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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Forty Six

Richardson | Riddell | Rock | Rogers | Stoker |

RICHARDSON - Hon. George RICHARDSON (Portrait), one of the pioneers of the county, came in July 1857, and settled on the farm he now occupies. When he came all was wild prairie, and game was plentiful for many years. At first he erected a log house 16x24 feet, in which he lived until the autumn of 1868, and then built his present commodious residence, having to haul all the material from Council Bluffs. The house is 30x40 feet, with an addition 16x30 feet. Some of the lumber in this building cost our subject $100 per thousand. In 1873 he built a barn 18x20 feet, and has since built another barn 46x80 feet, with eighteen-foot posts. His present home farm consists of five hundred acres, and he also has another five hundred acre tract, partly in Cincinnati and partly in St. John's Townships, and still this is not the extent of his landed estate, for he has a farm of one hundred acres on section 1, of Cincinnati Township, and one of the same size on section 3, a quarter section in one tract in Taylor Township, besides forty acres of timber land. All of these farms are under cultivation and well stocked. Great must be the contrast in our subject's mind, when he reflects back to the time when he came the county, when all was a prairie wilderness, and his neighborhood only had four families. When they were in search of their cattle, unless near by, they could not observe them on account of the rank growth of prairie grass, which rose and fell like the waves of the ocean. For three years they had no schools, but at that time the neighbors combined and built a log school house which served the district for eight years. Mrs. BOWMAN was the first teacher who taught in this building, which was also used for religious services.

Ox-teams were all the go in those days, and if a man possessed a horse-team he was looked upon as "puttin on style" and could hardly be tolerated. But today Harrison County produces as fine horses as can be found in the United States, and a yoke of oxen is indeed a strange sight, and they are looked upon with as much curiosity now-a-days, as the Italian with his cinnamon bear.

Politically, Mr. RICHARDSON is a Republican, and has held most of the local offices in his township, including Trustee and member of the School Board. At the general election in 1881, he was elected on the Republican ticket a member of the Legislature, which position he filled with credit to himself and constituents. To represent a district like this, was one of much more responsibility, than it would have been at the time our subject came to the county.

Mr. RICHARDSON was born in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, June 14, 1833, and remained at home until 1852, when he went to Middlesex County, Canada, where he spent five years laboring on a farm, at the end of which time he came to Harrison County, Iowa.

Miss Ann COULTHARD, became his wife in February, 1855. They were married in Canada, and reared a family of thirteen children--Margaret J., born July 19, 1856; Mary A., October 4, 1858; Janet D., November 1, 1861; Agnes, June 10, 1864; Harriet L., September 9, 1866; Robert F, December 11, 1868; William L., February 1, 1871; Carrie D., April 4, 1873; George Wallace, February 2, 1875; Zellie M., February 22, 1877; Nellie V., February 29, 1879; David a., March 24, 1882; Nina M., February 12, 1885. These children are all living.

Mrs. Ann (COULTHARD) RICHARDSON, was born in Middlesex County, Canada, January 29, 1841, and remained at home until the date of her marriage.

Francis RICHARDSON, the father of our subject, was born in Scotland, and there spent his life. He died at the age of seventy six years in 1868. His wife, Margaret (COULTHARD) RICHARDSON was also a native of Scotland, dying in that country in 1859, when she was about fifty years of age. They were the parents of ten children, of whom our subject as the seventh. The RICHARDSON family have always been identified with the Presbyterian Church.

When our subject cam to the county it was little else than a wilderness. He came by rail to St. Louis, and from there up the Missouri by steamboat. He has seen all kinds of prices for farm produce in the last third of a century. He has seen the panic prices of 1857, and the war prices of 1865. He has hauled corn to Council Bluffs and sold it at fifteen cents per bushel. When the Union Pacific Railroad was being built from Omaha West, he furnished large quantities of ties, which were rafted down the river to Omaha. By the possession of such a large quantity of land, the question very naturally would arise, as to whether our subject came here with plenty of means or not. The answer may be found in the statement that he brought $500 in money with him, and through his business ability, has caused it to increase to his present handsome competency.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 731, 732, 733
Family Researcher: NA
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RIDDELL - William O. RIDDELL, of the Woodbine Normal School, will form the subject of this biographical notice.

Mr. RIDDELL was born in Allamakee County, Iowa, February 7, 1858. He is the son of William B. and Anna M. (PROVINES) RIDDELL, both natives of Ohio. His father was born January 22, 1824, and his mother March 7, 1833. In the spring of 1859 the family moved to Harrison County, Iowa, and first settled in what is now Union Township, where they remained eleven years, and then bought an improved farm in La Grange Township. Our subject remained at home until the summer of 1872, when he entered the Missouri Valley High School, which he attended one year, and the following year clerked in the general store of BUMP & SMITH, of Missouri Valley. In September, 1874, he entered the Nebraska State University at Lincoln, where he remained three years, between 1874 and 1878, during which time he taught several months. From 1878 to 1881 he attended Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Indiana University. During all the time he was not in school he was teaching. September, 1881, he was made Principal of the schools at Andrews, Ind., where he remained until June, 1883. From June, 1883, to June, 1885, he was Assistant Principal of the Missouri Valley High School, and from June, 1885 to June, 1887, he was Principal of the Magnolia High School. During the last named year he was one of the organizers, in company with Profs. KINNEY and MATTER, of the Woodbine Normal, with which he is still connected.

Besides the school work above named, Prof. RIDDELL has been connected with teachers' institute work in Harrison, Plymouth, Crawford and Hardin Counties, in Iowa, and Huntington County, Ind. In this work he spends his entire summer vacations.

He was united in marriage in Osceola, Neb., July 30, 1885, to Miss Marie WALDT, the daughter of Franz and Wilhelmine (RAUSCHER) WALDT, both natives of Hamburg, Germany. Mrs. RIDDELL was born in Hamburg, Germany, April 11, 1863, and in 1880 bade farewell t the scenes of her childhood home and came to America. The first two years she taught school in New York, and the two years following taught in Lincoln, Neb., where she remained until the date of her marriage, since which time she has followed teaching with her husband. She graduated from the Hamburg (Germany) High School in 1877, and from the Normal School of the same place in 1880.

In February, 1891, Mr. RIDDELL purchased the old home farm in La Grange Township, the same consisting of two hundred and forty acres of well improved land, provided with a good two-story farm house. <br>br> Politically, our subject is identified with the Republican party. In 1889 he was a candidate for State Representative on the Republican ticket, but was not successful in securing the office. When one considers that the subject of this notice is but thirty-three years of age, and reviews the work he has already performed for himself and for others, it will go without saying that his has been a busy life, and that he has accomplished more than a majority of men do in a lifetime.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 681, 682
Family Researcher: NA
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ROCK - Daniel ROCK, who owns a portion of sections 9 and 16, of Douglas Township, has been a resident and an honorable citizen of Harrison County since 1868, arriving in the spring of that year. He rented, a farm on Pigeon Creek, in Cass Township, where he cultivated the soil for three years, during which time he purchased eighty acres on section 16, on Douglas Township, upon which there was a small house and forty acres under cultivation. This house was occupied until 1888, when it was superseded by a new one, 18x24 feet, with an addition 14x16 feet, built one story and a half high. As prosperity smiled upon his labors, and the soil yielded forth its bountiful harvests, he from time to time bought other lands, until he now possesses two hundred and fifty-five acres of Harrison County's fertile soil, all of which shows the marks of industrious and intelligent husbandry.

To acquaint the reader more thoroughly with the early years of him for whom this biographical sketch is written, we will ask him to go in imagination across the great ocean and to the inland county of Maid, Ireland, where our subject was born, and where grew the shamrock rose. There we might have seen a youth spending the first sixteen years of his life as a dutiful son. At that time he had visions of the New World, and desiring to get from under the thralldom of British tyranny, he came to America where he found work as a railroad grader in New York State, which he followed for thirty years, and was one whose brawny arms helped to construct the first railroad across the Alleghany Mountains.

About 1846 he left New York and went to Harrisburg, Pa., where he remained for several years, and learning of the new West, came to Clinton County, Iowa and there lived until 1868, when he came to Harrison County. Since coming to Iowa, he has turned his attention to the cultivation of the soil.

He was married in Huntington County, Pa., to Miss Mary DOLAND, by whom he has reared the following children: Hanorah, John, Katie, Bridget, Edward and Mary.

Our subject was bereft of his wife, who passed from the scenes of this life in the month of June, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. ROCK both adhered to the faith as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. Politically, our subject believes in the principles of the Democratic party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 708
Family Researcher: NA
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ROGERS - James D. ROGERS is a farmer living on section 2, of LaGrange Township, and is counted among the pioneers of Harrison County, coming as he died in April, 1854, at which time he settled on the farm he now occupies. At first he entered a quarter section at $1.25 per acre. His first house was built of logs and covered with clapboards; it was 16x18 feet and had a sod chimney. The floor was made of lumber from CHATBURN & MAHONEY's mill, from which place he also got his first grist of cornmeal. It was in this log cabin that our subject lived in good old pioneer style until 1862, when he erected a frame house in which he still lives, having made several additions and improvements since. The first year he was here he only broke four acres. There were only about forty acres of prairie land on his place. His present farm comprises two hundred and forty acres, about seventy-five of which are under the plow. In 1865 our subject set out an orchard of eight acres, to which he has since added four acres, making one of the finest orchards in Harrison County. He has a fine variety of apples. The early apples consist of Early Harvest, Red June, Sweet June, Early Joe, Red Astrakan, Duchess and Williams's Favorite. The winter varieties are White Winter Pearmain, Golden Russet, Winesap, Geneton, Jonathan, Sheriff, Northern-spy, Willow twig, Toman-sweet and others.

As a matter of curiosity our subject took a couple of perfect Willow-twig apples and laid them away to see how long they would keep, and it was found that they had not commenced to rot in July of the second year after they had been picked from the tree.

In 1874 our subject erected a barn 24x60 feet with fourteen-foot posts. The entire premises of this man show him to be a hard worker, as well as an intelligent agriculturist and horticulturist. When he first came to this county his nearest trading post was Council Bluffs. He drove an ox-team, and it was four years after he came to the county before he even had this. He used to exchange work with a brother and get him to plow up what little he had to cultivate, and would then do the rest with his hoe. He did not possess a horse until 1868, when he traded his oxen for a team. In these good, old early days it was no uncommon thing to see whole families go to church drawn by ox-teams. The first church services held after Mr. ROGERS came to LaGrange Township were held at the log house of Mr. PETERSON, near James MCKINNEY's farm.

Mr. ROGERS was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., November 10, 1822. He remained there with his parents until the spring of 1811, when he went to Calaway County, Mo., and remained until the spring of 1845. He then returned to his father's home and worked with him that season. He had bought some wild land in the woods which he went to clearing up, and remained there until 1848; he then sold out and removed to Cabell County, W. Va., where he remained until the spring of 1854, and then came to Harrison County Iowa.

Our subject was united in marriage in his native county, September 4, 1845, to Miss Susan GILKESON, and they are the parents of seven children: Samuel G., born April 26, 1847; Elizabeth J., May 29, 1849; Esteline, November 22, 1850; Rebecca C., October 22, 1852; Mattie A., October 11, 1854; John C., February 14, 1854; Charles H., November 7, 1857. John C. died January 9, 1857; Charles H., September 7, 1886. He was thrown from a load of hay and only lived about and hour and a half.

Susan (GILKESON) ROGERS was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., December 3, 1820. John ROGERS, the father of our subject, was born in the same place April 25, 1800, and remained there until 1850 when he removed to Cabell County, the same State, and was there until the spring of 1852, then went to Harrison County, Iowa, where he entered a half-section of land in LaGrange Township and was one of the first settlers in these parts. He improved and lived upon his farm as long as he lived. He closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth, November 20, 1880.

The mother of our subject, Elizabeth (COX) ROGERS, was born in Bath County, W. Va., June 9, 1796, and when a girl her parents removed to Greenbrier County where she remained until 1821, at which time she was married. She died in Harrison County, Iowa, April 20, 1869. This worthy couple were the parents of seven children, of whom our subject is the eldest. The mother was a member of the Presbyterian Church, as are both our subject and his wife.

Politically, Mr. ROGERS is identified with the Republican party, and among the offices he has held may be mentioned that of member of the Board of Supervisors for Harrison County; President of the School Board for six years and Township Clerk for the same length of time.

Mr. ROGERS had three brothers who came to this county in 1852, John M., David and Michael. All entered land in LaGrange Township and improved the same.

Michael did in 1881 in Texas, having moved to that State in 1869; John M. died in Kansas City, Mo., in 1884, having removed there the year previous; David is living in Dunlap; John M. was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., July 4, 1832, and was married in Harrison County in October, 1856, to Miss Hope REUDDER. They had seven children. The widow and her family are living in Kansas City; Michael was born in the same county May 31, 1824, and was married there to Miss Sarah J. MOOREHEAD who bore him seven children. The widow is now living with one of her children in Nebraska.

Of our subject's children who are married it may be said that Elizabeth married Silas BROADWELL, November 20, 1867, and they are living in Portland, Ore., and have two children--Ernest and Charles. Estaline married Samuel JACK, March 4, 1875, and lives in Hiawatha, Kan.; Martha A. married Robert K. EBY, September 7, 1876; Catharine married W. G. JONES, December 13, 1877, and is living in Iowa County, Iowa; Charles H. married Ada E. FRAZIER, July 15, 1880. His widow still lives in LaGrange Township; Samuel G. married Ida C. EATLET, and is living in Washington, D. C., where he has a position which he has held for the pat five years in the Pension Department. He was Principal of the Logan Schools for nine years, and was Principal at Missouri Valley three years. He commenced to teach when he was sixteen years of age.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 720, 721, 722
Family Researcher: NA
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STOKER - Allen STOKER, who is a resident of section 27, Union Township, came to Harrison County in February 1869, and purchased a part of his present homestead, and then returned to Pottawattamie County, returning the following year to remain, and began breaking up the wild sod. He lived with his brother-in-law, George SPEARS, for about two years. The township at that time was very thinly settled, there not being over one hundred and fifty inhabitants, and their chief market was Logan.

To inform the reader concerning our subject's earlier years, his marriage, etc., it should be stated that he was born December 29, 1844, in Hancock County, Ill., and is the son of Ellar and Margaret (JUDD) STOKER.

The father was a native of the Buckeye State, and came to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, settling near Council Bluffs, in June 1846, where he died July 19, 1855, always following farming. His wife was born in Indiana. They were the parents of eight children, of whom seven still survive, Mr. STOKER being the third child. He attended the district school in Pottawattamie County, acquiring a fair business education. His father died when he was about eleven years of age, but, being a faithful son, he lingered around the home hearth-stone until he had reached his majority, and then worked the old homestead two years, teaching school winters. Upon leaving home his mother gave him a team of horses and a wagon and the sum of $100 in money. And with this small beginning he started forth in life to take his rank among men as the architect of his own fortune, and by good business habits and much hard labor he is now surrounded with a comfortable home, and is possessor of three hundred and ninety-five acres of land in Union Township, of which two hundred are under the plow, and the balance pasture and meadow land. He usually keeps seventy-five head of cattle, fourteen horses, and fifty swine. He built his present house in 1879, the upright of which is 16x24 feet and two stories high, to which an addition fourteen feet square and one story high has been added. His barn was erected in 1883, and is 36x42 feet, with twenty-foot posts. The whole premises show evidences of good management and our subject is looked upon as one of the intelligent agriculturists of the country.

He was united in marriage October 31, 1876, to Sarah E. WHITINGER, daughter of Jasen and Mary J. (HOWARD) WHITINGER, who emigrated to the county in 1857 or 1858. Her father was born in Indiana August 18, 1835, and came to Dallas County, Iowa in 1853. He was married when twenty-four years of age. His wife was born in Illinois March 7, 1842, and raised a family of six children, of whom Mrs. STOKER, born February 24, 1859, is the eldest. Her people are living in Idaho, to which State they went in 1854. Mr. and Mrs. STOKER are the parents of seven children, who were born in the following order:--The first born died in infancy; Ada M., October 15, 1877; Margaret J., October 3, 1879; Nellie L., January 17, 1882; Marvin C., September 29, 1884, died December 14, 1890; Edith, born June 19, 1889; Lloyd A., May 1, 1889.

Politically, Mr. STOKER is identified with the Republican party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 717, 718
Family Researcher: NA
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