Mondamin Early Residents

Joseph Krumel native of Bohemia, arrived in Mondamin in 1868.  The day after his arrival he went to work cutting logs.  Other men were cutting posts and making holes in logs, fastening them together with mulberry limbs.  these were made into rafts which were about 25 feet wide and 80 feet long.  These were sent to Florence, Nebraska to a sawmill.  Mr. Krumel later married Henry McNealey’s widow.

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Morrow from Ireland migrated first to Canada and came by covered wagon to Harrison county in 1856. Mr. Morrow was so impressed with the surrounding territory that he decided to locate on this spot.  He paid $1.25 an acre for the land, drained it and prospered in his farming.  His first cabin was 16 x 24 feet.  Later he built what is believed to be the first frame house between council Bluffs and Sioux City.  This house was used as an overnight stopover for the stagecoach which made daily trips between Council Bluffs and Sioux City.  Mr. and Mrs. Morrow raised a family of eleven children, some of whose descendants are still living in the community.  The Patrick Morrow farm   has remained in the Morrow name for 112 years.

The Maule family originated in Scotland.  Donald Maule eventually came to Raglan Township in Harrison County, where he claimed a quarter section of land and erected a hew-log house complete with rived shingles.  This was prior to the Civil War.  Joseph Maule lived his entire life on this homestead.  When James Maule married Lydia Niles in 1876, he acquired through a trade with Jacob Klutts, the farm where he raised his family.

J. J. C. Weldon came from Ohio by covered wagon in 1868.  The trip took them forty days.  On their arrival here they stayed for awhile with a family named Lewis Ruffcorn from their home town in Ohio.  Mr. and Mrs. Weldon raised seven children of their own, besides nine motherless and fatherless children.

The Gamet family was among the first settlers of Harrison county, Iowa.   The father, David M. Gamet, wife Hanna Pember Hyde, and two children emigrated from New York to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1836, then to Kanesville, Iowa (now Council Bluffs) in 1846 with the Mormon migration westward.  He first moved his family to a farm near Magnolia, later buying land near Sol Smith’s Lake just south of Little Sioux.  His five sons also bought land west of what is now Mondamin.  David and Solomon each “entered” forty acres of land on the Missouri bottom two and one half miles southwest of the site of Mondamin.  His eldest daughter Christie Ann (Stuart) was the first white child born in Morgan township.  There were ten children, all of whom married and settled on farms west of Mondamin.

John L. McClannahan was born in Ohio, the second child of Andrew and Catherine McClannahan.  The family moved to Indiana where they lived until 1856 when they decided to move to Iowa.  They arrived in June of 1856 south of Magnolia where they located for awhile, them moved across the Missouri to a newly founded town called Cummings city.  He returned to Harrison County in 1867 where he married Miss Frances Teeter in May of that year.  In 1888 he moved to Mondamin and built a home in the south part of town.  Mr. and Mrs. McClannahan had three children, E. E. McClannahan, Rose who married Dr. John Tamisia and May, who married Ed Hitchcock.

P. C. Spooner, a native of Vermont, came to Omaha in 1866 to work for the Union Pacific Railway Co.  He came to Harrison county to look after the cutting and sawing of timber for use in railroad construction work, purchasing land in Morgan Township.  His family came to Iowa and located at Mondamin in 1870, where he and his wife lived the remainder of their lives.  Alphonso Spooner came to Omaha where he operated a sawmill, sawing lumber which had been floated down the Missouri rive to that place.   He located in Harrison County in 1870 on a farm near Mondamin.  In 1875, he moved into town and established a hardware, lumber and agricultural implement business.  Mr. Spooner engaged in the breeding and raising of Purebred Hereford cattle in 1896.

Willis B. Keith came from Quincy, Illinois.  He enlisted in the 31st Indiana Regiment where he remained just two weeks until the army was found he was to young and dismissed him.  He enlisted again, at the age of 16 in the 35 Indiana Infantry.   He was taken prisoner in 1862 and exchanged in 1863.  In 1865 he came to Mills County Iowa–then to Harrison County in 1886 and purchased a sawmill in Clay township.   In 1867 he married Miss Sarah Yoakum.  In 1872 he built Mondamin’s first livery and feed stable.

Around 1862 a Mormon group was gathering at Kanesville, (now Council Bluffs), Iowa, preparing for the trek west.  Among those preparing to go were two brothers, Daniel and William Stuart.  In 1879 young James Stuart had an opportunity to buy a drug store in Mondamin.  His brother William with his wife and sons, David and Leslie and daughter Annie lived on a farm five miles north of town.  John bought the store and was appointed postmaster.

Richard Weldon came to the Mondamin community in 1868, resided on a farm west of Mondamin.  He was married to Bessie Stines.  They had seven children.

D. G. Anderson came to America in 1886 and on to Mondamin where he had a brother and other friends from Sweden.  Mrs. Anderson was also born in Sweden.   They were schoolmates in their homeland, and married in 1892.

Andrew J. Burcham came to Harrison County in 1853.  He was married to Ophelia Morgareidge in 1870.  They had four children:  Marion, Fillmore, Clara and Lottie.  Lottie married a Goodman.

William “Willie” Grooms came to Morgan Township with his father, Joe Grooms, by team and wagon in 1882, settling on a farm northwest of Mondamin.  His wife was Loretta Wallis.  They had four children:  Glen, Hazel, Estal and Orval.

James D. Stuart, druggist, graduated from the State Pharmacy in 1880, and in April he engaged in his present business at Mondamin.

L. Mannhart, harness maker came to Mondamin in 1878 and engaged in his present business: All kinds of harness, saddles and horse furnishings.

Charles Gilmore Sr., farmer, native of Ohio, came to Harrison County, Iowa., with his family in 1850.  He owned a farm east of Mondamin in Raglan Township. His son Wilder, lived on the same place.  Three of Chas. Gilmore’s granddaughters, Mrs. Wilbur (Ruth) Chisman, Inez Wallace and Mrs. Roy (Lottie) Durell live in Mondamin.

Maria Noyes Sheets Ross–half-sister to John Noyes came to Little Sioux before Mondamin was a town.  She had two daughters who came with her from Ohio.

J. H. Wallis born in England, came first to Canada and to Mondamin in 1869.  In 1867 he married Margaret Fifield.  They had ten children.  The children were: Thomas, John, Charles, George, Daniel., Walter, Richard, Loretta, Mary, Tillie.  They purchased a farm northwest of Mondamin in 1880 where they lived until their death.

Henry D. Lewis came to Morgan Township in 1881 and engaged in general farming and stock raising.  His wife was Clara Pugsley, daughter of J. O. and Lydia (Noyes) Pugsley, another pioneer family.  They had four children–Oscar, Lee, Frances and Cecelia.

Lewis Ruffcorn and Mary Jane Baker were married in Ohio and moved to Iowa in 1864.  He served one year in the civil War.  They settled on a farm northeast of Mondamin.  They had nine children.  Son Clark married Ida Cassidy in Ohio and established their home on a farm northwest of Mondamin.  Lewis and Mary Ruffcorn are buried in the family cemetery located on the farm.

Theodore Mahoney came to Harrison County with his father in the spring of 1852.  He helped his father working in the mill and on the farm until about 1880 when he bought a water-power grist mill on the soldier river in Taylor Township, which he operated until 1887 when the mill burned.  He married Emily Wakefield in 1864.   They had seven children.

Richard and Amy (Scott) Morgareidge came in covered wagons in the wagon train with “Capt.” John Noyes from McConnelsville, Ohio in 1856.  Their children were Sam, George, John, James, Richard, Lola (Nork), Hannah (Proviance), Sarah (McGavern), Amy (Hagerman), and Eunice (McNealey, Krumel).  Richard served in the Civil War, was wounded.  A southern girl found him.  He was placed in Andersonville Prison, but lived to come back to Mondamin after the war.

James McCauley came to Harrison County in 1856.  He endured many hardships and lived through the hard winters with their deep snows and the grasshopper years.  He married Elizabeth Morrow, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Morrow.   They were the parents of twelve children.

Gust M Pearson was born in Sweden.  His first job was in a meat packing plant in Omaha.  He went to Oregon for several years coming back to the Midwest in 1904, harvesting in Dakota, then to Raglan Township, working on the John Coffman farm.  He married Cora E. Coffman.  They had eight children.

1 thought on “Mondamin Early Residents”

  1. I am attempting to locate information concerning George W Straight & Hiley Straight around approximately 1885-1890!

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