ROBERT CRAIG, farmer and stock-raiser, Iowa Township, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1815. He is a son of Robert and Catherine (Johnston) Craig. The parents of our subject were married in that country, where were born their three eldest childrenAndrew, Thomas and Betty. The last-named died on the passage to this country and was buried in the ocean. After their settlement in Pennsylvania, William Hugh, Mary, Catherine and Robert were born, and three of these sons are yet living. Hugh wedded Jane A. Jenkins, now deceased, and resides near Athens, Ohio; William wedded first, Nancy Crawford, and after her death, Mary Murphy; they reside in Gurensey County, Ohio. The others were all married and left families. The father of Robert Craig died in Pennsylvania, and his wife spent her declining years with her daughter Catherine, in Ohio. She died in Hocking County, of that State, at an advanced age.
Our subject was married to Miss Sarah Godlove in 1841, in Perry County, Ohio; she was the daughter of Adam and Susannah (Tattman) Godlove), the former was born in Virginia, and his wife in Maryland. They were married and lived in Ohio, where they were early settlers of Perry County. They reared the following children: Sarah, Josiah, Bartholomew, Lizzie, Samuel, Catherine, Mary, Maggie and Benjamin, all of whom were born in Ohio. John was born in Iowa after the family came to this State in 1843. Samuel was a soldier in the 10th Iowa, and enlisted at the beginning of the war. He fell at the battle Winchester, pierced by seventeen balls. The family moved to Iowa with teams, and settled on a small farm west of Yatton. There was only one log house there at that date, and it has long since been torn down.
Mr. Craig later purchased a small farm northeast of Riverside, where the old people remained until 1882, when they removed to Riverside, where the aged wife and mother died in 1883, and her husband one year later. They had reached a ripe old age, both being long past their threescore and ten. they sleep side by side in the cemetery at Riverside. When Robert Craig, Jr., and his wife came to Washington County, they rented land for a few years, and then purchased their present farm. The were poor in purse, but proud in spirit, and were as generous as they were enterprising. They are the parents of a large family, consisting of ten children: Catherine, the eldest, died in Ohio; then came Hugh, who was a brave soldier of the 9th Iowa, and died while in the service; leaving his father's home when eighteen years old, his mother never saw her first-born son after bidding him good-bye. Josiah was the next in order of birth; he wedded Mary Barnes, and resides in Colorado. William married Eliza Jennery and resides in Linn, Iowa; Deweitt is married, and resides in Colorado; George H. is single and resides with his parents; Rachel wedded William P. Tansey; Mary J. is the wife of James Carr; Eva wedded Joseph Allen, and Caroline married Willard Tattman. The children are all well and happily married, and the parents have grown from the ownership of a team in the
early history of this county, to be the owners many broad acres, well stocked and finely improved.
The kindness of Mr. Craig made him the paymaster for hundreds of dollars for those whom he sought to aid, but long since this loss has been retrieved. Mr. Craig is now in his seventy-third year, and his wife in her sixty-third year. Both are in fair health, and the family are highly esteemed by the good people of Washington County, with whom they have made their home for so many years.
MARY A. RICKEY, widow of William Rickey, resides upon section 33, Lime Creek Township. She was born Nov. 20, 1832, and is a daughter of Ira A. and Nancy Parker, both of whom were natives of Ohio. They emigrated from Ohio and came to this country at an early day, Mr. Parker going first to Burlington, and then to Brighton, where he taught school during the winter following, and then made a trip up through the northern part of the county, but thought there was not timber enough for settlement. However, he afterward returned and settled upon English River. He was united in marriage with Miss Nancy Edmondson in 1831. Our subject was their first child, and when she was about fifteen years old the family took a trip through Texas, remaining there one year, and then went to Arkansas, where they remained one year, and then coming back to Washington, making the trip with teams.
Mr. Parker had improved a number of farms in Lime Creek and English River Townships, buying raw land which he would improve and then sell at an advance. HIs death occurred in 1868. He was a minister in the Church of Christ, and was in the front rank of every movement; was a very radical Republican, and took a great interest in all affairs intended to promote the country's welfare. When the great Rebellion broke out, although he was too old himself to enter the service, he gave consent for his five sons, and with a father's blessings saw them place their names upon the roll of defenders of their country's flag. Charles, Elmer, Isaac and Sylvester Parker were members of the 30th Iowa Infantry. Charles died at Pittsburg Landing from sickness incurred in the service; Isaac was wounded twice and returned home. Nelson was a member of the 10th Iowa Infantry. William was in the 7th Iowa Infantry, and was badly wounded in the battle of Belmont, was taken prisoner, exchanged, and afterward sent to Keokuk, but felt that he must again go to the front, and returned to the army at Vicksburg, where he was killed.
The early life of our subject commenced when Iowa was but yet a Territory. The first school she attended, of which she has any recollection, was held by a Mrs. Corkins, who taught and lived in the same building. Everywhere through out the boundaries of Washington County, look which way you will, one can see as fine farms as are to be found in any county in the State. But a few years ago, where we now find beautiful homes and splendid improvements, there was one broad, uncultivated tract of prairie. It is the agricultural class to which is due the wonderful advancement which the country has made in the last forty years, and as a member of this class, and a representative land-owner, and as an energetic follower of this vocation, we take pleasure in announcing the names of Mr. and Mrs. Rickey. The mother of our subject is still living, making her home with the subject of this sketch, and Oct. 3, 1887, was eighty-two years old. She is well-preserved old lady.
Our subject was united in marriage with William Rickey, April 22, 1863. He was born Sept. 1, 1835, in Pickaway County, Ohio, and was the son of John and Ruth (Dick) Rickey. Mr. and Mrs. Rickey were the parents of eight childrenFinley E., Millard L., Della I., Charles E., Rosa M., Ida O., Winfield S., and one who died in infancy. Mr. Rickey was a man who took an active part in all public matters; was a member of the 18th Iowa Infantry, and served nine months, when he was discharged on account of ill-health. He was greatly interested in Church work, and was a devoted Christian, becoming a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of thirty years. He was a practical farmer, and was a gentleman of high social standing, a genial friend and neighbor, and a kind and indulgent parent and husband. Politically, he was a Republican. He was a member of the G.A.R.
of Wellman, Iowa. Mr. Rickey died March 14, 1884, and in his death Washington County lost a citizen of much worth. The home farm of Mrs. Rickey consists of 250 acres in one piece, and ninety-six in another, altogether 346 acres of fine land, with good farm buldings. Since the death of her husband she has taken entire charge of the farm, and thus far her good success proves her a competent, careful manager. She is giving each of her children a good education, and some of them are preparing for teachers.
WILLIAM P. TANSEY, farmer and stock-raiser, Iowa Township, was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, in 1839. He is the son of Absalom and Catherine (Holland) Tansey. Absalom and his wife emigrated from Morgan County, Ind., to this State in 1838, and the first year was spent near Burlington. They removed to this county when our subject was but a few months old, and located upon the farm now owned by John Heck, purchasing a small farm, but removed to Muscatine County near the river, ten years later. A short time after ward the family returned, and two years later, purchased his original farm, upon which the father lived and died. His wife still survives, in her eighty-eighth year, and resides with her son William. Only a half score of families in this township can claim a longer residence and an earlier residence than our subject. When his father came, and in fact, for several years, all the flour, groceries, etc. were procured at Burlington. Iowa City at that date consisted of two or three log houses, and much belied its name, although since becoming populous, and at one time the territorial capital.
The first residence of the Tansey family was a log cabin, long since torn down. In it their youngest daughter was born. They were the parents of eleven children, the two eldest of whom, Joel and Delilah, were born and died in Indiana; John A., the husband of Edith Thompson, is a resident of Hardin County, Iowa, where he is engaged in farming; Pleasant is deceased; Anderson, who wedded Mary J. Meredith, now deceased; is a resident of this county' Jessie is also deceased; Steward is the husband of Fanny Knaus, and resides at Lone Tree, Johnson Co., Iowa; Margaret wedded Josiah Godlove, a resident carpenter of Riverside; James D. married Charlotte Hammond, and is a shoe-maker of Kalona, William P., our subject, and Mary, deceased, were born in Iowa.
Our subject was married, in 1862, to Margaret Younkin, a daughter of Samuel and Catherine Younkin, of whom an interesting sketch appears elsewhere. She bore one daughter, who died in infancy. Our subject was one of the brave men who enlisted early at the call for troops during the late war, and was a member of Co. D., 24th Iowa Vol. Inf., of which regiment he was a Corporal in his company. He saw much service, and was first in the western department under Grant, during which time he he participated in the battles of Ft. Gibson and Champion Hills, where he was wounded, but in a few days was again able to rejoin his regiment. The command was then transferred to the eastern department, and under Gen. Phil Sheridan, the battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek, Va., were gallantly fought; in the last engagement, a rebel bullet pierced his ankle and he was carried off the field. He was wounded Nov. 15, 1864, and was discharged Feb. 1, 1865, on account of disability. The old wound still reminds him of his last battle, where bullets flew thick and fast, but the cause for which he fought was gloriously triumphant, and the union of the States through the agency of such men has been preserved. The death of his young wife and her infant daughter occurred while he was in the ranks. Little did the young soldier think, when bidding her farewell, as his knapsack and gun were shouldered, that he should never again see her face, but leaving her in the care of fond parents he marched to the front and did his duty like a man.
After his return from the army, farm life was commenced, and in 1866, his wedding to Rachel Craig was celebrated. She is the daughter of Robert and Sarah (Godlove) Craig, who are now residents of this township. The married life of Mr. and Mrs. Tansey was begun and has continued under favorable circumstances. In 1876, Mr. Tansey purchased his present farm, and has since made it his home. Children have come to bless their union; the first was Huldah, now deceased, whose birth was followed by that of Mettie, William, Tracey, Sadie, Lulu and Fern. The eldest daughter living has received a liberal education, and has been a teacher in the schools of Washington County, and is now engaged as teacher for the fall and winter terms in District No. 6, Sharon Township, Johnson Co., Iowa. William and the younger children are with their parents, whose only object in life is to educate and give them a fair financial start in life.
For several years Mr. Tansey has served upon the School Board, and the cause of education has been no loser from his services. In social circles, the family are highly esteemed and among old settlers, the brave soldiers, and the good people of this county, this brief sketch will be warmly welcomed.
WILLIAM DEUKER, section 22, Lime Creek Township, is a farmer and stock-raiser. He is the son of Peter and Ann (Lotz) Deuker, and was born in Germany on the 24th of February, 1830. His parents were also natives of Germany, and were the parents of five children: George, a resident of Baltimore, Md.; Margaret, yet in Germany; Catherine, also a resident of Baltimore; William, our subject; and Peter, a farmer in Polk County, Neb. The father died in 1842, and the mother in 1843. They were good Protestant people.
The early life of our subject was spent in Germany, working upon a farm and attending the common schools until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when, in company with Peter Schraide, he set sail for America, his friend paying both fares. The voyage was made in forty-eight days, and arriving in America young Duker found himself without money and $30 in debt for his passage. He engaged to work on a farm near Niagara Falls, and by the fall of 1855 had earned enough to pay back the $30, and had also saved $56 with which he started for Iowa. He settled in Washington County, purchasing eighty acres on section 22, Lime Creek Township, of Samuel Hankie. The purchase price of his land was $410, and to partly pay for this he worked for Mr. Hankie one year for $144.
In the winter of 1857, Mr. Deuker built a small log cabin on his farm, where he brought his young wife, to whom he had just been married. Her maiden name was Catherine Steiner, and she was the daughter of Peter and Emma (Henn) Steiner, both natives of Germany. Mrs. Deuker was also a native of Germany, but came to this country with friends in 1846. Her parents afterward came to this country, and both lived and died in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Deuker have become the parents of three children: Anna, born Aug. 29, 1858, died April 6, 1876; Mary, born Nov. 2, 1859, died March 22, 1861; and Henry William, born Feb. 7, 1864. They have given their son a good education.
Mr. Deuker has from time to time added to his original purchase until he now owns 400 acres of land under a high state of cultivation, and twenty-six acres of timber. He has a good story-and-a-half residence, with a fine barn 42x94 feet, with twenty-foot posts and a stone basement. As has been already stated, he landed in this country $30 in debt, and all that he now owns is the result of his own industry and good management. For some of his land he paid as high as $35 per acre. He is a man respect by all; is proud of his citizenship in the American country, loves her flag and honors her laws.
DAVID TWINAM, a retired farmer, residing on section 9, Crawford Township, was born in Washington County, Pa., in 1804. He is the son of John and Margaret (Dickson) Twinam, both of whom were natives of Adams County, Pa. They were married in the same county, and later went to Washington County, where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of ten children, James wedded Sarah Goff, who became the mother of a large family; Samuel married Sarah Armstrong, who reared a family of three daughters and one son' Margaret died unmarried; Effie is a resident of this county, making her home with our subject; John became the husband of Hannah Wham; David, William, Rebecca, and Mary, now the wife of
Edwin Henry Neven, none of whom reside in this county; Nancy married James Patterson, of Virginia; they had several children. William also died unmarried in this county.
Our subject is perhaps the best example of a self-made man in this township, beginning life for himself upon a capital of fifty cents. He left his father's house when twenty years of age, and the first two years worked upon a farm at $7 per month. He was then employed by James and Joseph Sharp, who were contractors for and builders of many of the pikes in Belmont and Guernsey Counties, and two years later began cutting staves on the locks for the Ohio Canal, at Fairfield. While working in this town his marriage to Miss Rebecca Trout, a daughter of Abram and Jane Trout, was celebrated. Abram was a native of Virginia. His wife died before our subject was married to his daughter. Their other children were Noah and Margaret. Noah married Margaret Keiger, and Margaret became the wife of John McKelvie. Both of these families yet reside in Union County, Ohio.
The first year after his marriage, David Twinam farmed upon the land owned by his wife's father in Licking County, Ohio, whre their first daughter, Margaret J. was born. After the expiration of the first year, the young couple moved to Union County, Ohio, where David Twinam purchased 125 acres which he cleared partly and then sold at a good profit, and in the autumn of 1854 the family came to this county. Upon the Union County farm, in the old cabin built by David in the wild woods, the remainder of their childrenEffie, Matilda, Abram and William D. were born; the last-named gave his life in defense of his country's flag. He was a member of Co. I, 25th Iowa Vol. Inf. HIs death occurred at Vicksburg, in 1863. This noble boy was but eighteen years of age when he donned the blue, and bade his loving mother and indulgent father farewell. Little thought the lad that he was bidding a last adieu to parents, brothers and sisters, but with spirits gay, he marched to the front, prepared to battle in defense of the flag so dearly loved by the patriotic sons of Iowa. Exposure beneath the fierce rays of a Southern sun brought with it disease that soon terminated his existence. Before his father, who hastened t see him, could reach the hospital, his boy was laid to rest in that Southern clime beside many other noble men who had gone forth in defense of our Union. Matilda was the first child married, her husband being Wilson McDonald Moore, the eldest son of Uncle William Moore, whose history will be found elsewhere. They are the parents of five children who are livingEffie J., Martha, Iva, Matilda O., and William. The family are nicely settled near the home of our subject. In 1867, Abram, the manager of the grand farm of his father, became the husband of Mary E., daughter of Francis and Louisa Feguson, both of whom are deceased. they were natives of Tennessee, and Mrs. Twinam was born in McNairy County, Tenn. She is the mother of Ada, William D., David B., Margaret R. J., Lorenzo L., Effie E. and Alfred H., all born on the farm of their grandfather, in this township.
The first house built on the land is yet standing, and serves as a barn. It has been replaced by a handsome country residence, and the finest barn in Crawford Township was erected in 1887. The roof required 60,000 shingles, and the arrangement is modern in every respect. The beautiful groves and majestic trees lining the course leading from the road to the house, were planted by Mr. Twinam, and every improvement has been made by himself and son, as, when the purchase was made in 1854, not a tree had been planted, but forty acres had been broken and fenced. Until his eighty-fourth year David Twinam was one of the most indefatigable workers, strict in all his business relations, and a Christian in every sense. HIs wife, who stood bravely by his side when his struggle for a home was begun, was laid to rest in the village cemetery, Aug. 31, 1880, having lived to rear a family who are an honor to any country and in whom any mother would feel a just pride. Her Christian virtues were instilled into her children by both precept and example, and herself and husband were for many years active members of the Presbyterian Church at Crawfordsville.
In 1886 Mr. Twinam was attacked by a disease which localized itself in his ear, and for several
months has caused his confinement to the house. In his infirmity he has the most kindly sympathy of a large circle of acquaintances. His mature years are blessed by the attention of dutiful children, and the prattle of small granchildren make the manor ring with their shouts of glee. His eldest granddaughter, Ada, is well educated, and intends teaching as her profession. We welcome the history of this good man and his family as a valuable chapter in this volume.
OTHO WILSON is engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 36, Lime Creek Township. He was born in Alleghany County, Md., April 27, 1824, and is the son of O.O. and Henrietta (Bassford) Wilson, who were also natives of Maryland, and who were the parents of ten children: S.B., a farmer in Alleghany County, Md., Alfred, who died April 16, 1887; Hugh, a cabinet-maker in Trenton, Md.; Susanna, who married Solomon Rice, and both are now deceased; Otho, the subject of our sketch; Martha C., the wife of Hiram Waslford, also a resident of Alleghany County, Md., Jackson, deceased; Johnathan, a farmer in Bedford County, Pa.; Sally, the wife of Henry Mills, a farmer also living in Bedford County, Pa., and Jemima, deceased. The father died about 1847. He had been visiting his oldest son, and was taken sick on his way home, dying a few minutes after his arrival. His mother died about 1865, after seven years of constant ill-health, which she bore without a murmur.
The subject of this sketch made his home with his mother until he was twenty-seven years of age, when he was untied in marriage with Miss Tellitha Robertson, a daughter of George and Dorcas (Dickens) Robertson, who were also natives of Pennsylvania, the wedding ceremony taking place Jan. 16, 1848. After their marriage the young couple moved to Bedford County, Pa., where Mr. Wilson purchased a farm, and where he remained until 1855, when he came to Iowa, landing in Iowa City on the 6th of May. He remained in Iowa City a little more than three years, and then removed to Ralls County, Mo., but not liking that State, and on account of sickness, he came to Washington County, arriving here Oct. 3, 1859. Renting a farm of Michael Hayes, he continued to cultivate the same for seven years, when he purchased 135 acres where he now lives. This land he improved, the shade and fruit trees which now exist in abundance, all being planted by his own hands.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of five cildren: Harvey, deceased; Judith E., the wife of George Hayes, a farmer in Franklin Township; Jackson, deceased; Annabel, the wife of Joseph Calheuse, a cabinet-maker in Hamilton County, Kan.; and Martha, residing in Washington. Mrs. Wilson died April 1, 1863. She was a woman greatly loved by all who knew her. For his second wife, Mr. Wilson, on the 4th of January, 1866, wedded Mrs. Mary M. Poland, the widow of Simon Poland, a member of Co. I, 13th Iowa Vol. Inf., who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, and from the effects of which he died. His body was interred in the Sunny South. To them have been born six children: Elizabeth, born Oct. 26, 1866, died Nov. 20, 1876; Mary J., born June 27, 1869, is now engaged in teaching in Washington County; Edith F., born May 6, 1871, is fitting herself for a teacher; Burton, born July 29,1 872, died Nov. 12, 1876; Otho E., born July 24, 1875, and Eliza I., Dec. 27, 1876. By her first husband, Mrs. Wilson had two children, Ida Leoni, born July 21, 1860, married Jan. 18, 1883, George Whitstine, a farmer in Lime Creek Township; John L. Poland married Miss Belle Allen, in January, 1883, and after an illness of several months, died Aug. 1, 1883, leaving a young wife and many friends and relatives to mourn their loss. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was twenty-six years of age at the time of his death. Suitable resolutions of respect were passed by Dayton Lodge No. 147, A.F. & A.M., of which Mr. Poland was a member.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have taken pride in giving their children a good education, thus preparing them for useful lives. Mr. Wilson was the only one of a family of ten children, to early leave the home of his parents, and to seek his own fortune in another State. As already stated, he first settled in Pennsylvania, from which he came to the great State of Iowa. He feels that his brightest hopes have been
realized, in thus coming to this beautiful land. In the evening of life, he is enjoying a competency, which has been earned by his own exertions.