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Franklin Prentice of Canada and IA

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Franklin Prentice of Canada and Crawford Co., IA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2001 and Revised 5 Oct 2008

Update of 5 Oct 2008: This article is now replaced by our Winter 2008 article entitled Hiram Prentice of VA and Canada .

A. Hiram Prentice was b. in VA and later moved to Canada before the birth of his son, Franklin, in 1824 (see biographical information, #1, below). His birth date is not yet known, but may have been about 1785-1800 based on the 1824 birth of his son, Franklin, below. That bio. also seems to indicate that Hiram and his wife remained in Canada.

He m. Eva Graham perhaps b. in either VA or Canada that same 1785-1800 period. They had 1 or more childen:

  1. Franklin Prentice was born 26 Jul 1824 in Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [1]

1. Franklin Prentice was born 26 Jul 1824 in Canada and d. 10 Feb 1897 in Denison , Crawford Co., IA. Bur. Oakland Cemetery , Denison , Crawford Co., IA per Crawford Co. Cem. Records .

The following information about him can be found in the "Biographical History of Crawford, Ida, and Sac Counties" written c. 1892-1893, on Ancestry.com:

    "Franklin Prentice, the pioneer settler of Crawford county, was born in Upper Canada, July 26, 1824, a son of Hiram and Eva (Graham) Prentice, natives of Virginia and Canada until his death, and the mother is now living. They had seven children, 5 sons and 2 daughters.

    "Franklin Prentice, our subject, left Canada at the age of eighteen years [c. 1842] and located near Freeport, Stephenson county, IL, where he worked at farm labor. Two years later [c. 1844] he removed to Fayette county, Wisconsin, and in June, 1845, to Jackson county, IA, where he was engatged in business with Cornelius Durham, a prominent stockman of that county.

    "In the spring of 1850, Mr. Prentice came with ox teams to Crawford county, in company with his wife and two children, arriving April 4, of the same year, and they were then the only white people in the county. He erected the first log cabin, 13 x 14 feet, which he afterward sold to Jesse Mason. Game of all kinds was then plentiful, and, being an experty with rifle and gun, our subject has made many a dollar with gun and dog, selling the game to emigrants bound for California and Utah. He also raised the first corn and potatoes and vegetables in the county, and chopped out and made the first roads through Marvin's grove; and mad the first ford across the Boyer river that was made in the county; and for three months at one time he never saw a white face except his own family.

    "In 1850 he settled at Mason's Grove and in 1859 started with ox teams for :Pike's Peak, being absent from home from June 10 to September.

    "Mr. Prentice was a soldier in the late war, a member of the First Iowa Cavalry, under General A. J. Steele, and participated in five battles.

    "He was employed by Crawford county as a scout on the frontier to watch the maneuvers of the Indians that were troublesome, from 1860 to 1863, in which capacity he had many lonely midnight rides, and often took his life into his own hands by penetrating far into the Indian county, in order to keep a close watch on the treacherous Indians. He also had two sons in the army: Chancey F., a member of the Ninth Iowa Cavalry, and who now resides in Pierce county, NE; and Jacob, a member of the Eighth Iowa Infantry, who received a gunshiot wound in the thigh.

    "Our subject took up the claim on which he now lives in 1850, had 125 acres of fine rich land, a good dwelling, 22 x 28 feet, two stories nigh, and a good grove and orchard.

    "He has been twice married, first at the age of twenty years, to Julia Herrington, a native of Illinois, and they had two sons: Chancey F. and Jacob Lewis. They lost one son, W. M. [Prentiss], at two years of age.

    "Mr. Prentice married Miss Levina Seagrove, a native of Uxbridge, Worcester county, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Darrint and Jerusha (Scott) Seagrove. Mrs. Prentice was a success ful teacher before marriage and she came to Iowa in 1857. Our subject is now in his sixty-eight year of age, but is strong and healthy, except injuries received in the army. He is frank and jovial in his manner, and is respected by all who know him.

    "He served in in the Civil War, Union, 1st Iowa Cavalry and his gravestone reads '' a Union soldier from 1861 - 1865 , mustered - out and at rest , the first settler of Crawford County , Iowa . ''

A '' Franklin Prentiss '' is mentioned in the '' Memoirs of Alfred Amos Seagrave '' as the owner of a log cabin in Smithland , Woodbury , Iowa where the twins, Alfred & Albert Seagrave , were born in 1861.

Franklin is believed to have lived in the Maquoketa, Jackson Co., IA area, near the IL border, in the mid-1840's. Supposedly, Franklin was hired to help a Jackson County farmer, Cornelius Dunham, drive his herd of livestock from Jackson County westward, across the state of IA, to Crawford County in 1848. They were the earliest settlers in the new county of Crawford. From the "History of Crawford County:"

    "History of Crawford County, Iowa": Franklin [Prentice] is mentioned as one of the two first settlers there in about 1849. "In May, 1849, Cornelius Dunham, of Jackson county, Iowa, brought Franklin Prentice and his wife to the county, and left them at the place known as Dunham's Grove on East Boyer River, about six miles east of the present town of Denison. Mr. Prentice built a cabin for Dunham, who came with his family in the autumn of the same year [1849], accompanied also by a man named Reuben Blake. This was the first settlement in Crawford County. The same year [1849], Prentice took a claim at the mouth of Otter Creek, on Boyer River, near Mason's Grove. "

Franklin Prentice was elected, in 1854 at the age of 29, as a Milford Township trustee; Deloit, Crawford Co, Iowa. A farmer, in 1870 his family was living in Deloit Village, Crawford County.

According to the published biography above, Franklin married twice. He m. 1st Julia Herrngton c. 1843. She was b. c. 1826, IL. Franklin and Julia had the following children:

  1. Chauncey F. Prentice, b. c. 1847, IL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. Jacob Lewis Prentice, b. c. 1848, IA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  3. W. M. Prentice who d. at 2 years of age.

Franklin m. 2nd Lovina Seagrove 27 Apr 1871, Deloit, Crawford Co., IA. She was b. 17 Feb 1818 in Worcester , MA. The above biographical information says she was a native of Uxbridge, Worcester county, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Darrington and Jerusha (Scott) Seagrove. Mrs. Prentice was a success ful teacher before marriage and she came to Iowa in 1857. More about her, including an extensive Ancestor Chart, can be found at Ancestry.com .

He m. 3rd Louisa ( Levina ) Chapin c. 1885. She was b. Jul 1857, PA. More about her can be found at Ancestry.com . Franklin and Lovina appear in the 1885 IA State Census in Goodrich, Crawford Co., IA.

2. Chauncey F. Prentice, b. c. 1847, IL (1880 census says IA). He appears in the 1860 Galland's Grove (See Fn. 1), Shelby Co., IA census, age 13, in the home of the Uriah Roundy family, presumably relatives. Shelby Co. lies just east of Harrison County and just south of Crawford County.

He served with Union forces in the Civil War in the 9th Iowa Cavalry.

Chauncy later appears in the 1880 Antelope Co., NE census with his wife, Mary, b. c. 1852, OH. In 1886 they were living in Pierce Co., NE. He appears still later in the 1910 census in Turtle Lake, Barron Co., WI, with his wife and family. Children:

  1. William/Willie Prentice, b. c. 1869, IA. Living with his grandfather, Franklin, in the 1885 census in Goodrich, Crawford Co., IA. Not in 1900 census. Unclear whether in 1910 census.
  2. Irvin Prentice, b. c. 1878, IA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]
  3. Jason Prentice, b. c. 1879, NE. It is unclear whether he is the Jay Prentice shown in the 1900 census in Newcastle, Weston Co., WY, as b. c. 1880, NE, an unmarried Boarder. Not in 1910 or 1920 census.
Also living with Chauncey's family in 1880 was his mother, Sarah.

3. Jacob Lewis Prentice, b. c. 1848, IA. He also appears in the 1860 Gallands Orove, Shelby Co., IA census, erroneously indexed as "Srentice", age 12, in the home of Milton and Elizabeth Lynch, presumably relatives. Shelby Co. lies just east of Harrison County and just south of Crawford County.

He served with Union forces in the Civil War, 8th Iowa Inf. Reg. and was wounded in the leg. In the 1870 census in Milford township, Crawford Co., IA he is shown as a Lawyer living with his father. Not in 1880 or 1900 census.

He is the Jacob Lewis Prentice discussed in our Winter 2008 article about Jacob Lewis Prentice and Alma A. Hunter .

4. Irvin Prentice, b. c. 1878, IA. He appears in the 1920 and 1930 census (but not in SSDI) in Turtle Lake, Barron Co., WI, with his wife, Bessie, b. c. 1883, OH, and children:

  1. Vera Prentice, b. c. 1907, WI. At home in 1930.
  2. Hazel Prentice, b. c. 1908, WI. At home in 1930.
  3. Roy Prentice, b. c. 1910, WI. At home in 1930. He is probably the Roy M. Prentice shown in the SSDI as b. 29 Nov 1909, who obtained his SS# in WI, and who d. 26 Aug 1988 at Ladysmith, Rusk Co., WI.
  4. Violet Prentice, b. c. 1913, WI. At home in 1930.

Who are Hiram Prentice's Parents?

Investigation is continuing.

Other Prentices

Family 1: William Prentice appears in the 1870 census in Turtle, Rock Co., WI and in the 1880 Dunlap, Harrison Co., IA census. He may be a brother to Franklin Prentice. Dunlap lies in the NE corner of Harrison County and less than a mile south of the separating county line. William was b. c. 1844 in VT and, according to the 1880 census, both of William's parents were born in NH

There is some ambiguity about the identity of his wife. The 1870 census calls her "Martha", b. c. 1847 in VT. The index to the 1880 census calls her and his wife, "Nat", was b. c. 1845 in VT; however the microfilm is quite faded and very hard to read as to what her name is. William's children shown in the 1880 census are:

  1. Minnie Prentice, b. c. 1870, WI.
  2. Myrtle/Myrtie Prentice, b. c. 1873, IA. She is not the Myrtle B. Prentice who m. William G. Hartshorn on 2 Apr 1891 in Marion Co., IA .

Note the similarity of the daughters' names to those in Franklin's family. Such similarity suggests either that Franklin named his daughters after those of William, or that both named their daughters after some mutual female kin. Also living with William's family was:

  1. Matilda Hopkins, b. c. 1852 in VT, called a sister in law.
  2. Mary/Marry Hopkins, b. c. 1871 in WI, called a niece.
  3. Gertie Hopklins, b. c. 1875 in WI, called a niece.
Note: For more on William Prentice, see our Fall 2002 article on Robert Prentiss of Moreton, Washington Co., VT .

Individual: Martha E. Prentice, b. Jun 1846, VT also appears in the 1900 census in Dunlap, Harrison Co., IA. She is listed as a boarderand no husband is shown. She may be a sister to William, above, also of Dunlap, or she might be the widowed wife of a brother.


Fn. 1: Glenn Gustafson relates that in the 1850's and 1860's, all settlers chose locations close to the Boyer river valley where it was flatter, had water, and most important, had groves of trees for logs to build shelter and which were the source of wild game. The name Galland is another pioneer family name of the Boyer river valley from around the Harrison county line on the south to Deloit on the north. Some Gallands are buried in the Deloit cemetery. One of the groves of trees in the Dunlap area (south end) was known by the Galland name. The grove of trees along the river at Deloit was known as Mason's Grove - named for Jesse Mason - the 'mighty hunter' for the Mormons who was known for his hunting skills and provider of food. Galland's Grove was close to where the Shelby, Harrison, and Crawford counties meet.


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