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Mt. Vernon, Iowa, January 25th, 1904.

Mr. Harry Littell.

   Dear Friend: In replying to your favor of the 17 inst, will give 
you what I can think of that might possibly be of value to you. Father was
born in Madison County, N. Y., in 1815; mother in Ashtabula County, Ohio,
in the same year, where they were married in 1845. They commenced life for
themselves in Wyoming County, N.Y., having purchased a timbered farm
which he cleared off. He sold out there and moved to Monmouth Township,
Jackson County, Iowa, in the summer of 1853, traveling as far as
Rockford, Ill., by cars. He left his wife and three small boys at that
place and came to Iowa to purchase. He secured 440 acres of land, partly
timber at $3.50 per acre. He then purchased a team of horses, one of Dr.
Cook and one of P. Mitchell, merchant of Maquoketa, and rode one and led
the other back to Rockford, where he completed the outfit for a trip over-
land the rest of the way. He had gone but a short distance when owing to the
neckyoke breaking going down hill, the wagon was over turned and all
the family caught under the load of goods, except the mother, who was so
badly injured that it was necessary to carry her the rest of the way in a
sling bed suspended from the bows of a covered wagon.
   Mr. Watson found a hospitable neighborhood and all the assistance needed
was forthcoming. At that time there had never been a school, Sunday school
or religious meeting in the neighborhood and it was with some difficulty
that a school was started, as the people would vote it down, and it was
only by getting the district divided that a school at last started.
   Another son was added to the family in 1855, all of whom grew to manhood.
Reid, the older, died at the age of 28, the remaining three are still living,
Edgar, Leslie and Eugene. Mr. Watson died in 1889, his wife having preceded
him by several years.
				L. C. Watson
		


Source: Annals of Jackson County, Iowa, Issues 1-7, Reprinted from the Maquoketa Record. Maquoketa, Iowa: Jackson County Historical Society, 1905, p. 12.
 

 

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