Decatur County, Iowa

Photographs contributed by Barbara Petticord Whitsitt

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Sidney Ann (Kob) and Samuel Henry Duffield

Duffield Family, ca. 1912

Duffield Family, ca. 1920s

The Duffields, ca. 1920

Duffield House
Story of the Lives of Samuel H. and Sidney Ann Duffield
Written by their granddaughter, Myrtle Petticord Hughes (1904-1996)
Samuel Harry Duffield, son of Henry and Margaret Klinepeter Duffield, and Sidney Ann Kob, daughter of Lewis M. and Anna Wimmer Kob, were married Jan.26, 1879, at the bride's home northeast of Leon in Decatur County, Iowa.

On the paternal side, Samuel was Irish. His great-grandfather, Patrick Duffield, was born in Ireland in 1748. He came to America, date unknown, and died in Perry County, Pennsylvania in 1831.

Sidney was completely Pennsylvania Dutch, even speaking that dialect in the home as a child.

After being married at what we now call Kobville, Samuel and Sidney went by wagon to Graham County in northwest Kansas, where he had earlier filed on a homestead. There, in a dug-out home, Anna and Ella were born, Anna on Feb.9, 1880, and Ella on April 21, 1881. Homesickness, draught, and grasshoppers brought the family back to Iowa in late 1881. While in Iowa, two sons, John C. and David L., were born.

In the spring of 1884 they moved to Madison County, returning to Decatur County in the fall of 1885.

In 1891 the family went by covered wagon to Merrick County, Nebraska; then in 1892 to Nance County, Nebraska where, the following year, Leo Warren was born. In 1893 they returned to Iowa and took up duties on the farm of Sidney's Father, Lewis Kob, where they spent the rest of their lives. Here was born the baby, Avah Zelmina, who passed away in 1903 at the age of 1 year, 9 months and 25 days.

The first house built on the Kobville farm by Great Grandfather, Lewis Kob, was a log house. I'm not sure whether there was more than one log house. The one I remember seeing was north of the two frame houses. The first frame house was the south house, and it was the last farm home of Lewis and Anna Kob. The north one of the two frame houses on the hilltop was built for the use of Sam and Sidney Duffield and family. I think this was built in about 1893, when that family returned to Iowa from Nebraska. Our great-grandparents Kob lived in the south house until 1898 or 1899, when with Jemima, the one daughter remaining at home, went to Garden Grove to a house which they had built there.

At this time, the Sam Duffield family moved into the south house, which was slightly larger and more conveniently located to the other farm buildings. The north house became the "honey" house, for Sam's honey bees. From the south house, all the children (who did marry) were married, and there the baby, Avah Zelmina, was born and died.

Great-grandfather Kob passed away on June 26, 1911, and Great-grandmother Kob and Jemima moved back to the farm into the north house. This was about 1912-1913. Here, Great-grandmother Kob passed away on Oct. 8, 1916, and Jemima lived on in the house until her death in early 1937.

The third frame house, down near the road, was Leo's house. This he built using materials from his Wyoming homestead buildings, which he had torn down and shipped back to Iowa when he and his family returned to Iowa in 1927. He and his family lived in this house until Jemima's death in 1937, when they moved into the "honey" house that she had lived in. Jemima had willed this house and the 40 acres of land on which it stood, to James Harry, Leo's younger son, with the stipulation that Leo should have the use of it until James Harry became of age. Later, Leo moved to Garden Grove, into the Kob house. My mother, Ella Petticord, then lived in Leo's house from 1938 until 1943, when her health prevented her from living alone.

The farm, as I have always known it, was 120 acres: three forties which lay in a row, extending north and south a full mile and a quarter mile wide, except the south forty, which was 1/8 mile wide and a quarter mile long.

From Great-grandmother Kob, Jemima inherited the north forty with its house, cave, and small chicken house. Grandmother Sidney Ann Duffield inherited the middle forty with the south house and the set of frame buildings, and cut in two by the railroad. Elizabeth Kentner, the third daughter, inherited the south forty, which had no buildings, but was located out on the main road. On it her husband Jack built a house, barn, etc. and in a few years traded it for a property in Leon, and so it passed from the family.

Our grandmother, Sidney Ann, lived out her life on her forty acres, so that when she passed on in early 1940 she had lived there continuously for 47 years. She had spent nearly her entire life of 82 years on this farm.

Leo Duffield gave the property the name Kobville when he was writing weekly news items for the Leon weekly papers, which began in 1927. His weekly column was entitled "Kobville".

In earlier years, there had been a small settlement at the corner 3/4 mile south of the buildings, which was known as Franklin. From this, Franklin School, Franklin Church and the Franklin Cemetery took their names.

The farm has been in the Kob and Duffield families for more than 120 years and qualifies as an Iowa Centennial farm.
Family Album *** Decatur County IAGenWeb