Iowa American History and Genealogy Project-Pocahontas County

Biographies from the "Pioneer History of Pocahontas County"
Robert E. Flickinger, 1904

BOYD, JAMES, after whom the Boyd school district, No. 4, was named, was a native of Ireland, where he married and raised two sons, Arthur and William. On coming to this country he lived several years in the Province of Ontario, Can., and in 1866, located in Lizard township, where he and Arthur secured homesteads on sec. 34, and William on sec. 36. All of them left the county about the year 1874.

BREITENBACH, JOSEPH, was sheriff of Pocahontas county from Jan. 1, 1874, to Sept. 13, 1878. After nearly five years of public service in this capacity he met with an accident while getting a load of hay on the prairie near Pocahontas that resulted in his death that day. The court at its next session, Hon. Ed R. Duffie, presiding judge, on the recommendation of the bar, had the following resolution spread on the public records: “That in our business relations with the deceased during many years, we have found him a fearless, active and efficient officer; that we sincerely mourn his death and tender our sympathy to his bereaved family."

He came in 1867 from Wisconsin and located on the SE1/4 Sec. 22. He left a wife and three children. His wife later married August Miller, lives in Lizard township and still owns the old homestead.

BROWN, JOHN, DAVID, ARCHIBALD, HENRY AND JOSEPH, five brothers and their father, coming from Canada in 1866, secured homesteads on sections 36 and 26. John died on his farm in 1870. In 1873 the others left the county, their father returning to Canada, Archibald, Henry and Joseph going to the state of Washington.

BROWN, EDWIN V., who in 1868 located on Sec. 12, a brother-in-law of John M. Brown, is now living at Fort Dodge.

BROWN, JOHN M. (b. 1836), owner and occupant of 400 acres, principally on Sec. 18, has been a resident of the township since 1876. He is a native of New York state, where he married in 1856 and located on a farm. Dec. 30, 1862, he enlisted as a member of the 2d New York heavy artillery, and continued in the service until the close of the war. He participated in the battles at Pittsylvania, North Anna River, Talapotany Creek, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Ream Station, Hatchers Run, Five Forks, South Side R. R., Amelia Springs and Round Fort. He was taken prisoner by the Confederates April 7, 1865 while making a charge on Round Fort, Virginia, in which 575 men were lost in a few minutes, but was recaptured two days later when Lee surrendered. After keeping a hotel couple of years in Shenango county, N. Y., he again located on a farm where he remained until 1876, when he came to his present location on Sec. 18, where he commenced with 80 acres which he was the first to occupy and improve. He has "grown up with the country" by becoming a good leader in the work of improvement. As the years have passed he has added 320 acres to the original purchase and the buildings erected are rated as the largest and finest in the township.

His large dwelling house was built in 1891, soon after the erection of the barn. The buildings are protected by an ample grove and he is now enjoying the fruit from a good orchard and a plot planted in small fruits. He is an aggressive and successful farmer and his value as a citizen has been recognized. He has served more years as a trustee than any other citizen of the township, and was coroner of the county in 1880-81.

Six of his family of nine children are living.

Orville (b. N. Y. 1859), in 1881 married Elizabeth Dawson of Calhoun county, lives on Sec. 18, and has eight children, Edna, Sidney, Sarah E., Robert, George, Floyd, Ernest and Ivan.

Clayton (b. N. Y. 1868), in 1891 married Mary A. Smith, lives in Lizard township, and has two children, Clarence and Lilly.

George G. (b. N. Y. 1870), in 1893 married Emma L. Anderson and lives at Manson.

Lillian, a very successful teacher, in 1896 married Edward P. Trenary and lives in Grant township.

Rose A., a teacher, in 1901, married Ernest Barger, lives at Cedar Falls.

CALLIGAN, JOHN (b. 1822), who was the first settler to effect the location of his family in Pocahontas county, on the SE1/4 Sec. 2, Lizard township, is a native of Galway county, Ireland. In 1817 at 25 he came to St. John's, New Brunswick, and the next year to Maine, where in 1849 at Ellsworth he married Bridget, sister of Michael Broderick. He remained there until the spring of 1856, when he brought his family to Fort Dodge, where he arrived May 13th. This trip was one he never forgot. He came on the cars as far as Dubuque, which was the terminus of the railroad. He paid the driver of a stage coach $45 to take his wife and four children to Fort Dodge, and then he set out on foot and walked the entire distance of 200 miles. The only bridge west of Dubuque was at Cedar Falls over the Cedar river. Usually he had to wade or swim the streams. Arriving at Fort Dodge he pushed on 20 miles further west where his brother-in-law, Michael Broderick, was awaiting his arrival, and by his help he was enabled to locate his family on the frontier in the Lizard settlement before those who had taken claims before him. These facts suggest the courage and indomitable perseverance of the man. He did not shrink from a task because it was difficult. If the wilderness was wild before him he knew why he had traveled all the way from Maine to the Lizard and without any indecision or hesitancy began to lay the foundation for his future home and fortune. In this effort be encountered many discouragements, but rising above them, achieved good success. He possessed the faculty of utilizing to good advantage the resources of nature that for many years were free around him. As the years passed he enlarged and beautified his home, increased his original farm to several hundred acres and occupied it until 1894 when he moved to Gilmore City, where his estimable wife, also a native of Ireland, died at 80 in 1901.

His house was used for the elections and meetings of the township officers during the year 1865. He served as a trustee of the township in 1862, was a member of the first school board, and the first school district was named in his honor.

His family consisted of five children:

Edward M. (b. Maine, 1850), who taught the first school in Fonda, in 1878 married Mary Lane and located on a farm. He served several years each as clerk, trustee and justice. A few years ago he moved to Dakota City where his wife died in 1898 leaving a family of eleven children.

Mary A. in 1872 married M. J. Henneberry, lives in Humboldt county and has six children.

Thomas J. (b. Maine, 1853), in 1878 married Mary J. Crilly and their only child died in infancy. He has a splendid farm in Lizard township which he occupied until a few years ago, when he moved to Gilmore City where he has since been engaged in the real estate business. He was a member of the board of county supervisors 1884-86.

Ellen F. in 1880 married P. R. Powers, lives at Lohrville and has a family of nine children.

Maggie (b. Aug. 11, 1857), the second child born in Pocahontas county, in 1884 married Morris O'Connor, who died the next year leaving one child. In 1889 she married James Whelan, lives at Emmetsburg and their family consists of eleven children.

CAREY, JAMES C. , who in 1870 located on Sec. 26, was quite successful and became the owner of 240 acres. He raised a family of several children, two of whom are married, and served four years as a trustee. In 1899 he moved to Fort Dodge where he died in the fall of 1901.

CARSTENS, JACOB (b. 1819), resident of Lizard township since May, 1865, is a native of Germany. In 1847 be came to Wisconsin and after engaging in railroad construction three years he returned to Germany. In 1854 be came to Clayton county, Iowa, and after engaging in the land business six years be again returned to the fatherland. In 1861 he returned to Clayton county and in 1865 secured a homestead of 80 acres on Sec. 22, Lizard township. Soon afterward he bought 320 acres more on the same section at $3.00 per acre. Accompanied by his nephew, Diederic Hoefing, he began life on this homestead in a sod shanty that lasted three years, and he devoted his time and attention to dealing in land rather than farming. The following incident related by his longtime neighbor and fellow countryman, Carl Steinbrink, gives one a good introduction to Mr. Carstens. In 1866 when Carl Steinbrink and Fred Kelsow arrived at Fort Dodge and were informed that a homesteader by name of Carstens owning 400 acres in the locality to which they wanted to go, was then in that town, they felt very sure they would be able to complete their journey to Lizard township in his wagon. So when they were introduced to each other, Steinbrink very confidently said, "You are in town with a team, ain't you?" "No," said Carstens, "I don't have a team, all I've got is a cat." That surprised Steinbrink and he quickly exclaimed, "Why man, what kind of farming are you doing out there? I want to go out and see it." "Well," said Carstens, "I am not a farmer, I am buying land and selling it." After a little further explanation, the three men, Carstens, Steinbrink and Kelsow, started with their luggage and walked to Sec. 22, a distance of 20 miles.

As a dealer in lands he has become quite successful and is now the happy owner of more than 2,000 acres in Lizard and adjoining townships. His grove of walnuts and maples, containing fifteen acres, is one of the largest in the township. He has been very contented and happy living alone and utilizes his spare moments by reading good books and caring for a few cattle and fowls. He is now over 80 years of age and is quite hale and hearty for a man of his years. He has not taken much interest in politics. A few years ago he presented the Lizard Lutheran church with a good bell and organ. He is an honest, upright citizen and is very highly respected by all who know him.

CARSTENS, JOHN, cousin of Jacob, married Lena Carstens. In 1867 he came with his family to Lizard township and located on the NW1/4 Sec. 22. He improved and enlarged this farm to 320 acres, and at the time of his decease at 65 in 1899, left a family of eleven children, four of whom are married. He was a good farmer and served six years as a trustee. He was one of the founders of the German Lutheran church.

CARSTENS, GERHARD B., in 1867 came with his brother, John H, to Lizard township and located on Sec. 30. He has been very successful as a farmer and is now the owner of 320 acres which he has improved with good buildings and groves. He married Elizabeth, sister of Diederic Hoefing and has raised a large family.

COLLINS, MICHAEL, (b. 1821; d. 1898), member of the first board of county supervisors in 1861, became the wealthiest and in some respects the most prominent of the Lizard pioneers. His axe was one of the first to ring in the woods along the Lizard and his stalwart form was among the first to startle the Indian in Pocahontas county. He was a generous, honorable man whom to know was to become his friend. He participated in the organization of Lizard township, and also of Pocahontas county. He served as the first clerk of Lizard township, took an intelligent and active part in the management of its affairs and made a good success of his own business. He served three years 1862-64, as county treasurer and recorder and the next year as county treasurer. Walter Ford, his friend and neighbor more than forty years, said of him: "In those early days people in search of homers were directed to Collins' grove where they found Michael Collins always willing to assist them and welcome them under his roof. He took them over the prairies in his wagon and showed them the choicest homesteads. He was often called from his work several times a day, when Lizard creek was high, to ferry travelers across it in his dugout which was hewn from a basswood tree. His services were always gratuitous."

When he left Pittsburg, Pa., for Iowa in 1855 he was accompanied by his younger brother, Hugh (single), and James Hickey. Soon afterward he was followed by his elder brother, Patrick and their cousin, Roger Collins. Michael lived on the farm until 1877. He then moved to Manson and in 1891 to Clare, where he died in 1898.

His family consisted of three sons, Patrick and James, who died young in Ireland, Bridget, who cared for him after his retirement from the farm and Michael T.

COLLINS, MICHAEL THOMAS, (b. Dunbeg, Ireland, 1844), at 12, in 1855, became a resident of Pocahontas county. In 1865, he married Fannie Haire, a teacher, and after two years' residence in Fort Dodge bought a farm of 200 acres on sec. 12, which he has improved with good buildings and still occupies. He has served as trustee and assessor in the township, and, as a county supervisor in 1887-92, was the last representative of Lizard township on that board. His wife in January to May, 1865, taught the second term of school in the Calligan district in the log cabin of Dennis Connor. She was a refined, cultured christian woman whose life, as a wife and mother, was a gracious benediction in the home and family circle. She endured patiently the trials incident to pioneer life, the rearing of a large family, and in 1900, passed to her reward.

His family consists of nine children one having died in infancy.

Michael Joseph (b. 1866), in 1894 married Annie Cain, and lives at Clare, where he is engaged in land, insurance and auctioneer business. He has one son, Harold David, and one daughter. Fannie. William John (b. 1868), graduate of the law department of the Iowa State University in 1895, began the practice of law at Clare that year. Sept. 20, 1897, he established the Clare Examiner and continued as its editor until 1900. He is now devoting himself to the practice of his profession and has a promising future before him.

Fannie in 1900, married M. J. McMahon.

Thomas (b. 1869), Elizabeth M., David J., Maggie, Bridget C. and John Herbert are at home.

Maggie and Bridget have been attending the Convent schools at Fort Dodge and Clare; and seven of them, Michael J., William J., Elizabeth, Fannie, Maggie, Robert and John have met with good success as teachers.

Catherine Kinnerk, daughter of the wife of Michael Collins, Sr., came with her to the Lizard settlement in 1855. She married Thomas J. Calligan of Webster county and raised a family of two sons and four daughters. She now lives on her farm south of Clare, her husband having died in 1882.

COLLINS, PATRICK, (b. 1819, d. 1897), elder brother of Michael, after his marriage to Nora Green in Ireland in 1853, came to Pennsylvania and remained four years. In the fall of 1857, with wife and three children he located on the SE1/4 sec 12, Lizard township, and the next year secured the NE1/4 sec. 24. After a residence of five years in this county he sold his farms to his brothers, Michael and Hugh Collins, and moved to Webster County, where he died at 78 in 1897.

COLLINS, HUGH, (b. Ireland 1833; d. 1889) younger brother of Michael came to America in his youth and located at Pittsburg, Pa. In 1854 he came to Iowa and to the Lizard settlement the next year in company with James Hickey. They were the first two settlers in the Lizard settlement, Hickey locating on the SE1/4 sec. 13, Lizard township and Collins on the SW1/4 sec. 18, opposite in Jackson township. In 1871 he bought the farm of his cousin, Roger Collins, containing the Collins grove of natural timber on sec. 24, and it is now owned by his son, Michael J. Collins, of Clare.

COLLINS, ROGER, cousin of Michael Sr., coming to America at 32, lived in New York and Ohio till 1856, when he located on a preemption on the NE1/4sec. 23, 160 acres, Lizard township. Later he also secured the N1/2 NE1/4 sec. 24. In 1871, after a residence of 14 years he moved to a farm near Fort Dodge and later to that town where he died at 78 in 1900. His family consisted of one son, who died about 1888, and six daughters, all of whom are married, namely, Mrs. M. English, Mrs. Matthias Hanrahan of Clare, Mrs. Frank Hogan, Mrs. Frank McNamara of Fort Dodge, Mrs. Robert McNamara of Belmond and Mrs. Thomas F. McCartan of Pocahontas.

CONNORS, MICHAEL, who bought the claim of Dennis Connor, whose vacant cabin built in 1856, was used for school purposes in the Calligan district 1863 to 1866, came to Lizard township in the summer of 1857 with wife and one child and located on the SW1/4 sec. 1. After two years he moved to Independence where he died in 1862. His wife held the farm until her death in 1890, and it is now owned and occupied by her daughter Alice. Their family consisted of four children, Michael and Mary, who have died, Margaret and Alice.

CRAHAN, PATRICK, (b. 1832; d. 1898), founder of the Crahan Place on sw1/4 sec. 8, Lizard township, was a native of Clare county, Ireland, and was left an orphan at nine. Going to the Lowlands of Scotland at fifteen he found employment as a ditcher, and during the next six years earned his passage money to America. At 21 he came to Elmira, N. Y. and engaged in railroad construction. In 1854 he married Margaret McMahon, and soon afterward located at Winona, Wis., and then in Iowa along the Illinois Central R. R., successively at Julian, Manchester, Elk Run, Iowa Falls and in the spring of 1869 in Lizard township. Here he secured the homestead right of J. J. Bruce and began to farm. He returned to the railroad, however, when he suffered the loss of crops by the grasshoppers or other causes. Although he worked on the railroad more than twenty-five years he proved an aggressive and very successful farmer. As the years passed he added 460 acres to the homestead, making 620 acres in the Crahan Place, which he made a beautiful home.

His wife in whose honor the Rolfe Catholic church was named "St. Margaret," died in 1895. He died at 66 in 1898. His family consisted of eleven children of whom seven are living.

Michael Crahan.

Mary in 1894, married Michael Fitzgerald, located on sec. 1, and died in 1895.

Thomas is owner of a farm of 120 acres on sec. 18. In 1891 he married Maggie Bradigan.

John in 1897, married Sadie Tierney and occupies a farm of 120 acres on secs. 6 and 18.

Nellie, in 1897, married Patrick Conners, and lives on a farm near Barnum. Katie, in 1896, married Wm. Tierney, and lives at Rolfe.

Bridget and William are at home. Patrick died at 20 in 1896, and Maggie at 17, in 1899.

DONAHOE, JAMES, (b. 1814), one of the early pioneers of Lizard township, had a family of nine children, of whom the five eldest came with him to Pocahontas county in 1856. Two of these Charles and Mary died during the seven years of his residence in this county.

Thomas is cashier of the State Bank at Clare.

Peter M., owner and occupant of 320 acres on sees. 36 and 25, Lizard township, is the only member of the family now living in this county. He married Ellen Condon, the first teacher in Lizard township, and she died in 1879, leaving two children, Joseph, who lives on the farm with his father, and James, a clerk at Clare. Later he married Annie Carey, and their family consists of Thomas, Mary, Richard, Elizabeth and Annie.

Rose Ann, (see p. 163). Mary Jane is at home. Charles, the youngest, is a member of the firm of Donahoe & Wood, general merchants, Clare. He married Agnes Calligan and has one child.

DONAHOE, JOHN, who, in 1865, located on sec. 14, after a few years removed to Lake township, where he died. His wife is dead also. Their family consisted of four sons, Michael, an invalid, John and William, who are residents of Lake township, and Wallace, who lives at Lincoln, Neb.

FORD, WALTER, (b. 1833; p. 159), one of the most prominent and successful pioneers of Lizard township, and honored by a seat on the Board of County Supervisors 1874 to 1876, was a native of Ireland. At the age of 17 he came to America with his elder sister, Ellen ”Mrs. Patrick McLarney” and niece, and located at Ellsworth, Maine, where he found employment in the pineries and remained four years. In April, 1856, he came to Pocahontas county and located a claim on the NE1/4 sec. 13, Lizard township. In 1859 he went to Louisiana, and the next year to Philadelphia, where in May, 1860, he married Mary, daughter of John Garvey. In 1861, returning to Fort Dodge and finding employment, first as a teamster and later as a contractor, he remained there until the spring of 1870, when he again located on his claim in Lizard township which, in the meantime, had been occupied by Michael O'Shea and William Price. He improved this farm with good buildings and occupied it for 24 years. His wife died in 1882, and in 1884 he moved to Clare where he still resides.

In making his first trip to the frontier in 1856, he paid the Stage Company at Dubuque $14.00 for his passage to Fort Dodge. When he arrived at Iowa Falls the Iowa river, which had no bridge or ferry, was overflowing its banks, and the stage driver informed the passengers they would have to wait there until the river could be forded before they could be carried to Fort Dodge. Three of them Messrs. Ford, Haney and A. T. Blackshire demanded the return of a part of their fares, but were refused with a repetition of the previous announcement. These three men, crossing the river in a skiff, walked the remaining 60 miles, carrying their valises, and received their trunks three months later.

On his return to the farm in 1870 he again began to take a prominent part in the management of the public affairs in the township and county. He received a good education, was a neat penman and no one enjoyed more fully than he, the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. He served as County Supervisor three years, as Assessor three years and as a Justice eleven years. He has been a member of the Catholic church from his infancy, was a liberal supporter of the Lizard church and furnished the outline of its history that appears in this volume.

His family consisted of nine children:

Walter P., in 1894, married Elizabeth, daughter of John O'Neil, and occupies the old home farm on sec. 13. He has taught several terms of school and engaged two years in general merchandise at Pioneer.

Thomas Edward, married Catherine Malie, of Clare, and died at 27 in 1890, leaving one child, Edward.

Celia Agnes, married James Cody, a painter, lives at Clare and has two children, Josie and John.

Lillian E., in 1892, married John F. Dalton, editor and proprietor of the Manson Democrat, and has four children, John, Mary, Lillian and Alice.

Mary, at the home of her father in Clare, died at 34 in 1900.

John F., in 1893, married Nellie Howard, lives in Fort Dodge where he has served six years as Deputy Auditor and is now serving his second term as Auditor of Webster county. He has two children, Howard and Mary.

Joseph, a resident of Gowrie, is owner of a farm of 160 acres in Jackson township, Webster county.

Catherine, married Maurice O'Hearne, a blacksmith, lives at Clare and has one child, Walter.

Lottie, married Wm. J. Wood, a general merchant, lives at Clare and has two children, Hubert and Eulalia.

GORMAN, JAMES, preempted 120 acres on sec. 12, sold his interest to Thomas Cotter before he made any improvements, and the latter sold it to Michael Collins for his son, M. T. Collins, its present owner and occupant.

HELMICK, HENRY, who in 1869, secured a homestead on sec. 28, died about 1874, leaving a family who still occupy the old home.

HENRICK, JOHN, who in 1865, secured a homestead on sec. 4, still owns it and lives in Manson.

HOEFING, DIETRICK, owner and occupant of 720 acres on sees. 22 and 23, is a native of Germany and a nephew of Jacob Carstens. In the fall of 1866, he came and joined his uncle, who had preceded him in Lizard township one year, and they lived together during the next three years in a sod shanty that was built on the line between their homesteads on sec, 22. In 1869, the sod house was replaced by a frame building 12x18 feet that still forms the main part of the home of his uncle. In the fall of 1870 he returned to Germany and in February, 1871, he married Catherine Peters. Accompanied by his wife he returned to his homestead and erected thereon a good house, 16x24 feet. His progress and development since has kept pace with the growth of the country. Commencing life in humble circumstances he is now the happy possessor of a large estate. During the years of 1873-8 the grasshoppers took from him all the capital he brought with him. These losses were very discouraging, but instead of yielding thereto, he put forth a noble endeavor to retrieve them in the best possible manner, and the success achieved became another practical illustration of the truth of the old adage, that, “Patience and perseverance will perform great wonders." He learned how to practice economy in the school of necessity. He has succeeded well in raising cattle and hogs, and by investing his surplus annual income in Pocahontas county land, he has found the latter a very profitable investment. Four hundred of the 720 acres now possessed were bought during the period 1890-94. He has provided for his family the facilities for a good education and has been an efficient member of the St. John's Lutheran church since its organization.

His first wife died in 1872, leaving one child, Catherine, who is still at home. In 1873, he married Nettie Webber and their family consisted of eight children, Dietrick; Annie, who in 1894, married Wm. Shroeder and lives on sec. 13. Bellville township; Henry, Mary, Frederic, Frank and Nettie.

KLINGBIEL, GUSTAV, came from Wisconsin in 1867, with Julius Sell and located on sec. 6. He is now the owner of 160 acres that are well improved and he has raised a large family.

JOHNSON, JOHN H., who in 1866, located on sec. 10, and served as Justice from 1867 to 1874, had a good team and did a great deal of breaking for the other settlers in Lizard and some of the neighboring townships. He is now living at Fort Dodge.

JOHNSON, DANIEL AND ISAAC W., who in 1866, located on sec. 10, were brothers. Isaac died some years ago and Daniel is now the owner and occupant of a fine farm of 160 acres on sec. 16.

KELLEY, CHARLES, (b. 1817, d. 1890, p. 157) one of the most persevering and successful of the early pioneers of Lizard township, was a native of Ireland. Locating on sec. 12 in 1856, he improved his claim and occupied it until his decease in 1890, a period of 34 years. He was a man of noble impulses and possessed considerable native shrewdness. He added acre to acre in the early days when land was cheap and ranked second among the early pioneers in the number of acres possessed. He was a devout member of the Catholic church, an enthusiastic leader among the democrats and very nearly secured the erection of the first court house on his own farm. He raised a large and intelligent family of sons and daughters, to all of whom he afforded the opportunity of receiving a good education. His wife (b. 1834), who is still in the enjoyment of good health, and several of the younger members of the family still occupy the substantial log house built in 1856 in a beautiful grove of native timber along the North branch of Lizard creek.

His family consisted of nine children:

Henry (b. 1856), in 1889 married Agnes McKee and is now engaged in the drug business at Anselmo, Neb.

Charles Joseph (b. May 6, 1858), the first boy born in Pocahontas county, after graduating from college at Keokuk, and in 1892 from the Rush Medical Institute, Chicago, has since been engaged in the practice of medicine at Burlington.

Annie married Maurice Shine, lives on sec. 18, Lake township, and has three children.

Michael is owner of a farm of 120 acres near the old home.

Mary married John Karnes, lives at the old home and has three children, Charles, Mary and Rhoda.

Susanna married Daniel O'Hearn, occupies a farm of 120 acres at Clare, and has three children, Martha, Joseph and Homer.

Rhoda married Michael Keenan, a blacksmith, lives at Fort Dodge and has two children, veronica and Robert.

Martha, a dressmaker, lives at Fort Dodge, and John, the youngest, manages the home farm.

Anna, Mary ; Susanna, Martha and Henry spent more or less time teaching school. Edward, the fifth, died in childhood, and James E. died at 17, in 1885.

KENNING, CHARLES, a resident of sec. 29, from 1870 to 1877, was a native of Germany, where he married Mary Shroeder. Coming to America he located first in Wisconsin and remained there until 1870. He was very successful in raising stock and his farm of 160 acres was very soon increased to 240 acres. He is now a resident of Manson.

His family consisted of five children: Augusta married Rudolph Kelsow a native of Germany. They occupy a farm of 200 acres on sections 19 and 30, and have four children, Martha, Otto, John and William. Martha married Frederic Weigert, owner and occupant of 160 acres in Bellville township.

John, who is engaged in the hardware business at Manson, married Elizabeth Herbert and has a family of seven children.

William is at home.

Frederic J. has been engaged in the hardware business at Fonda since 1893 in partnership with A. L. Roberts. In 1896 he married Lulu Ellis and has two children, Grace and Mabel.

Rudolph is engaged in the real estate business in Texas.

MCGABE, PATRICK, an early pioneer that in 1856 located on sec. 24, was a native of Ireland. He improved and enlarged his pre-emption to 160 acres. He occupied it until his death, and it is still in the possession of his wife (Dempsey) and family. He was an honest and upright man, and enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citizens. He was one of the first trustees of the township, and in 1862, becoming a member of the second board, served four years as a county supervisor.

His family consisted of seven children:

Annie married John Condon, a farmer, who owns a large farm in Webster county, and has raised a large family.

Kate is in a Sisters' school at Dubuque.

Alice married Thomas Fitz, and lives on a farm in Jackson township.

Peter, owner of 160 acres, lives with his mother at the old home.

Margaret married Michael Fitz and located on a farm in Humboldt county, where she died about 1890.

James J. married a daughter of Thomas Brennan, owns a farm of 80 acres on sec. 24 and has three children.

Elizabeth married John Condon and lives in Wisconsin.

MILLER, DAVID, superintendent 1870-71, in 1865 secured a homestead of 80 acres on sec. 14, which he occupied until 1889, when he moved to Washington township and soon afterward to Oregon. He was a good teacher, served as superintendent and also as a member of the board of county supervisors. He married a sister of George Spragg during his residence in Buchanan county and she died there. Josephine Russell, his second wife died before he left the homestead, and he afterward married Mrs. Willey, who had two children by her first husband.

MCDERMOTT, BERNARD, who in 1868 came to sec. 14, about 1876, moved to Lake township and in 1885 to Nebraska.

NOLAN, CHRISTOPHER, still lives on sec. 3, where he located in 1869.

NOLAN, NICHOLAS, who in 1869 came with his brother Christopher, and located on section 4, is still the owner and occupant of the old homestead which he has enlarged by the purchase of 80 additional acres. His wife died a few years ago. Their family consisted of four children, three sons and one daughter, Mary, who married James Mulholland and lives at Gilmore City. John lives at Manson.

O’NIEL, JOHN, (b. 1819) owner of a farm of 160 acres on sec. 7, was a native of Ireland. Coming to America at thirteen, he located in Canada where he married Constance Godrey and remained until 1871. Then with a family of eight children he located on the homestead in Lizard township, which he improved with good buildings. He died at 81 in 1900. His wife and nine children, Mary, Alice, Kate, Thomas, Annie, James, Elizabeth, Lucy, Theresa and Joseph are living. Alice died at Fort Dodge in 1899. Annie married J. H. Caswell, a merchant and lives at Grand Junction. Lizzie married Walter P. Ford and lives in Lizard township. Lizzie (?) married and lives in Chicago, The others are at the old home.

O’BOYLE, MICHAEL, (b. 1826; d. 1897), resident of section 20, Lizard township, from 1876 to 1890, was a native of Ireland, the son of John and Mary O'Boyle. He came to America in 1851, and in 1856 at Pottsville, Pa., married Mary Thompson. Later he located at Shenandoah, Pa., and in 1876 in Pocahontas county. He was a successful farmer and transformed the wild prairie on which he located, into a beautiful home. In 1890 he moved to Clare, where he died in 1897. He was an ardent democrat and a member of the Catholic church.

His family consisted of four children:

Thomas married Alice Dalton and has been for many years the postmaster at Clare.

Kate married John Conlee, a merchant, and lives at Manson.

Mary married John Collins, a merchant, and lives at Gilmore City.

Patrick died in 1881.

O’SHEA, MICHAEL, (b. 1822), who occupied the NE 1/4 Sec. 13, from 1864 to 1895, is now a resident of Manson. He is a native of Ireland, came to America in 1850 and located in Clermont county, Ohio, where he found employment boating between that place and New Orleans on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In 1855 he married Catherine Carroll, (b. Ireland 1824) and engaged in farming and railroading until he settled in this county. He experienced some disappointments on the farm, but with the help of his son John increased the original 80 to 400 acres before he left it in 1895. By raising oxen and feeding stock-cattle he usually fed more grain than he raised. He believes success on the farm can be achieved by any intelligent person, who practices economy in expenditures, abstains from the use of tobacco and intoxicants, works late and early and combines stock-raising and feeding with cropping. In Manson he has built a large residence and one of the finest double brick business blocks in the city. He is a member of the Catholic church and has been a republican since 1860.

His family consisted of seven children, two of whom died in Ohio and three others in the short space of sixteen months after coming to Iowa, namely: Michael at 24, in 1889; Kate at 20, in 1890, and Maria at 28 in 1891. Maria in 1886 married Henry Gorman of Chicago, and left one son, Harry.

John, a teamster, is at home.

Bridget in 1882 married Joseph Price, a stock-dealer, and he died at Manson in 1895, leaving six children, Mary, Kittie, Nellie, Joseph, Rose and Maggie.

JULIUS, JOHN, who in 1868, located on the W1/2 SW1/2 Sec. 28, is a native of Germany, where he married Minnie Seeman. Coming to America he lived several years in Wisconsin and about fifteen in Clayton county, Iowa. His orchard of two acres planted about 1880 is now in fine bearing condition and one of the best in the township.

His family consisted of three sons and three daughters:

Matilda married Joseph Breitenbach who died in 1878, leaving three children, David, Hannah and Adam. Later she married August Miller, and their family consists of seven sons, Edward, John, Otto, August, Henry, William and Erick.

Minnie married August Barthold and located in Calhoun county, where he died. Later she married August Haese and their family consists of two children.

John B. married Bertha Miller, lives at Gilmore city and has a family of three children, Lydia, William and Matie.

Edward B. is engaged in the drug business in South Dakota, and Henry is at Gilmore City.

REDMAN, CARL, in 1868 located on section 6. In 1889 he met with a serious accident while returning from Manson, that resulted in his death a few hours later. He left one son, Carl, who is still owner of the old homestead, and one daughter, Louisa, who became the wife of Gerd Elsen. His wife died at the home of her daughter in Lake township, in 1892.

RENKEN, MICHAEL, owner of 360 acres on section 20, is a native of Germany, where he married Antrim Weber. He came in 1868, has been quite successful as a farmer and has improved his farm with neat and attractive buildings.

His family consisted of five children: Anna, after her marriage located in California; Maria married John Jansen, a harness-maker, and lives at Manson; Henry married Hannah Saathaf, lives on his father's farm and has two children; John and Frank are at home.

ROST, ARNDT E., Mary Ann his wife, and four children, Benjamin, Maria, Anna and Ancke, in June, 1868, located on section 8, Arndt and Benjamin taking adjoining homesteads. Arndt died suddenly at 70, in the spring of 1869, while in the field for the cows. During that same year his three daughters became ill and died; Maria and Anna on the same day. His house was located on the line between the two homesteads and his wife, while living with her son, secured his homestead. She died in 1882.

Benjamin married Mary Weber and is now the owner and occupant of both homesteads. He served as a trustee five years. A sister of his became the wife of John C. Everwine, who in 1869 located and still lives on section 20. Her family consists of two sons and one daughter.

PRICE, GEORGE, who in 1865 located on the W1/2 SW1/4 SEC. 24, was a native of England where he married. He spent about forty years in America, locating first in Nova Scotia, then in Dane county, Wisconsin, in Lizard township, 1865 to 1875, then in Young county, Texas, where he died.

PRICE, WILLIAM PERRY, (b. 1819), youngest son of George, came with his father to America in his childhood, and in 1849, married Mary A. Wade, of Hamilton, Can. In 1855 he moved to a farm in Dane Co., Wis., where in 1861 he enlisted as a member of Co. G, 11th Wis. Inf. and spent three years in the army during the Civil war. In 1865 he located on a homestead of 80 acres, on the SW1/4 SEC. 24, Lizard township, which he improved and occupied until 1875, when he went to Texas, but soon afterward located in Dent Co., Mo. In 1880 he returned to Lizard township, where in 1882, his wife and daughter, Charlotte, died during a scourge of malarial fever. Accompanied by Joseph, his youngest son, he returned to Missouri, where he married again. His second wife died a few years ago and he is now at the home at his daughter, Mrs. J. J. Bruce, of Rolfe. It was just after the battle of Bull Run when the nation needed men, that he said, "take me." He has had the courage to express his convictions and. his worth as a citizen has been recognized wherever he has resided.

His family consisted of four sons and eight daughters, of whom Caroline, the eldest, died at 11 in 1861, and Henrietta, the youngest, in infancy.

John W., a farmer, married Mary Holmes, lives near Rolfe and has two children. James H., a butcher, married Nancy Hale, lives at Rolfe and has two children. Robert G. married Winnifred Inman, daughter of an early settler of Des Moines township, and lives in the state of Washington.

Joseph the youngest, settled on a farm in Camden Co., Mo.

Mary J. married James J. Bruce, Alice married Wm, E. Struthers, Maria married Harry Ham, a farmer, and lives in Des Moines township, Elizabeth C. married Niels Lilligaard, a farmer and lives in Clinton township. Annie married Wm. Overmier (now deceased) and lives at Valley Junction.

RUSSELL, PHILLIP, (b. 1823, d. 1893) was one of the most intelligent and highly honored of the early pioneers of Lizard township and filled the office of justice for eight years, township clerk, sixteen, county supervisor, two, and clerk of the district court four, 1861-65. He discharged his public duties with fidelity and was a devout member of the Catholic church. He died at 70 in 1893, leaving a good heritage for his children.

His family consisted of eight children, all of whom are living, except Thomas who died at 21, in 1895.

John M. (b. 1861), owner of 160 acres on Sec. 3 and Clerk 1890-94, after teaching and farming a few years turned his attention to philosophical investigation and authorship. He furnished the author of this work most of the facts for the historical sketch of Lizard township. In 1899 he went to Colorado City and two years later to San Francisco, where he is now carrying through the press a corrected edition of a volume first printed by the Ft. Dodge Post in 1898, entitled, "The Seven Ages."*

Margaret Ellen is a teacher of many years experience.

William P. (b. 1865) is manager of the home farm. In his earlier years he engaged in teaching, but now devotes his spare time to the insurance business.

Phillip F. (b. 1867) Mary Alice, a teacher and Lillian B. the youngest are at home.

Michael J. Russell, (b. 1871) after teaching several years, graduated at the Iowa college of law, Des Moines, and in 1901, located in Manson, where he has since been engaged in the practice of law. James P. (b. 1876) in 1895 married Minnie O'Connell, and occupies the farm of his brother, John M., on Section 3.

SCHOONMAKER, GARRETT, in 1865 located on the N1/2 SW1/4 SEC. 4, where he established an inn, a store and a postoffice. His house was on the government route from Ft. Dodge to Sioux Rapids, and at the time it was built, there was no other one between it and the latter place. His two sons, Alonzo and Luther located on farms on Sec. 5. About 1884 all moved to the vicinity of Manson and later to Sac county, where Garrett died about 1896.

SCHROEDER, WILLIAM, died about 1880 and his family still own and occupy the old home on Sec. 29.

STRECKLEBERG, HENRY, and his son Henry Streckleberg, Jr., in August, 1868 secured the homestead claims of Wm. B. and Chas. W. Lattin, on Sec. 14. A few years later Henry purchased Sec. 25, Bellville township, and commenced to raise wheat on a large scale. Owing to the excess of moisture and the ravages of the grasshoppers this proved an unprofitable venture. Henry Jr., still owns the farm on Sec. 14, now increased to 360 acres and lives at Manson.

STEINBRINK, CARL, (b. 1838) one of the most prominent of the Lizard settlers that came after the Civil war, is a native of Germany, the son of John and Sabine (Bartold) Steinbrink. His mother died when he was three years of age and his father when he was eleven. April 29, 1866, during the Austria-Prussian war, he married Maria Kalsow (b. 1840). He was then a soldier in the Prussian army and when in September that year, at the close of the war, he was mustered out he had completed three years of military service in the Prussian or German army. Crossing the Atlantic he arrived at New York, October 28th, on his way to northwestern Iowa. Leaving his wife at Iowa Falls, the terminus of the railroad, he and Rudolph Kalsow, his brother-in-law, walked to the E1/2 SW1/4 SEC. 22, Lizard township, a distance of 75 miles. In making this trip they saw only one farm house between Alden and Webster City. During the years that have passed since that date he has witnessed a wonderful transformation in this section of the country. He, too, has been an ideal settler, selecting his homestead, occupying, enlarging and improving it as the years have passed. The sod shanty, 12x14 feet, occupied the first four years was then replaced by a story and a half log house, 16x20 feet, and twenty two years later or in 1893, it was replaced by the large frame mansion he and his family have since enjoyed. In 1888 he built a large barn to take the place of the first improvements for the care of his stock. Other new buildings have since been erected and all of them are nicely protected by a beautiful grove. His orchard is one of the best in the township. The homestead of 80 acres has been increased to 440 acres and in 1896 he added thereto some property in Manson that cost about $2000.

He has served as a member and secretary of the Boyd school board ever since it became an independent district, in 1875. He served as a member of the board of supervisors six years, 1878-83. He has been a leading member of the Lizard Lutheran church since its organization. He has thus been prominently identified with the development of the material, political, educational and religious interests of that highly favored section of the land of his adoption.

He is one of nature's noblemen and enjoys the reputation of being the largest man in the township, standing six feet, two inches in height and weighing 225 pounds. The high esteem in which he is held, however, is due to the excellent qualities of character he has developed, the good record he has made and the success he has achieved. His family consists of three sons and three daughters.

Matilda M. (b. 1867), in 1887 married William Onken, a native of Germany, who owns and occupies 160 acres on Sec. 25, and has a family of four children, Henry, Maria, Elizabeth and Martha.

John F. (b. 1869), Carl F. (b. 1872), Rudolph Otto, (born 1874), Augusta and Emma E. are at home.

STENSON, WILLIAM W. (b. 1828), who in 1865 located on the W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 14, is a native of Otsego Co., N. Y., where in 1851 he married Sarah M. Coller and located on a farm. In 1856 he moved to Adams Co., Wis., and in 1865 to Pocahontas county. He improved and occupied the homestead 28 years, and in 1893 moved to Manson. The first postoffice in Lizard township was established at his home in 1868. He served three years, 1875-77, as a county supervisor of this county.

His wife died at 48 in 1876. His family consisted of three children two of whom died in childhood. Ida, the second, in 1877 married Seymour Ferrand, and, after a few years' residence in Calhoun county, in 1889 located on a farm on Sec. 9, Lizard township. They have one son, William, who graduated from the Manson High School in 1898.

VAN VALKENBURG, A. H., who in 1867 secured a homestead on Sec 36 is still the owner and occupant of it. His sister who used to keep house for him died a few years ago. He has filled the offices of trustee, assessor and justice.

WAGNER, PETER, who secured a homestead on Sec. 34, died about 1877 and his wife, who was a sister of David Miller, afterwards married A. M. Carpenter.

WALLACE, DAVID (b. 1805 d. 1885), ancestor of the Wallace families of Lizard and Center townships was a native of Ireland, where he married Mary Bagdad. Both he and wife were of Scotch parentage and received their early training in the Established Church. In 1837, after the birth of their first two children, they came to America and located on a farm in Canada.

In March 1866 his oldest son, John W. Wallace, Henry Shields, his brother-in-law, James Shields and James Connors came together to Lizard township and secured homesteads of 80 acres each on Sec. 8. They came by rail to Ackley and walked the remaining distance. Each of the first three men named built a sod house and began the work of improving their homesteads. Two months later David Wallace, a younger brother of John W., arrived, secured a homestead on the same section and built another sod house. In October 1866 David Wallace and family, which then included three of his grand children, Mary J., Josiah W. and Francis H. Osborne, arrived, began to occupy Connor's homestead and built another sod house on the same section. These settlers on Sec. 8, were among the number of those who had to take the lead in this county in erecting sod houses and planting artificial groves. They experienced no difficulty in getting sod for their houses, which were used about one year, but as there were no tree peddlers in those days, they had to go many miles to obtain the little trees or cuttings for the groves.

David Wallace in 1869 served as superintendent of the first Sunday school in Lizard township. It met in the Johnson school house on Sec. 4. His wife died at 66 in 1871 and was buried in the cemetery in Jackson township, south of Clare. In 1876 he accompanied Henry Shields and family to the State of Washington where he died at 80 in 1885. He was a tall, large and strong man. His family consisted of eight children:

Ellen in Canada married Frank Osborne, who died in 1852, leaving three children; Mary J., Josiah W. and Frank H. She died in 1855. Their children found a home with their grand parents and in 1866 came with them to Lizard township. Mary became the wife of George Spragg and in 1869 located in Cedar township and twelve years later in Nebraska. Josiah married Ida, a sister of L. W. Moody and located at Pomeroy. Frank went to Washington.

Thomas H, in Canada married Charlotte Carlisle and later located in Ft. Dodge, where she died in 1881 leaving three children.

Eliza J. in Canada married Henry Shields who, in March 1866, secured a homestead on Sec. 8, Lizard township. He improved and occupied this homestead until 1876 when, accompanied by David Wallace, be moved to Washington.

John W., Clerk of the Court, 1875-86. David (b. 1847: d. 1894) in 1870 married Rosa Dempsey, a native of Canada, and continued to live on the homestead in Lizard township until 1884, when he moved to Washington where be died in 1894 leaving four children; William, Ella, Maude and Dot.

Samuel (b. 1851), coming with his parents to Pocahontas county, in 1879 located with his brother John at Pocahontas. In 1881 he married Mary McLarney and a few years later located at Gilmore City. His family consists of six children.

WALSH, MICHAEL (b. 1830; d. 1900), one of the early pioneers after whom the Walsh (No. 2) school district was named, was a native of Cork Co., Ireland. In 1852 be came to New York and the next year to Butler Co., O., where in June 1856, he married Margaret Lully, a native of Dublin, and located in Rock Island Co. Ill. He was not satisfied with his prospects there, and leaving his wife with friends he started afoot for the prairies of western Iowa and arrived in Lizard township in October following. Here he put a pre-emption claim on 160 acres on the NE1/4 Sec. 14 and erected a log cabin. The land was put on the market sooner than he expected and he was then able to buy only 40 acres of the amount claimed. When it was opened for homestead entry he secured 40 acres more and as the years passed he made other purchases so that at the time of his decease in 1900, he owned 400 acres. His log cabin 16x18 feet is said to have been the first one covered with shingles west of Ft. Dodge. Ten years later it was replaced by a large frame house the shelter and comforts of which were shared with many a wayfaring traveler passing eastward or westward on the emigrant route. He was a good farmer and succeeded well in his efforts to transform the wilderness into a cultivated and fruitful field. He was a member of the Catholic church, and a man "universally loved and respected."

His family consisted of seven children all of whom have grown up: Mary, a teacher, Rose, Ann, Philip, Margaret, William and Thomas.

Mrs. Daniel Lane, sister of Michael Walsh, and one of the old settlers in Lizard township, died at 72 in 1899 at Pomeroy where her husband still lives.

WIESE, JOHN (b. 1819), who in 1865 secured a homestead on Sec. 26, was a native of Germany where be married. In May 1865, with wife and three children, he located in Lizard township. He was a good farmer and became quite prominent as a citizen. His wife died in 1887 and he died in 1893. Their family consisted of four children: Henrietta after her marriage moved to Kansas; Minnie married Henry Rawdell and in 1893 located in Minnesota; Emma married A. F. Habenicht and lives in Webster county; Gustave married Sophia Rawdell and lives in Washington.

WIESE, MICHAEL (b. 1821; d. 1898), owner and occupant of the NE1/4 Sec. 3 since May 1866, was a native of Germany where in 1844 he married Caroline Hinz and remained until 1851, when he located in Wisconsin. Fifteen years later he located on a homestead in Lizard township; which he improved and enlarged as the years passed to 520 acres. He was prosperous as a farmer and very highly respected for his many excellent qualities of character.

For many years he drove a bay horse to Manson whose instinct seemed almost equal to man's intelligence. When commanded to stand still by Mr. Wiese, no matter what the circumstances were, he would not move until told to do so. The man and his faithful horse grew old together and when the latter died his master said, He would not long survive him. This prediction proved true, for he died soon afterward at 77 in 1898. His wife died at 79 in 1901. Both were members of the Lizard Lutheran church.

His family consisted of ten children five of whom are still living.

William G., who owns a fine farm on the SW1/4 Sec. 27, in 1881 married Caroline Siefert and has a family of five children; William, Etta, Caroline, George and August.

Michael married Ellen Siefert and occupies the SE1/4 Sec. 33.

John E., occupies the old homestead and has a family of five children.

Frederic owns and occupies 80 acres on Sec. 28.

Etta married Adam Wassen, lives in Webster county and has a large family.

WESTLAKE, WILLIAM W., who secured a homestead on Sec. 28, and served as a justice, 1871-74, died a few years ago and also his son Wallace. His daughter, Ella, a teacher, married William Merchant; her mother also married and both have left the county. His farm is now owned and occupied by F. Vanderhoof.

ZANTER, FERDINAND, who in 1865 located on Sec. 22, is still a resident of the township. In August 1862 he enlisted as a member of Co. D, 27th Ia., and spent three years as a soldier in the civil war. His marriage to Caroline Fieldhaber in September, 1866, is said to have been the first one in the township.

This website created September 15, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
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