J. A. CARSON is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 12, Oregon Township. He is a native of East Tennessee, and was born May 16, 1841. His parents were Alexander and Jane (Weir) Carson, whom came to Washington County, Iowa, in 1856, the former dying the spring of their arrival, at the age of sixty-one years; the later survived him until 1875, dying at the age of seventy-five years.
The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, and came to this county in company with his parents. In 1855 he settled on his present farm, which he owns in partnership with his brother Andrew. In 1878 he was united in marriage, in Washington County, Iowa, with Miss Sarah J. Hancher, the daughter of Robert and Catherine Hancher, the former a native of Winchester, Va., and of English descent, and the latter a native of Harrison County, Ohio, and of German descent. They now reside in Louisa County, Iowa. Mrs. Carson was born in Harrison County, Ohio, April 9, 1844. One child was born unto them, Robert S., who is now deceased.
When Mr. Carson came to Washington County he was but fifteen years of age. His father soon afterwards dying, left him and his brother to care for their widowed mother. As dutiful sons they
went cheerfully to work, and before many years had one of the best farms in Oregon Township. The farm consists of 200 acres of wild land, all of which is well improved and under a high state of cultivation. When they settled upon their farm the country for miles around was still in a wild state, few persons having the courage to settle upon the prairie. Now all is changed, there being not an acre of land but what is under fence, and in the great change that has been made our subject has borne his part. He has lived to see the country well settled in every part, and the citizens of Washington County as prosperous as those of any other county in the State. Mrs. Carson has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for thirty-one years.
HON JOHN F. McJUNKIN, deceased, was at one time one of the best known citizens of Washington County, Iowa. He was born in Washington County, Pa., on the 23d of September, 1830. His parents were John and Catherine (Snyder) McJunkin, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of German origin. HIs father came from Ireland in his infancy, with his parents, and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania, where he was brought up to agricultural pursuits, and in 1835 removed with his family to Richland County, Ohio, where he opened a farm in the woods and spent the remainder of his life.
John F. was the youngest of a family of eight children, all living to maturity. He was raised like the generality of farmer boys at that day, attending the log school-house a few weeks in winter, and working on the farm in summer. He was a bright, ambitious youth, fond of books and study, and early resolved to obtain an education if within his power. In the winter of 1851 he taught a term of common school at $12 per month, and boarded around with his pupils. With the money earned in this way he defrayed the expenses of five months' tuition at Hayesville Academy, Ashland Co., Ohio. During the following winter he taught again at the rate of $16 per month, and spent the following summer at Martinsburg Academy, Knox Co., Ohio. The next winter he taught the grammer [grammar] school at Bucyrus, Ohio, and spent the following summer again at Martinsburg. The winter following he taught a public school in Martinsburg, and studied Latin with a class in the academy, under the direction of the President, Dr. Hervey.
Our subject continued in this way until 1856, teaching public schools in winter, and attending the academy in summer. In the fall of 1856 the Chair of Mathematics in the academy unexpectedly became vacant, and he was appointed to fill the vacancy, and for six months taught a class of seventy-five students in algebra and higher mathematics. In the spring of 1857 he returned to Richland County, Ohio, and commenced the study of law, receiving some books and also some information from the Hon. William Johnson, of Mansfield, Ohio. The winter of 1857-58 he spent in the Martinsburg Academy, partly as a student and partly as a teacher. This ended his academic studies, and in the summer of 1858 he entered as a student the law office of R. C. Hurd, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in August of the same year.
In the winter of 1858-59 Mr. McJunkin removed to Washington, Iowa, where he resided until his death, engaged in the practice of his profession. He soon took a leading position in his western home, and had abundance of patronage from the outset. In 1863 he was elected to represent his county in the State Legislature and served in the Tenth and Eleventh General Assemblies, being the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, and of the Committee on Corporations and Elections, and serving on the Committee on Federal Relations. He was one of the most active and useful members of that body. At the close of the Eleventh General Assembly, his legislative services terminated, he refusing again to be a candidate, to the disappointment of his constituents. In 1868 Mr. McJunkin was tendered the nomination for Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Iowa, but declined. In 1876 he was nominated by the State Republican Convention for the position of Attorney General of the State, to which he was elected in the autumn of the same year, by a majority of 60,000 votes. For many years he
held the position of attorney for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad at Washington. He was also the first attorney for the old Mississippi & Missouri Railroad co.
Mr. McJunkin was married, on the 25th of May, 1864, to Miss Eliza Jane, the daughter of James M. Bolland, of Martinsburg, Ohio, a lady of fine tastes and domestic habits, whose life has been devoted to making her home happy and attractive. They have three children livingSarah, John Howard and Maryall being trained for lives of honor and usefulness. Mr. McJunkin died Jan. 1, 1883, and the death of no man in Washington County was ever more sincerely regretted.
WILLIAM M. SHERWOOD, farmer, was born in Ross County, Ohio, May 11, 1824, and is the son of Joseph and Mary (Braden) Sherwood. Joseph and his wife were born in Washington County, Pa., and emigrated to Ohio about 1813. He owned land in Northern Ohio, but after living several years in Washington and Logan Counties, emigrated in 1837 to Buchanan County, Mo., being one of the first families to go there. they moved into the "Platte Purchase," where Indians were plentiful, and for many months, as our subject expresses it, they lived on "hog and hominy." Five children were born in Ohio, who afterward resided in Missouri: John B., who wedded Polly Ray; Samuel, the husband of Eliza Rice; Lettie, the wife of John Estis; Caroline, the wife of William Johnston, and our subject.
The parents remained during their lifetime in Missouri, the wife dying in 1854, and her husband being killed by Quantrell's guerillas during the great raid in 1862. Joseph Sherwood was an avowed Abolitionist, and was both zealous and bold in expressing his sentiments. After Quantrell had taken his stock and everything of value, he then deliberately shot to death that aged man, then in his eighty-seventh year. At the same time an aunt of our subject, Letty Braden, who for years had been an invalid was dragged from her bed and killed by the same marauders, and her body was found upon the floor, the miscreants having even taken the bedding upon which her emaciated form had lain.
In 1860 William Sherwood went to Des Moines County, and engaged in farming. When the cry "to arms" was sounded, he was one of the first to enlist in Co. K, 14th Iowa Vol. Inf., and in all the bloody engagements participated in by his regiment he was found at the front. The thunder of the guns at Fts. Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, and at Island No. 10, made the hot blood of our brave soldier boil with enthusiasm, and where bullets flew fast and thickest at the siege of Vicksburg he stood in the front. He seemed to lead a charmed life; his comrades fell about him, but he was spared to see the victory of the Union soldiers, which forever settled the issues for which they fought and fell. His eldest brother, John Sherwood, served in the Confederate army three years and three months under Gen. Price, and in the same bloody conflict did the brothers wage merciless war against each other. Both escaped unharmed. Samuel was also a Union soldier, and after fighting valiantly for the preservation of the Union, was assassinated by a squad of bushwhackers while standing in his own door. Thus were men treated during the dark and bloody days of the war for daring to speak their sentiments.
Since his return from the army, Mr. Sherwood has never regained his usual good health. Exposure brought with it disease, which yet manifests itself, leaving him the wreck of a once perfect typical manhood. In 1865, his marriage to Miss Catherine, daughter of Mrs. Margaret Gray, of Des Moines, was celebrated. Samuel Gray, her husband, was during his life a farmer, and the father of Catherine; Martha, who wedded William Rankin; Sarah, the wife of Newton Ray; William B., who was a soldier in the same company with our subject, and who is now a resident of Lompock, Cal. He was for fifteen months in a rebel prison at Camp Tyler, Tex.
The vocation of William Sherwood was always a farmer. Only three years ago he became a resident of this county, but nevertheless, he is a most welcome one. He is honored not only as a man, but as a soldier and a gentleman of whom none speak
except in praise. Their children are six in number: Martha A., a resident of California; James R.; John B., deceased; Leonard G., Sarah M. and Rebecca. The last was born in this county. The oldest daughter is in business in San Diego, Cal., and the others remain with their parents. Energetic, honest to a fault, patriotic, and full of good deeds, this man is ranked high among the citizens of the county. He is a Republican.
HON. ROSWELL S. MILLS, attorney at law, Brighton, was born in Canton, Hartford Co., Conn., April 16, 1817. He is the son of Harlow and Faith A. (Spencer) Mills, both of whom were natives of Connecticut. HIs father was originally a Whig, and was a great admirer of the Adamses, Webster and Clay. In later days he was a Republican, casting his vote for Abraham Lincoln for President. In 1819 he took his family to Trumbull County, Ohio, where they lived until 1846 and then moved to Denmark, Lee Co., Iowa. Both parents were members of the Congregational Church, and both died in Lee County. They had five children, three of whom are living: Oliver, of Lewis, Cass Co., Iowa; Harlow, fo Newton, Harvey Co., Kan.; and Roswell, the subject of this sketch.
When the family moved to Trumbull County, Ohio, the subject of this sketch was but two years old. There he grew to manhood and received his education in the common schools, supplemented by a partial course at the academy. In 1841 he came to Iowa and settled in Keokuk County, where he spent one year, and then returned to Ohio, and in Ashtabula County, that State, married Lucetta Stone, a daughter of James Stone, one of the prominent farmers of that county. She was born in Ashtabula County, Jan. 4, 1817. Soon after their marriage they came to Iowa, and Mr. Mills made a claim to 160 acres of land in Keokuk County, and there engaged in farming, following that occupation up to 1864. In 1842 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and held that office four years. In 1864 he was elected a member of the Tenth General Assembly, and was one of the active members of that body. For a number of years, as opportunity was afforded him from the labors of his farm, Mr. Mills read law and subsequently entered the office of Samuel Clinton, of Fairfield, spending some time under his instruction. After passing a creditable examination he was admitted to the bar and licensed to practice in all the courts in the State. In 1872 he settled in Brighton, where he has since resided, engaged in the practice of his profession.
Mr. and Mrs. Mills became the parents of five children, three living: James S., of Keokuk County, Iowa; Faith A., the widow of H. M. Hughes, now of Colorado; Ella, the wife of Thomas R. Eckley, of Sigourney, Keokuk Co., Iowa. the deceased were Randolph and Mary. Mrs. Mills died at Brighton, Nov. 8, 1884. She was a member of the Congregational Church, a sincere Christian woman, a kind wife and loving mother. Mr. Mills was again married, July 17, 1885, to Miss Nancy A. Gilliland, who was born near Iowa City, May 24, 1839, her parents being among the earliest settlers of the State of Iowa.
Mr. Mills is truly one of the pioneers of this part of the State. In the forty-six years of his residence he has been active in everything tending to promote its interests. No man in Washington County stands higher in the estimation of the people.