84. Samuel Wade6 McAtee (George5, William4, William3, Edmund Charles2, Patrick1) was born in Scotts County, Kentucky September 5, 1814. Samuel died June 4, 1877 in Davis County, Iowa, at 62 years of age.
He married Elizabeth Ann Mudd in Scotland County, Missouri, June 14, 1844. The following text was found in the History of Pioneers in Davis County (Collected and published under the supervision of the Federation of Women's Clubs of the County in 1924)
The History of Davis County published in 1882 gives a very complete list of the early settlers who were candidates for office and were Judges and Clerks of Election at the very begining and they identify many of the First Families of Davis County [Iowa].
Samuel W. McAtee was one of the first officials of this Country and helped to give it a start and to locate and name the county seat. It is deemed quite in order to go somewhat into detail as to him and his family. He was born in Kentucky in 1814. In his young manhood he spent some years in the lead mines near Galena. There he accumulated some money. Those were the days of what was called wildcat banks. Banks were allowed to issue paper currency at will and they willed to put out good and plenty. The result was that after a while the banks began to fail and the paper money fluctuated in value from day to day. Bulletins were issued now and then, giving the market value of the money. A man had to read the bulletins to know what the money was worth that he had in his pocket. One day Mr. McAtee found out that his money had shrunk to very little value and he left the diggings. He and his brother came to the strip in 1839 and took adjoining claims. When the state line was afterwards located, Mr. McAtee's claim was in Iowa and his brother's in Missouri with house partly in each state. Mr. McAtee built him a log cabin and lived a life of single blessedness until the June rise in 1844.
In the meantime he became seriously interested in a young woman who lived about 8 miles away, whose name was Elizabeth Mudd. Her father lived in Scotland County, Missouri, and the probability is that a well beaten trail extended from his cabin to the Mudd home. In the light of subsequent history some space must be given to Miss Mudd. She was a second cousin to Abraham Lincoln. That fact did not figure in the courtship, for Lincoln was then unknown. Miss Mudd's great grandfather was named Abraham Lincoln and he was the grandfather to the future President. His ancestor was related to Daniel Boone, the great Indian fighter. The Boone and Lincoln families came together to Kentucky. Boone's sister made and presented to that Abraham Lincoln a pocket purse or bill book, about 3 by 8 inches in size, worked in colors on canvas with the name Abraham Lincoln worked also in colors. The book has been passed down in the family and is now in the possession of Mrs. W.P. Caldwell, of Bloomfield, who is the youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. McAtee. That Abraham Lincoln was killed by the Indians and a son got revenge by shooting the Indian in the same fight. Mrs. Martin Duffield of Bloomfield, the oldest of the McAtee children, remembers of Robert Lincoln, a cousin of the President, making two or three visits in the McAtee family in an early day in this country. One of Miss Mudd's brothers, Lincoln Mudd, was 6 feet and 7 inches high. The sons and grandsons have all been very tall, but none could beat Uncle Lincoln. So much for the Mudd family.
The wedding day occurred at the June season in 1844. In that early day the settlers expected heavy rains every June and when thay came it was spoken of as the June rise. Between the McAtee cabin and the Mudd home in Missouri was the creek of some pretensions know as the Wyacondah. On that day the stream was on a rampage and it had to be forded. The groom approached it on horseback, but nothing daunted, arranged to swim it. In order to keep his clothing dry so as to properly appear at the ceremony, he disrobed himself and tied his clothing on top of his head. After swimming his horse across, he dismounted and donned his wedding outfit, perfectly dry, and then proceeded to meet his expectant sweetheart. Imagine this fine looking couple, the groom over 6 feet high and the bride quite tall herself, and both of them unusual samples of the rigorous pioneers. The wedding over, found the rains descending and the floods coming so that it was impossible to get to the McAtee cabin. But in a few days, by the aid of a relative and his team and wagon, the young couple loaded up the bride's dowry and took the trail for the Davis County home. But the Wyacondah was still out of banks and they swam the team and wagon over and the bride walked across on a log with the water running over it. But she had the nerve to do the act with neatness and dispatch. They reached the cabin, installed the bride and her belongings and cooked and ate their evening dinner and adapted themselves to the primitive conditions. So happy were they that they failed to notice an approaching cyclone. Without any warning, as they and their guest were quietly enjoying the new home, the roof was lifted and blown off the cabin and in a few minutes the stars could be seen in the above sky. We call the whole succession of events worthy of the historian's best efforts. The newly weds continued to live there a few years and two children were born to them on that claim. The eldest was named Kartha and she still lives in Bloomfield and is the widow of David Duffield who belonged to another pioneer family. She has perhaps the most accurate and distinct recollection of any person now living of the Americanization of Bloomfield and Davis County. While the family was living on the claim Mr. McAtee and a neighbor came to town with wagon loads of dressed hogs which were then worth $1.50 per hundred. The men had to stay all night on account of the bad roads. The women and children stayed at the McAtee cabin. After dark the women were startled by an unusual noise on the roof and the screaming of some kind of wild animal. They barred the door and built a bright fire in the fireplace, lest the animal might come down the chimney. After scratching and howling around for a while the varmint vanished and they concluded it must have been a panther which then were occasionally shot by the early settlers.
In order now to illustrate somewhat the early situations when we had no roads nor bridges, and the difficulties of travel, we insert a description from the Bloomfield Clarion, written by Hosea B. Horn in 1859, which is quite readable. The County Commissioners elect were aware of the importance of their job and thought they had to be on hands at the very time and place.
The county being thus organized, on the 13th day of April, 1844, the County Commissioners elect, assembled at the house of Col. Stiles S. Carpenter, and being duly qualified, organized a court. This season had been very wet, a great deal of rain had fallen, and all the creeks and branches as well as the ravines in prairies, were filled to the brim with water running in swift currents, while a great portion of the more level country presented the appearance of miniature lakes. The inhabitants of this new and sparsely settled country had many hardships and difficulties to encounter, aside from the rain, mud and swollen streams, which were in themselves no small annoyance to the pioneer. But while the yeomanry of the county came in for an ample share of trials and vexations of the times, such as swimming creeks and wading sloughs, in order to reach the cabin of a near neighbor (say five miles distant), to procure the loan of a coffee mill, to grind the corn for a dinner's bread for the family, the dignitaries, the County Commissioners, for instance, were also subject to like annoyances while in the line of their duty. The trouble of Mr. McAtee in reaching the place where the court was to sit, we give in his own words. He says; "I lived some ten miles from the claim of Col. Carpenter, the place was agreed upon for the first meeting of the County Court, and which was about one mile and a half southeast from the present county seat. On the 13th of April, at the break of day, I started on foot to meet the other Commissioners. The streams were all past fording, and of course no bridges, and when I came to a stream too deep to wade by rolling up my breeches, and where a log could not be had to cross on, I pulled off my clothes, placed them on my head, drawing my hat over them. I tied them on by drawing my suspenders over the top, and tying them under my chin. Having thus secured my clothes, I either waded or swam the streams, as the case required, and reaching the opposite shore I dressed myself and resumed my tramp; crossing thus each stream that lay in my road until I arrived at the place where the court sat."
While yet on the farm Mr. McAtee was elected a delegate to the convention to formulate a constitution as the basis for the admission of the Territory of Iowa as a state. He mounted his horse, bid good bye to his family and nothing was heard from him for six weeks, when his term was ended and he reined up his horse in front of his cabin. He afterwards was elected to all the offices he wanted including Sheriff, County Judge and Assessor. He was active all his life in public affairs until his death in 1877. He took a leading role in the obtaining of the rights of way and donations for three railroads in the country.
Elizabeth was born in Grayson County, Kentucky January 6, 1825. Elizabeth was the daughter of Benjamin Mudd and Elizabeth Ann Lincoln. Elizabeth died December 8, 1912 in Bloomfield, Iowa, at 87 years of age. The following text is from a clipping (apparently from an Iowa paper) loaned by Mrs. Vincent Belstead, Pillsger, Minn:
ELIZABETH ANN MC ATEE
Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Mc Atee was born in Grayson County, Kentucky, Jan. 6, 1825. Died in Bloomfield, Iowa, Dec. 8, 1912, aged 87 years, 6 months and 2 days. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Mudd, her mother's maiden name being Elizabeth Ann Lincoln, the daughter of Mordacai Lincoln, a brother to Abraham Lincoln's father, ~cousin to Abraham Lincoln. She had six brothers: Horace, Hezekiah, Abraham and Robert, all of whom are deceased; and Lincoln on Scotland county, Mo., and Benjamin of Pitt, Mo. She had also two sisters, Mrs. Martha Rodgers of Mound City, Mo., and Mrs. Marita Johnson of Holt county, Mo. When she was three years of age her parents moved with their family from Kentucky to Illinois; living there for nine years and then moved to Scotland county, MO., where she grew to womanhood, and was married June 14, 1844 to Samuel Wade Mc Atee. They made their new home in Davis county, Iowa, about ten miles south of Bloomfield, where they lived for four years, when they moved to Bloomfield, where the family home has since remained. There were born to them ten children, Mrs. Martha Duffield, Bloomfield, Iowa, Robert L. Mc Atee, deceased, two children who died in infancy, Mrs. Mary Priest, Bloomfield, Iowa, John Mc Atee, deceased; Mrs. Lois Etholl, Topeka, Kan.; George Mc Atee, Hastings, Nebr.; Samuel Mc Atee, St. Joe, Mo.; Mrs. Emma Caldwell, Bloomfield, Iowa. In the early part of 1849, she and her husband moved to the site of Bloomfield. Two other houses and theirs constituted the town. Thus she is another of those pioneers of Iowa, who as an early settler helped to lay the foundations for its future. Her husband died June 4, 1877, and for the remaining 35 years of her life, made a home for her children for 17 years, until the seven living had married and made homes of their own. For the next sixteen years she made her home with her youngest daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. ?. P. Caldwell of Bloomfield. About four years ago her health broke with serious complications, requireing special care. For the last two years in the house adjoining the Caldwells where such care could be provided, her daughter, Mrs. Priest, has sacrificingly given her whole time and attention to her. More than twenty-five years ago in a meeting held by Rev. D.C. Smith, in Bloomfield, she became a member of the Methodist church. In her illness she often quoted and sang part of familiar hymns, and spoke to other as well as to her children and grandchildren about heaven and the meeting of loved ones there. With the four generations of the family represented in herself, in her daughter, Mrs. Priest; granddaughter, Mrs. Guy Nicholson and her great granddaughter, Catherine Nicholson, aged five; with others about her, she passed last sabbath morning at 6:30, peacefully to her heavenly home. The funeral was held at the home of Mrs. Mary Priest, Tuesday afternoon. The services were conducted by Rev. J.E. Morrison, Pastor of the M. E. church. Interment occured at the I.O.O.F. cemetery.
At 28 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of Mary McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1853. At 31 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of John McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1856. At 34 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of Lorreta McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1859. At 38 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of George McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1863. At 41 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of Samuel McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1866. At 45 years of age Elizabeth became the mother of Emma McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1870.
At 38 years of age Samuel became the father of Mary McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1853. At 41 years of age Samuel became the father of John McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1856. At 44 years of age Samuel became the father of Lorreta McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1859. At 48 years of age Samuel became the father of George McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1863. At 51 years of age Samuel became the father of Samuel McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1866. At 55 years of age Samuel became the father of Emma McAtee in Davis County, Iowa, 1870.
Historical events during the life of Samuel Wade McAtee: Francis Scott Key inspired to write 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on September 14, 1814; Charles Goodyear gets a patent for vulcanization on June 15, 1844; Commodore Perry arrives in Japan to establish relations on July 8, 1853; patent granted for the machine gun on July 8, 1856; 1st intercollegiate baseball game on July 1, 1859; Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863; birth of Beatrix Potter, writer and illustrator on July 6, 1866; patent granted for process producing celluloid on July 12, 1870; Samuel Clemens explains the origin of his pen name, Mark Twain, in a letter to the editor of the Daily Alta Californian on June 9, 1877.
Samuel Wade McAtee and Elizabeth Ann Mudd had the following children:
96 i. Mary7 McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1853.
97 ii. John McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1856.
98 iii. Lorreta McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1859.
99 iv. George McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1863.
100 v. Samuel McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1866.
101 vi. Emma McAtee was born in Davis County, Iowa 1870.
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