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Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Sixteen

Wheeler | Chapman | Walsh | Fry | M McKenney |

WHEELER - Major John R. WHEELER (Portrait), who has been a lumber dealer at Dunlap, Iowa, since July, 1867, was born at Frewsburg, NY, September 30, 1833, is the son of James WHEELER and the grandson of Josiah H. WHEELER, one of the Minute Men at Concord, Mass., he afterwards followed through the Revolutionary War, he served through the entire conflict, in our struggle for national independence. Josiah H. WHEELER was also a patriotic man, having served his country. The father of our subject married Miss Nancy ROSE, who was reared in England. Both she and her husband died a the old homestead in New York.
John R. was reared in the Empire State, and was brought up in the lumber business, which his father followed, and in 1856 he came to Eau Claire, WI, where he remained until December, 1861 when he enlisted in Company G, Sixteenth Wisconsin Infantry, which company he raised and went out with as Captain, but was promoted to Major, and was as such mustered out in April, 1865.
John received two wounds, the first at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, which was the first engagement he was in. He was shot through the upper lip. His company lost six men, with thirty-three wounded. July 21, 1865, in front of Atlanta he was wounded with a bullet passing through both of his thighs, and was kept under fire for ten days thereafter before he could be removed from the field. The surgeons advised the amputation of one limb, but he would not submit to it. Other engagements included Corinth, Vicksburg, the Seige of Atlanta and the last fight was at Wises' Forks, where he met Bragg and Hook.
After his return from the service, our subject again took up the lumber business along the line of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, dealing at various terminal points on that road, commencing at Clinton, Boone and including Jefferson, Denison, Woodbine, Dunlap, Iowa and Blair, Nebraska. He opened the first lumberyard in Dunlap in the summer of 1867, from three car-loads which he side-tracked at this point, there being no station house, postoffice, or other object to mark the spot of the town site. Later he purchased a lot upon which to establish his lumber-yard, and secured a yoke of oxen with which to draw the first invoice of lumber.
His next move was to erect a frame office, which still (1891) stands and is used by Mr. WHEELER, and is not unfrequently pointed out as the first building completed in Dunlap. The office afforded sleeping accommodations for a number of men for a long time, while the first buildings of the place were being erected. The first year he was at Dunlap he also operated a yard at Woodbine, having located there in December, 1866, when there was only one completed building in the place, his office being the third structure of any kind. He sold thousands of bills to the early settlers in the vicinity of Dunlap. The people had plenty of money as it was just at the close of the war and grain was selling at a high price, and all seemed in a prosperous condition. Mr. WHEELER has confined himself to the lumber trade continually since 1865, when he started at Clinton, Iowa, and followed up the line of construction of the Northwesterb Railway. He is called the pioneer lumberman, because he furnished the first lumber at so many points in Iowa.
Politically, he affiliates with the Democratic party. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias Lodge at Dunlap. He was married in 1876, at Hamburg, Iowa, to Nancy E. TYLER, a native of Wisconsin, and they are the parents of one child -- John R., born in 1880.
Mrs. WHEELER is a daughter of William A. TYLER, a native of Ohio, and Jane B. (BROWN) TYLER, a naive of New York; the former died in Wisconsin, and the latter still resides in Hamburg, Iowa.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Wheeler Family Researcher.
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CHAPMAN - Thomas CHAPMAN, whose residence is on the south line of section 33 of Cass Township, has been a resident of the county sonce 1865, when he settled on his present place, consisting of a fractional quarter section. He is a native of England, born September 23, 1825, in Wiltshire, and is a son of William and Mary (GREEN) CHAPMAN, and was the fourth child of a family of ten children. His father was a farmer, and died in England. Two years after his father's death his mother came to America, and died in Harrison County. When our subject was sixteen years old, in England, he commenced working at shoemaking, which he followed most of the time until he came to America, as well as one year afterwards. It was during the month of January that he bid farewell to his native land and sailed for America, landing at New Orleans, and from thence by boat up to Council Bluffs, and during the year 1851 purchased the farm in Boomer Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. But like so many ithers at that date, he saw visions of golden wealth and prosperity, and in 1852 started for Salt Lake, crossing the plains with ox-teams. He remained in that country twleve years, just prior to his settlement in Harrison County. In the fall of 1851 he had assisted in surveying a part of the section lines in Harrison County.
November 20, 1847, he was united in marriage with Amelia WILLIS, in England. She died in Salt Lake, April 9, 1856, and in 1857 he was married to Mrs. Deborah J. BLAIR, daughter of James and Rebecca (HALL) BUSHNELL, a native of England, born October 11, 1819. She was the youngest of a family of four children, and was married in the land of her birth January 2, 1841, to David BLAIR, who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, May 5, 1810, and was the son of John and Jane BLAIR, who came to America in November, 1856, landing in Boston, and from there he took up his journey to Utah, coming in cattle cars to Iowa City, being under the supervision of Daniel TAYLOR and Edwin MARTIN, missionaries of Brigham YOUNG. From Iowa City to Salt Lake City the long march was made by the Mormons, to which sect this family belonged, by means of handcarts heavily laden with their household effects, books, keep-sakes, and trinkets. Nearly the entire way across what was then known as the Great American Desert this little band, our subject's wife, husband and three children, which had been driven by persecution from the Mississippi States, were obliged to subsist on a pint of flour per day and it will be remembered that this was in the winter. Shortly after leaving Laramie, WY, the snow was deep, and in many places they were compelled to wade through it waist deep, as the oxen gave out.
Mr. BLAIR, MRs. CHAPMAN's first husband, who necessarily enters largely into this sketch, while in England and a subject of the Queen, was one of the Royal Guards. He was six feet and three inches high, and served in the capacity of one of the Royal House Queen's Body Guards, and Mrs. CHAPMAN now possesses a regimental coat he wore, and a sword which was presented to him by his Colonel. While crossing the plains this man fell a victim to starvation, as did one of the children, and died at Rocky Ridge. When the party reached Independent Rock they were compelled to halt for nine days on account of a snow blockade, until teams reached them from Salt Lake, bringing provisions and some clothing, allowing them to leave their hand-carts and ride the remainder of the journey. Like great military campaigns of the Civil War, the hardships endured, the sacrifices made and the lives lost, can never be fully described or thoroughly understood by any one who did not march through the enemy's land. The survivors of the late war, and those who withstood the torture of an Andersonville or a Libby Prison can in a measure enter into ] the spirit of the suffering entailed by that terrible conflict. So it is with the exodus of the Mormon people, from winter quarters, near the present site of Omaha, across the desert land of Nebraska and Colorado, at a time when they were hundreds of miles from any other human creatures than the savage tribes of the Indians, and fortunate indeed were the many thousands of their number who became "Apostates" this side of the Missouri River and withdrew from that people on account of polygamy; for while they sought out homes on the eastern shore of the Missouri River, in many of the southwestern counties, in Iowa as well as in Missouri, and endured the hardships co-incident with frontier life, yet they escaped the religious imprisonment and disgrace of those who became Brigham Young's followers in the far West.
Our subject and his wife are members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Fay Saints.
Politically, Mr. CHAPMAN is a supporter of the Democratic party, and stands high in the community in which he lives.
Mr. CHAPMAN adopted two boys in Salt Lake City -- George P. and Charles G. DYKES. The former was nine and the latter four years of age, and were motherless. George P. remained with the CHAPMAN family until twenty years of age; and Charles until twenty-two years, when he married. He now resides in Muscatine County, Iowa, and has eighty acres of land. They were both cared for and treated as their own children.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Chapman Family Researcher.
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WALSH - Edmund Charles WALSH was born in County Kilkenny about April 1829, and he spent his young manhood in Ireland. He and his mother's family immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts at the time of the Potato Famine, in June 1848, or when he was about age 19. Fleeing famine caused by the Irish potato blight, many Irish began mass immigration to the U.S beginning in 1846, the time of James Polk's presidency. Iowa was just admitted as the 29th state to the union in 1846, and land was available.

Edmund came to America in the company of his mother Mary, and some of his brothers and sisters, including Lawrence, Patrick, Robert, Alice and Mary. His brother John and sister Bridget were also to make the trip. Edmund Walsh lived and worked in the Boston area for a couple of years following part of the families arrival in America, and studied to learn the trade of stone mason. His brother Lawrence settled in New Hampshire and had a large family there.

By the early 1850s Edmund, Patrick, John and Alice Walsh moved to Dubuque, Iowa. In 1852, the three brothers signed a deed for land in Washington township of that county. In the same year they signed their Declaration of Intent to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Edmund, using his skills as a stone mason, helped to rebuild the Julien House (Hotel) in Dubuque. Edmund married Mary Frances Walsh on January 15, 1857 at Saint Raphael's Catholic Church in Dubuque, Iowa. His brother Patrick and sister Alice had a double wedding their on August 28, 1854, both marrying members of the Brennan family. Edmund's brother John Walsh moved on to California about this time.

Edmund and his brother Patrick Walsh raised their families near Dubuque, farming on the land they had purchased in Washington Township. Ten children were born to the union of Edmund and Mary WALSH:   Mary Marguerite, born June 30, 1860; Thomas Francis, November 7, 1862; Lawrence, August 7, 1864; Catherine Theresa, June 5, 1866; Robert William, January 19, 1868; Bridget Vincent, November 26, 1869; Anastasia, May 15, 1871; Edward John, February 16, 1874; Ellen Veronica, February 8, 1877; and Alice, March 22, 1880.
Edmund Walsh and family moved to western Iowa, near Neola, about 1882, and continued to farm. By 1895 the two eldest sons in the family were farming in Union township in Harrison County. About 1897 Edmund and the rest of the family were farming in Lagrange township in Harrison County. He continued in Lagrange for the next 16 years until his death on the farm on January 9, 1914. His wife Mary, along with some of the children, would move to nearby Missouri Valley. Mary Walsh passed away on November 17, 1926 in Missouri Valley, and was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery where her husband Edmund had been buried over 12 years prior.
Source: Contributed Biography written by Dennis Walsh
Walsh Family Researcher: Dennis Walsh.
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FRY - Ammon FRY. This gentleman was numbered among the pioneer band, who wended their way to Harrison County in 1853, and here sought out a home in a land undeveloped and wild. He accompanied his parents and settled on section 30, of Boyer Township, in the lower part of Bigler's Grove,where he remained until the fall of 1855, and then bought a tract of land on section 7, Jefferson Township, where he improved and lived upon until the autumn of 1866, when he bought his father's farm, where he now lives.
Upon coming to this county, his father pre-empted his one hundred and sixty acress, and held it until July, 1855, when he entered the same, as it had not them come into the market. At that time there were but five families in Boyer Township, west of the Boyer River; David FRY and family; John MCINTIRE and family, and John HOLETON and his family came in at the same time of Mr. FRY's settlement, all taking land in Boyer Township. Mr. MCINTIRE moved to Monona County; Mr. HOLETON died in Magnolia Township, and David FRY (father of our subject) died November 11, 1875, in Boyer Township, at the age of seventy-six years.
Our subject has added to his farm until it now contains an area of two hundred and forty-nine acres.
He was born in Greene County, Indiana, August 13, 1834, and three years later his parents removed to Missouri, lived two yeasr and returned to Illinois and there remained until 1840, at which time they came to Lee County, Iowa, lived there eight years and removed to Appanoose County, and lived until 1850, during which year they moved to Mills County, lived three years and came to Harrison County.
Mr. FRY was married January 22, 1864, to Mary A. MCKENZIE, of Crawford County, by whom eleven children have been born -- William U., May 10, 1865; Isabel, August 7, 1866; Nora and Dora, (twins) January 13, 1868; Minnie I., July 24, 1869; Lillie, July 20, 1870; Anna, May 10, 1873; Joseph, May 9, 1874; Bert E., March 6, 1875; Edgar C., March 14, 1877; Fred A., August 13, 1878.
The following are deceased -- Nora, June, 1869; Dora, March 18, 1868; William U., October 2, 1865; Anna, May 10, 1873; Joseph, May 9, 1874; and Millie, September, 1873.
Mrs. Mary A. (MCKENZIE) FRY was born in Birmingham, England, November 9, 1841; her father died in England, before which her mother and the family came to the United States, arriving April, 1851, coming directly to St. Louis, where the mother died July 4, 1851. The remainder of the family stayed there until 1855, and then went to Crawford County, Iowa, where Mrs. FRY made her home until the date of her marriage. Her parents were Alexander and Mary (BOADEN) MCKENZIE, who was the youngest of a family of nine children. The father was born in Scotlandm in 1813, and died in England, in 1863.
David FRY, father of our subject, was born in Rowan County, NC, October 27, 1799, and left there in 1822, coming to Greene County, IN, where he remained until 1837. His wife, the mother of our subject, Dorothy (STEWART) FRY, was born in Kentucky, August 29, 1800, and her parents removed to Greene County, Indiana about 1822. She was the mother of ten children, Ammon of whom we write being the sixth child. David FRY was always on the frontier, coming to Indiana when it was yet a wilderness, and to Missouri and Iowa, when there was but little settlement made. He was very fond of hunting and found plenty of sport in that direction, in all of these new counties, including Harrison County, Iowa.
Ammon and his brother Joseph sawed lumber for the first house in Magnolia, executing the same with a whip-saw.
Politically, Mr. FRY votes with the Democratic party, and is a member of the Latter Day Saints Church.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Fry Family Researcher.
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MCKENNEY - James D. MCKENNEY, was born in Cass County, Michigan, February 3, 1844. He is the son of Michael I. and Anna Eliza (TOWNSEND) MCKENNEY, and was the sixth of a family of eight children. He attended two terms of school in Michigan and completed his education in the district schools of Harrison County. The first school he attended in this county was in the winter of 1852-53, in a log schoolhouse on section 6, of Union Township. The school was taight by George WHITE.
Our subject has always made his home at the old homestead and now lives on the original land taken by his father in 1851. The father died in 1858, and in the spring of 1860, the mother rented the farm to Samuel JACK and went to Michigan, and returned in the fall, but our subject remained here all summer and worked for Mr. JACK, continuing for two years, the first year for his board and clothes, but the last year he received $8 per month. It will be remembered that he was only in his sixteenth year, and in the fall of 1868 he took charge of the place and operated it, his mother keeping house for him until the atuumn of 1879, when he bought the other heirs' interest in a hundred and twenty acres, which he still owns.
He was married February 6, 1879, to Alpharetta DAKAN, a native of Morrow County, Ohio, born December 22, 1854, and is the youngest of a family of three children by Mr. DAKAN's second marriage, her parents being Ebenezer and Charity (WAGSTAFF) DAKAN. The father was married three times and had five children by his first marriage. The father died in Union Township, August 9, 1883, and the mother died March 10, 1863.
Mr. and Mrs. MCKENNEY are the parents of four children, all living -- Herbert E., born November 14, 1879; Inman R., September 6, 1881; Guy E. and Nellie E., (twins), October 10, 1888.
Mr. MCKENNEY and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having united in 1890. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Logan. Politically our subject has always voted with the Republican party, but at present is in sympathy with the Farmer's Alliance movement.
He has been a successful farmer, and while he has seen his share of hard times, he has always been surrounded with the ordinary comforts of home life, but well remembers how glad he used to be to see visitors come to their house, for it was upon such occasions that wheat bread was served. Now that these days of hardships have with him forever passed, he can better enjoy the suroundings of his own fireside.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Fry Family Researcher.
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