Morgan County INGenWeb

First Families

This First Families section is for ancestors that lived in Morgan County prior to 1900. If you have ancestors that you would like to have posted, all you have to do is send me the information. 

You can send it to me in a .rtf, .txt, .doc, .htm format. (Usually Family Tree Maker and other similar programs use .rtf files) If you have a genealogy web site of your Morgan County Ancestors, let me know and I will add a link on "Personal Genealogy Sites" so that others may visit. You MUST let me know that you are sending a file prior to sending it. I do not open attachments from unknown sources.

If you see a picture that is very small, it is a "thumbnail" picture. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Use these family pages as a springboard for your research. I have made no attempts to verify the accuracy of the information submitted. If you find what you believe to be errors, please contact the submitter. 

Please do NOT submit any information on living people, I do not post that information. It is too dangerous to post names of living people, even if the information listed says "Private". I use 1920 as the cut-off year for births. 

Also check Personal Genealogy Sites. These are Morgan family websites from other researchers.


ARNOLD, Benjamin, one of the old and honored pioneers of Clarke County, residing on section 19, Green Bay Township, is a native of Morgan County, Indiana, born February 23, 1835. His parents, Barnard and Nancy C. (Utterback) Arnold, were natives of Kentucky, the father born near Frankfort. They reared a family of ten children-- Agnes, Noel, James, Elizabeth, Eliza Jane, Willis, Nancy, Benjamin, William G. and Mary C.

In 1849 the family left Morgan County, Indiana, and started for the New West beyond the Mississippi. They spent the first winter near Bellefontaine, Iowa, and in August 1850, came to Clarke County, Iowa, locating on section 19, Green Bay Township, where the father entered 480 acres of land from the Government, and built a log cabin for himself and family. At that time not a house was to be found in Osceola, and the settlers were few and scattered, and here amid pioneer scenes, our subject grew to manhood. He also helped to build a log schoolhouse, eighteen feet square, in which his sister was among the first teachers.

Benjamin Arnold was united in marriage March 20, 1860, to Miss Sarah R. Johnson of Green Bay Township, a daughter of Reuben Johnson. Three children were born to this union, Elizabeth, William and Anne. Mrs. Arnold died August 1, 1868, and June 4, 1870, Mr. Arnold was married to Miss C. C. DeSelin. By this marriage he has two children living, Emma and May.

Mr. Arnold located on his present farm in 1865 which contains 382 acres of highly-cultivated land. He has a good residence, comfortably furnished, and surrounded by shade and ornamental trees, and his improvements are among the best in his neighborhood.

In 1875 he engaged in the mercantile business at Green Bay, which he followed for three years. He then returned to his farm where he has since been engaged in general farming, and raising and feeding stock and by his fair dealings with his fellow citizens he has won the respect of all who know him. In politics he votes the Republican ticket.

From reprint of “Clarke County Historical and Biographical Record” by Lewis Publishing, 1886. p. 119.

ARNOLD, J.J., the 3rd child of Barnard and Nancy P. (Utterback) Arnold, was born November 23, 1822, a native of Morgan County, Indiana. His parents were both natives of Kentucky, and were among the first settlers of Morgan county, Indiana. Ten children were born to them--Agnes, Noel, James, Elizabeth, Grandison, Willis, Eliza Jane, Nancy, Benjamin and Mary. J.J. Arnold was brought up on a farm and received his education in the primitive log-cabin subscription schools of the early day. He subsequently engaged in building flat boats, and carrying produce down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, which he followed for several years. He was married at the age of twenty-four years to Ellen Starks, who was born and reared in Kentucky.

By this marriage, he had one daughter--Melissa Jane. In the fall of 1840, his family, in company with his father’s family, started for Iowa with an ox team, bringing with them come cattle and horses, but on account of sickness in his family our subject spent the winter at Lacon, Illinois.

He came to Clarke County, Iowa, in the spring of 1850, and located on land, which his father had entered from the government the previous year. Here he built a log house and began to improve his land on which he has since made his home. Here his wife died in 1853, and in 1856 he was again married to Louisa Orr, formerly of Knox County, Ohio, a daughter of the Rev. John Orr, a prominent minister and circuit rider of the Methodist Church. They have five children living--Francis B., Seigel, Mary, Benjamin and Nina. Mr. Arnolds is a worthy and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has served his township as a trustee, and has been a member of the School Board for several terms. He has always taken an active interest in the advancement of education or religion, and has assisted by his means and influence in building churches and schoolhouses. Quiet, unassuming, industrious and strictly honorable in all his dealings he has gained the confidence of all with whom he has business or social intercourse, and by his genial disposition had made many friends.

From “History of Clarke County, Biographical Sketches”, Lewis Publishing 1886, page 304.


BURROWS, Allen H.only son of Hon. Barclay Burrows, was born in Morgan County, Indiana, October 1, 1831. A young man of superior intellect, his business qualifications were recognized at an early age, for before attaining his majority he was chosen deputy county auditor, and as a reward for his merited successes he was elected to the office of county treasurer, the duties of which he discharged with signal fidelity and ability.

In September,1855, he was married to Miss Eliza Hussey, daughter of Hon. Anthony Hussey, of Dublin, Ireland. Miss Hussey, on the death of her parents became the ward of her uncle, the Hon. George W. Moore, one of the earliest noted pioneer politicians of Indiana.

In the year, 1857 Mr. Burrows removed his family to Osceola, Iowa, where he engaged in farming, meanwhile pursuing his studies, which resulted in his admittance to the bar as an attorney at law the same year. Here, as in Indiana, his business qualifications soon became apparent, and in 1860 he was elected clerk of the courts, to which public trust he was returned six consecutive terms and after having enjoyed the well-earned reputation of being one of the best county clerks in the State of Iowa for twelve years, he asked to be retired from further official duties.

In 1868 Mr. Burrows engaged in banking, a business to which he seemed peculiarly adapted, and which he conducted individually until George H. Cowles became associated with him as partner, in 1869. Mr. Burrows was also interested in the National Bank, of Leon and in addition to his other business enterprises was for two years editor of the Osceola Republican in which he took much pride, as well he might, for its editorial pages, with sage advice and logical conclusions, clothed in the purest language, could not carry else than the most ennobling influence to his many patrons. To his untiring energy and zeal Osceola is indebted for the foundation of its prosperity, and the magnificent brick block on the northeast corner of the public square is but one of the monuments of his industry.

In the summer of 1873, Mr. Burrows retired from active business life owing to failing health, and dangerous had been the delay. “The busy hands and active brain had taxed their strength too long, and on November 20, 1873, he died suddenly, a victim to overwork.” Of the Masonic order he was one of its brightest, lights and in the Odd Fellows’ lodge, a true disciple of “Friendship, Love and Truth,” a member of the Christian church active in every charity.

Mr. Burrows left a wife and three children well provided for financially, and having endowed each child with clear intellectual capacities; he gave to them a legacy far better than riches. Charles Barclay, the eldest son, graduated at the Iowa State University, in 1878, and is now engaged in the banking business at Norfolk, Nebraska, where his mother resides. He is now serving as county commissioner, and Madison County never chose a more thorough business man for the place, and so closely is he identified with the interests of Norfolk and vicinity that many older and wiser heads-- he being only thirty years of age-- are subservient to the correctness of his opinions and the solidity of his judgment.

Allen Shelburn, the second son, but recently graduated from the Iowa University also, and that he was a favorite in his class, and was of most excellent standing, we judge form the outspoken sentiments of his collegiate friends, and should he embrace the legal profession it is predicted that he will fulfill the promises of his fatherÂ’s youth, becoming a gifted counselor; his excellent moral qualities and undaunted principle bespeak for him the love of any people he may live among.

Miss Maggie, the only daughter, received her education at Indianapolis, Indiana, and is today considered one of the most efficient authorities on primary education in Nebraska. She has taught in the public schools of Norfolk but two years, and the mantle of her fatherÂ’s genius has undoubtedly fallen upon her shoulders, as her earliest efforts have been crowned with remarkable success, and her ability to lead in educational interest is unquestioned. So, after a life well-rounded and complete, Allen H. Burrows passed form our midst, leaving a character above even the eulogy of gratitude, and these living examples to perpetuate his memory in good deeds and useful lives.

From reprint of "Clarke County Historical and Biographical Record" by Lewis Publishing, 1886. p.50


FARLEY, William T., one of the pioneer settlers of Clarke County, was born in Morgan County, Ohio, June 25, 1819, the eldest child of John and Margaret (Calvert) Farley, the parents being natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in Washington County, and the mother in Greene County. They came to Ohio when young and when our subject was eight years old went to Tennessee, where they remained about five years. In the spring of 1833, they removed with their family to Monroe County, Indiana, where they made their home till 1850.

They then passed the following winter in Missouri, and in the spring of 1851 settled in Clarke County, Iowa, where the father died in 1859, aged seventy-five years. The mother survived till 1884, dying at the advanced age of ninety-two years.

William T. Farley, our subject, was united in marriage in November, 1841, to Ann J. Curry, a native of Ireland, but a the time of her marriage living in Monroe County, Indiana. They are the parents of the following children-- Eliza M., wife of J. M. Cook, of Oxbow, Nebraska; Martha F., wife of J. C. Headler, of Salem, Dakota; Joseph H., living in Clarke County; Susan A., wife of J. M. Campbell, of Nelson, Nebraska; John J. of Marquette, Nebraska; W.I. of Aurora, Nebraska; Elbert S., died aged sixteen years; George H., of Melrose, Dakota, and Jennie De Arc, wife of George W. Lane, of Osceola, Iowa.

In the spring of 1851 Mr. Farley came from Indiana to Clarke County, Iowa, with his parents, his wife and four children, and a brother. On coming here he settled on section 5, Osceola Township, where he entered a tract of 240 acres from the Government, paying $1.25 per acre. The first three months he lived in a rail pen with clapboard roof, the size of the pen being but ten feet square. By the end of three months their rude log cabin, 16x18 feet, was ready for occupancy, and there his family spent many happy days, experiencing all the pleasures as well as the privations of pioneer life. Their principal meat was venison, turkey and squirrel. The nearest mill was at Des Moines, and the nearest post office was Indianola.

During his long residence here Mr. Farley has witnessed the many changes that have taken place, and has seen the country made up into thriving towns and well-cultivated farms. His own land is now under thorough cultivation, and his present residence and farm buildings are comfortable, commodious and convenient. He was the first justice of the peace of Clarke County, after its organization as a county, and has also served as township trustee. He takes an active interest in the cause of education, and helped organize the first school district in the county, and has served many years as school director. In politics he was formerly an old-line Whig, but is now a staunch Republican, and in 1884 was a strong supporter of J. G. Blaine. He takes an interest in the temperance cause.

From reprint of “Clarke County History”, Lewis Pub., Chicago, 1886. p. 77.


HADLEY, Alvah M.was born in Morgan County, Indiana, January 15, 1851. He came with his parents to this State in 1855, making their home in Warren County. In 1856 they settled in Franklin Township on the southwest quarter of section 29. His father purchased a farm, which had been slightly improved. Later, the family returned to Morgan County, where the parents now live. The father was born in that county in 1828, and the mother was born in Randolph County in 1830. To them were born eight children--our subject, Alvah M., and one daughter, Mrs. Elmira H. Farmer, residing at the home of her parents, are the only ones now living. Sylvia Ellen died at the age of sixteen years; Julia Eva died aged thirteen years; Louisa died aged eight years; Emma died in this county, aged two years; Lmarinda died at about two years of age; Effie, twin sister of Eva, died at the age of one month. Mr. Hadley’s father retained the ownership of his Clarke County farm until 1881, when he sold to Alvah M.

October 3, 1872, the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Susannah M. Cook, daughter of Milton and Martha Cook, who was born in Hendricks County, Indiana, December 10, 1854. She died September 14, 1880, leaving four children--Loren R., Loles V., Luna C. and Luther M. March 11, 1882, Mr. Hadley married Miss Ella Macy, daughter of Ira C. and Achsah Macy, who was born in Randolph County, Indiana, October 3, 1855. Soon after marriage they came to the old homestead of Mr. Hadley’s father in the township where they now reside. They have two children--Lindley E. and Lmarinda. In politics Mr. Hadley, like all those bearing the name, is a Republican. His parents are members of the Society of Friends, under whose teachings the religious views of their son Alvah were formed. He is a practical farmer, a worthy citizen and a good neighbor.

From reprint of "Clarke County History", Lewis Pub., Chicago, 1886, p. 9.


JENKINS, William, a pioneer of Washington Township, was born in Delaware County, Ohio, December 28, 1831, the fifth of a family of seven children of Thomas and Ann (Davis) Jenkins, natives of Wales, the father born November 26, 1792, and the mother, June 19, 1802. They were married in their native country, December 1, 1820, and April 26, 1821, left Liverpool for America, landing in New York June 18. They located in Delaware County, Ohio, and there our subject grew to manhood. The father died February 18, 1871, and the mother is still living in Ohio. March 27, 1859, William Jenkins was married to Hester A. Webster, a sister of D. Webster, of Osceola. He had come to Iowa in the spring of 1853, a single man, and after his marriage settled on a tract of land he had entered from the Government, on section 22, Washington Township. He now has 240 acres and has good building improvements. His wife died January 7, 1867, and April 7, 1870, he married Catherine E. Morgan, a native of Indiana. Mr. Jenkins’ family consists of eight children, five by his first marriage and three by the last--Dora T., Etta G., Arlington, Addie L., William, Maggie A., Anna E., and James B. Dora T., Etta G. and Anne E. are deceased.

From reprint of “Clarke County Historical and Biographical Record” by Lewis Publishing, 1886. p. 151


JOHNSON, Thomas Elwoodhas been a resident of Iowa since 1847. He was born in North Carolina, June 6, 1814. His parents, David and Nancy Johnson, were natives of North Carolina; the father raised cotton, and the mother was reared on a farm. After attaining his majority, Mr. Johnson came north, and made his home in Morgan County, Indiana, where he worked at carpentering; he also purchased and improved a farm in that county.

In 1837, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Lydia Davis, a native of Ohio. In 1847, they came to Iowa, residing in Keokuk County two years, then removing to Jefferson, where he was engaged in farming. He owned a farm south of Fairfield. He also engaged in the building up of Fairfield, as contractor. He built for a man named Bickford the first mill erected at that point. He continued his occupation in that county until 1861, when he came to Clarke County, making his home on section 14, near the village of Ottawa. There were 120 acres. He also owned other tracts of land in the vicinity.

In 1872, Mr. Johnson met with a great affliction in the death of his wife. She passed away at the age of fifty-five years. They had nine children, six of whom are living. The names are--Isaac, who enlisted in Company I, Fifteenth Iowa, and died at the home of his parents in 1862; David, a resident of Red Oak, Ohio; Mary, wife of David Moats, of Kansas; William, living in Jackson Township; Mrs. Sally Ann Breaffy, of Woodburn; Daniel, of Jackson Township; Lydia E., deceased, and Sylvester, living in Jackson Township. For his second wife Mr. Johnson married Mrs. Sarah (Duke) Hall, widow of Nelson Hall, in 1875.

Since 1876 Mr. Johnson has lived a retired life. He owns a comfortable home, and is enjoying the fruits of his labor. In early life he was a Whig, and an ardent supporter of Henry Clay. He is now a radical Prohibitionist. He was reared a Quaker, both parents being of that faith. He has always lived an honorable and upright life, and will be long remembered by a large circle of friends.

From reprint of “Clarke County Historical and Biographical Record” by Lewis Publishing, 1886. p. 135




The USGenWeb:



Contact Us:

Pamela Ludington-Rice
Site Coordinator

Lena Harper - State Coordinator
Jim Cox - Assistant State Coordinator


The INGenWeb:


Designed by Templates in Time