Iowa Old Press
-Mrs. Charles Messer passed away April 4 at 7:15 p.m. at the Jefferson county hospital after a short illness of Bright's disease. She had been ailing for some time but was only bedfast a few days before her death. Interment was in the Brighton cemetery Saturday.Lockridge Times; Lockridge, Jefferson Co, IA; Friday, April 20, 1917:
A PIONEER FAMILY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY
Paper read by Mrs. John H. Boos before the Lockridge Historical Society, Saturday evening, April 14th, 1917
In our mind's eye, when
thinking of the Jefferson county of today, we see villages, cities, trains, a
vast population- all that goes to make up a rushing, thriving civilization. Let
us this evening erase that picture and paint in its stead on the canvas of the
mind, a picture of Jefferson county as it was eighty years ago.
Eighty years ago! What a vast eternity of time it seems. In the year 1833 the country, a part of which is known as Iowa, was opened for settlement. Jefferson county was one great wilderness of trees, underbrush, prairie, not a road to be seen, only a few Indian trails over which a white man had never been. Many a pitfall awaited him who would go forth into its bosom. Wild animals lurked among the trees; prairie grass stood higher than the man's head; Indians resented the disturbance of their happy hunting ground.
In September, 1836, there crossed the border from Illinois into this wilderness a man, wife and their six-months-old baby boy. No car carried them swiftly to their destination; no sound of locomotive whistle broke the stillness of the air; no human being hallood them a welcome into this unknown country, for they were the first to seek out a home in the wilderness- with a courage that knew no failure. Oxen laboriously wended their way over the trails bearing the family and their household furniture to their new home. This family was Noah Wright, his wife Sarah, and their little son, Isaac Newton.
They selected a location in what is now Cedar township, near Wooster, and there built their humble log cabin and began the toilsome struggle of claiming a home from nature. Family history has always claimed Mr. Wright as the third settler in Jefferson county, although some of the later historians give that honor to others.
In time a claim was bought from another party and the family moved to what is now called Wooster, and which place was given this name by the same Noah Wright.
Into this humble home there was born on July 7, 1838, a little baby girl, who was given the time honored name of Mary; a babe who at once became a favorite with the Indians, for did she not have long black hair and black eyes? Every day they came into the home to fondle the little "papoose," as they chose to call her. Little did they realize that within that mother's heart they awakened a never ending fear that they might some day snatch up her baby girl and flee with her when she was not watching.
As the years passed other children came to bless the home of which there are three sons and one daughter still living: Isaac Newton, the child who was a babe when they crossed into Iowa, and who is now in his eighty-second year; Jasper and Samuel, and the daughter Mary. Our history tonight deals more particularly with the daughter Mary.
She grew up and was taught such household duties as were the lot of all girls of her day. She was taught to spin before she was large enough to "band the wheel." I have heard her tell that many a day she struck her bare toes on the legs of the wheel until the blood came. Was it cruel? No, she was sharing the family responsibility of claiming Iowa for civilization- she was happy in duty well done, which will ever carry with it a blessed memory.
Time passed. The older brother went back to Illinois, the state of his birth, married and made his home there. Mary, who had now reached her eighteenth birthday, went on a visit to Illinois where she, too, married and made her home there. The man of her choice, Squire Patterson Smith, died in 1881, leaving her with four children, the oldest only sixteen years of age and the youngest but two years old. She kept her little family together until 1888, when she was again married, this time to Levi Harbour, also of Illinois. He proved a faithful husband and a faithful parent to her children. He passed away in the year 1912, leaving this pioneer daughter of Iowa widowed once more. Her son, John Frank Smith, had married and established his home in Kansas. Two daughters, Louisa Evelyn and Minnie, had married and come back to Jefferson county, Iowa, to make their homes. The youngest daughter was still with the mother, and together they came to make their home near the other daughters, thus returning to Mary Wright's native country. These two are now residents of Lockridge, Mrs. Mary Harbour, the writer's mother, and the writer, the wife of John H. Boos.
Mrs. Harbour is nearing her seventy-ninth milestone in life, is exceptionally well preserved, both mentally and physically, and is content to spend her last days in the county of her birth. She is believed by her family to be the oldest living native born white person in Jefferson county.
The writer is proud to be the granddaughter of Noah Wright, pioneer of Jefferson county, and to be the granddaughter of Mary Wright, daughter of one of Iowa's pioneer settlers.
Ruth A. Bower.
Ruth A. Cline was born in this county on June 21, 1848, and died at her home in Round Prairie township last Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock, having lived her entire life in this community. She was the daughter of William and Rachel Cline and became the wife of Benjamin F. Bower on January 28, 1869. To this union were born ten children. Five are now living: John L, Walter M., William C., Leslie A., and Cora, all of whom were at the bedside when the death angel came.
Early in her life she united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and the true christian life she led ever afterwards was an inspiration life she led ever afterwards was an inspiration to her family and neighbors. Her many kind acts, her generous gifts of time and encouragement will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Funeral services were held at Glasgow church Tuesday morning at 10:30, conducted by Rev. Apthel and the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery nearby.
Reading Contest Winners.
At the reading contest Saturday at the courthouse in Fairfield the following were the winners:
Fourth grade- Edna Hoffman, Libertyville, 1st; Carroll Flood, Four Corners, 2nd; Cecil West, No. 4 Penn, 3rd; Willa Latta, No. 8 Liberty, 4th; Robert Fisher, No. 3 Center, 5th.
Fifth grade-Cecil Green, No. 5 Buchanan, and Lois Copeland, Batavia, tied for 1st; Evyln Smith, No. 3 Des Moines, 2nd; Jessie Barnett, No. 6 Center, 3rd; Mildred Tracy, No. 8 Center, 4th; Walter Radley, No. 3 Buchanan, 5th.
The Jefferson County Teachers Club gave pictures for first prizes, supplementary readers for second and each reader ten cents. The children did not know that they were to get the ten cents and were much pleased with it.
Eight grade examination will be held at the court house May 3rd and 4th.
Conducted by the Jefferson Co. Equal Suffrage Association.
The county suffrage association expects to be entertained at the next meeting, May 12th, by the ladies from Lockridge. Last Saturday's program was given by ladies from Round Prairie and Buchanan townships, assisted by Mrs. V.D. Bates and four young ladies from Parsons college.
Discussion of ways in which women can help lessen the war burden occupied most of the first half hour. After reports of officers chairmen of four new committees were appointed.
Membership, Mrs. Thomas Davies
Propaganda, Mrs. Beatrice Leggett
Finance, Mrs. E. Turney.
Agriculture, Mrs. E.C. Bock.
Thrift, Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt, assisted by Mrs. Ross Anderson and Mrs. Eva Blough.
Historical Program for May 5th.
The Historical program for Saturday evening, May 5th, is as follows:
Song Hail Columbia.
Talk, Hiram Heaton.
Declamation, Lucile Carlson.
Declamation, Paul Rauscher.
Solo, Alma Faber.
Declamation, Carol Flood.
Declamation, Ralph Plympton.
Talk, W.A. Hook
Music, Gladys Bankhead and others.
Declamation, Lewis Eggeberger
Reading, Mrs. Fillinger.
Declamation, Harry Boos.
Declamation, Clifford Lewis.
Illustrated Song, Ruth Rauscher and Lone Scout boys.
Declamation, Velma Faber.
Declamation, Bertha Rauscher.
Violin solo, Mr. Doogan.
Recitation, William Boos.
Cornet solo, Arnold Teeter.
Music, Mr. Calhoun.
- Bert Cole of Des Moines visited his
sister, Mrs. J.E. Dill, last week.
- Mr. and Mrs. Verle Frazey and son Charles of Fairfield spent Saturday and Sunday at the parental Murphy home.
- Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rauscher and children of New London spent Sunday at the parental A.F. Rauscher and C. Overstrom homes.
- Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sharpe of Fairfield spent Sunday at the parental Andrew Sharpe home.
- Mrs. E.V. Peel and children of Burlington spent Saturday and Sunday at the home of her mother, Mrs. Anna Hult and other relatives.
- Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Capion and son Kenneth and Mrs. Emma Pearson motored to Stockport Sunday and spent the day with the latter's son John.
- G.T. Tomkins and W.F. Slaughter and mother, from the Glasgow neighborhood, left Tuesday evening for Winfield to attend the funeral of the latter's brother-in-law.
- Miss Grace Oliver, Fairfield, has been elected teacher at the Four Corners school for the fall term. Miss Valeda Johnson, who has taught there the past winter, has accepted a school near Salina.
- Someone out in the New Sweden neighborhood is using the public highway as a dumping ground for dead chickens. Information, coming from a New Sweden farmer, says in a mile and a quarter twenty may be found scattered along the road, thrown there by the owner, after they had died of disease.
Iowa Old Press