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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy


Extracted from the 1915 History of Harrison County, Iowa, by Hon. Charles W. Hunt, Logan; published by B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.

Transcribed and submitted by Mona Sarratt Knight

Up to the killing of Joseph Smith, Jr., in the jail at Carthage, Illinois, June 27, 1844, the doctrine of polygamy had not been taught by the Mormon Church, but upon that sect being driven from Illinois and Missouri, and going into Winter Quarters at Florence (just north of the present city of Omaha), it began to be noised around that it was likely that a separation must soon take place between two factions in the Church. Brigham Young assumed the presidency of the Church, by the authority of only a part of The Twelve, which was not satisfactory to many of the membership of the Mormon Church. His views on polygamy were known to some and were distasteful to them. However, it was not until in August, 1852, at Salt Lake, Utah, that President Young made it known to his people that thereafter polygamy would be one of the tenets of faith, and that the same had come to him by a revelation.

At Florence, Nebraska, when the division of the Mormon Church arose, in the winter of 1847 and 1848, there were many in the Company who had been in Winter Quarters that dissented themselves from President Young and remained along the Missouri River, settling many parts of southwestern Iowa, including Pottawattamie, Harrison, Shelby, Crawford, Cass, Fremont and Mills Counties, Iowa. This territory was then considered, and is today, the finest country in the state. No tongue can tell, no writer's pen portray, the hardships and cruel vicissitudes of fortune endured in those early days by the band of Apostate Mormons (as the Utah Mormons styled these people) who for their consciences, deserted Brigham Young and his polygamous devotees, upon reaching the Missouri River, in the early forties. Truly, these people came up through great tribulation. The Mexican War came on in 1846 when, though not really citizens of the territory or state, they shouldered their guns in defense of this country. As a general rule, this church (Latter Day Saints � Reorganized) has furnished the best of patriots and substantial citizens in both times of peace and times of war, have been builders of a great empire on this the beautiful western Iowa slope.

Let it be said to the credit of these people that they have always been active and radical in their measures toward putting down polygamy in this country. They have had representatives at Washington at almost every session of Congress, doing all within their power to bring about the overthrow of this dangerous, damnable doctrine, wherever it is sought to be practiced or proclaimed, within the shadow of the flag of our Union. Indeed, they have been wide awake while other denominations have been asleep to the dangers of such teachings. What has been accomplished in legislative halls, along these lines, has been largely through the efforts of this the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. Let it ever stand as a monument to them, whether you agree with their own peculiar religious teachings or otherwise, for these things all thinking people must give them the credit justly due to them.

FIRST RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The first religious service in St. Johns Township was by the Mormons in 1850. It appears that these meetings were held in the log tabernacle erected in Tennessee Hollow. This seems from best obtainable accounts to have been the first place and time in Harrison County where these people worshipped in a public manner. The first place in Harrison County at which a branch of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints was organized was at Union Grove, August 21, 1859. This branch claims the distinction of being the only one in the county (up to 1888) at which the general conference met. This branch was styled The True Branch of The Latter Day Saints. They held that the Brighamites were the apostates and not themselves. David JONES was chosen president of this early branch. Among the pioneer members may be found on the records such names as H. S. SMITH, Samuel WOOD, Wallace W. WOOD, Samuel DIGGLE, T. THOMAS, and Charles KEMMISH.

The second place to organize was at Little Sioux in the fifties. The records are lost, or misplaced, and hence the exact date is not known. In 1888 it had more than two hundred members, had a good frame church building, which was erected about 1869, costing one thousand two hundred dollars. Rev. J. F. McDOWELL was President in 1888 and William STUART, clerk. J. C. CRABB was among the early members there and is about the only one of the pioneer band left there, but the society is strong and is doing great good. Early presidents were Silas W. CONDIT, Edwin MITCHELL, David GAMET, and Geo. M. SCOTT. D. HUTCHINS is now serving.

Early in the sixties, the Raglan branch was formed, but it went down, and June 3, 1871, was united with the Magnolia branch. February 23, 1863, a branch was formed at Bigler's Grove and April 27, 1865, the name was changed to Morning Star branch. This faded out in December 1872, and the membership went to the Magnolia branch.

Another branch was formed at Twelve Mile Grove, April 24, 1864, and continued ten years, when the membership transferred to Six Mile Grove branch. The last mentioned branch was organized April 3, 1870 and continued for fifteen years, being discontinued December 5, 1885. An organization was effected at Reeder's Mills in 1870, continuing until May 1874. October 14, 1877 the Whitesboro branch was organized as Buena Vista charge, and kept up until July 1879, when it disbanded. Sometime in 1878 a branch was formed in Raglan Township, called Pleasant View but in 1883 it disbanded and went to Magnolia. The Evening Star branch of Morgan Township was organized March 26, 1872 and discontinued in 1882. February 13, 1887, a branch was started on the Willow, in Magnolia Township, known as Willow branch. It had 48 members in 1888. Twenty-six years ago the following was reported for this Church in Harrison County:
Little Sioux membership, 207; Union Grove, 33; Magnolia, 167; Spring Creek, 90; Willow Valley, 48; Logan, 59; total in county, 604.

MAGNOLIA BRANCH. The Magnolia branch was formed March 17, 1870. In 1890 it had membership of one hundred and eighty nine. The first services were held at a school house. The church was erected in 1874. It was a frame structure thirty two by fifty eight feet, and it was dedicated by President Joseph Smith. Among the presidents of this church may be recalled Phineas CADWELL, who served thirteen years. Charles DERRY, Donald MAULE, one year, after which came A. M. FYRANDO in 1888, serving until 1907. Then came J. S. McDONALD in 1907-08-09; Alma M. FYRANDO, 1910-11-12; J. S. McDONALD, 1913; Alma M. FYRANDO, 1914.

At one time this branch numbered two hundred ninety three, and was a great power for good in the community. On account of deaths, removals, and the formation of branches at Logan and Woodbine, many members were taken from Magnolia where now the membership is one hundred ninety, including many farmers families surrounding the village of Magnolia. Among the early members may be recalled the families of Donald MAUL, George J. BLACKBURN, Lucius MERCHANT, Jonas W. CHATBURN (county judge), Stephen MAHONEY, A. W. LOCKLING, Hosea PIERCE, L. W. and N. B. ALEXANDER, Caleb SHUTTS, C. W. LAMB, P. R. SHUPE, J. A. ADAMS, Phineas CADWELL, Henry GARNER.

Of the local church missionaries may be remembered well such men as Magnus A. FYRANDO, who went to Sweden, Norway and Denmark in 1875 and remained two years, thence to Utah, where his life was endangered by the opposition of the dominant church there. Others were Elder Charles DERRY, now of Woodbine, Elder George MONTAGUE, Elder J. F. McDOWELL, Elder D. R. CHAMBERS, Elder J. R. LAMBERT, and Elder J. F. MINTUN.

At Mondamin, the church was organized March 12, 1899, with charger members as follows: Samuel JOHNSON and wife, Mrs. Joseph JOHNSON, Mr. And Mrs. William STUART, Parley GAMET, John P. GARNER, James E. GUNSOLLEY, John PRATT, Mrs. Agnes IDEN, Mr. And Mrs. William DAVIS, Mrs. David GAMET, Mrs. William COFFMAN, Mrs. William CLINKENBEARD, Mrs. Frank PIERCE, Mrs. Daniel MORROW, Mrs. Lydia JOHNSON, Mrs. Mary WILLIAMS, Mrs. Jasen TUTSLER, Mrs. Henry GARNER, Mrs. Sarah DRAKE, and David, Henry, Rose and Emma CASE.

William STUART has been serving as church clerk ever since the formation of this branch. A frame building was bought of the independent school district of Mondamin in 1888 and moved and placed in good condition the same year. Its value was one thousand dollars, including the lot. This branch now has a membership of eighty two. The ministers who have served here are James E. GUNSOLLEY, John P. GARNER, Everet E. GAMET.

At Logan a branch was organized February 20, 1887, by Elder Charles DERRY and Phineas CADWELL. The charter members were Phineas CADWELL, William R. DAVISON, Hannah M. KING, Nellie J. KENNEDY, Rosella YOCUM, J. SMITH, Alberta LAMPHER, David W. KENNEDY, Lester ADAMS, Benj. F. SMITH, Adele CARD, Charles S. KENNEDY, Carrie S. BAKER, Lillie A. WILLIAMS, Anna M. DAVISON, Neph YOCUM, Thomas D. SMITH, Sarah M. HANER, Ida E. JOHNSON, Lenora CADWELL, James HANEY, J. C. JOHNSON, Mina L. BAKER, Cynthia C. LAMPHER, Mary A. JOHNSON, Millie B. DAVIDSON, Charles S. OLIVER, Arthur A. BAKER, Mary A. MOORE, Sally A. YOUNG, Cornelia I. CUTLER, Edna E. BAKER, John B. BAKER, Merrett E. KENNEDY. The various presidents of this branch have been Phineas CADWELL, J. C. JOHNSON, W. R. DAVISON, P. CADWELL, A. A. BAKER, C. R. SMITH, W. R. ADAMS, W. W. BAKER, Sidney PITT Sr., and W. R. ADAMS.

The present total membership is one hundred and eighty three. In 1887 a good frame church was erected at a cost of one thousand six hundred dollars. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1911 and a furnace was placed in it, all costing in improvements one thousand eight hundred dollars.

PISGAH BRANCH ESTABLISHED. The Pisgah branch of the Latter Day Saints Church (reorganized) was formed December 6, 1902, with thirty five charter members. The organizers were Frederick A. SMITH, minister in charge, H. N. HANSEN and Charles DERRY; Joseph LANE was elected presiding elder; Charles VREDENBURG, presiding priest; and H. H. OVIATT, presiding deacon. The present officers are Joseph LANE, presiding elder; John P. LANE, presiding priest; John SHEARER, presiding teacher; Paul FARIS, presiding deacon; John H. VREDENBURG, financial clerk, and Cora HOYT, secretary. The present membership is one hundred and fifty two.

Early in the spring of 1901, a church building was commenced and was finished during that summer. Charles DERRY of Woodbine preached the first sermon in the new church edifice, Sunday, October 20, 1901. The dedication took place September 21, 1902, Joseph SMITH and Charles DERRY having charge. The building, lot, and fixtures cost two thousand eight hundred dollars. A fine library has been added for the benefit of the young people of the community. George MEGGERS is superintendent of the Sunday School which has a membership of one hundred and fifty five. Prior to the building of the church, Sunday School was held in the Jones house, near Pisgah.

In Cass township in 1870, the Latter Day Saints organized a branch but it was later removed to Woodbine. Spring Creek branch of the Latter Day Saints (reorganized) was formed October 19, 1876, with charger members as follows: David CHAMBERS, Sr., David CHAMBERS, Jr., Mary CHAMBERS, Louisa CHAMBERS, William CHAMBERS, Jonathan McKEE, SR., Martha McKEE, Thomas McKEE, Elizabeth McKEE, Martha McKEE, Jonathan McKEE Jr., Percilla McKEE and Sarah FRY. In 1891 the membership had reached one hundred eight. A neat frame building was erected for church purposes in 1884, costing two thousand four hundred dollars. This branch of the church is situated in Washington Township, and is within the village of Persia. The present total membership of this branch is one hundred and forty five. The presidents of this branch have been William CHAMBERS, David CHAMBERS, Joseph SEDDON, Frederick HANSON, 1900; Joseph SEDDON, 1901; Sidney PITT Sr., 1904; Joseph SEDDON, 1905; Sidney PITT Sr., 1910; Joseph SEDDON, 1911; Sidney PITT SR., 1913; Joseph SEDDON, 1914.

At Woodbine the Latter Day Saints are strong in numbers. Here the society was formed in August 1888, with seventeen members and within three years had increased to eighty four. This branch was formed by Elder Charles DERRY. The same year, a neat frame church building was erected in a central location on Weare Street, between Stanton and Lombard Streets. The building, which is still in use, seemingly as good as when it was constructed, is twenty-eight by forty-six feet and cost two thousand dollars. Its opera chair seats accommodate about two hundred and twenty five persons. It may be stated in passing that among the most influential factors of this branch of the Latter Day Saints church is the well known pioneer merchant S. B. KIBLER, who officiates in the absence of Charles DERRY, who is a man of God, beloved by all denominations for his faithful, loyal work in the church of his choice. He founded this branch.

The society had, in the spring of 1914, a membership of two hundred and ninety five. This church, unlike most others, has no stated and paid ministers. Two or three missionaries sent out by the general conference, at its session in April each year, cover the Little Sioux district of seven counties. The missionaries, who have lived at Woodbine during the past thirty years, were J. R. LAMBERT, H. O. SMITH, J. F. MINTUM, and Charles DERRY, the latter living in Woodbine now. A goodly part of the preaching and church work is done by the laity, who labor either on the farm or in the business places of the town, filling pulpits evenings or on the Sabbath day. Like Paul, they labor and care for themselves, that they may not be a burden to the church.

The records up to summer 1914 show there were branches of this church in Harrison County at the following points: Logan, Missouri Valley, Mondamin, Little Sioux, Pisgah, Magnolia, Persia, Woodbine, Evergreen, and Bigler's Grove. The total number in all branches of this church in 1914 was placed at one thousand six hundred and sixty five.

At Missouri Valley the branch of this church was organized November 5, 1893, by David CHAMBERS, assisted by Alma M. BYRANDO, of Magnolia. The membership now numbers one hundred and ten. The charter members were Hattie PARKER, A. L. PARKER, Barton PARKER, Eleazer DAVIS, William H. KINDER, H. G. PARKER, H. L. FRY, T. H. PARKER, Irine A. PARKER, Charles E. HEATH, G. E. FRY, Henry FRY, Ida PARKER, Lucinda FRY, Rilda PARKER, Pearl PARKER, Charles DAVIS, Inez PARKER. The presidents of this branch have been T. H. PARKER, William F. DONALDSON, A. L. PARKER, H. L. FRY, C. F. PRATT, G. E. FRY, I. W. HIRST, D. R. CHAMBERS and J. R. FRY.

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