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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Twenty Five

Blenkiron | Butts | Shearer | Bourn | Peters | Vanderhoof |

BLENKIRON - Matthew BLENKIRON, a banker and large land holder, residing at Missouri Valley came to the county, in 1870, and dealt land and followed farming in Cincinnati Township, for ten years. He was born in Yorkshire, England, near Richmond, July 18, 1817. He is the son of William and Elizabeth BLENKIRON. The father followed farming for a living and died when our subject was a mere boy; his mother died in Harrison County, December 13, 1879, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Our subject received his education in England, prior to coming to America. He came to this country in 1839 and settled in Wisconsin, at British Hollow, where he began smelting, and has the honor of being the first "slag smelter" in the United States. He followed that business for three years, and then turned his attention toward mining and agricultural pursuits, for the next ten years, but after that devoted his entire attention to the latter, until 1870, when he came to this county, and still followed farming until 1880, when he moved to Missouri Valley, and rebuilt the grist mill at that point, which had been destroyed by fire. He conducted this mill for a time and then sold to L. M. KELLOGG. In 1884, he became one of the principal stock holders of the First National Bank, of which he is now the Vice President.

Our subject was united in marriage, July 13, 1846, at a place called New Diggings in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, to Miss Mary HARKER, whose father was James HARKER, who came from England, at the same time that Mr. BLENKIRON did, they being a colony of seventy-five, who came to the New World.

Mr. and Mrs. BLENKIRON are the parents of thirteen children -- William B., born May 14, 1847; was drowned at the age of fourteen months; Matthew W., born July 23, 1849, and resides in Nebraska; Elizabeth A., born October 3, 1851, wife of George NOWLIN, residing in California; John C., born January 31, 1856, married and resides at Coleridge, Nebraska; Isabella, born March 25, 1858, wife of James T. BURTON, from Galena, now lives in South Riverside, California; Sarah J., born November 15, 1859, wife of Charles SWANSON, and resides at Oakland, Nebraska; James Harker, born December 22, 1861, residing in Nebraska; Joseph E., born November 27, 1863, living at Bancroft, Nebr.; Ester, born November 27, 1865, married Crawford KENNEDY, a mail agent and she makes her home with her parents; Emaline, born May 22, 1867, died in infancy; Leonard and Emaline (twins), born August 9, 1869.

In politics, Mr. BLENKIRON, votes the straight Republican ticket. Mr. and Mrs. BLENKIRON are the grandparents of twenty children, still living, and eight deceased. The wife of our subject is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which she has belonged eleven years.

In glancing over the sketch of this man's life one sees what good business management can accomplish for a man coming to America away back in 1839, say nothing of the advantages of to-day. Upon arriving here he was only twenty-two years old with but little capital save his own hands to work with. Besides rearing and educating a large family he has succeeded in gaining ownership at one time of over three thousand acres of land in Harrison and adjoining counties. At this writing, 1891, he is classed among the wealthiest citizens of Harrison County.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: James Blinkhorn.
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BUTTS - Daniel W. BUTTS, editor of the Little Sioux Independent, first came to Iowa in 1846, before the State had been admitted into the Union, and moved to Monona County in 1852, and from there to this county in 1882. He was born in Chautauqua County, New York, April 23, 1835, and was the son of Orrin and Rebecca (LUDDEN) BUTTS, natives of Vermont, both deceased. The grandfather, James BUTTS, and his wife, Lydia, were natives of Vermont, and the grandfather on the mother's side, William LUDDEN, was also born there.

Our subject was one of a family of seven children. His early life was spent in the old Empire State, where he attended school. The family came West in 1845 to Illinois, spent the winter at Nauvoo, and in the spring of 1845 came to Kanesville, Iowa. They also lived two years in Missouri, in Atchison County, then went to St. Joseph where he learned his trade, remaining until 1852, and came to Monona County. Having just finished his trade in Missouri, we next find him printing a newspaper called the Harbinger and Organ, at Preparation, Monona County, the same being a religious journal. In 1856 he printed a weekly journal called the Nucleus and Echo. This was a Democratic local newspaper, which afterwards changed its name to the News and Messenger, and the plant was moved to Onawa in 1858, where it was known as the Onawa Adventure. It only continued there six weeks and was sold to parties at Magnolia. After the proprietor sold this paper, Mr. BUTTS went in company with A. DIMMICK, in the publication of the Monona Cordon, which they operated for two years, when Mr. BUTTS took control and changed the name to the West Iowa Gazette, which he operated for three years and then sold to Mr. HOLBROOK. He farmed for two years and then went to Magnolia (in Harrison County) and printed the Magnolia Republican, then the Western Star. He afterwards spent four years in Kansas City, on the Journal of Commerce, and returned to Iowa, and was employed at Little Sioux, Dunlap, Logan and Mapleton. In 1882 he bought the paper at Mondamin, ran it one and a half years and moved it to Little Sioux in August, 1884.

At one time he was Supervisor in Monona County for several terms. In religious matters, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and politically, he is now a Republican, of the independent order.

He was married May 15, 1859, in Magnolia, to Miss Anna E. LANYON, daughter of Thomas and Sophia (CAMPION) LANYON, natives of England. The family came to Iowa in 1858 and to Harrison County in 1859. Mr. and Mrs. BUTTS are the parents of one child, Elsie E.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: Karen Winfield.
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SHEARER - Simon V. SHEARER, a resident of Allen Township, and whose farm is on section 11, came to Harrison County in 1879, and bought wild land to the amount of eighty acres, a part of his present farm. He rented land upon which to make his living while he was improving his own; built a small house, stables and cribs of logs, rails and hay, and lived in the original house for eight years. But as time went on, and he prospered he erected a new house, which was 14x22 feet, with an addition the same size. He set out an orchard of one hundred trees, which are now fine bearing specimens, and a good index of what horticulture is worth in Harrison County. His farm is now under a high state of cultivation, providing him with one of the finest homes in the county.

Our subject was born in Clay County, April 25, 1842. He is a son of William SHEARER, a native of Kentucky, who had twelve children, our subject being the second in the family -- James M., Simon V., John R., Charles, Clifton R., Arzelia. Six of the family are deceased.

Our subject remained with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age, and then came to Dubuque County, Iowa, where he worked by the month one winter. He then went back to Missouri, and remained two years, working on the farm. We next find him in Cass County, Iowa, where he rented land for about six years, and then came to Harrison County.

He was married February 23, 1865, to Mary A. GILBERT, daughter of Hayden and Phoebe GILBERT, natives of Kentucky, who reared a family of nine children -- Stephen B., Margaret A., Ebenezer, Mary A., Nancy, Hayden B., George W., Josephine, deceased; and Laura.

Mr. and Mrs. SHEARER are the parents of four children -- Genorah M., Lena, Henry P., and Vida.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: N/A
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BOURN - William H, BOURN, a representative farmer of Clay Township, residing on section 24, came to Harrison County in the spring of 1855, and worked in a sawmill for Thomas A. DENNIS, remaining with him most of the time up to the spring of 1858. Part of the time he worked at Florence, Neb., in a mill. In the spring of 1858 he bought eighty acres of county swamp land. In the spring of 1859, in company with four others, of whom one ws Fred T. EVANS, now proprietor of the Hot Springs, at Buffalo Gap, S.D., they started with ox-teams to Pike's Peak. At Ft. Kearney, Neb., they met parties returning from that section disgusted with the prospects. This party was not of that stripe, so they pressed boldly on and shortly after fell into company with an emigrant train going to Oregon, so they conluded to journey with them. The whole party stopped in the Walla Walla Valley, where our subject, and two others, went to work at the carpenter trade for the Government. It took them four months to make their trip. In the spring of 1860 they bought some ponies, (numbering about two hundred head) and drove them back with them.

Upon his arrival in Iowa, from Oregon, Mr. BOURN commenced improving his place, upon which he built a small frame house. It was at this time that the Civil War cloud was darkening the national heavens, and secession threatened the life of the Union.

In August, 1862 he enlisted as a member of Company C, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, went South and took part in the following engagements: Helena, Ark., July 4, 1863; Little Rock, and from there went to Camden to support Gen. BANKS, on his Red River expedition and also at Jenkin's Ferry. Mr. BOURN was sick at this time and John W. STOCKER, of Logan, who was their Quartermaster, let Mr. BOURN ride his horse. The above engagement lasted from daylight until 2 o'clock p.m. From there they went back to LIttle Rock, where they did provost and prison duty until February, 1865. They were then sent Mobile, Ala., and took part in the battles of Spanish Fort and Ft. Blakely, and from there went to Mt. Vernon, Ala., were there for a short time and took ship for the mouth of the Rio Grande River, Texas. They remained in that vicinity one month, came back to New Orleans via Galveston, and on account of sickness Mr. BOURN was discharged at New Orleans July 29, 1865, one month before the remainder of his regiment was discharged. Upon his return from the army he came back to Harrison County, and resumed his farm labors.

To acquaint the reader with his earlier career, let it be said that he was born in Lancashire, England, August 1, 1839, and in about 1850, accompanied his parents to America, and located at Vincennes, Indiana. He remained at that point with his parents until he was fourteen years of age and then came west to Council Bluffs. When he left home he ran as a cabin boy on the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri Rivers. He followed this for about one year, coming to Council Bluffs in 1854. He worked at hauling brick from Council Bluffs across the river to a claim north of where Omaha now stands. When Mr. BOURN came to Clay Township, there were only eight or nine families in the township, all of which have long since moved away, except Chambers HESTER, who was a boy at the time living with his parents.

Our subject was united in marriage in Clay Township, December 8, 1861 to Miss Rebecca PARCELL, the daughter of Theodore and Catherine (BLACKBURN) PARCELL. As a result of this union, ten children were born: William H., February 21, 1863; Emma A., June 29, 1866; Mary A., January 12, 1868; John J., August 22, 1870; Eliza J., December 19, 1872; Thomas T., June 26, 1874; Albert, April 25, 1877; baby girl born April 17, 1880; Nettie, July 27, 1881; and Clara, December 31, 1883. Of these children, Eliza J. died July 20, 1873; baby girl April 27, 1880; and Mary A. (Mrs. JEWELL), February 20, 1887.

Rebecca (PARCELL) BOURN was born in Pennsylvania, July 3, 1845. When she was a small girl her parents removed to Ohio, and in 1860, came to Harrison County, Iowa, and settled in Clay Township, where she remained until the date of her marriage.

Thomas BOURN, the father of our subject was a native of England and died in Vincennes, Indiana; the mother Sarah (FAULKNER) BOURN was also a native of England and died at Springfield, Ill., and was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery. They were members of the Episcopal Church. Their family consisted of two children: William H., and Mary B. (MILLS) deceased.

Mr. BOURN is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Boyd Post at Modale. Politically, he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and has held numerous local offices, including that of Assessor and Township Clerk.

His present residence was built in 1873. In 1884 he erected a barn 48x51 feet. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land in Clay Township and one hundred and twenty acres in Jackson Township. In conclusion let it be said no man stands higher in the county than does he for whom this sketch is written.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: N/A
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PETERS - John M. PETERS was not one of the pioneer band of Harrison County, but has been a resident since March, 1877, having bought a quarter-section of land on the south half of section 2, in Douglas Township. He remained a couple of months, doing some breaking and then returned to McLean County, Ill. The following spring he brought his family and moved on his land, upon which he had built a frame house 12x20 feet, and one story high, in which he lived until the spring of 1881, when an addition was built, 16x24 feet, and in 1889 another addition was built of the same dimensions. From time to time he has added to his land, which is all under cultivation, except about thirty acres. He has good outbuildings and the general appearance of the farm shows him to be a man of taste and order.

Our subject was born in Antrim County, Ireland, April 9, 1832. At the age of sixteen he bid farewell to the old Emerald Isle and came to America, locating in Indiana County, PA, working at masonry, learning his trade at Centerville, PA. He worked at this trade for five years in Pennsylvania, and then came to LaSalle County, Ill., where he followed his trade for several years, and then removed to McLean County, of that State and worked his trade until he came to Iowa, where he engaged in farming.

He was married in LaSalle County, Ill., in 1856 to Miss Agnes BROWN, by whom two children were born, both of whom are deceased. Their mother died in LaSalle County, Ill, in 1850 [note: misprinted date?], and he was again married in the same county, October 1865, to Miss Maranda HARTLEY, by whom one son was born -- Sherman W. Maranda (HARTLEY) PETERS died in McLean County, Ill., January 26, 1873, and February 17, 1874, our subject was married to Mrs. Julia A. WALKER, by whom five children were born: Grace M., David A., Edward F., Winnie M., John H.

Politically, Mr. PETERS is a Republican, and in his religious belief he is a Free Will Baptist.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: Brenda
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Thomas F. VANDERHOOF came to Harrison County in 1852 at Harris Grove and then to Magnolia Township and finally to Jefferson Township; Jacob S. VANDERHOOF came in 1854 to LaGrange Township; and David B. VANDERHOOF in 1864 to LaGrange Township.

Thomas, Jacob and David were brothers. Thomas was born in Marion County, Ohio in 1827, the son of Thomas and Rebecca Vanderhoof. David was born in Marion County, Ohio on February 4, 1822 and came to Harrison County for a year in 1852 and returned to Cass County, Michigan where his parents had moved to around 1829/1830. Jacob was born in Cass County, Michigan on November 20, 1831.

Thomas married in 1854 (in Harrison County) to Jane DUNGAN, a native of Clay Co., Indiana and they had four children -- Mary R., William H., Amelia and David W.

Jacob married Jane JEWELL (in Harrison County) on March 23, 1856 and they had two children -- Chloe A., and Martha.

David married (in Michigan) to Dorcas HOWARD on October 6, 1844 and they had nine children -- William T., Lucian P., Hester E., Albert F., Rhoda S., Arminda, Adelbert, Clara M., and Orrin J. -- Dorcas was a native of Canada, at Lundy's Lane, two miles from Niagra Falls.

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Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Family Researcher: N/A
To Page Index --- To Bio Index

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