Many of Iowa’s first pioneers were or went on to become famous! This is a list of a few of them.
James Huston Jordan b. 1806 in Frankfort, KY, d.1893 in Eldon, IA. Around 1832 he opened a trading post in Sweet Home and another one near Iowaville, IA. James was a close friend of Chief Black Hawk and secured his release from the St Louis Prison after the Black Hawk War and provided him shelter near Iowaville until his death in 1838.
Chief Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) b. 1767 in IL, was the Sauk Chief in Saukenuk, IL. He was an ally of the British during the war of 1812, holding the rank of brevet Brigadier General, in charge of all Indian Allies at Green Bay and fought the against the American forces. He was incensed when he returned to find his tribal village overran by settlers and his Sacred Burial grounds plowed and bones scattered. When he retaliated, the military drove him out. Shortly the Black Hawk war ensued. He died and was “buried” on the James Jordan farm at Iowaville, IA, only to have his bones stolen by a settler doctor, and later put on display before disappearing, presumably burned in a museum fire.
Nathaniel Boone was the youngest son of Daniel Boone, Captain in 1st US Dragoons, veteran of war of 1812, and delegate of Missouri constitutional convention.
Mr. John C Breckenridge was a prominent Lawyer in Burlington. He visited his mother in Kentucky in 1843, contacted influenza and remained in Kentucky. He became Vice President with James Buchanan in 1857, lost the Presidency in 1860 to Abraham Lincoln and was the Confederate secretary of War under Jefferson Davis in 1865.
Henry Clay Caldwell became state senator in 1860-62 and later the senior judge of the US Federal Circuit Court of appeals of the 8th district (Arkansas).
Melgar Couchman was the postmaster of Sweet Home, MO in 1836, Sheriff of Hancock Co, Illinois 1846-49, County Judge in 1849 and Commissioner of Hancock Co, IL 1862.
Henry Dodge was a Member of both US House and Senate, governor of Wisconsin Territory (1836-41,1845-48) US Congressman 1841-1845). His son Augustus C Dodge was Iowa Territorial delegate (1840, 1842, 1844-1846), Iowa Senator 1848-1855, Minister of Spain until 1859.
Albert Gallatin Edwards was the founder of A. G. Edwards investments.
Thomas Jefferson Jordan b. 1805 Franklin Co, KY d. Apr 20, 1850, Belknap, Davis Co. Buried in Soap Creek Mill Cemetery.
A.M. Lea was an engineer at Fort Des Moines and surveyed southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa until his resignation in 1836. He was a brigadier general in the Iowa militia and later a major in the Confederate Army. He was also Secretary of War under John Tyler.
Robert E. Lee was the US engineer stationed at Fort Des Moines to work on navigation of the Mississippi River. Without his maps, the rapids were deadly. Later he was the commander of the Confederate Army in the Civil War.
Captain Abraham Van Buren, first lieutenant of 1st Dragoon Regiment of Fort Des Moines was the eldest son of President Martin Van Buren.
Capt. James White settled migrated to St Charles, MO in 1818. By 1828 he had a two story house at Venus, IL – name changed to Commerce in 1834 and Later Nauvoo, IL. In 1832 he also built a house on the West side of the Mississippi at Montrose, IA. In 1834 the military acquired his land and built the first Fort Des Moines. He died in Nauvoo in 1836. He was a Mississippi riverboat captain as well.
Lawrence Sullivan Ross was born in Bentonsport, IA Sept 27, 1838. In 1839 the family moved to Texas, Milam County (Comanche Territory), then in 1849 moved to Waco, Texas. He attended Baylor University in 1856 and in 1859 graduated from Wesleyan University, Alabama. In 1860, he was a Captain in Mounted Texas Rangers who recovered Cynthia Ann Parker from Comanches. In 1861 he enlisted in Company G, Sixth TX Calvary, was promoted to Confederate Brigadier General in 1863. From 1873-1875 he was the Sheriff of McLennan County, TX. Upon the founding of Texas in 1876, he was a member of the Texas Constitutional Convention, from 1880-1882 he was a Texas state Senator, from 1886-1890 he was the 19th Governor of Texas, and from 1891-1898 he ws the President of Texas A&M and given credit for saving the institution. He Died in College Station, Jan 3, 1898.