A Topical History of Cedar County, Iowa
A recent lament has been heard in reference to the fact that certain portions of pioneer history of Indian Warfare cannot now be written since those who were participants in those events of the long ago made no record that has been preserved or seemed to consider the events of the time of importance enough to make mention of them in any permanent form.
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At a meeting of the "Old Settlers Association" in Tipton, June l0, 1910, the secretary reported twenty-seven deaths during the year since the last meeting. At this meeting those who came in 1836 to this county were asked to stand. Only two arose, and from personal reports obtainable only six are now living who came in that early time. Personal interviews in this chapter of accounts secured from those able to give correct facts will reveal who these six are. The tM was also called on dates up to 1850. Very few survivors of these early days are now found in this county, they are fast passing and many, very many, interesting facts must be omitted because no one is now living who could have furnished them. Many points of interest in this county that have events of value associated with them cannot now be exactly located because the character of the surroundings has been so changed or distinguishing marks removed. If errors creep into pioneer accounts they are due to crossed memories or lack of opportunity to verify the historical data by actual record which was not made at the proper time. The earliest settler was not concerned with keeping any record of the present, as he knew it, for us at this date to reproduce as history. He had enough to do then to keep himself and his family supplied with the bare food and clothing necessary for existence and while happy enough and possessed of a keen appreciation of his situation, willing and more than anxious to better his condition he was alive to the future only in a material and physical sense at first. This does not mean that he had no thought for elevation of mind, of morals, but that he was after a home, independence of fortune, freedom politically, and comforts for his family which must be carved out of a wild country. He was willing to give his life, his very blood, if need be, to carry out this plan. This one purpose possessed him and if he was not concerned with keeping records on paper or in marking spots of historical interest so that they could be identified by posterity, we at this date must forgive him and do the best we can to put facts into form for preservation. We must draw from every possible source for this chapter and shall be indebted to many for assistance. It may not be true that people arc more selfish or thoughtless than in these pioneer days, but they certainly are less social. They fail to respond to calls of a personal nature in the same way, due doubtless to the great demand on time for the multitude of duties that now come to each individual if he fulfills his daily round of occupations. Then the social and charitable element in the character came to its highest degree of expression and what belonged to one became in distress or need the property of all. One has written something as follows concerning the early days: "They were void of hypocrisy themselves and they despised it in others. They hated cowardice and shams of every kind, and above all things falsehood and deception. The stranger, so long as honest and trustworthy, was made welcome as one of the household. To tender pay for service of this kind was offensive to the possessor. If one fell sick and needed care and attention it was immediately at hand. Such service was cheerfully rendered and the needs of a new country made skillful nurses of housewives. A neighborhood was a social unit and what was the interest of one became the interest of all. When work needed a force of men, they united the men of the community and no one needed to make a second request. In a sense all felt the need and could not enjoy his good fortune unless shared by his neighbor.