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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Sixty Three

Moorhead | Milliman | Coit | Schmitt | Kibler | Yarrington | McWilliams

MOORHEAD - George MOORHEAD. The Moorhead family finds its origin in England, John MOORHEAD being the representative of the family, who was born in England in Lancashire, 1808. He was reared and educated in that country, learned the weaver's trade, and came to America when he was seventeen years of age, locating in Paterson, N. J., and was there married in 1829, to Miss Fannie PARK, who was born in England in 1810. They moved in about 1835, to Pittsburgh, Pa., and three years later moved to Athens County, Ohio, and located on a farm, remained until 1873, then came to Harrison County, Iowa, and lived a retired life at Dunlap he dying in August, 1886. The wife is still living. They reared a family of eleven children, eight of who came west, on residing in Ohio, and two are deceased. John, a resident of Dunlap, Sarah, wife of William LaFOLLETT, of Ohio, Mary, wife of D. BUTTS, of Monona County, Iowa, George P. a resident of Dunlap, Robert, deceased in 1877; James, residing at Dunlap; Jeanette of Dunlap; Frank, killed by the Indians in 1879, while on his ranch in the West.

George P. was born in Athens County, Ohio, March 23, 1837, and was there reared and educated. He left home at the age of sixteen to seek a fortune for himself. He remained in the mining districts of Ohio, until the year 1858, and then came to Harrison County, Iowa, in the interest of his brother John, who the next year crossed the plains with our subject making all the Western Points of interest, and returned in 1862, and engaged in the stock business, which co-partnership lasted twelve years, being eminently successful. When our subject retired from the business in 1875, he owned over one thousand acres of land. During that year he removed to Dunlap, and was one of the organizers of the Dunlap Bank, at the same time handling large amounts of live stock both here, and in the West.

Politically Mr. MOORHEAD is a stanch supporter of the Democratic Party, of which he has become a leader. He belongs to the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities. He was President of the School Board for six years.

He was united in marriage November 19, 1873, to Miss Annis BOWERMAN, a native of Canada, born January 19, 1844. Mr. and Mrs. MOORHEAD are the parents of six children�Nellie, Harley, Gertrude, Kate, Bessie and Ruth.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.489-490
Family Researcher: NA
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MILLIMAN - James C. MILLIMAN (Portrait), real-estate dealer, of Logan, Iowa, who is well known throughout Harrison County, where he is held in high esteem, is made the subject of the following sketch, which touches here and there upon his eventful life.

He is the son of Francis and Emily (HUNT) MILLIMAN, and was born January 28, 1847, in Saratoga County, N. Y. The father, in his early life, was a farmer, and followed that occupation in Saratoga County, for about twelve years, after which he was Deputy Sheriff, and Constable for some years. After leaving these offices, he was engaged in a foundry and axe factory, but in February, 1865, arrived in Harrison County, Iowa. He was always an energetic, painstaking gentleman, who aimed to earn a livelihood by honorable callings. Two years after his coming to the county, he was elected as a member of the Board of Supervisors, serving from 1867 to 1871.

When he first came to the county, he settled in LaGrange Township, and after residing there three years, removed to Jefferson Township. In 1882, he moved to Logan, where he died in April, 1883.

The mother of our subject, who was the first wife of Francis MILLIMAN died April 28, 1849, in New York, and when seven years of age, James C. commenced to earn his own living. He went on farm and worked for his board and clothes for four years, during which time, no doubt, his young heart missed the kind admonition of a mother, but he kept battling away, as best a youth of his age could, doing farm and other work until he enlisted in the Union Army. The first wages he had received prior to that was $5 per month. His first enlistment dated March, 1864, during which time he participated in the siege of Petersburg at Poplar Spring Church, September 30, 1864, where he was shot through the elbow joint, by reason of which his arm had to be amputated. After receiving this wound, he realized the fact that he was a young man, and in any thing but a flattering position in which to begin life. Consequently, seven days after receiving his wound, he applied for a discharge, but could not obtain it until the proper surgeon had passed upon his case, which delayed it until December 28, 1864, after which he went to New York, and two weeks later with his father and four brothers�Henry S., Wilson, Ambrose B. and William W., started for Harrison County, Iowa. His oldest brother, Henry, having been in this county, since 1852, coming with Judge Stephen King, became a settler of Harrison Township. Henry had been a soldier in the First Nebraska Regiment, enlisting at Omaha Neb., and serving three years. After his discharge, he resided in Harrison County, until the spring of 1879, when he removed to Hamilton County, Tex., where he now resides.

When our subject came to Harrison County, he attended the State University, at Iowa City, for two years, after which he taught school two years, and in the autumn of 1868, was elected to the office of County Recorder, on the Republican ticket. He took that office January 4, 1869, and served eight years, after which, in company with A. L. HARVEY, he established the Harrison County Bank in a building which had been occupied by Mr. HARVEY'S real-estate office, commencing business, September 1, 1876, and continuing until April 1, 1879, when Mr. MILLIMAN sold his interest to A. W. FORD. For the next four years our subject was employed looking after has landed interests, and December 26, 1884, opened a real-estate and abstract office, in company with Almor STERN, at first occupying a frame building, which was superseded in the summer of 1889, by their present substantial brick office.

Mr. MILLIMAN was married November 20, 1870, to Ettie R. STERN, daughter of Jacob T. and Millicent B. (FLETCHER) STERN. By this union two children were born�Maude E., October 11, 1871, and Edith R., May 25, 1881.

Our subject mourned the loss his wife, the mother of the above children, who died January 14, 1883, and was buried in the Logan Cemetery. January 13, 1886, Mr. MILLIMAN married Della S. RICE, daughter of Silas and Elenor S. (TAYLOR) RICE. This marriage union has been blessed by three interesting children�Elenor, born October 8, 1886; Hattie A., January 15, 1888 and Bernice R., July 19, 1889.

Politically, Mr. MILLIMAN has always been identified with the Republican Party and may be considered a stalwart, who can give a reason for his political belief. In their religious relations both he and his wife are members of he Presbyterian Church.

It may be added in this connection that Mr. MILLIMAN was a candidate against Hon. L. R. BOLTER, for the office of State Senator in 1886, and those who were active in that campaign, say that our subject, (who ran ahead of his party ticket) conducted one of the most honorable campaigns known in Iowa politics.

Among the many beautiful homes in and about Logan, none surpasses that of our subject. His spacious, two-story frame residence, standing on the summit of a high bluff, over looking the town, with a commanding view of the Boyer Valley, is nestled within one of the most charming natural groves found in Western Iowa. To the north and west of his residence the grove has been converted into a semi-park, and cleared of all under growth. This place is used for public gatherings, including the annual camp meetings of various denominations, upon which occasions from five to ten thousand people are given the liberty to find quarters beneath its welcome shade.

In reviewing his man's life, one finds the true spirit of loyalty and manly uprightness, to a prominent degree; no man stands higher in the estimation of his fellow-citizens than he of whom we write. In his father's family there were five sons who shouldered their muskets in defense of the old flag, which had been assailed by traitorous hands; and all received marks lasting in their character, which will go with them through life, but especially is this true of our subject, who carries about with him a perpetual remainder of that terrible conflict known as the Civil War�an "empty sleeve."

It matters not how many years hence this memoir may be read, it will stand as an excellent example for any youth, who may chance to read it, showing as it does, how an orphan boy, who early in life lost an arm in his country's service, battled against adversity ( single-handed, in the true sense of the word) and achieved the fondest hope of his earlier years�the possession of a beautiful, as well as valuable home, which has been the prime object of his life. Whether one meets Mr. MILLIMAN in business relations, in public circles, or around his home fire-side, he is the same, plan, companionable man, who is a lover of his home and appreciates its hallowed surroundings.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 487-488-489
Family Researcher: NA
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COIT - Dr. George W. COIT, a practicing physician at Missouri Valley, whose name was associated among the early pioneer band of that vicinity, and who has been a constant practitioner there since November, 1866, by reason of his long residence and skillful practice, is perhaps as widely known as any man in his community, and very naturally finds a place in the history of his county, among its representative men. While the people of Harrison County have known this professional man for just a quarter of a century, in making a biographical record, it is necessary, and especially interesting in this case, to review his earlier years, before coming to the Missouri Slope, as well as to speak of his ancestry, who were prominent in the early history of this Republic.

Dr. COIT was born December 9, 1836, at Bloomfield, N. J. he is the son of Nathaniel and Marian (PLACE) COIT. On the father's side he is able to trace his ancestry back to 1632, when John COIT of Glamourganshire, Wales, emigrated to Gloucester, Mass., and his son, John, Jr., with his parents, left Massachusetts with a colony, for New London, Conn.

They had been ship builders for generations, and when the revolutionary War broke out, our subject's grandfather, Samuel COIT, then eighteen years of age, joined the Federal forces against the Tories, and was wounded at Ft. Griswold, the surrender of the fort having been made possible by the treachery of Benedict ARNOLD. The paternal grandmother of our subject, then sixteen years of age, fled, with the balance of the family, to the forest, while the town was being burned by the British. Her name was Sylvia LEWIS, before her marriage, and all the COITS in this country are collateral branches of the same family tree.

Nathaniel COIT, father of our subject, was twenty-seven years of age, when the War of 1812 broke out. He served during the war, in a New York Regiment, until peace was proclaimed. During the Civil War, he desired to enlist but was too old. He died in 1866, aged eighty years.

The PLACE families were of French extraction, and resided on Long Island, near Hempstead. Grandfather PLACE was also in the Revolutionary war; he possessed a patriotic spirit, and was a highly respected gentleman. Our subject's father, Nathaniel COIT, was a merchant at New York City for thirty-five years, and was one of the first to build a home in New Jersey. Our subject's mother died in 1876; she and her husband were the parents of sic children, four sons and two daughters, four of whom are living, our subject being the youngest of the family. Rev. John S. COIT, brother of George, died in Boone, Iowa, in 1867, and Rev. C. S. COIT, another brother, is an active minister in Newark, N. J., and has been preaching for forty-five years. He has never been absent from his pulpit, with the exception of a few Sabbaths, while in Europe. Mrs. Sarah C. WINNE, a widowed sister, resides at Bloomfield, N. J.; E. E. COIT, after spending several years as Captain of a vessel, settled in Ohio, where he engaged in farming, and in 1880, came to St. John'' Township, Harrison County, Iowa, locating where he now resides.

Our subject received his education by attending the common schools of New Jersey, after which he attended the Seminary at Cazenovia, N. Y.; Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.; he then spent two years as a contract surgeon, during the Rebellion, after which, in August, 1865, he returned to New York, spent the winter at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, graduating from it in March, 1866. We next find the Doctor in Harrison County, Iowa, from which locality he has not been absent during all these twenty-five years to exceed six weeks.

Politically, he is what may be termed a logical and patriotic Democrat. Among the local offices urged upon him may be mentioned, the presidency of the School Board, which he has held for Twenty years, and is the present incumbent. He is the president of the Missouri Valley Electric Light Company; president of the Board of United States Examining Surgeons; vice-president of the Medical Society of the Missouri Valley; one of the vice-presidents of the National Association of Railway Surgeons, and chief surgeon of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad and the Sioux City & Pacific Railway.

He belongs to the Masonic Order, Valley Lodge No. 232, at Missouri Valley, and Anchor Lodge No. 66, of the K. of P. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and were two of the charter members of that church, which was organized in 1868, with seven original members.

Dr. COIT was married April 23, 1867, to Anna ARMSTRONG CLARKE, at Hudson City, N. J. Mrs. COIT was born in Wheeling, Va., and her father, John F. CLARKE, was a descendant of Elizabeth ZANE, who carried the powder in her apron to Ft. Henry, for her Uncle, Col. ZANE, and thus saved the fort. Mrs. COIT'S father was the New York agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad for nearly forty years; he died still holding the office, at the age of seventy-nine years. Her mother died when she was fourteen years of age.

Dr. and Mrs. COIT'S home has been blessed with two children, Nita, born April 14, 1868, and married to Herbert D. ALLEE, of Omaha, October 14, 1891, who is assistant auditor of the Burlington and Missouri Railway in Nebraska; John CLARKE, born June 22, 1872, and now engaged in the wholesale hardware business in Omaha, Neb.

There are but few sketches in this volume that present to the reader the outline of a man's life so full of useful lessons, and whose family history is so replete with historic and national events, as the one of whom we have just written. It will be observed that Dr. COIT descended from a sturdy line of ancestors, who were fired with patriotic zeal, and were of a high and intelligent type; also, that early in life he chose his profession, attended the best schools and colleges preparatory to practicing his calling, and he has not, like many others, shifted from one locality to another.

In health we care but little for doctors, especially for their formulas or prescriptions, but there is sure to come a time when the brow becomes feverish, and when our vital forces refuse to perform their functions, a time when life's thread seems almost snapped asunder. At such a time we seek after the best medical men�the successful physician. We are anxious that the "good doctor" watch by our bedside, lest the grim messenger, Death, make his appearance and call us hence.

Dr. COIT, with other members of the medical fraternity, has been compelled to cross trackless prairies, face "blizzards" from the icy north-west, that too, with no hope of reward, but only to relieve, if possible, those who pleaded for their coming and their counsel. When the names of the pioneer physicians, with those of a more modern day, are referred to it is hoped and believed, that the hearts which perhaps now beat in robust health, will be touched, and at least all of the early settler readers, who with the subject of this sketch, have forded the same unabridged streams in summer time, and plowed through the same snow-drifts in winter, will say, "God bless the Doctor."

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 491-492-493
Family Researcher: NA
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SCHMITT - Alexius SCHMITT, a representative farmer of St. John's Township, came to Harrison County in 1858, first locating in the village of old St. John, where he had a blacksmith shop, which he operated about four years and then bought forty acres of land where he now lives, the same being swamp land. He has made substantial improvements, and in 1865, he bought forty acres on section 16. His farm is all fenced and under a good state of cultivation.

Mr. SCHMITT is a native of Germany, born September 30, 1830. His father was Alexius SCHMITT, who married Gertrude BUER, and they were the parents of nine children--Arsenius, living in Leavenworth, Kan., Joseph A., Francis, deceased; Karl Joseph, in Germany; Herman, deceased; Pius, of Germany; Anton in Germany; and two who died in infancy.

Mr. SCHMITT spent his early life in his native land, where he received a good common-school education. He was apprenticed to learn the blacksmith's trade, and at the age of twenty-three years came to America, landing in New York in May, 1853. We next find him in Dayton, Ohio, working at his trade, where he remained four years and then went to Rockport, Neb., remained one year, and then came to Harrison County, Iowa. While living in Dayton, Ohio, and on September 6, 1853, he was united in marriage to Eleanora LAUMEISTER, daughter of Michael and Madgalen (FISHER) LAUMEISTER, of Germany. By this union fourteen children were born, as follows: K. Alexius, born September 13, 1854, is now living in Nebraska; Lewis Edward, June 21, 1857, now of Montana; Christiana, Eleanor, now Mrs. H. BRUNING, of St. John's Township; John Joseph, September 30, 1861, now residing in Nebraska; Franz, September 12, 1864, now of Nebraska; Fredrick Otto and Fridolin, twins, April 1, 1867, now living in Nebraska and Wyoming respectively; Angelus, February 22, 1869, now of Lyon County, Iowa; Louisa Frances, May 11, 1871, now at home; Leo Joseph Pius, March 20, 1877, now at home; Henry Theodore, September 21, 1880.

Mrs. SCHMITT died December 26, 1886, and was buried in St. John's cemetery. Our subject affiliates with the Democratic party and the family are identified with the Roman Catholic Church at Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 550, 551
Family Researcher: NA
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KIBLER - George H. KIBLER, the senior member of the firm KIBLER Bros., general dealers, at Woodbine, through his long residence and successful business career, will form the subject of the subjoined biographical notice. He was born in Portage County, Ohio, March 27, 1848, and was the second child of his father's family, the names of the children being, Sylvester B., born July 22, 1846; George H., March 27, 1848; Lydia, who died in infancy; and O. F., born May 26, 1856, and now deceased.

The KIBLER family came to Harrison County May 19, 1854, coming from Portage County by rail to Wellsville, Ohio, and from there on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Council Bluffs, being four weeks on the road.

Our subject was reared on a farm and received his early education in the old Hawkeye State, and started in a general store at Woodbine March 4, 1870, having been in a drug store at that point from July, 1869. As first established, the firm name of these general dealers was DAVIS & KIBLER (I. J. DAVIS & G. H. KIBLER). This firm continued one year when Mr. DAVIS sold his interest to W. H. MCHENRY, who retained his interest until April 19, 1873, when the firm was changed to KIBLER Bros., Sylvester B. KIBLER being admitted to that firm at that time. When they first opened up they were in a building now occupied as a wareroom on lot No. 1 and block 52, the same being built by HERMAN Bros., of Blair, in 1866. There was no change in the firm until August 16, 1881, when it became KIBLER Bros., & WINTER, which co-partnership continued until January 1, 1884, at which time Mr. WINTER withdrew, and the firm again took the name of KIBLER Bros. In July, 1877, they commenced building their present business house, which is 28x100 feet in one department and 22x100 feet in the other. It is a brick structure, situated on lots 11 and 12, in block 50, and is looked upon as the best store building in the county. Its cost was $12,000.

The average stock amounts to $20,000, made up of general merchandise and clothing.

In a business point of view there is no better business man than our subject, whose integrity, prudence and careful management, together with the assistance of his brother, has brought him through the panics and hard times co-incident with this country.

Our subject was married January 14, 1872, to Lucella WINTER, a native of Greene County, N. Y., who was the fourth child in a family of six children; her father Matthew WINTER was a tanner by trade, but followed farming in this county.

Mr. and Mrs. KIBLER's home has been blessed with four children--Ora B., born October 25, 1874; Carrie E., January 12, 1876, and died March 9, 1878; Harry F., born February 25, 1883; and Millie F., August 5, 1884.

Politically Mr. KIBLER believes in the principles as laid down by the Republican party. In religious matters he and his estimable wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been an official member for many years.

While our subject is a business man and usually absorbed in business matters, yet he finds time to attend to many outside matters, including business pertaining to schools and churches, and he has been a member of the public school board for many years. His life is an example of what ambition and painstaking industry, may accomplish for a man of good business qualifications, guided by honor and integrity.

Besides Mr. KIBLER's other business interests in Woodbine, he is largely interested in the Woodbine Savings Bank which was incorporated May 1, 1891, with a capital of $30,00, with George H. KIBLER, President, E. H. BUCKNAM, of Sioux City, Vice-President and Servis HAAS, Cashier. Commenced business in VANSCOY's furniture building in which they remained until moving into their new bank building, erected in the summer of 1891 at a cost of $6,000, which is a two-story brick structure 25x50 feet.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 549, 550
Family Researcher: NA
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YARRINGTON - Joshua P. YARRINGTON, a merchant doing business at Beebeetown, came to Harrison County in the spring of 1881, and settled on a farm in section 36, of LaGrange Township. He purchased eighty acres of wild land, which he improved and remained upon until August, 1888, when he sold out and engaged in general merchandising at Beebeetown.

He was born in Crawford County, Pa., May 26, 1851, and in 1857 came to Howard County, Iowa. Remained there until 1864, and then moved to Hancock County, Iowa, where he remained with his parents until 1872. In March 1873, he went to McPherson County, Kan., and remained until 1881, taking up a homestead in Ness County, which in 1881 he sold out and came to Harrison County.

He was married in McPherson County, Kan., October 2, 1874, to Miss Artie E. ROWE. By this union three children were born--Viola C., born August 2, 1875; Ernest E., April 2, 1877, and Joshua A., March, 1879, and died August of the same year. Artie (ROWE) YARRINGTON, died in McPherson County, Kan.

Edna K. (PITTARD) YARRINGTON, was born in Warren County, Ill., March 25, 1860, and when she was eighteen years of age her parents removed to Mercer County, where she remained until the date of her marriage, which took place in Warren County. Our subject's father Alvah YARRINGTON, was born in New York State, about 1825, and was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Pruda POST, and they were the parents of twelve children, our subject being the third child. The mother died September 15, 1888, in Decatur County, Iowa, aged fifty-nine years. The father still lives in that county, and both he and his wife were members of the Latter Day Saints Church.

Joseph PITTARD, the father of Mrs. YARRINGTON, was born in England, March 14, 1818. He was married in his native land to Miss Mary A. LOVRIDGE, and they sailed for America in 1849, and the good wife died in mid-ocean. He came direct to Galesburg, Ill., remained one year, and in 1850, was married to Miss Mary A. FOSTER and moved to Warren County, Ill. This marriage union resulted in the birth of eight children, Mrs. YARRINGTON being the fourth child. The father was a farmer and after his children had grown to be adults, his health having failed him, he rented his farm and moved to town, but not being satisfied, returned to his farm where he still lives.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 548, 549
Family Researcher: NA
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MCWILLIAMS - William MCWILLIAMS, one of the early pioneers of Harrison County and a resident of section 35 of Jackson Township, came to the county in the spring of 1856, and bought the farm he now occupies, which at the time consisted of one hundred and twenty acres of wild land, for which he paid $4 per acre. Eighty acres of this land was prairie and forty acres timber. Here he built a hewed log house 18x26 feet, one story and one-half high, with a shingled roof, in which the family lived fifteen years. He then built a frame house 16x32 feet, with a wing 20x32 feet. He also built a barn 30x34 feet, a good-sized granary, a poultry house, cattle sheding, and also provided the place with good wells and has erected two windmills. He has from time to time added to his land, until he now has six hundred and fifty acres, one hundred and twenty of which are under the plow, and the balance in pasture and meadow land, with eighty acres of timber. During his residence in the county, he has seen many of the hardships co-incident to pioneer life, including the grasshopper plague, when he lost his entire wheat crop for two years. He was also here during the deep snow winter of 1856-57, during which season his sons killed several deer without a gun, as deer could not make their way over the crusted snow, which mantled the earth to the depth of three feet. He came to the county with very little money, and skulking Indians were frequently his unwelcome visitors. They stole one of his horses, and were a source of great annoyance to him.

Mr. MCWILLIAMS was born in Belmont County, Ohio, July 5, 1811, the son of John and Nancy MCWILLIAMS, natives of Scotland, who had seven children, of whom he was the fourth, names as follows: Jane, (decease); Alexander, (deceased); Nancy, William, John, (deceased), Joseph, (deceased); Eliza. Our subject lived with his parents until he arrived at his majority, having the advantage of a fair common-school education. After he was of age he taught school winters and leased land the remainder of the year, continuing for five years, after which he went into mercantile business and followed it for twelve years, from 1837 to 1849, when he sold out and took a trip to California, where he followed mining for one year and then bought provisions and freighted to the mountains for two years and one-half. We next find him in Ohio, where he remained one year and then came to Harrison County, Iowa. March 4, 1884, marked a new era in his life, for it was upon that day he was united in marriage to Polly A. MARSH, daughter of Thomas and Mary MARSH, natives of Maryland, and who were the parents of seven children, as follows: Nancy, William, Matilda, Isaac, patience, Martha and Polly A. All of these children are deceased but one, our subject's wife. Mr. and Mrs. MCWILLIAMS have had born to them the following children: John W., Nancy E., Thomas, Leonidas H., William (deceased), Mary, Belle (deceased, and Kate (deceased).

Politically, Mr. MCWILLIAMS is identified with the Republican party. He served as a member of Board of Supervisors, for four years and has been Treasurer of his township for twenty-eight years, a local office record, perhaps without a parallel in Iowa.

His has been an exemplary life, and those who speak in terms of praise of the MCWILLIAMS family, are found in every part of Harrison County.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 547, 548
Family Researcher: NA
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