Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


P. C. Dunham

A farm of nearly five hundred acres of good land in Crawford county pays tribute to the energy and skill of P. C. Dunham.

He is a native of Boyer township, this county, born February 16, 1865, and is a son of Cornelius Dunham, Jr., and Maria (McKenzie) Dunham. The father was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, and came to Crawford county, Iowa, March 3, 1832, with his father, Cornelius Dunham, Sr., the pioneer settler of Crawford county, a record of whom is found in the sketch of Z. T. Dunham, which appears elsewhere in this work.

Cornelius, Jr., was reared under the conditions of pioneer life in Crawford county and was educated by a tutor in the home. He became a farmer of Boyer township and an extensive stock-raiser, also engaging in butchering and in the general mercantile and clothing business at Dunlap, Iowa. Subsequently he returned to Boyer township, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was a very active and energetic man and cleared about four hundred and fifty acres of land. Politically, he was an ardent supporter of the democratic party and served acceptably as a member of the board of supervisors of Crawford county, having previously held almost all the township offices. He was also connected with the Masonic order and the Odd Fellows, and was generally a leader in anything that he undertook. He passed away in 1894 and his remains were interred in Pleasant Hill cemetery at Dunlap.

His wife was born in Birmingham, England, January 18, 1839, and came to this country when she was a girl of twelve years. About 1867 or 1868 she received a legacy from relatives in England and this was used in buying the family homestead in this county, where our subject now resides. She was married to Mr. Dunham in Crawford county, February 22, 1858, and died eleven years after the death of her husband, January 14, 1905. She was also buried in Pleasant Hill cemetery.

There were five children in their family, namely: Charles D., who was born January 7, 1859, and now lives in Boyer Township; Sophronia Isabel, who was born October 5, 1860, and is the wife of S. H. Johnston, of Carroll county; Mary Elnora, who was born September 20, 1862, and died November 16, 1888; P. C., our subject; and Samuel Alexander, who was born January 30, 1868, and died February 12, 1903.

P. C. Dunham received his early education in the common schools of Boyer township and later attended the normal school at Dunlap. He taught school one term and then began farming on the family homestead, with which he has ever since been identified. He is a general farmer and stock-raiser and has applied himself with such good results that he now owns four hundred and seventy-six acres of improved land and fifteen acres in timber in Boyer and Union townships. He probably raises and markets more hogs than any other man in Crawford county. He and his family occupy a beautiful residence, which is supplied with all modern conveniences. The Illinois Central Railroad passes the home and trains can be flagged so that it is possible for members of the family to do their trading in Omaha. This is in marked contrast with con ditions which existed in the early days when his grandfather Dunham was obliged to travel four days by ox team to reach the nearest market.

On September 5, 1885, Mr. Dunham was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. Hoff, who was born in Indiana. Ever since casting his first ballot he has given his support to the democratic party. He has served as member of the school board and as treasurer of the board for ten years. Religiously he gives his adherence to the Methodist church, and fraternally is connected with Acorn Camp, No. 325, M. W. A., of Dunlap.

Representing the third generation of his family in Crawford county, Mr. Dunham has worthily upheld the name and is one of the highly respected men in this part of the state. He has attained a large measure of success in his business, being gifted with a worthy ambition and clear judgment, and it may truly be said of him that he never seeks to advance his own interests to the injury of others.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.