Home Page

Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Sixty Two

Mowry | Diggle | Dickinson | Campbell | Williams | Thomas | Selleck |

MOWRY - Paul MOWRY, a resident of section 15, of Washington Township, forms the subject of this sketch. He was born in Stephenson County, Ill., February 24, 1853, and at the age of fourteen years left home and worked out by the month on a farm, making his home in that county until the autumn of 1877, and then came to Shelby County, Iowa, where he farmed, as a renter, until the spring of 1882, and then bought a farm on section 22, of Washington Township, consisting of eighty acres of improved land. Here he remained until the spring of 1889, when he sold and bought his present place, consisting of a quarter section of well-improved land, provided with a frame house 14x24 feet, with a kitchen the same size.

Our subject was married February 24, 1880, to Miss Anna MILLER, by whom three children were born, Flora G., Clara G. and Ira B.

Mr. MOWRY was overtaken by affliction July 22, 1886, when his wife closed her eyes in death. She was born in Warren County, Iowa, in 1860.

For his second wife our subject married Mrs. Nettie LOCKE (whose maiden name was Nettie MILLER). They were married in Harrison County, June 7, 1888, and are the parents of one child, Anna L.

John MOWRY, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania about 1821, and was killed in the great Civil War.

Lydia (BRUBAKER) MOWRY, the mother, was born in Pennsylvania about 1823, and is now living in Stephenson County, Ill. They were the parents of twelve children, our subject being the fifth child.

Politically, Mr. MOWRY is identified with the Democratic party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 304-307
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

DIGGLE - James W. DIGGLE, who resides on section 25, of Union Township, accompanied his father's family to Harrison County in 1865, and who has had his share of pioneer hardships and experience, was born in Boomer Township, Pottawattamie County, October 5, 1854, and hence is a genuine Hawkeye production. He is a son of Samuel and Sarah (WHITTIKER) DIGGLE.

He has attended the common district schools of Harrison County, gaining a fair business education. When twenty-four years of age he embarked on life's sea for himself, his father giving him forty acres of land, which he attended to, at the same time assisting on his father's farm, and living at home until February 15, 1884, at which time he married Grace C. DAY, a native of Michigan, born February 15, 1864. She was the daughter of Charles and Olivia DAY. Her people emigrated to Lincoln County, Neb., in 1871, but returned to Michigan in June, 1877. The same year they returned to Missouri, and in the spring of 1880 came to Harrison County. They now live in Lane County, Kan.

Our subject's farm consists of one hundred and sixty-five acres, of which one hundred and twenty is plow land, five of timber and the balance is pasture and meadow.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. DIGGLE�Carl E., Gertrude O., and Claude J., who died at the age of five months and fourteen days.

Both Mr. and Mrs. DIGGLE are identified with the Latter Day Saints Church.

Politically, our subject believes in the principles of the Democratic party.

Our subject has been an industrious man, always looking to the fertile soil for a livelihood, and in this has been crowned with unusual success.

He usually keeps about forty head of cattle, and eight head of horses; and be it said to his credit, that he uses money for what it was intended�the happiness of himself and those around him.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 304
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

DICKINSON - William DICKINSON, a farmer of section 6, Union Township, has been a resident of Harrison County since the spring of 1865. He was born in Clark County, Ohio, and remained there until eight years of age, when he accompanied his parents to Southern Michigan, where he helped his father clear up a farm from out the big woods, and among other impressive incidents was the time when he was bitten by a rattlesnake, which came near causing his death. He was confined to his room for about six months, and so delirious was he that a part of the time he did not know his own mother. He remained in the Wolverine State until 1865, when he came to Iowa. He is a son of Richard and Saphrona DICKINSON, whose personal sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject was one of four children�William, James, Amanda and Isaiah.

Our subject was married in the autumn of 1861 to Lina CARRIER, the daughter of Elias and Rosetta CARRIER, who had eight children, of whom our subject's wife was the fourth. The children were in the following order: Frank, Charles, Rosetta, deceased, Lina, Albert, Mary, deceased, Edwin, Salina. The parents were natives of New York.

Mr. and Mrs. DICKINSON are the parents of four children � Saphona, deceased, born in 1862; Charles, October 31, 1864; Frank, June 26, 1869; Lillie, February 21, 1875.

Upon coming to this county our subject commenced housekeeping in a small log cabin, fashioned by his own ingenuity, the same being provided with a rough board floor, one-half of the roof being covered with shingles, while the other was covered with boards. In this pioneer castle he lived for five years. His first place consisted of thirty three acres, which he finally sold to his brother, and bought a forty acre tract on section 19, but afterwards traded with his brother and obtained his old place, to which he has since added forty acres, which makes his present farm contain one hundred and seventeen acres, eighty-two of which are improved, while the remainder is in timber. The farm is all fenced, and contains good buildings. In 1885 a hailstorm injured his entire crop, but it was at a time of the year when corn was very small, so that it matured into about one-half of a crop.

Politically, our worthy subject believes in the great principles of the Democratic party; he exercises his right of franchise by casting his ballot with this political party.

In religious matters he and his estimable wife believe in the generally accepted faith of the Christian Church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 303-304
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

CAMPBELL - Edward C. CAMPBELL, a resident of section 11, Washington Township, came to Harrison County in December, 1876�the last month of the Centennial year. He lived in a rented house until February, 1877, but during that month removed to his own place, which consisted of two hundred acres of land which he had bought in April, 1876. It was wild land and he at once commenced to improve it by breaking the virgin sod, turning over eighty-five acres the first year. He had erected his house while living in a rented one. His present farm consists of two hundred and forty acres, all of which is under cultivation except ten acres. When he came to the township it was yet quite wild and only one public road was worked through the township on a section line, the remainder of the roads running angling along the valleys or along the ridges. The first road on the section line was called "Goodenough Road," but better known as the Killner Road. At that time the nearest schoolhouse was on section 4, on Spring Creek, but after he had been in that township for two years, a schoolhouse was built on section 2. Before Persia sprang into existence our subject went to Shelby to do his trading.

Mr. CAMPBELL was born February 6, 1845, near Danville, Vermillion County, Ill., and when eleven years of age his parents removed to Livingston County, Ill., where he grew to manhood. After having reached his majority he commenced life's work for himself by renting land which he continued to do until the autumn of 1876, and then left the "Sucker State," coming to Harrison County, Iowa.

He was married in Livingston County, Ill., April 16, 1876, to Mrs. Mary E. THOMAS, whose maiden name was SWANER.

In religious matters Mr. and Mrs. CAMPBELL are non-professors. Politically he is a Democrat and has been elected to numerous local offices.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 302-303
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

WILLIAMS - David WILLIAMS, who has been a resident of Harrison County, since the spring of 1871, arriving March 18, in company with his parents, and who is now a well-to-do farmer of section 34, Union Township, forms the subject of this notice.

The father bought a farm and David worked with him until he became of age, after which he rented land, giving one-third of the crop for six years, when he bought the farm he now occupies. This was eighty acres of wild land, for which he paid $7.25 per acre, and during 1880 he broke it all up, and in 1881 erected a frame house 16x20 feet, and also purchased another eighty acres adjoining, paying $9 per acre for one "forty," and $12.50 for the other. In 1884 he built an addition to his house 16z22 feet, and the year later built a barn 24x30 feet, together with other outbuildings for the accommodation of the place. He has a bearing orchard of about fifty trees, and a young orchard of two hundred trees. All in all, this is one of as valuable places as the county affords.

Our subject was born in Indiana, August 17, 1852, and removed with his parents to Mason County, Ill., where he worked at farming until the spring of 1871, and then came to Iowa with his parents. His parents were John and Sarah (ANDERSON) WILLIAMS, who had a family of nine children, our subject being next to the oldest; Mary, David, Josiah, Harriet E., Ellen S., Cordelia, John H., Laura A., Hannah L. Laura is now a resident of Kansas.

Mr. WILLIAMS was married November 1, 1874, to Flora E. ARMSTRONG, the daughter of Harvey V. and Virginia (ROE) ARMSTRONG, who were the parents of nine children, Flora E. being the fourth child. The names of the children were as follows: Betty C., Joseph, Emma J., Flora E., Louisa F., John W., William A. Etta W., and Harvey J. Mr. ARMSTRONG, father of our subject's wife was a native of the Buckeye State, while his wife was a native of Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. WILLIAMS are the parents of six children, who are still living and two are deceased; John H., born June 8, 1875; Frederick A., June 13, 1877; Nellie V., July 26, 1879; Lawrence R., April 11, 1881; Creighton D., January 9, 1883; Ella T., April 7, 1885; Bessie B., April 7, 1887; Wade W., January 12, 1890. John H. and Lawrence R. are deceased. Politically our subject affiliates with the Republican Party. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This man's life has been crowned with success, and all by his own exertion, as he commenced life with a span of colts, a wagon, harness, and two cows; during the grasshopper plague which devastated Southwestern Iowa, he lost much. Besides the property above spoken of, Mr. WILLIAMS has a quarter section of land in Pottawattamie County, near Neola, which without exaggeration is pronounced the finest tract of land in the West. Our subject's school days were very limited. He attended the district school during the winter months. Mrs. WILLIAMS secured a better education and taught four terms of school before her marriage.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 496-497
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

THOMAS - Thomas THOMAS, who has been identified with the history of Harrison County since September, 1865, settled on section 27, Union Township, the site of his present home, at first purchasing fifty acres, to which he added, until at one time he owned two hundred and seventy acres. His present farm comprises one hundred acres of fertile land all under a high state of cultivation.

Upon coming to this county, the nearest trading point was Council Bluffs, this being before the railroad era. Mr. THOMAS is an adopted citizen of this country, having been born at Carmarthenshire, Wales, May 24, 1832. He is the son of William and Mary THOMAS. The father was also a native of Wales, born about 1787, and died in his native land, aged seventy years. William and Mary were the parents of twelve children, ten of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, our subject being the ninth child. The father was a farmer and shipping agent on the sea side.

When twenty years of age, our subject sailed for the New World, landing at Montreal in the autumn of 1853. He went to Michigan and worked that winter on the railroad at Manchester, but believing that the Hawkeye State afforded better opportunities for young men starting out in life, in the early spring of 1854, he came to Council Bluffs, and in a short time went to St. Louis, where he engaged in coal mining, which occupation he followed for about seven years, and then started across the Western Plains with a party of Mormons en route for Utah. After remaining there one winter, he returned to St. Louis and mined for six months, when he saw visions of the Far West, and engaged to drive one of the teams which made one of the overland trains. He remained two years and a half engaged as a teamster over the mountains in the summer time, and mining in the winter, thus acquiring a small start.

In September, 1865, we find him, as before related, located in Iowa, where for a few years he had a hard struggle to make a livelihood, but by perseverance and a vast amount of hard labor; he has over come the obstacles, and is now surrounded by a comfortable home. He was married in St. Louis about 1855, to Mary Ann DOYLE. He was again married December 10, 1862, at Sacramento City, Cal., to Mrs. Elizabeth LEWIS, with whom he had been acquainted in his native country, and where in 1848 she married David THOMAS, who emigrated to California in 1856; he died September 30, 1860. They are the parents of sex children, five sons and one daughter.

Politically Mr. THOMAS is a supporter of the Democratic Party, and in religious matters he and his wife are Latter Day Saints. All in all, our subject has had his share of vicissitudes, coming as he did, at an early day from a far away foreign shore, to a land where he met strange customs and new faces. He has steadily grown into the spirit of our institutions, and is now a highly respected citizen, whose eyes looked out upon the great Western domain when it was yet a howling wilderness; and doubtless he is now better qualified to enjoy our modern day luxuries than as though he had been rocked in the cradle of one who was in affluence, as he knows what all these things have cost, both the nation and him as an individual.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 495-496
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

SELLECK - David SELLECK , came to Harrison County in March 1855, entered land on sections 11 and 12, and on sections 1, 2, and 3 of Boyer Township, and it would be useless to enlarge upon the fact that it was wild land, his first improvement being the construction of a "dug out." He entered this land in March 1855, and returned to Illinois, and remained until the following October, when he moved out, built this pioneer palace in which he lived that winter, and in the spring built a log cabin which he occupied until the following autumn. During the summer and fall of 1856 he helped burn one of the first brick kilns that was burned in Harrison County, calculating to erect a brick house, as a superstructure over the cellar he had already dug, but he changed his mind and provided the cellar with a roof, in which place he remained during that never-to-be-forgotten severe winter of 1856-57. During the summer of 1857, he built a frame house 16x20 feet, in which he lived until 1870, and then built the house he now occupies, which is 26x32 feet, with a kitchen 12x 32, which stand on a fine natural building site, and hard by may be found two barns, one 20x24 feet and the other 40x54 feet. At the time of his coming to the county there were but few settlers who had ventured into this portion of the Hawkeye State, and these were mostly Mormons, who lived in and about the natural groves of timber.

Mr. SELLECK was originally from the Buckeye State, and was born April 28, 1820 in Ashtabula County, Ohio, where he remained with his parents on a dairy farm, until he was sixteen years old, when he went to New York City where he had an uncle in the mercantile business. He was by him employed as a clerk for two years, after which he returned to Ohio, remaining until 1838, during which time he had visited Iowa, and about 1841 came to Lee County, this State, near Ft. Madison, and on March 14, 1849, he was united in marriage to Miss Maria MOREY, after which they went to Ohio and remained one year, then went to LaSalle County, Ill.

Mrs. SELLECK was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, June 3, 1832, and with her parents came to Lee County, when she was nine years of age and remained there until the date of her marriage. Seven children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. SELLECK�Albert Eugene, born June 14, 1851; George W., October 31, 1853; Caroline M., August 13, 1855; Mary J., May 17, 1857; Augustus C., August 4, 1859; Elizabeth B., July 12, 1865; Abba M., October 15, 1869.

During the winter of 1856-57�"the hard winter"�the time when snow was no longer known as "the beautiful," for it mantled the earth to the depth of four feet, making it almost impossible to get about with a team, Magnolia being the nearest store town, they hauled groceries to and from there upon hand-sleds. Mr. SELLECK'S stable was built on the hill side of a small draw or ravine, and was covered with poles and hay, and it commenced snowing on the 1st of December and never ceased for about three days, and for that matter hardly ceased all winter. On the morning of the second day, Mr. SELLECK started for his stable but it was completely covered up and the ravine filled to the level. He took poles and run down through the snow but did not find his stable, until afternoon. They then dug straight down as one would in digging a well, and cut holes through the top of the stable to the horses, and immediately the steam came out like smoke. Here the horses were imprisoned within their snow-covered, yet very warm, stable, for nearly three weeks. He dug an alley and had to cover that over as it was snowing incessantly. In the winter of 1856-57 he saw a drove of elk coming from the hills making for the Boyer, near L.D. BUTLER'S mill. He started in pursuit with dogs. They were soon discovered by the men at the mill and headed by them, on the ice of the river with dogs and guns. Several were shot, and Mr. BUTLER, (deceased now), cutting the ham-strings of one, secured it. Deer were caught by dogs, as the poor frightened and fatigued animals would break through the deep crust cutting their legs, causing very many of the nimble-footed herd to perish. At this late day, as the historian reviews those scenes and gathers from the lips of pioneers themselves such narratives, of which the above true story is only one among hundreds, we are touched with a feeling of sympathy and reverence for those who passed through such terrible hardships.

Mr. SELLECK exercises his right of franchise, a boon vouchsafed to him by our own peculiar form of Government, by voting with the Republican Party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 493-494
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

Return to Harrison County Home Page