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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1186~





The family of William M. Horn, Sr., a substantial citizen of Maynard, Fayette county, prominent farmer and honored ex-soldier, were influential Kentuckians, but the subject was born at DeKalb, Buchanan county, Missouri, January 30, 1844. He is the son of John O. Horn, who was a native of Kentucky, but spent the latter years of his life in Missouri. He was of Irish descent and married Malissa Jane Bragg, a native of Kentucky. They went to Missouri in an early day, in 1847 went to Delaware county, Iowa, and in 1840 to California, making the long, tedious journey overland with an ox team. Mr. Horn died in California of the fever, shortly after he went there, leaving a widow, who married again and who died in 1858. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John O. Horn: Samuel, who served three years in the Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, and is now living at Plattsville, Wisconsin; William M., of this review, was the youngest child. The parents of these children were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Horn was a Democrat.


William M. Horn, Sr., is purely a self-made man, starting in life under none too favorable environment. He lived with an uncle, James Retherford, at Colesburg, Iowa, until the spring of 1862, when he proved his loyalty to the old flag by enlisting in Company F, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which he served in a very gallant manner until 1865. He was first sent to Minnesota to assist in keeping peace at the payment of a tribe of Indians. He was later sent to Memphis, Tennessee, then to Vicksburg and on a long march eastward to reinforce Sherman on Big Black river, later returning to Vicksburg. He took part in Banks' fatal Red River expedition, and he was in the battle and capture of Fort De Russy, Louisiana, March 14, 1864, Mr. Horn being the second man to mount the breastworks. His next battle was at Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864. He received a shot there which shattered his left thigh. His comrades dragged him and placed him under a tree and while lying there he received five other wounds and he was taken prisoner with four hundred others and was held three months in the open air, under the trees. He was paroled with one hundred and forty comrades, the rest of the four hundred dying of exposure and neglect. Mr. Horn was discharged on June 20, 1863, at Montgomery, Alabama, after serving three years.


After the war Mr. Horn returned to Delaware county, Iowa, and on September 134, 1865, he married Sarah Montgomery, a native of Pennsylvania, who at the age of four years came to Iowa with her father, Archibald Montgomery. To Mr. and Mrs. Horn one son was born, named William M., Jr., born June 16, 1866, in Delaware county, Iowa. He has always remained with his parents. Archibald Montgomery married Eleanor Kilgore, who like himself, was a native of Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where they grew to maturity and where they were married. In 1842 they came to Colesburg, Delaware county, Iowa. The country was wild at that time, abounding in an abundance of wild game and Indians. Archibald Montgomery's father, William Montgomery, came to Iowa in 1840 and bought land. He was a great hunter and kept the family supplied with wild meat. He was a typical pioneer and loved the woods and primitive conditions. He died in 1866. In 1849, Archibald Montgomery went overland with an ox team to California, taking his son, William, who was then fourteen years of age, and a few neighbors, being six months on the journey. He remained in the Golden state two and one-half years, mining. He returned to Delaware county, Iowa, where he died in 1875, at the age of sixty-nine years; his wife had preceded him to the grave in 1849. Mr. Montgomery was a successful farmer and a man of considerable influence in his community. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, namely: William died in Illinois on his way home from the army on a furlough, having been a soldier in Company F, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry; Sarah, wife of William M. Horn, Sr., of this review; Martha is the widow of James Arbuckle and is living at Greeley, Iowa; Hon. John K., of West Union, married Mary Mellon and they are the parents of two children, Belle M. and William A. John K. Montgomery was elected in 1885 to the twenty-first General Assembly and he served on two important committees, agriculture and senatorial districts, and he was also on the county central committee; he is a Democrat and formerly engaged in farming. Elizabeth Montgomery married William Alcorn, of West Union; Isabelle Montgomery married Thomas Reeder, of West Union.


After the close of the war, William M. Horn, Sr., lived in Delaware county, Iowa, until 1869, when he located on section 30, in Smithfield township, Fayette county, later on section 19, where he farmed successfully until 1896, when he retired and has since lived in Maynard, Iowa. They have in all two hundred and sixty acres of well improved and well kept land in Smithfield township. Mr. Horn has always been a farmer and a very progressive one and considering the disadvantages under which he started in life for himself he is deserving of great credit for what he has accomplished. He has been an extensive raiser of Durham cattle, Norman horses, Poland-China hogs, and a large part of his competency has been made by the skillful handling of livestock. He votes the Democratic ticket and belongs to Lodge No. 126, Knights of Pythias, at Oelwein, Iowa. He has won and retained hosts of friends wherever he has lived, for he is a man of genuine worth, honest, kind and hospitable.


~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Mary Fobian


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