KELLERTON'S ANCESTAL ROOTS
MERRITT STATION, CROSS, NEW CHICAGO
William Johnston MERRITT (1803-1879, interment Merritt Cemetery) and his family owned and operated a stagecoach stop which was known as Merritt Station. In July of 1856 a post office
was established at the little settlement which sprung up around Merritt Station. Because of the cross roads that merged
at Merritt Station, the little settlement was named Cross. The post office experienced two brief intermissions in 1866 and
on January 13, 1873.
When the post office was discontinued in 1879, the residents of Cross moved to the settlement of
NOTE: Some accounts state that the residents of Cross moved to New Chicago in 1873. It is quite possible
that since a new post office was established at New Chicago on January 13, 1873, many of the Cross residents moved to
New Chicago at that time.
MERRITT CEMETERY, SOUTHWEST of KELLERTON
Photograph by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009
Two miles east of Cross was Athens, also known as Athens Center. It was one of the first settlements in Ringgold County and
Athens Township would be named after the town. Later, Athens was renamed New Chicago for a family who had moved to the settlement
from Chicago, Illinois. New Chicago was located on a branch of the Western Stage Company's line that extended from Ottumwa, Iowa, to
Nebraska City, Nebraska.
William Johnston MERRITT was the postmaster at the New Chicago settlement in 1856. Frederick A.
"Fred" BROWN was named postmaster of New Chicago on July 16, 1873. He did not want the job but since no one else did either,
Fred felt as though it was his duty to accept the position. During the summer of 1876, Mr. GILL retired as the mail
carrier for the star route. Lew, Fred BROWN's son, filled the vacancy, carrying mail on the route from Mount Ayr to
Decatur City, a distance of 30 miles. He was paid a salary of $400 a year.
MR. and MRS. FREDERICK AVERY BROWN
Frederick Avery "Fred" BROWN and his family, along with Mr. and Mrs. John M. GUILD and their family, arrived in Ringgold
County from Atalissa, Muscatine County, Iowa, in the fall of 1868. They rented a farm south of Lesanville where they
spent the winter of 1868 - 1867.
Frederick Avery "Fred" BROWN was born September 30, 1821, Genesee County, New York, and
died on December 9, 1910. He
married on December 25, 1847, Saybrook, Ashtabula County, Ohio, to Susan T. KNOWLES. Susan T. KNOWLES was born in 1824,
and died January 1, 1895. Fred and Susan were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Iowa. They were the parents of
1) Edward BROWN
2) Elizabeth BROWN, married W. M. MERONEY
3) William K. BROWN
4) Mary A. BROWN, married C. S. "Claud" PALMER
5) Albert M. BROWN
6) Robert Lewis "Lew" BROWN, died at the age of 75 on November 17, 1936, Kellerton IA
interment Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
Lew learned the jewelry trade from G. W. WATSON, Mount Ayr; he opened his own shop in Kellerton
married Roberta Blanche SCOTT, daughter of Capt. Thomas E. and Elenor (MOORE) SCOTT
7) Hattie E. BROWN, died at the age of 6 years, 8 months 12 days, 18 Nov 1872
interment Merritt Cemetery, Ringgold Co. IA
Members of the John M. GUILD family were:
1) S. H. GUILD
2) David L. GUILD
3) Charles GUILD
4) William GUILD
enlisted as a Private 11 Aug 1862, age 28, Company E, 35th Iowa Infantry
died of disease 31 Dec 1864, Davenport IA
5) Laura J. GUILD married 10 Oct 1872, Muscatine Co. IA David B. HINES
6) Mary J. GUILD married 08 Dec 1870, Muscatine Co. IA Charles COPE
Mr. and Mrs. David J. JONES sold their property to William Harrison GALLOWAY on November 8, 1866. A year later, William
sold 70 acres of this land to his son William A. GALLOWAY. They built two log cabins on the north end of the farm.
The east building had a clapboard roof and was the largest of the two log cabins. This is the farm that Frederick Avery
"Fred" BROWN and the GUILD family bought on February 13, 1867.
William H. GALLOWAY, born May 3, 1821 in Indiana, was a
shoemaker and a farmer. He married on June 24, 1841, Owen County, Indiana, to Sarah Ann LAWSON, who was born January 10,
1824, Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky. William and Sarah moved to Iowa in 1865 where they settled on the
W. H. GRAY farm located northwest of New Chicago. They moved to Cowlitz County, Washington, in 1873, and later setted on
a homestead near Pine Grove, Union County, Oregon. William died on June 21, 1892, Elgin, Union County, Oregon. Sarah
died in September of 1903, Elgin, Oregon. William Harrison and Sarah Ann (LAWSON) GALLOWAY were the parents of:
1) William A. GALLOWAY, born 1844, IN
2) John Tilford GALLOWAY, born 22 Aug 1848, Owen Co. IN
married Sarah MERRITT, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel MERRITT.
3) Mary Elizabelle (GALLOWAY) BUSSEARS
born 22 Jun 1850, Spencer, Owen Co. IN; died 23 June 1933, Elgin, Union Co. OR
New Chicago experienced its greatest growth in 1875, which continued to its best year in 1879. During this time, residents
included Frederick A. "Fred" BROWN, postmaster; George I. and Isabel B. (GRAY) MAXFIELD family; C. S. "Claud" PALMER family; Bud NOBLE and son James who owned a
general store from 1875 to 1879; John HARTNAGLE who owned the blacksmith shop; Dr. L. P. THAYER, M.D.; F. S. RHODES who owned a general store;
Mrs. Margaret SCOTT; Captain Thomas E. SCOTT who owned the shoe shop; and the CAMP Brothers, physicians who owned the drug
store. The John SCOTT schoolhouse was located east of the settlement.
Before the arrival of the railroad into Decatur County, merchandise was shipped to Ottumwa in Wapello County. Livestock
was driven to Ottumwa for shipment to the east. In 1871, the railroad came to Leon, twenty miles to the east of New
Chicago in Decatur County. Merchandise was shipped to Leon, then brought overland to New Chicago.
When the Leon, Mount Ayr, and Southwestern Railroad was completed, the town of
Kellerton was laid out in 1879 a little more than a mile east of New Chicago. Then, the village of New Chicago moved
bodily to Kellerton. Some of the buildings were moved intact while others were torn down and rebuilt in Kellerton. Frederick
Avery "Fred" BROWN was appointed as Kellerton's first postmaster on November 24, 1879, commissioned by
Postmaster General D. M. KEY.
The John MILLER family arrived from Illinois in 1865. They settled on 120 acres of land which they began to improve
and farm long before there was a settlement in the vicinity. Mrs. MILLER's son by a former marriage, John HALE, was the
father of Will HALE, born on February 1, 1875, and believed to be the first child born in New Chicago.
John M. GUILD and his family returned to Muscatine County, Iowa, around the year 1872. George I. MAXFIELD bought the GUILD
land. Around the year of 1873, George I. MAXFIELD married Miss ROBINSON, a resident of Happy Hollow neighborhood located
southwest of Tuskeego. They set up housekeeping in the GUILD/GALLOWAY log cabin.
C. S. "Claud" and Arch PALMER arrived in 1870 with their mother, initially from Ohio and after several years of residency in
Durant, Cedar County, Iowa. They built a frame house east of the post office. Genial, industrious, and well-educated, Claud
PALMER's talents were always in demand. He began clerking in New Chicago's stores, then taught school which he pursued until
his election as Ringgold County recorder in 1894. Claud married Mary BROWN, daughter of Frederick Avery "Fred" BROWN.
Claud PALMER was born in 1851,and died on February 21, 1934.
Arch PALMER returned to Cedar County, Iowa. Mrs. PALMER, mother of Claud and Arch, died at her home located six miles
south of Mount Ayr.
John HARTNAGLE arrived from Chicago, Illinois and built a blacksmith shop. It is believed that
New Chicago was nicknamed, and eventually named, after him. Besides his blacksmith shop, John HARTNAGLE operated a woodwoorking
shop. J. F. SCOTT entered into an apprenticeship with HARTNAGLE in 1878, and continued on with the shop three years
after it was moved to Kellerton in the fall of 1879. J. F. SCOTT purchased the business which was still in operation in 1931.
John HARTNAGLE eventually moved to Decatur County, Iowa. He was married to Lois GREEN, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Miles
GREEN. Lois (GREEN) HARTNAGLE died in March of 1944, Des Moines, Iowa, with interment at Glendale
Cemetery, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. John and Lois (GREEN) HARTNAGLE were the parents of four children:
1) Ruth HARTNAGLE, married L. G. CLUM of Lamoni IA
2) Tena HARTNAGLE, born 1887; died 1968
interment Crown Hill Cemetery, Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co. CO
married Dr. E. SHAFFER of Delta, CO
3) Addie H. HARTNAGLE, died at age of 12 years, May 1905, a few days after her father
4) Chester H. HARTNAGLE, born 1893, Kellerton IA
Veteran World War I, Sergeant with the 88th Division, Headquarters Troop
manager of Chamberlain Hotel, Des Moines IA
married Elsie FARRAND, born 1901,Des Moines IA; died 10 Feb 1995
interment Masonic Cemetery, Des Moines IA
John HARTNAGLE died the last of April in 1905, Leon, Decatur County, Iowa, with interment at Catholic Cemetery, Leon.
Dr. L. P. THAYER was New Chicago's first physician. Dr. THAYER built a store building east of George MAXFIELD's residence
and on the south side of the road. Here, he established his office.
F. S. RHODES arrived in New Chicago in the spring of
1875 and rented the store portion of Dr. THAYER's building. F. S. RHODES had formerly been a Captain with the Confederate
Army during the Civil War. He brought with him what he called a 'bankrupt' stock of goods which he sold at auction. He
added to his stock which included dry goods, groceries, hardware.
The THAYER building was moved to Kellerton in either
1879 or 1880, and was relocated on Decatur Street. Joe EURITT later bought the building and used it as a residence. The
building was moved again in 1901 to make room for the Ringgold County Savings Bank. The Kellerton Globe observed
on April 21, 1901, "The workmen began digging the drain and excavating for the foundation of the new bank building the
first of the week. Joe EURITT moved his building into the street several days ago, and yesterday SHANER and DAVENPORT
hitched their enging to part of it and hauled it across the track, which attracted considerable attnetion."
NOTE: Joseph EURITT was born in 1854, and died in 1926, with interment at Maple Row Cemetery,
F. S. RHODES married Captain Thomas E. SCOTT's daughter, Mrs. [Ruth (SCOTT)] Al COLE, pictured at right.
For a while, Ruth owned and operated a millinary shop in the SCOTT building which had been re-located in
Kellerton. The RHODES moved to Argona, Kansas, and later moved
to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
When F. S. RHODES was operating his store in New Chicago, he lost a $20 gold piece in the yard.
A thorough search failed to find the coin. Ivan DANIELS bought the land, and in 1920 he plowed up the gold piece.
Captain Thomas Empson SCOTT, the son of Lemuel and Penelope SCOTT, was born on January 1, 1813, in Virginia. When he
was nine-years-old, the family moved to Highland County, Ohio, where he grew to maturity. He married on May 24, 1832, to
Elenor MOORE, the daughter of Joseph and Hannah MOORE. Elenor was born on October 12, 1812. Captain Thomas and Elenor
(MOORE) were the parents of eight children:
1) Louisa Jane SCOTT, born 22 Apr 1833, Highland Co. OH; died 28 Dec 1891, Kellerton IA
interment Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
married 19 Mar 1851, Highland Co. OH Robert B. JOHNSON
2) Joseph Leonard SCOTT, born 15 Dec 1834, Highland Co. OH; died 17 Mar 1913
interment Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
married 04 Dec 1863 Ellen M. EDMONDS, born 29 Jul 1848, Chillecothe Co. OH
3) Margaret SCOTT, born 10 Feb 1837, Clarksville, Clinton Co. OH; died 08 May 1910, Kellerton IA
interment Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
married James William SCOTT, born in Ohio, no relation
4) Sarah Elizabeth SCOTT, married James ASHFORD
5) Matilda A. SCOTT, born 02 Mar 1842; died 22 Aug 1850
6) Penelope E. SCOTT, born 14 Feb 1844; died 12 Oct 1848
7) Ruth SCOTT, married 1st Al COLE, a railroad man; married 2nd F. S. RHODES
8) John Albert SCOTT
born 02 Oct 1848, Clinton Co. OH; died 06 Jul 1930, Beaconsfield IA
Musician Company A 116th Indiana Infantry Volunteers, Civil War
married 01 Dec 1880 Marietta SLOAN
Marietta (SLOAN) SCOTT, born 15 Mar 1857, Millersburg IL; died 24 Mar 1946
John A. and Marietta were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
From Ohio, the SCOTT family, which included their children and their families, moved to Tippecanoe County, Indiana,
prior to the break-out of the Civil War. At the age of 50 years, Thomas E. SCOTT
enlisted with Company A of the 116th Indiana Infantry Volunteers, serving as the regiment's Captain.
After the War was over, the entire SCOTT family moved to Pratt County, Illinois. Accompanied by their four married
children, Joseph L., Margaret M., Ruth, and John Albert, the SCOTTS moved to Miami County, Kansas, during the early
1870's. [Sarah Elizabeth, married to James ASHFORD, remained in Illinois.] After their farm failed, partly due to
a grasshopper plague and other trials, the SCOTT family moved to Ringgold County, Iowa, arriving in the summer of
1875 and settling near New Chicago.
Two years later, Captain SCOTT built his shoe shop and conducted a flourishing cobbler business, making and reparing shoes and
boots. After Elenor (MOORE) SCOTT's death on May 1, 1879, Captain SCOTT moved to Kellerton in the fall of 1879, and built a
small two-story frame house on the east side of Ringgold
Street where he continued in the shoe business. He was a member of the G.A.R. William McDONALD Post 435, Kellerton, Iowa.
Captain SCOTT was the first mayor of Kellerton, appointed to this office
upon the incorporation of the town in December of 1881. Captain SCOTT was also a justice of the peace for many years.
During the latter part of June, 1894, Captain SCOTT became too feeble to live on his own. He lived out the rest of his
life with his son, Jack F. SCOTT, moving across the street to his son's residence. Captain SCOTT died on July 12, 1894, and
was interred beside his wife at the Merritt Cemetery.
The SCOTT building, which had been painted red, burned down along
with the livery barn directly north of it on April 1, 1904.
THE MARGARET SCOTT HOME, RE-LOCATED IN KELLERTON
Hilda BROWN, Margaret's granddaughter, at left
Roberta (SCOTT) BROWN DeVOSS, Margaret's daughter, at right
Mrs. Margaret M. SCOTT, daughter of Capt. Thomas E. and Elenor (MOORE) SCOTT, arrived in New Chicago in 1876. She built a home west of the
HARTNAGLE blacksmith shop, using lumber that had been hauled from Leon. The house was moved to Kellerton in the fall of
1879 and re-located on Ringgold Street. Margaret and James SCOTT were the parents of seven children:
1) John Franklin "Jack" SCOTT, born 29 Nov 1857, Buck Creek IN; died 09 Oct 1932, Kellerton IA
married 10 Dec 1882 Matilda SKINNER, born 1857; died 1922
Jack and Matilda were interred Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, IA. I.O.O.F. marker at gravesite.
2) Theodora A. SCOTT, born 30 Mar 1860, IN; died 10 Jan 1867, IN
3) Charles "Andrew" Perry SCOTT, born 04 Apr 1863, Buck Creek IN; died 03 Apr 1943, Fullerton NE
married 1891 Sadie SIDDERS, born 28 Sep 1871 Mount Ayr IA; died 14 Nov 1943, Fullerton NE
Andrew and Sadie were interred at Fullerton, Nebraska
4) Estella E. SCOTT, born 30 Mar 1865, IN; died 30 Nov 1865, IN
5) Roberta Blanche SCOTT, born 22 Mar 1867, Transitville IN; died 08 Apr 1913, Kellerton IA
interment Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
married 1st 24 Dec 1885, Kellerton IA to R. L. BROWN, son of Fred A. & Sarah (KNOWLES)
married 2nd 13 June 1909 Jarvis DeVOSS
6) Harrison Empson "Harry" SCOTT, born 12 Jan 1870, Lafayette IN; died 05 Mar 1955
married 03 Sep 1893, Mount Ayr IA to Cora Ellen BURGESS, born 1870; died 16 Jun 1956
Harry and Cora were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
7) Joseph Wellington "Joe" SCOTT, born 23 Dec 1872, Buck Creek IN; died 01 Aug 1956
married 16 Jan 1907 Bell M. CECIL; born 1875; died 04 Oct 1919
Joe and Bell were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton IA
In 1875, Dr. Matt Americus CAMP arrived in New Chicago and built a two-story frame building, located on the south side of
the road opposite of John MILLER's residence. Soon Dr. Marshall "Marsh" CAMP joined his brother, formerly residing in
Wayne County, Iowa. Both of the CAMP brothers were graduates of the Medical Department at the State University (present-day
Iowa State University) at Iowa City. With no other drug store within miles, the CAMP Brothers did a thriving business.
They were later joined by their sisters: Carrie CAMP; Laura, Mrs. R. EMERSON; Delia CAMP; Ida CAMP; and Flora, Mrs.
The CAMP Brothers moved their drug store to Kellerton in 1880, re-locating on the northeast corner of Block
17 which faced Decatur Street. The building was later moved further south to make room for a larger building, and was
later destroy during a fire.
Dr. Matt Americus CAMP was born on January 4, 1850, Pike County, Illinois. He came to Iowa
when he was quite young. Dr. CAMP did not marry. He was killed in an automobile accident approximately three miles northeast
of Kellerton on December 17, 1916. Interment was made at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Iowa.
DR. MARSHALL and MRS. ARABELLA (HAYS) CAMP
Dr. Marshall "Marsh" CAMP was born on December 28, 1852. He married on May 23, 1880 to
Arabella HAYS, and the couple had three children, Cora (1881-1955), May who died in infancy, and Carroll, born in 1892.
After Arabella (HAYS) CAMP's death at the age of 42 years and 7 days on
March 9, 1897, Dr. CAMP remarried on September 5, 1898 to Harriett A. SHIELDS, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. SHIELDS
of Decatur County, Iowa. They were the parents of two children, Helen, born in 1900, and Vivian, born in 1902. They moved to western Kansas, then returned to Decatur City, Decatur County, Iowa, in 1902,
where Dr. CAMP continued his medical practice. Dr. CAMP died of Brights' Disease at his home in Decatur City, Decatur County, Iowa, on August 14, 1914, with interment
at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Iowa. Harriett A. (SHIELDS) CAMP was born July 16, 1871, and died on September 7, 1963, with interment
at Woodmansee Cemetery near Grand River, Decatur County, Iowa.
During August of 1870, lumber was hauled from Leon, Decatur County, Iowa, and a one-roomed 20x24' schoolhouse was built
on the SCOTT farm, thus was known as the John SCOTT School. There were usually about 30 pupils attending this school. The
schoolhouse also served as a community center for public meetings, spelling bees, Sunday School and church services. The
literary society met at the schoolhouse. Those who taught at the John SCOTT School were Miss Harriet TIPTON from southwest
of Tuskeego and who taught until around 1866; Mrs. Lizzie FAULKNER from the WION neighborhood; Miss Lucinda SCOTT,
a sister of John SCOTT; Miss Flora [Laura?] GUILD, a daughter of John M. GUILD; Albert BEARD; Arthur L. LESAN; George M. LESAN
of Lesanville; Miss Fay MOFFATT who later married Reverend C. TILBURY; Miss Estella HATCH; Miss Laura CAMP,
daughter of Dr. Matt Americus CAMP and future wife of Richard EMERSON; John DRAKE, and Ed FRENCH.
John M. GUILD and John SCOTT were the school's superintendents.
The literary society held their meetings at the
John SCOTT Schoolhouse every Thursday evening. Even during the winter months, those who attended filled the little
schoolhouse, which is amazing considering how sparsely the vicinity was populated at this time.
The schoolhouse was moved to the site of the Corn Stalk School, District No. 6, Athens Township.
Baseball captured the attention of
many of Iowa's early residents. Soon town teams were formed and they played against one another. New Chicago's baseball
team was named the Chicago White Sox. Members of the team included Bill BROWN, Lewis "Lew" BROWN, Perry DAVENPORT,
Truman GREEN, Frank HIGGINS, Tom HIGGINS, Andy SCOTT, Jack SCOTT, Barney STRINGLEY, Lyman STINGLEY, and several others.
History of Athens Township, by Arthur L. Lesan, 1931
PERKINS, H. E. "New Chicago" Annals of Iowa Iowa Historical Society. Des Moines. July, 1933.
Kellerton Iowa: A History to 1891: 1881 -1981 Pp. 6-15.
SENGER, Clyde M. Pioneer GALLOWAY Families in the Pacific Northwest: 1852 to about 1880 2007.
WPA Graves Survey
American Civil War Soldiers' Database, ancestry.com
Compilation by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009