Old Settlers

COL. R. B. WYCOFF then sang a comical song, which was well received and loudly applauded.

            PRESIDENT GRISWOLD next read the necrology report for the last year, at the same time reading a touching memorial to the late MRS. JANE V. WILKES, formerly leader of the society.  Mr. Griswold’s report was as follows:

            The contract made with Death, at the dawn of our lives, must be fulfilled, and our society from its very nature can be no exception to that decree.

            The first one to answer the summons the past year, was that well-known citizen, THOMAS WATTS, a Territorial pioneer of 1838.  He died at his home in Deep Creel, Dec 3, 1894, in his 79th year.  He served this county as a justice, surveyor, supervisor and one term in the state legislature.  The large attendance at his funeral attested the worth of the man.

            That sturdy and stalwart citizen of our count, BENJAMIN F. GOVE, a state pioneer of 1854, died in Chicago, Jan. 1, 1895, aged 68 years.  We all remember him and his remarks at our meetings.  He spoke at our last meeting, in his usual health, yet in four months he was laid away to rest.

            ALPHUS HUNTER, a Territorial pioneer of 1842, died at his home in Deep Creek, in March 1895, in his 76th year.

            MRS. LUCRETIA SHADDUCK, a territorial pioneer of 1845, died at her home in Lyons, the last summer, aged 87 years.

            MRS. CLARA LEFFINGWELL, a State Pioneer of 1854, died at her home in Lyons, Jul 16,1895m FWS 49 YEARS.  She came to Lyons in 1854.  In 1868 she was married to Judge A. J. Leffingwell       

            MRS. JANE V. WILKES was born in England in 1825 and came to America at the age of 8 years and to Iowa in 1844. She died at Camanche Jul 31, aged 70 years.  At the meeting of the ex-committee it was ordered that a memorial address should be made by your president at this meeting.  When I accepted the invitation it was with a feeling of doubt whether I could make a suitable address or eulogy to her memory.  And this feeling was increased when I saw in the different papers of our count and state the many notices of her death, and I can add but little thereto.  The poetical efforts, which appear in the history of Clinton county on pages 416-17-18, also on pages 423 and 424, are enduring tablets to her memory, which will remain while the history of this county exists.  She aided by her voice and pen nearly every meeting of this society and was a prime mover in its first regular meeting.  Earnest and unassuming in her manners, she became one of the interesting speakers at our annual gatherings and her situation in this society can never be replaced.  We missed her at our last meeting, but we knew she was away in order to restore her health in another climate.  Such, how-ever, was not to be and she came home to rest with her kindred who had gone before her.  I knew here for more than 45 years, and can truly say that she was an exemplary Christian, a wife, and good neighbor, a kind parent and a devoted mother.  We will cherish her memory.          

            ROBERT N. RAND died at his home in Lyons, January 8, 1895, at the age of 66 years, 8 months and 21 days.  Mr. Rand came to Lyons in 1857, and for nearly thirty years had been identified with many of the different projects and improvements in this vicinity.  At the time that he was sticken down, he was attending a meeting of the directors of the First National Bank of Lyons, of which he had for years been an active member.  His death has been sincerely mourned by all who knew him.  His home was always a pleasant one, and there he delighted to spend his time with friends and family,  The “Old Settlers” society always had a warm friend in him, but his name was not enrolled on its books until about one year ago.  May his rest be as sweet as his life has been perfect.

            JOHN FEGAN died at Lyons, Apr 28 1895, aged 74 years.  He was born in Frankling county, Penn.  He was always and honorable and upright man.

            NICHOLAS COOTEY died at his home in Clinton, March 21, 1895, aged 41 years.  He was born in Kenosha, Wis., and came to Iowa when he was one year old.  He joined the “State Pioneers” in 1893.  He was engaged in railroading and was esteemed by those who knew him.

            CALVIN UPTON, a State Pioneer, died at Clinton, May 18, 1895, aged 66 years.  He was born in North Redding, Mass.  He came to Clinton 1857, where he resided until his death.  He was for many years a prominent contractor and builder.

            REBECCA TONG died at Clinton, May 2 1895.  She was born in Pennsylvania, April 20, 1817, and came to Iowa in February, 1853, with her husband, JACKSON TONG, where she has since resided till the time of her death.  She was a worthy member of the Methodist church, and was respected by all who knew her.



Resolutions as follows were passed:

            Whereas, During the past year three of our Territorial Pioneers, vix, LeROY DUTTON, THOMAS WATTS, and JANE V. WILKES have passes away; and the following named State Pinoors, vix: ROBERT RAND, CALVIN UPTON, B. F. GOVE, NICOLAS COOTEY, JOHN FEGAN, REBECCA TONG AND MRS. A. J. LEFFINGWELL—have closed their earthly careers after long lives of honor and usefulness, leaving behind them examples of well-spent lives, therefore.

            Resolved.  That the Territorial and State Pioneers here assembled wish to express their regrets at parting with long tried friends, and hereby tender to the respective families of each their heartfelt sympathy for the loss they have sustained.

            Resolved. That to the daily and weekly papers that have so generously advocated our cause in their columns, we return, our sincere thanks. 

            Resolved.  That the “old settlers” and their numerous friends, who have this day enjoyed the delights of Joyce’s Park, wish to express to the State Electric Co. their hearty thanks for donating the use of the park for holding their annual picnic.


There was no annual poem.

Fully 3000 people were on the grounds.

JESSE N. SEELEY is the permanent chaplin of the association.

Gathering golden rod was a pleasant pastime after the exercises were over.

            ROBERT BARR of Clinton, has the honor of being the youngest old settler in the county.  Had he been born two days later he could not have been a member, but he wears a badge with as much grace as a grey beard.




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