Sinden of the Community church offered the invocation in a spirit of thankfulness for the spiritual guidance that had been given this man and the people who had followed him into the pioneer land of 95 years ago.

The salute to the flag was given by all present and one verse of the Star Spangled Banner was sung.

Compliments Chapter.
C. A. Buechner, connected by kinship with Elijah Buell, was master of ceremonies and gave the address of welcome saying:
“To extend greetings on an occasion of this character is not only a privilege but a distinct honor. In behalf of the local chapter of the D. A. R. I welcome you and assure you that your presence to participate in this ceremony is very pleasing and gratifying.

“Everything has its beginning. A thought of one within the chapter conceived the idea of marking the historical spots in Clinton county in such a manner that they may be a permanent testimony and silent reminders to future generations of the important events that have taken place in the development of Clinton county. This is the first of such places, in the county and I am informed the first in this section , to be so marked. The chapter is to be highly complimented in its conception of such an idea and is to be congratulated, that today this idea is a reality. I am sure that as other spots of importance are marked and as time passes, we will all the more realize the value of these monuments commemorating the events of the past.
“We have assembled this morning on the anniversary day of our independence, a more fitting time could not have been chosen, to dedicate this memorial and to pay tribute and honor to one, who many years ago came to this site, then the big outdoors just as nature had prepared it, here to build a home and establish a community, which has since grown into the beautiful and prosperous city in which it is our privilege and pleasure to live, enjoying the many blessing the age has given us.

“Every locality has its outstanding points in history which give to the citizens of the day valuable knowledge of the past. Perhaps no event in the history of Clinton county is of such importance as one we are observing today. Standing as we are, on the spot where was built the first home by a white man in this county, nothing would be more fitting at this moment than for us to review some of the happenings of the past.

“Mrs. LePrevost, chairman of the Historic Spots committee has gathered for us, through her untiring efforts some data, and as we enjoy reading her interesting articles in The Herald I know we will appreciate the sketch of the life of Elijah Buell she has prepared for us.

“I take great pleasure in introducing to you Mrs. LePrevost, chairman of the Historic Spots committed of the D. A. R.”

Tribute to a Pioneer.
In giving her sketch of the life and accomplishments of Elijah Buell, Mrs. LePrevost gave a vision of the man who, having been a pilot on the lakes and eastern rivers, the lower Ohio and Mississippi, decided to establish a home for himself and his family. Hearing of the rich lands to be had almost for the asking in Illinois he brought his wife and child to St. Louis, leaving them there while he came up the river prospecting. At Cordova he met John Baker and a man of his own type. They continued up stream until they reached the Narrows and looking at the spot found it good. Baker decided to remain in Illinois, Elijah Buell came to the Iowa shore and on this very spot made his decision to here erect his cabin home.
She then told of the vicissitudes of early winters and of the triumph of persistence over elements.

In the year 1837 Elijah Buell traveled through the country from his own point to Vandenburg, now DeWitt, then to Gower’s ferry on the Cedar to see that a horseback mail was put on. He succeeded. He always did.

In April 1837, Mr. Buell and others platted a portion of the land into town lots, naming the place Lyons because of the beautiful city by the rushing Rhone in France. They obtained the patent for the city from the government in 1840.

Mr. Buell was one of the heavy subscribers to the fund that was purposed to bring the railroad to Lyons. In 1857 he was elected alderman from the Third ward. In the year 1852 he served as school director. His name has been given to some of the larger additions to the city, Warren and Buell’s addition and Buell’s additions, north of old Pearl street.

Presents Marker.
In the presentation of the marker, Dorothea Matthiesen, regent of Clinton chapter spoke as follows:
“It is the aim and ambition of our organization to perpetuate historic spots by marking and so, in the name of Clinton chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, it is my pleasant duty and my pleasure to present this marker to the city of Clinton and we dedicate it in loving memory of the courageous spirit and vision of the pioneer, Elijah Buell.
The marker was unveiled by George and Paul Hughes.

The marker and its valued place in Clinton was accepted by Mayor Greene, in behalf of the city.

Mayor Greene spoke as follows:
“Mrs. Matthiesen, ladies and gentlemen:
“It is indeed an honor to accept on behalf of the city of Clinton the bronze memorial marker presented by the Clinton chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in honor of that sturdy pioneer, Elijah Buell.

“I need not tell you about Mr. Buell, the first white settler in this region, for all of us who live in this beautiful city have heard his history repeated by our parents on many occasions.
“It is most fitting that this marker should commemorate the erection of the first cabin built by this pioneer Clinton County settler and I wish to extend the thanks of the citizens of Clinton to the gracious donors of this gift.”

Mrs. Matthiesen then introduced Mrs. George M. Spencer, of Seattle, Wash., only living child of Elijah Buell, who graciously spoke and the eventful hour closed with one verse of America.