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Monday, April 12, 2010

Story of the Curtis Family

From The Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, pg. 327
Curtis Mill
Lot Curtis
    It is now the privilege of the biographer to touch upon the life history of Lot Curtis, another one of the representative farmers of Lucas County, Iowa, his farm being located in Warren Township, and Chariton his post-office address.  He came here in 1860 and is therefore classed with the pioneers of this vicinity.
    Mr. Curtis was born in Belmont County, Ohio, August 23, 1822.  At an early period in the history of this country three brothers, by the name of Curtis and natives of Ireland, crossed the Atlantic and settled in the Old Dominion.  From one of these brothers has descended the subject of our sketch.  Barnabas Curtis, a native of Virginia, was the father of Thomas Curtis, also a native of the State and born in Loudoun County, and this Thomas Curtis was the father of Lot.  He was by trade a carpenter and miller, but after settling in Ohio gave his attention to farming.  His wife, nee Frances St. Clair, like himself was a native of Virginia.  They became the parents of seven children, namely; Anne, Jane, Emily, Malinda, Harriet, Lot and Thomas.  The daughters are all deceased and the sons are both residents of Lucas County.  The father died in 1827.  The mother survived him a number of years and her death occurred at the age of sixty.  They were members of the Baptist Church and were earnest and devoted Christians. 
    Lot Curtis was reared on his father’s farm in the Buckeye State and had the benefit of a public school education only.  In early life he learned the trade of miller and carpenter, which he followed for some time in Belmont County.  From there, in 1860, he came West to Lucas county, Iowa, accompanied hither by his wife and six children.  Three other children were added to their family after they came to this state.  His first settlement here was on a farm four miles southwest of Chariton.  While in Ohio he was in the milling business with Dr. Wright.  The Doctor had preceded him to Iowa, had become the owner of mill property here and had sent for Mr. Curtis to come and take charge of it, which he did.  Subsequently, Mr. Curtis built a mill on his own farm and ran it three years, after which he moved it to Chariton, where, in company with his two sons, William and Joseph, he ran it several years longer.  After this he settled down to farming on his old farm and continued to reside on it until 1890 when he sold out to his sons, Joseph and Asbury Cottins.  That same year he bought the farm upon which he has since resided and which is located on section 7, of Warren Township, it being well improved with good buildings, orchard, etc.  In addition to this farm he also owns a good property in town.
    Mr. Curtis was first married August 20, 1844 in Monroe County, Ohio, to Miss Mary Chynowith, a native of Maryland and a daughter of William and Bridget (Turner) Chynowith, natives of England.  Her parents came to Iowa in their old age and passed the closing years of their lives and died here.   She was the second born in their family of six children, the others being Joseph, Martha, Jane, Elizabeth and Jacob.  Mrs. Mary Curtis departed this life in 1883, leaving the following named children: William of Russell, Iowa, who was a soldier in the late war; Amanda, wife of M.A. Scoville, of Warren Township, this county; Joseph and Cyrus, both of this township; Frank of Iowa Falls; Asbury C. and Ira, both of Chariton.  For his second wife Mr. Curtis married Mrs. Martha Segler, nee Tracy, a native of Belmont County, Ohio.  Her parents, Benjamin and Nancy (Nicholds) Tracy, were natives of Virginia, and both died in Lucas county, Iowa, each at the advanced age of eighty-one years.  Their family was composed of eleven children,-five sons and six daughters.  Of Mrs. Curtis we further record that her first husband was Isaac Segler, a native of Ashland County, Ohio and that their marriage occurred December 25, 1851.  He died in Lucas County, Iowa in 1880, at the age of fifty-one years.  Following are the names of their children: Henry H., M.J., Nancy Jane Hedges, Elma McCullough, Minnie Yont and William.  Mrs. McCullough is deceased.
    Mr. Curtis is a No. 1 citizen in every sense of the word.  He has filled a number of offices of local importance, among which we note those of County Supervisor, Justice of the Peace and Trustee.  Politically he is a Republican; religiously a Baptist.

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 From the Chariton Herald-Patriot, March 25, 1909
    Lot Curtis, one of Lucas County’s most respected citizens, died at his home on Linden Avenue, March 18th, 1909, after a brief illness with pneumonia, aged 86 years, 6 months, 26 days.  Funeral services were held Friday, at l o’clock from the Baptist church, conducted by the pastor, Rev. Hugh Moore; interment in the Waynick cemetery.
    Lot Curtis was born August 23, 1823 in Belmont County, Ohio.  July 1844, he was united to Mary A. Chynoweth.  They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living: W. T. Curtis, of Russell, Iowa, Mrs. M. A. Scovell of Humeston, J. H., C. B., F. B., A. O., and I. N. of Chariton.  In September, 1860, he moved with his family to Lucas County, where he has since resided.  Mrs. Curtis died September 10th, 1883.  April 16, 1903, Mr. Curtis was again married to Mrs. Mary Scovel, who is left alone in her declining years.  Mr. Curtis united with the Baptist Church in early manhood, and his life was a worthy example.  Words of sympathy are extended to the wife and children.

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 From A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, pg. 398, published 1896
William T. Curtis
    William T. Curtis was born in Belmont County, Ohio, May 17, 1845, and came with his parents this county, where, in addition to his common-school education, he received a three months’ course of schooling from Professor Perry.  His first work was on his father’s farm and after attaining his majority he was employed in the Chariton flour mill, where he remained one year.  He then returned home and he and his father erected a mill, but three years later the mill was moved to Chariton, and eleven years afterward Mr. Curtis moved to Nebraska and built a mill there.  After spending two years in that State he returned to his farm in Lucas County.  About seven years ago Mr. Curtis was employed by Eikenberry and Stewart to manage their large interests at Russell, Iowa.  After the death of Mr. Eikenberry the farm was known as Stewart and Company, Mr. Curtis still continuing as manager of their business.  The mill has a capacity of fifty barrels, and does custom work exclusively, in connection with the stock and elevator business. 
    February 20, 1871, Mr. Curtis was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Farber, who was born in Licking county, Ohio, February 20, 1852, a daughter of John Farber, and was brought by her parents to Iowa in 1858, locating about six miles south of Chariton, where her father still resides.  Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have had five children, viz.: Hattie M., born November 28, 1873, is a musician of some ability, and is a stenographer and bookkeeper; Willie A., born December 4, 1876, is in the employ of his father,; Geanor F., born April 12, 1879; John D., May 24, 1883; Eva May, March 19, 1888; and Ernest E., born February 18, 1892, died July 3, of the same year.  Mr. Curtis supports the Republican Party, having cast his first presidential vote for General U. S. Grant, and served in the late war.  He has served as a member of the city board in Chariton, Russell, and also in Nebraska.  Mr. and Mrs. Curtis and children are members of the Baptist Church, in which they are active workers.

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 From The Chariton Democrat, Feb. 5, 1920, front page.
W. T. Curtis
    Many friends throughout the county will be grieved to learn of the death of William T. Curtis, which occurred at his home in Russell, Iowa, Thursday, January 22, 1920 at the age of 74 years, 8 months, and 5 days, after an extended illness.  On account of several other members of the family being ill with influenza, the funeral services were private, and were conducted by Rev. E. J. Carlson, of the Russell Baptist Church.  Interment in the Chariton cemetery under the direction of the I.O.O.F., of which order he had been a member for many years.
    William Thomas Curtis was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on May 17, 1845.  He came to Iowa in 1857 with his parents, locating in Lucas County.  He was married to Mary Eliza Farber.  To this union five children were born.  At seventeen he became a member of the Baptist church and was a deacon of the Russell Baptist church at the time of his death.  Mr. Curtis was loved and highly esteemed by all who knew him and the county has lost one of its best citizens.  The sympathy of a host of friends goes out to the loved ones he left behind.

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 From A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, page 349, published 1896.
Henley G. Curtis
    Henley G. Curtis, an honored veteran of the late war, County Treasurer of Lucas County, and a member of the City Council of Chariton, is a native of the Buckeye State.  He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on the 10th of August, 1847, and is a son of Thomas and Martha (Chynoweth) Curtis.  The family numbered three sons, of whom Henley G. is the eldest.  Cassius, the second, is a farmer who makes his home in Omaha, Nebraska.  He married Miss Sarah Chance, and has four children; Emory E.; the youngest resides near Pueblo, Colorado, where he is engaged in railroading.  He wedded Miss Susan Edmons, and they have two children. 
    The gentleman whose name heads this record, was educated in the public schools of Lucas county, Iowa, and in his youth became familiar with all the duties that fall to the lot of the agriculturalist.  He followed farming for a time in his younger years through the summer months, while in the winter months he engaged in teaching school, being thus employed for fourteen years, when he determined to give his entire attention to agricultural pursuits.  He now owns a rich tract of land of 220 acres, which is situated in Warren Township, Lucas County, and very successfully did he engage in its cultivation, the fields yielding to him a golden tribute in return for the care and cultivation he bestowed upon them.  Thus his time was passed until he was called to public office.
    His fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth and ability, placed Mr. Curtis in nomination for the office of County Treasurer on the Republican ticket, and when the election returns were received it was found that he was the successful candidate.  He entered upon his duties shortly afterward, and so well were they discharged that in 1891 he was again elected, and in 1893 was chosen for a third term, and is now serving his sixth year.  He is a most capable and faithful officer, devoted to the best interests of the community that can be promoted by the efficient performance of the tasks which fall to him.  He is also serving his second term as a member of the city council.  Wherever he is found, whether in private or official life, he is the same loyal man, working for the welfare of the community and all that tends to its upbuilding.
    Mr. Curtis was married in Lucas County, August 31, 1872 to Miss Minora Burr, a native of Belmont County, Ohio.  They had three children, but all died in infancy, and the mother passed away May 28, 1885, leaving a large circle of friends to mourn her loss.  On the ninth of February, 1888, Mr. Curtis was again married, his second union being with Miss Amanda Harris, also a native of Belmont County, Ohio.  Her parents, Edward and Martha Harris, were prominent people of that locality, where the father died, in the prime of life, while the mother still resides there.  Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have an interesting little daughter, Laura, now six years old. The parents hold an enviable position in social circles and have a large circle of friends and acquaintances who hold them in high regard for their many excellencies of character.
    During the late war, Mr. Curtis manifested his loyalty to the Government and the Union cause by entering the Forty-sixth Iowa infantry, Company K.  He had some time previously desired to enter the Army but his years precluded him, and as soon as he had attained a sufficient age he joined the “boys in blue” and did service in the State of Tennessee until the close of the hostilities.  He is now a member of the Iseminger Post, No. 18, G.A.R. and for the past five years has acceptably served in the position of adjutant, taking great pride in keeping the records with neatness and exactness.  He is also a member of Chariton Lodge, No. 63, A.F. & A.M.  He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and their earnest Christian lives are well worthy of emulation.  Everything that tends to promote the education, material or moral welfare of the community receives their approval and cooperation and the best interests of the county are promoted by them.

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 From The Chariton Democrat, Mar 3, 1904, front page.
H.G. Curtis
    The many friends in Chariton and Lucas County were painfully shocked by the announcement of the death of H.G. Curtis, which occurred at his home in this city on Monday morning, February 29, 1904, at 1:30 o’clock.  He had been failing in health for ten years but was able to attend to his duties until about two months ago and was only confined to his bed nine days.  Although it was known that death was inevitable, yet everything that loving hearts could suggest and willing hands could do was done.  Funeral services conducted by Rev. B. F. Miller and under the auspices of the G.A.R. were held at the M.E. church on Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock.  The minister paid a tender tribute to the departed, the singers sang the beautiful hymns of consolation, wet eyes looked upon the quiet sleeper and then the beloved body was borne tenderly the grave.  Interment took place in the Waynick cemetery southwest of this city.  The floral offerings were varied and beautiful, coming from sympathetic hearts, who not only during the life of the departed showed their deep affection for the sufferer and the relatives, but in death paid a parting tribute by the contribution of God’s choicest flowers.
    Henley Gregg Curtis was united in marriage to Minora Burr in 1872.  She preceded him in death in 1885.  In 1888, he married Miss Amanda Harris, who with one daughter, Laura, survives him.  He also leaves a father, Thos. Curtis, two brothers, Cash of Omaha, and Emory of Olney, Colorado, and five sisters, Mrs. Clarinda Chance of Douglas, Kansas, Mrs. Ada Chynoweth of Leoti, Kansas, Mrs. Rilla Wright of Warren township; Mrs. Kalista Keller of Benton township and Mrs. Sadie Lewis of Russell.

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