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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 374-75


William [Knight] QUINN, one of the old pioneers of Ringgold county, Iowa, now living in Jefferson Township, was born in Fleming County, Ohio, the date of his birth being September 29, 1830. His father, Joseph QUINN, was a native of Kentucky, and was one of the early settlers of Fleming County [Ohio].

William QUINN was reared to agricultural pursuits, receiving such education as the rude log-cabin subscription schools of that early day afforded. He left his native State with his parents when about four years of age, they locating in Shelby County, Indiana, in 1834. There he remained till the fall of 1854, when he came to Iowa, living in Marion County until the following spring, since which he has been a resident of this county.

On coming to the county he settled in Jefferson (then Washington) Township, on wild land, when Indians and wild animals were the principal inhabitants of the surrounding country, and there he experienced many of the hardships and privations incident to life in a new country.

He was always been a hard-working citizen, and by his persevering industry he has converted his land into a well-cultivated farm, and is now engaged in general farming and stock-raising. His farm is located on section 15, Jefferson Township, and contains 100 acres.

Mr. QUINN was married May 7, 1862 [Ringgold County, Iowa], to Miss Sarah J. HUNTER, a daughter of Andrew HUNTER. Of the eight children born to this union but three are living - William A., Clarinda B. and Minta, all at home.

Mrs. QUINN died May 21, 1885. She was an earnest Christian, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. QUINN is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

NOTE: William's maternal grandfather was Garret HARSIN, born in New York, New York, June 15, 1753, the son of Joris HARSSEN (1721-1758), a gunsmith, and Maria (GILBERT) HARRSEN (1722-1764). William died September 24, 1838, Shelby County, Indiana. Garret, a farmer, was living in Bourbon County, Kentucky during the 1810 Federal Census, and moved to Shelby County, Indiana in 1826. His maternal grandmother was Elizabeth (DOUGHTY) HARSIN, born in Flushing, Queens County, New York in 1763, the daughter of Christopher DOUGHTY (1735-?) and Elizabeth (CARMEN) DOUGHTY (ca. 1735-?). Elizabeth died on December 15, 1845, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana. Garret and Elizabeth were interred at Brandywine Cemetery, Fairland, Shelby County, Indiana.

Garret HARSIN and Andrew HARRISON served with the same regiment during the American Revolutionary War. Andrew HARRISON, hailing from Virginia, was the son of Benjamin HARRISON V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a brother of William Henry HARRISON, the 9th President of the United States. Andrew's great-grandson was Benjamin HARRISON, the 23rd President of the United States.

Garret HARSIN and Andrew HARRISON fought with General George WASHINGTON's guard during the War. Andrew HARRISON was caught stealing, for which the penalty was death by hanging. Because Andrew came from such a prominent family, the commanding officer spared his life by hanging Garret HARSIN instead. Andrew was given Garret's papers and kept Garret's identity the remainder of his life to avoid execution, according to family lore and legend.

Garret's military records indicate that he volunteered as a Private in June of 1776, serving in Captain Charles DIXON's Company of Colonel John LASHER's New York Regiment. Garret saw action at the Battle of Long Island, was in the retreat from New York, and saw action again at the Battle of Harlem Heights. During the Summer of 1777, Garret served in Captain Moses CANTINE's New York Company, and in the autum served aborad the "Hudson," a public armed ship under the command of Captain John PALMER. The "Hudson" served part-time as a guard ship and the rest of the time transporting provisions for the Army. After his service aboard the "Hudson," Garret served as an artificer under Captain John PARCELS and Quartermaster General HUGHES at Fishkill, New York. Garret's total length of service was seven years.

After Garret's death, Elizabeth applied for and was awarded in 1841 a veteran's widow pension.

Deborah Ann, daughter of Garret and Elizabeth (DOUGHTY) HARSIN, was born in Paris, Kentucky, September 7, 1797, and died in Shannon City, Union County, Iowa, August 3, 1885 at the age of 87 years. Deborah married first on April 15, 1811, to Reverend Samuel DEMENT, born in West Liberty, Ohio County, Virginia [present-day West Virginia], in 1784, and died in 1822. Deborah and Samuel were the parents of Dr. Alfred Carter DEMENT (1812-1847), Hester Ann (DEMENT) CARTER (1814-ca.1849), and Milton DEMENT (ca. 1816-?).

Samuel DEMENT was a Methodist circuit rider on the Guyandotte Circuit of the Kentucky District. While traveling on his circuit, Samuel disappeared. Two weeks later a man stopped to water his horses, including Samuel's large spotted horse. When asked about Samuel's horse, the man replied that he had found the animal on the trail. Deborah was afraid to ask too many questions for she feared that Samuel had been killed for the money he carried to pay for his lodging. Deborah married second on April 26, 1825 in Flemingsburg, Kentucky to Joseph Henry QUINN, born in 1799, Virginia, and died April 1, 1886, Shannon City, Iowa. Deborah and Joseph were interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa. Deborah and Joseph were the parents of seven children:
1) Elizabeth QUINN, born 03 Apr 1826, Circleville OH; died 10 Sep 1878, Peru IA
    married 31 Oct 1844 Ransom BISHOP
2) Maria QUINN, born 28 Feb 1829, Circleville OH; died 01 Aug 1885, Whitney IA
    married 22 Aug 1849, Shelbyville IN Daniel RAY
3) William Knight QUINN
4) Deborah Jane QUINN, born 19 Oct 1832, Shelbyville IN; died 14 Jun 1910, Peru IA
    married 30 Apr 1862, Ringgold Co. IA John GREGORY
5) Pauline QUINN, born 15 Sep 1834, Shelbyville IN; died 31 Jan 1907, Shannon City IA
    married 06 Jan 1858 Joseph VORHIES
6) Mary R. QUINN, born 08 Feb 1827, Circleville OH; died 1857, Shannon City IA
    first interment at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa
7) James Harsin QUINN, born 27 Nov 1837, Shelbyville IN; died 23 Feb 1885, Ainsworth NE
    married 25 Mar 1866, Winterset IA Louisa Elizabeth ELDRIDGE (1844-1933)
    James and Louisa were interred at Shannon City IA

William Knight QUINN died on January 2, 1902, Diagonal, Ringgold County, Iowa. Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN was born January 25, 1838, and died May 21, 1885. William and Sarah were interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa. William and Sarah's eight children were all born in Ringgold County, Iowa:

1) Albert QUINN, interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa

2) Mary D. QUINN, interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa

3) William "Anson" QUINN, born 17 May 1865, Ringgold Co. IA; died 22 Apr 1950, Portland OR
    married 1893, Morristown MN to Minnie E. MATHIS (1872-1941)

    Anson and Minnie were the parents of ten children:
      1) Cora Bell QUINN, born 17 May 1897, Ringgold Co. IA; died 1987, Portland OR

      2) Joseph Lloyd QUINN, born 1898, Ringgold Co. IA; died St. Paul MN

      3) Ernest QUINN, born 1899, Ringgold Co. IA

      4) Loren QUINN, born 1901, Ringgold Co. IA

      5) Ward Montreal QUINN, born 1903, ND

      6) Fred QUINN, born 1905, ND

      7) Bert Amos QUINN, born 07 Apr 1907, ND; died 27 Jun 1997, MN

      8) Walter QUINN, born 1909, NG

      9) Gertrude QUINN, born 26 Aug 1910, ND; died 2008, MN

      10) Laura Ellen QUINN, born 1912 ND

4) Clarinda Belle QUINN, born 1865,Ringgold Co. IA; died 1949; married Mr. BAKER

5) Frank QUINN, interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa

6) Arminta "Minta" QUINN, born 1876, Ringgold Co. IA

7) Ward QUINN, interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa

8) Johnnie QUINN, born 1878, Ringgold Co. IA; died Jan 1870, Ringgold Co. IA
    interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa

Also interred at Quinn Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa, is Joseph QUINN who died at the age of 1 year, 10 months and 17 days on January 22, 1869.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 374-75, 1887.

OGDEN, John. Notes on the DEMENT Family

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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