Some Early Settlers of the Shannon City, Grant Township Area
(from the Shannon City Centennial Book)


Asa Ames, Samuel Ruby, John Shockey, John Thompson, John Coin and A. J. Snyder were among the early settlers, prior to 1860.

The early 1870's: McKee, Oakes, Stryker, Wolfe, Ide, Beall, Botleman, and Richards families moved Into the township.

The 1876 Colby Book lists Simpson, Ballantine, P and G Bilderback (1868) and Hardy owning land where Shannon City now stands.

Jefferson Township had a population of 527 in 1860 and 734 In 1870.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The James Boys
     "Two brothers named Beall, businessmen in Shannon City, Iowa, were raised as neighbors of the James boys from a family near Excelsior Springs, Missouri - 50 miles straight south from Shannon City. When Frank James was acquitted at the second
trial he was not allowed to stay overnight outside of Missouri. He became a cigar salesman. Occasionally he would ride up to Shannon to visit the Beall brothers, who gave us boys advance notice when Frank James was coming. So we boys talked and
shook hands with one of the famous outlaws. He was a tall handsome man who went back to Missouri on the afternoon train.
     We had heard father and others tell about when the James and Younger rode through our country on the way north to their last robbery in Minnesota.
     Also Sam Beall had told us he did not blame the boys for what they became.
     I would suggest you read a complete history of Civil War in Missouri and draw your own conclusions."
From notes of Edward Heaton -1887-1978

Heaton Remembered
Ernest J. Heaton was born August 12, 1860 in Jefferson County, the son of Edward Bamford and Elizabeth Jane Mulford Heaton and moved to Ringgold County In 1869. He married Ida Adelle Osmond on December 24, 1883, and they were the parents of Foss (Feb. 10, 1885); Edward (June 3, 1887); Lois (May 2, 1892); and John (April 22, 1897). Ernest John and family moved to (Grant Township In 1892. John accidentally shot himself May 15; 1912.
E. J. served one term as State Representative in 1912. The only bill he Introduced was the state normal school (Junior college) at Creston, but this was defeated. Later, the Junior college system would be established.
     E. J. also helped to organize "Land O'Lake" creameries. He died In 1939.

Edward Banford Heaton (1832-1910) was an author, writer, poet, minister and surveyor in Ringgold County. He married Elizabeth Jane Mulford and they had seven children. He married a second time to Adeline Howell and they had three children. He is burled in Knowlton Cemetery.
Rev. Heaton built the house In Jefferson Township that was called "House of Six Gables".
     Foss (1885-1968) and Lillie George Heaton (1884-1978) lived where Ken Scherer's live In 1987. They were known for their large flower gardens.
Former Postmaster
Francis Merle Purviance has celebrated her 95th birthday. She lives In a nursing home In Nevada. She graduated In the class of 1910 from the Shannon City High School. Members of her graduating class was Verna Baker, Paulo. Wilson, Hazel
Jones, Lena B. Griep, and Rolle Abel. E. B. Delzell was principal.
Mercle worked In the post office (postmaster for 10 years, 1914-1924), Coop, and Bank.
The Plummer Purviance family had moved into their house on January 8, 1922. They moved to Collins, Iowa in the late 1930's. The house was moved to Collins, Iowa on January 8, 1941.
Plummer Purviance died In April 1966 at age 95. He was a former assistant postmaster at Shannon City.
The Purvience house was built In 1921. The house was just south of the Christian Church and was and later moved to Collin, Iowa.
Remembering ...
Mercie Purviance, Mabel Coate, Mrs. Arch Gray and Mrs. Ernest Edward went to Clear Lake for the Epworth League in August 1916.

Pitkin Sisters - Early Shannon City
CHLOE ROBERTSON
Chloe Pitkin was born in January 1879 near Grove Chapel, one of eleven children, to Frank and Rose Pitkin. She spent her life In Union County, with the exception of two years in Ringgold County.
     Robert and Chloe were married February 20, 1901. They purchased a farm two miles south of Arispe where they lived and farmed for forty-seven years. Robert served two terms as Union County supervisor, several years as township clerk, and was a. member of the Arispe School Board. Chloe was a long time active member in the W.S.C.S. of the Arispe Methodist Church. They retired and moved to Arispe in 1947 where they lived until 1964, when because of failing health they moved to an apartment in Afton. Robert passed away in September 1965 and Chloe in August 1970. They had one son, Earl.
     Chloe (Pitkin) Robertson was able to attend her 70th year reunion of graduation from Shannon City High School in –May 1966.

HATTIE E. PITKIN
Hattie E. Pitkin was born in Kent, Iowa April 15, 1881, the fourth child of Frank and Rose Joy Pitkin. Her grandparents, James and Mary Jane Mosby Joy, had come to Kent to make their home in 1871.
The Pitkins, which would later be a family of eleven, parents, four boys and 5 girls, made their home in Kent, where Hattie spent her toddler years and started school in a one room schoolhouse with Mr. I.F. Wright as her teacher.      
The Pitkin family moved to Shannon City when Hattie was about seven years old. The move was made in horse and wagon, and they lived in the first house east of town. Frank Pitkin was a cattle dealer and rode a horse to work daily.
    Hattie graduated from Shannon City High School with the class of 1899, the other member being Roy Miller. Hattie stayed at home for a few years, and then decided to go into the teaching profession. Her first duties were at the Lone Ridge School in Pleasant Township, boarding with Exy Lake (grandmother of Rebecca Kessler) for the two years she taught there. She taught 3 months in Platte Township. She taught at several different rural schools in Union County, one at Nevinville, and ten years at Arispe. Her last ten years of teaching was spent with the 8th graders at Coin.
In 1969 Hattie and Bryan moved to Afton where they lived and Bryan died. Hattie remained in the home until 1983 when she became a resident of the Afton Care Center.
Frankie Morgan, whose husband Glen operated a gas station in Shannon City for years, was a sister. Hattie died on December 28, 1986 at the Afton Care Center.
She had lived past her 87th year since graduating from Shannon City High School.

Dr. F. W. Loomis died on October 2, 1950 at 92 years of age at his home in Shannon City. He had lived in the community since 1880.
Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church with Rev. W. L. Hawn of Dunlap officiating. Burial was In Shannon City Cemetery.
Dr. Loomis was survived by two children,   Mrs. Victoria Melody of Creston and Dr. Fred Loomis of Macksburg. Mrs. Loomis died in 1945.

    Dr. W. D. Christy died August 2, 1916. He was buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Afton, Iowa.  
   Dr. Christy first settled In Union County at Afton in 1880. He went to Shannon City in the early years, and later to Diagonal and Creston.
He was survived by his wife and children, Phillip S. Christy of Des Moines, Fred Christy of northwest Iowa, Mrs. C. Baughman of Diagonal, Mrs. B. W. Coen of Creston, and Mrs. Clarence McConnell of Creston.
     Dr. Christy has the honor of being the first mayor of Shannon City.

 

Shannon City Home Page