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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Peter F. Wragg


Union Township



       Peter F. Wragg, a well known agriculturist of Delaware county, his farm being on sections 4 and 5, Union township, was born September 10, 1839, in Ogle county, Illinois. His parents, Thomas and Hannah (Clark) Wragg, were farming people, who came to this country from England, where they were born, reared and married. They first located at Troy, New York, where the father operated a planning mill for four years. At the end of that, time they continued their journey to Ogle county, Illinois, where they lived for nine years upon a farm. That property was then sold and they removed to Union township, Delaware county, Iowa, in 1845. They were among the early residents and the greater part of the land was still in the primitive condition in which it came from the hand of nature. The forests stood in their primeval strength and the prairies were covered with the native grasses. Mr. Wragg took up four hundred acres of government land, both prairie and timber, and at once began the development of a farm. To him and his wife were born five children, of whom two died in early life of scarlet fever at Troy, New York, and one daughter died in England before the family came to the new world. The surviving brother of our subject is W. S. Wragg, a retired farmer now living in Earlville.
        Peter F. Wragg was but six years of age when the family came to Iowa and in one of the old time log schoolhouses began his education, the methods of instruction being almost as primitive as was the little temple of learning in which he pursued his studies. The school building was supplied with slab benches and there was nothing to render the place attractive to the children. Later Mr. Wragg had the benefit of a course in Lenox College. On the 27th of August, 1861, in response to his country's call for troops, he enlisted as a member of Company I, Second Iowa Cavalry, serving for three years and two months. He participated in all of the campaigns and battles with his company and on one occasion was wounded in the right hip by a rifle ball, from which he has since suffered. After being shot he remained on horseback and rode about a half mile to a plantation in Mississippi owned by a Mr. Simms. He was then taken off the horse, carried into the parlor and taken care of by the army surgeons. For seven weeks he remained upon the plantation, lying on his back unable to move. His commander, Colonel Hatch, told the people on the plantation to take care of Mr. Wragg and he would see that they were paid for their trouble and if they did not take good care of him they would have to suffer the consequences. Mr. Wragg wished the colonel to leave a comrade to take care of him but this the colonel refused to do because the caretaker would have been made a prisoner. Soon after the Union army had left some Confederate soldiers entered the room and wanted to know of Mr. Wragg, where his arms were. As he had none they left him after trying to find out the strength of the Union men and in which direction they had gone. Of course they did not obtain the desired information. Later he was taken to the LaGrange Hospital, where he remained for about a week, after which he was granted a furlough and returned home, remaining for four months in an attempt to get well. He then returned to the front, rejoining Colonel Hatch and his regiment at Memphis, Tennessee. He participated in the engagements at Monterey, Tennessee; Water Valley, Mississippi; Iuka, Coffeeville, Island No. 10, Corinth, Paton 's Mill, Farmington and Hollow Springs. He was wounded eight miles out on the march from Hollow Springs, the enemy lying in ambush. After returning to the army he remained in the service for about six months and on the expiration of his term of enlistment he was honorably discharged at Davenport on the 27th of October, 1864.
       Mr. Wragg then returned home and on the 2d of July, 1865, was united in marriage to Miss Theodosia Rich, who was born April 7, 1844, her parents being Edmund and Elizabeth (Tilly) Rich, both of whom were natives of England. They were the parents of four sons and three daughters, of whom five were born in England. The family came to America about 1848 and following the out­break of the war between the north and south Mr. Rich enlisted for service in the Union army. His wife had previously passed away. Mr. Rich never returned to his home after the war, but was again married in Memphis, Tennessee, and died many years ago. Of the children of the first marriage those still living are: John T., who enlisted in 1864 in the same cavalry regiment to which his father belonged and who is now a retired farmer living at Clear Lake, Iowa; Mrs. Harriet Hoyt, a resident of Delhi, Iowa; and Mrs. Wragg.
       To Mr. and Mrs. Wragg have been born three children. Hannah E., the eldest, born March 30, 1867, was married on the 4th of February, 1885, to Patrick H. Britt and they have four children; Theodosia, who was born January 1, 1886, and is the wife of Harry D. Pulver, a farmer, by whom she has two children, Helen and Mildred; Orman F., born December 8, 1888; Harriet, whose birth occurred January 4, 1892; and William J. born March 17, 1897. The second in the family of Peter Wragg was William A. Wragg, who died January 14, 1895. Jennie T., the third child, was born July 11, 1878, and is the wife of Frank E. Stimson, cashier of the Delhi (Ia.) Savings Bank. On the 2d of July, 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Wragg expect to celebrate their golden wedding, for they will then have been married a half century, and his brother Willard, of Earlville, was married fifty years on the 26th of September, 1914.
       Mr. Wragg owns about three hundred acres of land on sections 4 and 5, Union township, on which he engages in raising hogs, cattle, horses and chickens. He has led a busy and useful life, always carrying on general agricultural pursuits and winning success by practical methods and indefatigable industry. The only office that he has ever consented to fill has been that of school director. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and his life is in harmony with its principles and teachings. He has ever sought to live at peace with his fellowmen and to follow the Golden Rule, doing unto others as he would have them do unto him. Although he has now reached the age of seventy five years he is still hale and hearty and although not actively engaged in managing his farm he is still able to oversee things in a general way, setting an excellent example to the younger generation concerning the value of diligence and determination as factors in winning success.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 465-467. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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