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Center Township

Please note:  Oakland was at one time called Big Grove


Physician and surgeon, Oakland, was born in Union County, Ind., September 25, 1839. He is the son of James and Catharine (Hartsell) Alexander; he was born in Green County, Tenn., and she is a native of Virginia. They came to Indiana after their marriage, and in the fall of 1852 moved to Platte County, Mo., where they spent one winter, coming to Big Grove in the following spring, settling in Section 13, Township 75, Range 40. He sold this place to Ephraim Bird, and moved to Adams County, this State, in 1856. The following year they went to Kansas, but returned during the drought iu the fall of 1860. In 1864, they moved to Jackson County, Kan. The father died in 1867, and the mother in 1879. Our subject lived with his parents until 1860. In the following year, he enlisted, in Adams County, in the Fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. E. Y. Burgan. His initiation iu war procedures took place in Page County, where they camped for two days. Gen. G. M. Dodge, at that time a Colonel, ordered a false alarm to be sounded in order to try the boys. At 3 o'clock in the morning, they were ordered out without giving them time to dress, and in this condition were drawn up in line of battle. Our subject was engaged in many of the principal battles of the war, including Pea Ridge, Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge, at which latter places he carried the colors above the clouds. He was also engaged in the battles of Ringgold and Resaca, Ga., at which latter place he received a gun-shot wound in both legs. He afterward lay in several hospitals, until, recovering from his wounds, he rejoined his regiment at Raleigh, N. C. He was present at the surrender of Gen. J. E. Johnston, and was mustered out of service at Louisville, Ky., August 20, 1865, and returned to Big Grove, then his home, having returned on veteran furlough, and married at Big Grove, March 24, 1864, Miss Phoebe Huff, born in Mercer County, Ill, May 25, 1849. She was the daughter of Louis and Susan (Palmer) Hufl'. Her father was born in Stokes County, N. C, February 22, 1811. He came to Illinois, where he was married to Miss Palmer, who is a sister of Dr. Palmer, of Belknap Township. In 1865, our subject moved to Jackson County, Kan., and farmed during the following year. He then sold his place, and commenced the study of medicine under D. W. Taylor, M. D., of Holton, Kan., an old army Surgeon. Hare he studied for three years, afterward taking two courses of lectures at the E. M. Institute, of Cincinnati. He practiced at his profession in Holton until 1874, when he returned to Big Grove, where he has resided ever since. His residence is on thcsouthwest quarter of Section 5, Township 75, Range 39. He has two children - Elmer Ellsworth, born June 9, 1865, and Laura Belle born September 23, 1867. Mr. Alexander is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics is a Republican.


Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, May 25, 1827. He is the son of Benjamin and Nancy (McKee) Brown. His father was a farmer, born in New York State about 1796. He was an early settler in Ohio. He was married near Newark, N. J., in 1818, to Miss McKee, a native of that State. They moved to Mercer County, Ill., in 1852, and the fether died there in 1862 and also the mother at the age of eighty-six. Our subject received a common school education, and lived with his father till the age of twenty-one. He began life for himself by getting married in Coshocton County, Ohio, April 20, 1845, to Elizabeth Catharine Menefee, born in Fauquier, now Culpepper County, Va., September 30, 1829. Her father, Charles William Menefee, was a farmer, and died in Mercer County, III, in 1856. Her mother, Mary Maddox, was born in Fauquier County, Va., August 5, 1807, and is still living with her son, Charles Menefee, in this county. After his marriage, the subject farmed in Ohio for four years, after which he went to Mercer Count\-, Ill., where he lived and farmed for twenty years. In the spring of 1873, he came to this county, locating on his present place, which consists of 240 acres, but he farms considerable more. He has eighty acres in Section 10, and 160 acres in Section 15, Township 75, Range 39. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have had eight children, seven of whom are living - Samuutha J., born June 20, 1849; Johanna, born July 28, 1851; Charles, born October 28, 1853; Benjamin, twin brother to Charles, died May 16, 1858; Theodore D., born June 22, 1856; Thomas W., born October 8, 1858; Hugh J., born September 13, 1861, and George A., born August 10, 1864. Samantha married Horace Ball. They are now living in Rock Island, Ill.; Johanna married Austin R. Duncan, and they are living in Walnut, this county. The sons are all living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of the Baptist Church, and two of the.sons are members of the M. E. Church. In politics, the family are Republican.

CURTIS, Alfred B.

Farming, P. O. Oakland, was born in Plaintield, Essex Co., N. J., October 30, 1847. He is the sou of Jonathan and Hannah (Angleman) Curtis, both natives of Plaintield. N. J. His father was a farmer, and moved to Tazewell County, Ill., about 1857. He then moved to Logan County, of the same State, about 1860, where he died August 23, 1866. The mother of our subject was born August 2, 1822, and is still living in Logan County, Ill. Our subject lived at home up to the date of his marriage, which occurred in Galva, Henry Co., Ill., in 1874, when he married Sarah E. Frazee, born in the same place as our subject, November 10, 1844. She is the daughter of John W. and Mary (Rogers) Frazee, both natives of Essex County, N. J.; he born in 1811, and died in Peoria County, Ill., in 1872; she, born in 1814, and is still living in Galva, Henry Co., Ill. The parents left New Jersey in 1856, and came to Peoria County, Ill. After his marriage, our subject farmed in Logan County, Ill., until he left for this State February 17, 1880, locating in Shelby County. He moved to Center Township, this county, in the spring of 1882, where he purchased eighty acres of land in Section 4, Town 75, Range 39. He has two children - Oscar Whitfield, born February 27, 1877, and George Eugene, born June 25,1880. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis are members of the M. E. Church. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a Republican.


Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born in Jefferson, Coos Co., N. H., October 22, 1840. He is the son of George and Elizabeth (Perkins) Putnam; he was born in Charlestown, Sullivan Co., N. H., February 16, 1799, and she in the same place as our subject September 22, 1809. His father was a farmer; moved to Vermont about 1842, and to Illinois in 1852, locating near Dixon, Lee County. Here they lived until 1871, when they came to this county, where the father died on November 12, of the following year. The mother is at present living with our subject. They had nine children, eight of whom are living - Ada; Mary E., wife of H. R. Storrs; George M., married; Jane, wife of W. Nangle; L. R. (our subject); Ellen, wife of F. Morris; Relle, and Charles W. The whole family live within two miles of each other, and are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is not married. His farm, which consists of 160 acres, is situated in Section 33, Center Township, and is the southwest quarter of that section. He has made his own improvements. In politics, he is a Republican.


Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born in Trenton, Oneida Co., N. Y., February 3, 1828. He is the son of Calvin and May G. (Wells) Storrs. His father was a farmer, born in the same place as our subject, and moved to Wisconsin, arriving in Milwaukee October 27, 1847; he died in Chippewa County, Wis., in 1868. The mother of our subject was born in Wethersfleld, Hartford Co., Conn., and died in Wisconsin at the age of about eighty-three. Our subject received a common school  education, and afterward attended two terms at the high school. He worked at his grandfather's cheese-factory until he was eighteen years of age. He then began to learn the carpenter's trade, to which he apprenticed for three years. He then went to Wisconsin with his father, where he engaged in farming. He lost his health by running a "thrasher," after which he went South and worked at his trade. He was at St. Louis, and was also an overseer on a plantation in Kentucky, and acted also in the same capacity in Missouri. After three years, during which time he regained his health, he came to Illinois, stopping in Lee County, and was married at Dixon, the couuty seat of that county, January 11, 1855, to Mary E. Putnam, born in Jefferson, Coos Co., N. H., March 5, 1835. She is the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Perkins) Putnam. Our subject farmed in Lee County, Ill., for six years, when he moved to Chippewa County, Wis., living here five years. He then returned to Dixon, Ill., where he lived another six years. In October, 1872, he came to this county, locating in Center Township, purchasing his present place, which consists of 240 acres in Sections 26 and 33, Township 75, Range 39. He engages in general farming, besides buying and selling largely in stock. Mr. and Mrs. Storrs have eight children living - Harriet A., Albert L., George A., Clara B., William R., Nellie L., Florence M. and Mabel F. The parents and the five oldest children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, Mr. Storrs is a Republican.


Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Berkshire County, Mass., September 5, 1812. He is the son of John and Sadie (Kasson) Strong, both natives of Berkshire County, Mass. His father was born June 2, 1782, and was a farmer by occupation. His mother was born May 12, 1786. The parents moved to Meigs County, Ohio, in 1814, where they both died, he April 31, 1845, and she June 15, 1834. Our subject received a common school education, and worked at home till he became of age. He began life for himself as a farmer. He was married in Meigs County, Ohio, January 28, 1834, to Mary M. Barker, born in Gallia County, of the same State, January 16, 1816. She is the daughter of Amos and Nancy (Russell) Barker; he was born in Berkshire County, Mass., September 11, 1793, and died in our subject's house February 19, 1882; she was bom in Greenbrier County, Va., December 20, 1792, and died in Warren County, this State, May 8, 1876. Mrs. Strong's father moved to Ohio with his father's family in 1807, locating in Gallia County. In 1845, they came to Iowa, and settled in Warren County, where both are now buried. After his marriage oursubject farmed in Ohio until 1846, when he came to this State, locating in Jefferson County. In 1865, he came to this county, settling on the place where he now resides. He has seven children living - Laura A., born July 25, 1835, wife of Harvey Clayton; Silas Cook, born October 13, 1837, married Lucy Clover; Mary N., born February 18, 1845, wife of S. S. Rust; Z. C, born November 17, 1848, married Martha J. Bird ; Lucinda M., born August 28, 1854, wife of Thomas Wallace; Horace E., born August 1, 1859, married Dolly Goff; Frank O., born November 7, 1861. Mr. J. C. Strong is a partner in the firm of Strong & Hoff', hardware and implements, C)akland. With the exception of Horace E., who has gone to Boone County, Neb., all of the children are living in this county. Our subject owns eighty acres of land in Section 8, Township 75, Range 40, where he at present resides. He has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors of this county, serving two years.

THOMAS, Reason R.

Farmer, P. O. Oaklaud, was born in Nelson County, Ky., August 28, 1828. He is the son of Eleazur and Ann (Garrett) Thomas. His father was born in Virginia (as near as can be ascertained), in 1780, and died in Nelson County, Ky., when our subject was ten years of age. His mother was boru in Spencer County, Ky.. and died in Nelson Couuty, of the same State, of cholera, in 1833. Our subject received a common school education, but his father's death compelled him to look out for himself He lived with an uncle in Shelby County, Ky., for seven years, after which he worked out by the mouth for some time. In the fall of 1848, he went to Spencer County, Ind., wliere he worked at farming in the summer and cut cord-wood in the fall, making several trips on flat boats down the Ohio River. In the fall of 1852, he went to Henderson County, Ill., where he was married, August 2, 1855, to Mary C. C. Wright, boru in Nelson County, Ky., April 17, 1839. She is the daughter of James and Lncretia (Hammond) Wright, both natives of the latter couuty, he boru February 17, 1812, and she March 30, 1814. The parents left their native State and settled in Henderson Couuty, Ill., in the spring of 1848. They came to this county in the fall of 1867, and are still living in Center Township. After the marriage, our subject commenced farming for himself in Henderson County, Ill., where he lived till the fall of 1871, when he came to this county, locating on Graybill Creek, in Section 16, Center Township. In the spring of 1873, he came to the place he now owns, purchasing the same in 1875. It consists of 120 acres, located in Section 17, Township 75, Range 39. He also farms eighty acres besides, and raises principally grain. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have twelve children, eight of whom are living - John Franklin, born August 25, 1857, died in November, 1861; Cyreua Adella, born October 25, 1859, married January 1, 1878, to Sumner Palmer; James Amos, born December 10, 1861; McClelland, born June 15, 1864; Margaret Ellen, born October 26. 1866; Lncretia Ann, born January 28, 1869; Sarah E., born March 11, 1871, died in August of the same year; Reason R., born July 20. 1872, died September 6, 1873; Ira, born May 20, 1875; Era. born May 1, 1877, and Isaac Madison, born July 19. 1879. In politics, our subject is a Democrat.

From History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, published by O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883