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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Eighty Eight

Milliman | Goss | Noyes | Tracy | DeCou | Chapman | Mefferd | Griffith | Walker

MILLIMAN - Ezra Wilson MILLIMAN, house, sign and artistic painter, at Logan, came to Harrison County, in February, 1865, from Saratoga County, NY, and located at Harris Grove, where he engaged at his trade, which he continued to follow for three years, and then purchased an eight-acre farm, to which he added until he now has one hundred and eight acres, also a fourteen-acre tract adjoining Logan, where he resides. He removed to the last named place in the spring of 1882, and built his present house, which stands on one of the most elevated and charming building sited overlooking the Boyer Valley.

Mr. MILLIMAN was born in Saratoga County, NY, April 1, 1836. His father was Francis MILLIMAN, a native of the empire State, born April 9, 1809, and came West with his famly in 1865, locating at Harris Grove, and died in Logan, May 10, 1883. The mother of our subject, Emily (HUNT) MILLIMAN, was a native of New York, and died in Ballston Springs, NY, April 28, 1849. Our subject attended the district school, receiving a good business education. He was married February 22, 1867, to Mrs. Esther KNIGHT. Their children are as follows�Walter, Ada and Francis.

Our subject enlisted in the Union Army, December 25, 1861, as a member of Company D, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, and served three years, during which time he was in the hospital sixteen months. He was honorably discharged December 25, 1864, at Washington, D.C.

Not unlike other members of the MILLIMAN family residing in Harrison County, this gentleman commands the respect and admiration of a large circle of acquaintances, both in a business and a social way.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 854-855
Family Researcher: NA
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GOSS - John S. GOSS, (retired), living at Missouri Valley, came to Pottawattamie County, in 1851, and located just over the line from Harrison County. Here he lived for twenty years and then moved to Missouri Valley, where he has made his home ever since. He was born August 3, 1833, at Whitehall, Greene County, IL. He is a son of Sherman and Elizabeth (WATTS) GOSS. The father came from Knoxville, Tennessee, and was of French-Irish extraction, while the mother was of Irish parentage, but reared in Statesville, NC. The family were very early settlers in Illinois, the father having been in the Blackhawk Indian War. He was a carpenter by trade, but after coming to Iowa, followed farming. The family consisted of six sons and two daughters, our subject being the second child. Four of the children are now living, our subject and H.W.A. GOSS, of Missouri Valley; Hugh W., of Council Bluffs, and J.C., who resides in California. Mortimer W., enlisted in 1862 in Company E., Twenty-third Iowa Infantry, and was killed in the battle of Anderson Hill, near Port Gibson, on the morning of May 1, 1863, and was buried where he fell.

The father died August 29, 1855, and is buried in Branson's Cemetery, near Loveland. The mother died April 24, 1881, and was buried beside her husband.

Our subject was married June 1, 1856, at Loveland, Iowa, to Mary S. COPELAND , who came with her parents from Putnam County, IN, to Pottawattamie County, in the autumn of 1852. Her father's name is Thomas Newton COPELAND, who still resides in Rockford Township, Pottawatamie County. In the COPELAND family there were nine children. Of the number, Mrs. GOSS has one brother living, three deceased, and three sisters living and one deceased.

Mr. GOSS enlisted as a soldier in the Union army, during the Civil War, on April 15, 1862, in Company H, Seventeenth Iowa Infantry, and was assigned to the Western Army. He was first sent to St. Louis, and from there to Corinth, Mississippi, but on account of ill health, was sent North, and discharged the following December, for disability.

After returning home from the army, Mr. GOSS was sick for many months, but finally got so he could labor about half the time. On August 13, 1867, he commenced to build a flat-boat, upon which to run lumber and wood down the Missouri River on to Omaha. He ran on the river until 1871, when he sold out and moved to Missouri Valley. In 1876, he sold out his furniture business. His has been a varied experience. In 1867 he went on the Upper Missouri as carpenter on steamer "Gen.Mead," and the fall of that year obtained his license as a first class pilot on steamboats from Omaha to Cow Island, Montana, also on the Yellowstone. Since then he has secured license as Master Pilot for the Mississippi River and tributaries, and has been on the rivers more or less ever since. Two years of the time running on boats for the Government between Sioux City and Kansas City.

Since living in Missouri Valley, he was engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, also was in the insurance business. He belongs to Beldon Post No. 59, Grand Army of the Republic, and is also a member of the Subordinate and Encampment Degrees of the Odd Fellows Order. He and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Missouri Valley, of which he is one of the Trustees, and was also Trustee of the Loveland Methodist Church, where he erected a church edifice in 1891.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 855-856
Family Researcher: NA
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NOYES - Zachariah Taylor NOYES, the leading business factor of Mondamin, came to Harrison County in 1856, with his parents, Capt. and Mrs. John NOYES. He was born April 13, 1849, in Morgan County, Ohio. His father, John NOYES, and his mother, Mary (STARKS) NOYES, were prominent in the early settlement of the county, and are made the subject of a personal sketch elsewhere in this volume. The father died in 1855; the mother still survives and is living at Mondamin, at the advanced age of seventy-three years. The NOYES family are of English extraction and emigrated from Maine to Ohio at a very early date.

Zacharish Taylor, of whom we write, was but a small boy when Capt. NOYES came with his family to Harrison County. His education and early training have all been within this county. His success as a business man and citizen speaks well for the family with thich he is associated; also of the type of manhood produced by pioneering on the frontier of Western Iowa.

When our subject was a mere stripling of a boy he worked in and around his father's steam sawmill and upon the farm. He soon exhibited good executive and business ability, and in 1872 he began mercantile life at Mondamin, in company with his father, who was an extensive dealer in general merchandise and a grain shipper. Upon the death of his father he took charge of the whole business, having previously bought the entire merchantile business. His present store is a double-room building , well arranged for the conducting of the large amount of business he now transacts. He is a first-class, modern business man, possessed of those manly and business-like methods that ever win friends, and is almost certain to insure success among men in business calling. No man stands higher in the estimation of his neighbors and also among commercialcircles than he of whom we pen this notice. Like his father, Capt. John NOYES, he is a strong man, in almost any sense this term may be rightfully applied.

To measure a man's worth in a community we must needs sound the opinion of those with whom he has lived and labored for a term of years. In the vicinity of Mondamin, where Mr. NOYES has grown to mature years, the universal opinion is that he possesses great merit as a business man, as well as abiding friendship and candor as a citizen and neighbor..

Our subject's father's family settled just northwest of where Mondamin stands on section 20, of Morgan Township. The father had been twice married and was the father of thirteen children, of whom Z.T. was the ninth child. Of the eight children who still live, six reside in Harrison County: Etta, Mrs. BRYAN; Maria, Mrs. DOOLITTLE; John H.; Fillmore; G.W. Jr., and our subject.

Jane PYLE, daughter of Hayes and Nancy PYLE, of the Buckeye State, became Mr. NOYES' wife, September 9, 1873. Four children have come to bless their home-circle, three of whom still survive; the second born died when eighteen months of age. Ray, born February 10, 1876; Neddie, July 14, 1877, now deceased; Bessie, September 28, 1880, and Helen July 3, 1888.

In his home circle, Mr. NOYES takes much delight and is never so happy, as when surrounded by his interesting family, within the sacred place called home.

Politically, he believes in and supports by voice and ballot, the general principles of the Republican party. He is an honored member of Mondamin Lodge, No. 392, of the I.O.O.F. Mrs. NOYES is a consistent christian and identified with the Congregational church.

There are but few men who have not yet passed the prime of their manhood, who have achieved the almost enviable business and social reputation enjoyed by Mr. NOYES. Parentage and nature first gifted him with many talents and the school of every day experience has molded him into a man of eminence, of whom the world has none too many. The estimate thus placed upon him is but the universal opinion of his wide circle of admirers.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 856-857
Family Researcher: NA
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TRACY - Truman L. TRACY, proprietor of Tracy's "job shop" at Missouri Valley, probably has as fine an equipped establishment for all kinds of job carpenter work as can be found in the county. He was born in Cattaraugus County, N.Y., April 25, 1858, and is the son of William H., and Caroline (NEWTON) TRACY, natives of New York. Father was a farmer until 1882, when he engaged as a traveling salesman for a nursery of that section, which he still follows.

Truman was reared upon the farm receiving his education in the district schools of that section, remaining at home until 1882, when he took Horace Greeley's advice and went West, coming direct to Missouri Valley.

His first work in this section was at River Sioux, where for about one year he assisted his uncle, Rueben NEWTON in the railroad office. The following six months he acted as coach-cleaner at the shops at Missouri Valley, after which he acted as night-watch about the shops for a time. Being in ill health he was obliged to take a rest. Later he was in the employ of the railroad; also helped his uncle and did other work until 1887, at which time being a natural genius, he started a small carpenter and repair shop, which business have proved quite lucrative. He has at this time a shop with circle rip saw, planing-machine, wood-lathe, jig-saw, mortising-machine, and emery wheels, propelled by a six-horse power water motor, receiving the water from the city water works. This was put in at a cost of about $500. He was married in Missouri Valley, December 14, 1883, to Miss Carrie BRADLEY, a native of Canada; they have been blessed with one child, Harry L. In summing up this man's life, he may be termed a self-made man. Coming West when a young man, without means, he has built up a nice trade, which goes to show what might be accomplished by many a young man with proper energy.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 915
Family Researcher: NA
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DECOU - William H. DECOU, an enterprising farmer of section 7, Douglas Township, came to Harrison County with his parents a short time after the Civil War closed. Our subject was born in Norfolk County, Canada, February 10, 1845, and when ten years of age, accompanied his parents, who removed to Winneshiek County, Iowa, where they remained until 1866, and then came to Harrison County and bought land. The boys, William and Isaac, came here and put in the crops, then returned and assisted in moving the family, who arrived in June of that year. He remained under his paternal roof until 1870, at which time his father gave him part of his present farm, which he commenced to improve in 1870, breaking about forty acres and building a house 18x26 feet, one story and a half high. He removed to this house in 1872, and lived in the same for eight years, and then erected an addition 18x26 feet. The first crop he put in on his own place amounting to between sixty and seventy acres was speedily harvested by the grasshoppers. His renter had sixty acres of wheat yielding three bushels and a half.

Our subject was married to Miss Georgia PUGSLEY, July 4, 1871. Mrs. DECOU was born in Athens County, Ohio, April 9, 1846, and when nine years of age removed to Harrison County, Iowa, where she remained until she was married. Three children have blessed this union � Frank H., Nellie R. and Leonard.

The grasshoppers again visited Harrison County in 1877, at which time they were kept fairly under control by various means devised. The most common of which was the digging of a trench into which they would fall. They also used a pan eight feet in length which was drawn by a rope attached to each end. The pan was provided with tar, into which the grasshoppers would jump and be killed. They also burned a great many of the grasshoppers by spreading straw on the ground and setting fire to the same at night.

Notwithstanding this plague, Mr. DECOU harvested thirty-seven bushels of wheat per acres; oats, sixty bushels per acre, and corn, sixty-five bushels per acre, which speaks well for Harrison County soil. But this was only accomplished by a hard struggle upon the part of Mr. DECOU and his hired men. He is the President of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company of Harrison County. Politically our subject is in full sympathy with the Republican party. In his religious convictions he favors the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a member.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 916-917
Family Researcher: NA
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CHAPMAN - James CHAPMAN, a farmer residing on section 1, of Union Township, came to Harrison County in the spring of 1864, in company with his parents. They leased a piece of land of Lindley Evans, in Cass Township, and remained there two years. Having given the date, and location of this family's settlement, the reader's attention is now turned to the birthplace of our subject, which was Wiltshire, England, where he was born in February, 1839. He is the son of John and Harriet (COLEMAN) CHAPMAN who were the parents of the following children, of whom our subject is the eldest. The order of this family is as follows: James, Elijah, Rebekah, Judah, John, Nephi, Harriet J., Eliza J., Heber W., Thomas and Benjamin. Of this family seven boys are still living.

James came to America in 1853, landing at New Orleans, where he lay confined to his room, for four long weeks, with the small pox, which he had been exposed to upon the boat. He was in a strange land in a great city, without friends to look after him, but thanks be to our public, charitable institutions, after one week he was taken to a hospital, where he was well cared for. In relating this to the writer, Mr. Chapman says he hopes to be able at some day, to bequeath a sum sufficient to repay the city for all that they in their kindness did for him, believing as he does that the hospital saved his life.

From the Crescent City he went to St. Louis, remained a week, and then embarked for Kansas City, near which place he worked on a farm for four weeks, and then went to Utah, where he worked at farm labor for three years. We next find him in the employ of the Overland Stage Company, with whom he remained for three years. The next three years he was at work with the mountaineers, and then came to Harrison County.

He was married February 11, 1866, to Mary Ann SMITH, daughter of Jackson and Mary SMITH, natives of North Carolina and New York, respectively. They were the parents of thirteen children as follows: Margaret, Hannah, John, Elizabeth, one deceased, Ruth, Isaac, Mary A., Eliza, Jackson, Julia, deceased, Rachel, Joseph, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. SMITH went to Utah where they both died.

Our subject and his wife are the parents of four children: Mary J., born August 13, 1867; Elizabeth A., July 9, 1869; Nettie A., November 20, 1876; James T., January 1, 1881. Mrs. CHAPMAN died November 22, 1891, and was buried in the cemetery on John CHAPMAN's farm.

Upon Mr. CHAPMAN's arrival in this county, having assisted on the farm a year or tow, he was employed in the steam mill of U.L. Dow for one year, at the end of which he paid $300 for forty acres of land; this was a wild tract in Union Township; he broke this out, and built him a dug-out 12x14 feet, in which he lived for about two years then sold the land to Mr. Allee, and bought eight acres of school land, for which he paid $4 per acres. Here he built another dug-out, (constructed of sod and poles.) He improved this land and lived upon it seven years, and then bought the place he now occupies, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres, costing him $15 per acre. It is situated on section 1, and at the time he purchased it, had some improvements on it, including sixty acres of breaking and a shell of a house. His farm now consists of two hundred acres, three-quarters of which is under cultivation. He has a good farm-house 16x30 feet, with an addition 18x20 feet; also a good barn, and outbuildings. At the present time he is erecting a barn 24x30 feet. With his wind mill and tank and accompanying waterworks, water can be thrown to the top of his house, being conveyed through a pipe eight hundred feet in length. Besides his home farm he has also a quarter of section 12, which is well improved.

Politically, Mr. CHAPMAN is a supporter of the Democratic party, and in religious matters, like the mat at the Temple says, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 916-917
Family Researcher: NA
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MEFFERD - Lemuel MEFFERD ranks among the vanguard of pioneers to Harrison County, coming as he did in the early spring of 1850, forty-one years ago, when he was but a lad of seven summers. The family stopped in Jefferson Township until 1853, when they removed to Douglas Township, his father being one of the earliest settlers in Harrison County. He remained at home until he was twenty-six years old, after which he rented land of his brother, in the same township, ad in July, 1872, he purchased forty acres of land on section 28, Douglas Township, broke it up and built a house before he left his brother's farm, and kept adding to this tract until he now has two hundred and fifty acres.

Mr. MEFFERD is a native of Newlingburg, Ky., from which locality the family removed when they came to Harrison County. He was married to Miss Mary R. RICHMOND, in Harrison County, Iowa, Mary 8, 1869, and they are the parents of six children � George L., Isabella, Frederick, Pearl E., Arthur and Reuben R.

Mary R. (RICHMOND) MEFFERD, wife of our subject, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 3, 1854, and when six years old accompanied her mother to Harrison County, her father having died in Utah. She is a member of the Latter Day Saints Church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 917-918
Family Researcher: NA
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GRIFFITH - Mahlon GRIFFITH, may well be ranked among the pioneers of this section of Iowa, and for this, if for no other reason, should he be allocated space in this connection for a biographical notice. The pioneers are fast passing away. The young men who came to Harrison County during the '50s, and prior to the Civil War, are now old men and many of them are sleeping the last sleep, while still others are fathers of large families of children who have grown up and gone out into life's conflict for themselves. The furrowed brow, the bedimmed eye, and the bowed form of the men, who in the pride of their young manhood, gazed out upon the primeval forests and beautiful valleys found within Harrison County, now belong to those whom we look upon with reverence on account of their age. Mr. GRIFFITH, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, December 3, 1819, and before speaking of his life in Harrison County, it should be said that he remained under the paternal roof until he was twenty-six years of age, which date marked an important era in his life, as during that year, and on December 20, 1846, he was united in marriage to Miss Elvira MATHEW, who was born in Farquier County, Va., November 5, 1830, and when four years of age moved with her parents to Muskingham County, Ohio.

Our subject was by trade a potter, and worked at the pottery business at Hopewell, Ohio, until 1850, when he came to Van Buren County, Iowa, where he rented land one year, and then went to Iowa County and purchased a farm, remaining three years, when he disposed of it and came to Pottawattamie County, and purchased land near the present site of Avoca. At that date there were but few people in this county, and a frame house had never been erected in Kanesville (now Council Bluffs.) Mr. GRIFFITH had a farm of four hundred acres, but owing to the discouraging prospects occasioned by the "hard winter" of 1856-57, he disposed of his land, at a good margin, and returned to his old home in the Buckeye State, which at one time seemed a paradise to him, but like many another man who had seen the rolling prairie of the Missouri Slope, he was again seized with the Western fever and the following year returned to Pottawattamie County, and after making three trips to Ohio overland, traversing the great prairie States of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, he finally bought a part of his old place back near Avoca, where he lived and labored until 1876, in the autumn of which he sold out and located in Harrison County, where he now lives. At the time of his coming to Iowa there was no Omaha and Bellevue, as well as Florence, were mere trading points.

The children who have been born to Mr. and Mrs. GRIFFITH, eleven in number are as follows: Francis P., born June 10, 1848; George M., March 26, 1850; William F., August 25, 1852; Louis I., April 25, 1854; Mary V., March 14, 1856; James A., December 28, 1857; Dora A., June 6, 1859; Adelia E., January 21, 1863; Minnie V., July 1, 1866; Mahlon J., August 17, 1869; Daisy E., January 14, 1872.

These children are all living, and our subject and his wife who have reared this large family of sons and daughters who will rise up to call them blessed, are now the grandparents of thirty-one children. In their religious belief Mr. and Mrs. GRIFFITH hold to the faith as taught by the Methodist Church. Politically, our subject is a Democrat; he cast his first vote in Presidential election for James K. Polk.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 918-919
Family Researcher: NA
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WALKER - C.A. WALKER, a successful merchant at Missouri Valley, came to the place in July, 1874. He was born in Corinth, Orange County, Vt., April 24, 1841. He is the son of Newton and Mary (WILSON) WALKER. The WALKERS are of Scotch descent. The grandmother's people were of English ancestry. The WILSONS were of Irish descent. Grandmother WILSON, whose maiden name was TAILOR, was of Scotch descent. Her husband was a soldier, in both the Revolutionary and War of 1812, and drew a pension for such services several years before his death.

Our subject's father was always a farmer, and still lives midst the scenes of rural life. Upon this farm our subject was born and reared. The date of his father's birth was April 27, 1811, and though now a very old man, is quite active. Our subject's mother died in 1858, and was buried at Corinth, Vt. They reared a family of six children � five daughters and our subject. Four of the daughters still survive � two living in California, one in Boston, and one is Somerville, Mass. Our subject's early education was received in the old Green Mountain State at the common schools, and when seventeen years of age he left school t help his father on the farm. Two years later he went to Manchester, N.H., where he worked in a woolen mill for two years, and from there went to Lawrence, Mass., and there drove a bread-cart for three years We next find him in Kingston, N.C., in 1865, where he acted as an overseer for a plantation for two years. He then returned to Manchester and clerked in a grocery store until he removed to Missouri Valley in 1974. His first work here was in the employ of Ellis & Avery, with whom he remained one year, at the end of which time he began business with Mr. Avery under the firm name of Avery & Co. Later on he formed a partnership with S.B. Shields, under the firm name of Shields & Walker, which partnership existed for four years, when he formed another partnership with Mr. Bradley.

Politically, Mr. WALKER is a Republican, and since his residence in Missouri Valley has served in the City Council three years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to Valley Lodge, No. 232.

He was united in marriage New Year's day 1868, at Manchester, N.H., to Miss Luvira HOWARD, a native of Vermont, whose parents were of old Puritan stock. She died April 10, 1889, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, at Missouri Valley. July 16, 1890, our subject was married to Florence MOYER, native of Illinois. Her father is deceased and her mother lives in Omaha.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 919-920
Family Researcher: NA
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