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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Sixty

Shaw | Lafferty | Fitzgibbon | Chiles | Stern | Kemmish | Friend

SHAW - John SHAW, a resident of St. John's Township, came to Harrison County in October, 1875, and purchased land on section 35, of Calhoun Township. He bought eighty-seven acres of partly improved land, upon which he lived eight years, then sold and removed to La Grange Township, and settled on section 14, where he purchased one hundred and ninety-five acres of improved land. On this he remained until November, 1889, when he exchanged it for his present farm, on sections 1 and 2, being eighty acres in St. John's Township. Fifty acres of this is under the plow, three acres of timber, and the balance in pasture land.

Mr. SHAW was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, May 30, 1836. He is a son of Hamilton and Abigail (TURNER) SHAW, both natives of the Buckeye State. The mother died in Ohio, October 20, 1885. The father is now living in Hardin County, Ohio. Our subject was the third of a family of three sons and two daughters. He remained at home until twenty years of age, receiving a common school education.

January 10, 1855, he was united in marriage to Eliza HEDGES, the daughter of William and Harriett (FRANKLIN) HEDGES, and was the eldest of a family of six children. Immediately after their marriage they removed to Allen County, Ohio, rented land one year, and then moved to Hancock County, of the same State, where he purchased a farm of eighty acres in the timber. He commenced clearing this tract of land up, built a hewed log house, 16x28 feet, in which their oldest child, Clara Bell, was born. He succeeded in clearing away the timber on fourteen acres of this tract, and after three years sold the place and returned to Allen County, where he bought fifty-eight acres of timber land, on which he erected a hewed log house, which was the birthplace of two of their children. Here he remained until coming to Harrison County. Of the seventy-six acres of his last Ohio farm, he cleared up sixty acres, and sold the tract for forty-three dollars per acre.

Our subject and his wife are the parents of four children, born as follows: Clara Bell, May 17, 1857; Hiram F., January 14, 1859; Alpheus E., January 27, 1862; William H., March 9, 1865.

William H. is married and living in Arkansas County, Arkansas, while the other three children are residents of Harrison County.

Coming to Western Ohio at quite an early day, our subject saw that country as it had been left by the hand of nature, with slight traces of pioneer life found throughout the great forests, with a trail blazed here, and a rude cabin erected there, the whole section being known as the "Far West." Jonathan SHAW, grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania, and married Sarah WOOLAM, and reared a family of eight children. He died in Hancock County, Ohio, in May, 1865, aged eighty years. His wife, the grandmother of our subject ceased from the labors of this life in the same county in February of the same year, at the age of seventy-six years.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 289-290
Family Researcher: NA
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LAFFERTY - John LAFFERTY, a resident of section 28, Union Township, came to Harrison County, in company with his father, John LAFFERTY, SR., and family in the spring of 1882, when they commenced to develop a tract of wild land, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, for which $10 per acre was paid. During the first year they turned one hundred and twenty-five acres of virgin sod over, and commenced the erection of a house 18x28 feet with a wing 16x20 feet, the same being provided with a porch on the west and east. The following year an orchard of four hundred apples trees, together with numerous shade trees was planted.

Subsequently Mr. LAFFERTY purchased eighty acres more land at $16 per acre, and his estate has now bought one hundred and sixty acres more, for which they paid $14 per acre.

The subject of this sketch, John LAFFERTY, JR., was born in Philadelphia, Pa., July 29, 1855, and is the son of John and Ann LAFFERTY, natives of Ireland, by whom eleven children were born -- James, Anna, deceased; Lizzie, John Jr., William, Patrick, Kate, Daniel, Eunice, Hugh and Mary.

John LAFFERTY, the father of our subject, who possessed many excellent traits of character, died in March 1889, and his good wife in the month of June, 1888. After the death of the father, the farm, which was left to the heirs was to be equally divided, but since that time, John, Daniel and Hugh, have purchased the rights of the other heirs, and these three now hold the property.

The father and mother, together with the entire family, were members of the Roman Catholic Church, and since the death of the parents, the oldest son, James, has gone to Pittsburg, Pa., where he has joined the Order of the Holy Ghost, and his sisters, Mary and Eunice, have gone to Ottumwa, Iowa, to become Sisters of Humility. Politically, our subject believes in the general principles of the Democratic party.

Mr. LAFFERTY, together with the other members of his father's family, are intelligent, enterprising farmers, who appreciate, to a good degree, the benefits arising from our form of government, and their home farm displays many evidences of order, thrift and good management.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 291
Family Researcher: NA
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FITZGIBBON - Dennis FITZGIBBON, of section 24, Calhoun Township, has been a resident of Harrison County since 1882. He first rented the Daniel BROWN farm of his brother for one year, but the next year rented a farm of William McDONALD, which place he bought after McDONALD's death. It consists of two hundred acres, and has been brought under a high state of cultivation, and has one of the finest small orchards in Harrison County.

Our subject was born in the county of Limerick, Ireland about the year 1844, and his mother died when he was twelve years old, and the father a year later. Like most of the people of the Emerald Isle, his parents were very poor, and he was compelled to work out, receiving as low as ten dollars per year, but by being a trustworthy lad, when he became of age he was placed at the front gate of the premises of a man of nobility, by the name of Edward MAROONEY. This was quite a promotion for our subject, and was considered a place of no small distinction, for a laboring man, as he had charge of the farm, purchased goods at the market place, etc. He remained in this position for five years, receiving a shilling a day for his services, amounting in all to about $400. After leaving this place, he followed farm life, until he came to this country in 1873. Mr. FITZGIBBON says that in Ireland the laboring man, as a rule, is about as much of a slave as the negroe was here before the war.

After leaving Castle Garden, New York, our subject came directly to Honey Creek, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and for two years worked as a track hand on the Chicago Northwestern Railway, after which he commenced to farm on rented land until he came to Harrison County.

When twenty-one years of age Mr. FITZGIBBON was married to Mary COLLINS, in the county of Limerick, Ireland. She was the daughter of Thomas and Johannah (MURPHY) COLLINS, who came to America several years before our subject and his wife.

Mr. and Mrs. FITZGIBBON are the parents of seven children, James J., Michael J., Johanna C., Minnie, Henry, Margaret and Elizabeth, all living and at home. The family are members of the Roman Catholic Church and he affiliates with the Democratic party, but votes for the man and not for the party.

He is educating his children in the district schools of Harrison County, which are scarcely excelled in Iowa. Hard work and careful management, by a man who came to our shores from Ireland, and who is now in possession of a valuable and pleasant home, bespeaks well for our Governmental institutions, and no one appreciates the condition of affairs here more than our subject and his wife, who came to this country with three children, but did not have money enough to buy a cook stove.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 290-291
Family Researcher: NA
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CHILES - Mrs. Minnie CHILES, wife of William CHILES, decased, and a resident of sections 11 and 12, in Union Township, where she owns one hundred and twenty acres, came to Harrison County in the month of November, 1867, in company with her parents, who settled near Reeder's Mills, in Jefferson Township, where her father worked in a sawmill.

In December, 1869, she was united in marriage to William CHILES, who was a son of Isaac and Eliza CHILES, who were the parents of four sons�Andrew, William, George and Joseph. The parents were natives of Ohio. After the marriage of our subject, her husband worked his father's farm one year, when he bought eighty acres of wild land, of which he broke about fifty acres the first year, also built a house 14x18 feet, one story in height; built outbuildings, etc. This comprises a part of Mrs. CHILES' present farm, which now consists of one hundred and twenty acres, all under a high state of cultivation.

Mrs. CHILES was born in Illinois in 1854 and her parents were both natives of Indiana. They were Harvey and Sarah A. PECKENPAUGH. The father came to Illinois in 1831 and to Iowa in 1867. They reared a family of eleven children, as follows: Rose A., Minnie, Clarissa, Bell, Hettie, Ellen, Lillie, Stella, William A., Elza and Bird.

Our subject and her husband were the parents of four children�Emmet M., born January 12, 1871; Charles N., February 15, 1873; Lulie B., October 5, 1874; Andrew J., October 8, 1876; and Isaac, August 13, 1879.

Mr. CHILES was born in Indiana in 1846, and lived in Harrison County thirty years of his life, and died January 31, 1888.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 298-299
Family Researcher: NA
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STERN - Jacob T. STERN (Portrait), better known as "Father STERN," has been a resident of Harrison County just a third of a century, coming as he did from the old Keystone State, and locating in Harris Grove, or what has come to be known as the "Linwood Farm," April 30, 1857. A brief sketch of his eventful career, can find no more appropriate place than upon the pages of a history of the county in which he has lived so long; where he has accomplished so much for himself and for others, and where he is surrounded by a multitude of friends, whose name is Legion.

Mr. STERN comes from good old Quaker stock and was born in Kennett, Chester County, Pa., July 2, 1814. His father was John STERN and his mother Phoebe (McFARLAND) STERN, who were both natives of Pennsylvania and the parents of fifteen children, twelve of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. None ever came farther West than Ohio, except our subject, Jacob T. Mr. STERN attended the same school which Bayard Taylor, the distinguished poet and traveler did. Very early in life our subject was bereft of his parents, the father dying when he was but six years of age. His mother died one year prior. He was placed in the family of a Quaker, Lewis PUSEY, who was quite wealthy and with whom he remained nine years. He then went with his brother George to learn the trade of a house-plasterer, following the same for four years, attending school during the winters. He worked at his trade in Chester County and near Philadelphia, until 1853, after which he followed farming four years then went West. He went to St. Louis by railway and from that city by water to Florence, Neb., and soon came to this county.

He was married September 30, 1841, to Millicent B. FLETCHER, who was born in Lincolnshire, England, January 27, 1820. Her father was John FLETCHER, a native of England, as was also his wife. The father died February 9, 1874, and the mother, Lydia, died October 23, 1885, at the advanced age of ninety-three years.

Our venerable subject and his estimable wife are the parents of five children � Amy Ann, born October 10, 1842, died January 26, 1874, wife of H. S. MILLIMAN. Ettie R. born March 4, 1844, wife of J. C. MILLIMAN, died January 14, 1883. Ernest died in infancy; Almor, born April 21, 1854, is now a resident and highly-respected business man of Logan, and is engaged in the loan and abstract business. Willis L., born June 11, 1860, is also a resident of Logan.

Politically, our subject is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party, and is always ready to give an intelligent reason for the political hope within him.

In religious matters both Mr. and Mrs. STERN hold the generally accepted faith of the Quaker church.

In looking over the long list of pioneer farmers of Harrison County, no one name stands out in more prominence than does that of "Father STERN." Observing the improvements made on "Linnwood Farm" and a knowledge of the fact that this man has been not only a scientific but practical agriculturist, one sees the necessity of coupling intelligence with manual labor in order to become a successful farmer. The numerous Farmer's Clubs found in this county, owe their origin and excellent workings to Mr. STERN, who has labored in season and out of season, for their success.

During a period of thirty-one years he has been a weather and crop reporter from Harrison County to the Smithsonian Institute and War Department, a table of which is given elsewhere in this work.

Having become well advanced in years and been quite successful in farming, he very wisely left his farm and moved to the village of Logan, where he will probably spend the remainder of his days. While time has made its inroads upon this grand old pioneer, yet his mental faculties are but little impaired. The newspaper files of the county as well as of the Eastern journals, together with the Agricultural Society, Old Settler's Association, etc., have all felt the influence and sentiment of this man's practical talks and pen sketches. In the days of Abolition he was a strong anti-slavery advocate, making himself felt in the debating club, and was prominent in the "under-ground railroad" service, (assisting slaves from this country into Canada) and was a personal friend of the abolition agitators, including Fred DOUGLASS, who sent him letters of congratulations, upon his Golden Wedding anniversary occasion, which took place September 30, of the present year.

Mr. and Mrs. STERN, by reason of their genial whole-souled manners have become very popular in all parts of Harrison County, and indeed their exemplary lives shine forth with a brilliancy which may well be patterned after by the rising generations, as theirs has been a life of true nobility, of which the world has none too many.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 297-298
Family Researcher: NA
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KEMMISH - James E. KEMMISH, a resident of section 14, of Union Township, accompanied his parents to Harrison County, from Council Bluffs, in 1865. He was born at Portsmouth, England, January 16, 1852, and emigrated with his parents to America January 16, 1855. They landed at New Orleans, took a steamboat up the Missouri River to Keokuk, Iowa, from which point they took their departure from civilized life, and with ox-teams, journeyed toward Salt Lake City, their objective point. Our subject's father was a basketmaker and followed this for a livelihood. At the end of three years they moved to the town of Goshen, ninety miles south of Salt Lake, where he worked at his trade and bought wheat of the Mormons and then selling it to the United States soldiers, (Mormons as a rule, would not sell wheat to be used by the soldiers.) Our subject's father was anxious to get out of that country and would have been in that terrible encounter known as the Mountain Meadow Massacre, had he been able to get flour to make the trip with. He remained at Goshen until the spring of 1859, when he managed to escape, by telling the Mormons that he was going to open up a farm.

The first stop was at Provo Valley, where they halted and did enough cooking to last them two weeks; getting ready for their trip across the plains, which at that time was no pleasure ride, as it was to last about four months. They came by the way of St. Joseph, Mo., to Fremont County, Iowa, where they remained three years, then moved to Mills County, and in the autumn of 1862 to Pottawattamie Country, settling five miles east of Council Bluffs. A year later they moved to Council Bluffs and ran what was known as the "Farmer's Inn." They remained there three months, and then came to Harrison County in 1865.

Our subject considered himself his own man when twenty years of age, but remained at home working for his father, until twenty-five, during which time he had accumulated some little property. His father gave him forty acres of land for three years' work, and he in a short time added forty acres more, and has cultivated as high as sixty acres of corn alone, and has not unfrequently harvested as high as fifty bushels of corn per acre.

This man of industry has from time to time added to his possessions, until now he has three hundred acres of highly-improved land, two hundred and thirty acres of which he cultivates, while the remainder is in meadow and pasture land. In order to carry on this extensive farm, Mr. KEMMISH usually keeps eighteen head of horses. In speaking of his early farming, he relates how that his first plow was a cast-iron one and never was known to scour a rod, all the time he used it.

In addition to his farm property he owns the Hilburn House at Persia, which was built by C. H. ALLE, in 1888.

Our subject was united in marriage February 25, 1877, to Leona LYONS, a native of Illinois, born October 10, 1860; she is the daughter of Andrew and Matilda (PECKENPAUGH) LYONS, and is the oldest of two children. Mr. and Mrs. KEMMISH have been blessed with six children: Eldora, and Leona died in infancy, Cora, William J., Fred and Jesse.

Politically, our subject is a supporter of the Republican party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 294-297
Family Researcher: Neil Bardsley
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FRIEND - Levi F. FRIEND, a representative farmer of section 33, St. John's Township, came to the county in 1882 and purchased his present place of Thurston Manderville, the same containing one hundred acres. It is all fenced and under a high state of cultivation. He follows general farming and raises stock for the market.

Mr. FRIEND hails from the Hoosier State, was born in Putnam County, Ind., February 15, 1838, and traces his ancestry back to Andrew FRIEND, his grandfather, who married Miss HOYT, by which union was born John FRIEND, the father of our subject. He was born in Bourbon County, Ky., in 1800. His father and mother both died when he was yet an infant and he was "bound out" to serve an apprenticeship as a fuller of cloth and came to Indiana in 1822, entered land and became a prosperous farmer. January 6, 1830, he married Miss Elizabeth K. FULLEN, daughter of John FULLEN, of Monroe County, Ind., formerly from Virginia.

By this union eleven children were born, six of whom still survive ---Francis in Illinois; John A. of Missouri Valley; Levi, of whom we write; Mahala, of Indiana; Mary, of Council Bluffs; Sarah, of Indiana; the remainder of the children are deceased. Death of mother March 5, 1861

Our subject's early life was spent in Indiana where he obtained a common-school education. He assisted on his father's farm until he became of age. He became a member of the Masonic order at that time and served as secretary most of the time until 1865. In February, 1865 he enlisted at Indianapolis as Sergeant in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry, and was assigned to the Army of the West. He was on special and detached duty, participating in no regular engagements. He was first sent to Nashville and Pulaski, Tenn., and from there to Columbia, Tenn., where he remained until September 5, 1865, and was discharged at Indianapolis, Ind., the same autumn. He returned to Putnam County, rented his father's farm and in 1868 moved to Douglas County, Ill., where he tilled the soil until 1875, removed to Indiana and remained until the death of his father, April 13, 1879, and then came Harrison County, Iowa.

He was united in marriage November 24, 1857, in Indiana, to Delia, daughter of Burr and Almeda (BENEDICT) PARROTT, who were from Connecticut. Mrs. FRIEND ceased from the toils and cares of this life October 26, 1887, just as autumn was putting on her robes of beauty. She left three children---Cinderella, Mrs. WRIGHT, of Pottawattamie County, born September 19, 1859; Frank, at home, born November 22, 1864; and Andrew, at home, boan January 1, 1868.

Politically Mr. FRIEND is identified with the Republican party. His wife a devout member of the Baptist Church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 293-294
Family Researcher: NA
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