Duncans in Dubuque Co. IA


Duncan research files of
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson
the Genealogy Bug

Last revised November 2, 2007

Formed 1834 from Michigan Territory
1836 Dubuque Co. IA adjoined what was then Iowa Co. WI
Clayton, Clinton, Delaware formed 1837 from Dubuque


1830 Iowa Co. MI Census (1836 became Iowa Co. WI)
Pg.237  Asa Duncan      0000,21  -  0

1840 Dubuque Co. IA Census
      No Duncan Indexed
      (MAD: the 1836 Dubuque Co. IA Territorial census showed A. Duncan 3 males over 21 and John Duncan 1 male over 21 on pg.23, and Coleman Duncan 3 males over 21 on pg.44)

1850 Dubuque Co. IA Census
Pg.60, #852-888, Asa DUNKIN 49 KY blacksmith $0
                  Mary 51 KY
                  America J. AMBLER (f) 16 IL
                  Alfred SMITH 12 England
                  (MAD: Asa Duncan mar. Mary Ambler 7/12/1843 or 7/13/1843; compare Asa Duncan in Mercer Co. KY, son of Martin Duncan; 1860 Jackson Co. IA census)

1860 Dubuque Co. IA Census
Dubuque City
Pg.401, #306-325, Edward A. DUNCAN 29 NH physician $0-$100
                  Jeannie (f) 23 NH
                  & tenants
                  (MAD: ? 1850 Hartford Co. CT or ??? Gloucester Co. NJ census; 1870 Warren Co. MS census)
Dubuque City
Pg.653, #2143-2267, J.K. DUNCAN (m) 57 PA accountant $0-$500
                  Anna W. 52 PA
                  Samuel 27 PA lawyer
                  Calentha (f) 25 MO
                  Fidelia (m) 17 PA
                  Ethelbert (m) 15, Edgar 12 PA
                  Ellen RUTHERFORD 23 ENG servant
                  Ellen DUNCAN 3, Grace? (f) 1 IA
                  Howard STARR 20 IN plasterer
                  Mary J. 14 MO
                  (MAD: John K. Duncan, 1850 Fayette Co. PA census)

1870 Dubuque Co. IA Census
Ward 1, Dubuque
Pg.87, #400-397, DUNCAN, Samuel 63 PA Agt. Life Ins. $3000-$3000
                  Margaret 62 PA keeping house
                  Jennie O. (f) 27 PA at home
                  Mary 21 PA at home
                  (MAD: 1860 Johnson Co. IA census; 1880 Solano Co. CA census; Jennie O. Duncan in 1880 San Joaquin Co. CA census)
Pg.87, #401-398, DUNCAN, J.K. (m) 67 PA real estate agt. $4000-$2000
                  Anna 62 PA keeping house
                  E.O. (m) 26 PA flour miller $0-$1000
                  E.W. (m) 24 PA real estate agt. $0-$500
                  Fannie L. (f) 19 PA at school
                  SHERIDAN, Julia 16 IA domestic


Pension Index Card File, alphabetical; of the Veterans Administrative Contact and Administration Services, Admin. Operations Services, 1861-1934; Duff to A-J Duncan (negative FHL film 540,888, some cards very faint); Joseph Duncan to Dunn (positive FHL film 540,889, some cards very dark)
      Cataloged under Civil War, 1861-1865, pensions, indexes; does not say if Confederate or Federal, but probably Federal. Negative film, some cards much too faint or dark to read, some cards blurred or faded, particularly the service unit and the dates of application. Most of the very faint or dark cards were in a slightly different format, with space for years enlisted and discharged which were sometimes filled in. Many of these were for service in later years, although one or two were for service ca 1866.
      Name of soldier, alias, name of dependent widow or minor, service (military unit or units), date of filing, class (invalid or widow or minor or other), Application #, Certificate #, state from which filed (sometimes blank), attorney (sometimes blank, MAD: did not usually copy), remarks. Sometimes the "Invalid" or "Widow" class had an "s" added to it before the application #; occasionally the area for the service information included a circled "S". The minor's name was frequently that of the guardian rather than the minor.
      The military unit was frequently the Company Letter, the Regiment Number, sometimes US Vet Vol Inf. (US Veteran Volunteer Infantry), L.A. (Light Artillery), H.A. (Heavy Artillery), US C Inf (US Colored? Infantry), Cav. (Cavalry), Mil. Guards, V.R.C. (?Volunteer Reserve Corps?), etc. Sometimes there were several service units given.
      Cards appear to be arranged by the last name, first name, middle initial if any, and state (including "US") of service.
      Duncan, Edward A., widow Duncan, Alice B.; C 21 & Asst. Surg. 38 Iowa Inf., Cont. Surg. Med Dept. US Vols., Hosp. Std. 21 Iowa Inf.; 1885 Sept. 3, Invalid Appl. #548702, Cert. #408325; 1915 Feb. 19, Widow Appl. 1041930, Cert. #788341, D.C. (MAD: ? 1850 Hartford Co. CT or ??? Gloucester Co. NJ census; 1860 Dubuque Co. IA census)
      Duncan, Ethelbert O., widow Duncan, Lena; A 44 Iowa Inf.; 1892 June 10, Invalid Appl. #1115780, Cert. #926830, Iowa; 1900 March 24, Widow Appl. #715641, Cert. #501953, Iowa. (MAD: 1850 Fayette Co. PA census; 1860 Dubuque Co. IA census)

HISTORIES before 1923

1880 "The History of Dubuque County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., biographical sketches of citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the northwest, history of Iowa, map of Dubuque County, constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c." pub. by Western Historical (FHL book 977.739 H2t)
      Pg.784, Dubuque City. EDWARD W. DUNCAN, of the firm of Duncan & Waller, loan brokers, real estate, insurance and collection agents; 151 Fifth street, Dubuque; is a native of Fayette Co. PA, and was born Dec. 30, 1846; his parents came to Iowa in 1857, and, in 1858, they removed to Dubuque; he grew up to manhood and received his education here; .... January, 1874, he was united in marriage to Miss Lillian J. Lawther, a native of Missouri; they have two sons .... Mr. Duncan's mother, Mrs. Anna W. Duncan, lives with him in this city; her husband, J.D. Duncan, died in 1870.

"Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity Containing Biographies of Well Known Citizens of The Past and Present." pub. Chicago: National Historical Record Company, 1902. (FHL fiche 6,031,591; Placerville FHC 7/2007 & 7/2007; MAD's brief extract)
      Pg.162-163: EDGAR W. DUNCAN. The city of Salt Lake is distinguished not only for its superb climate, location, ... but also for its resolute and aggressive men of business, whose broad intelligence and enterprise have developed these forces. ... Salt Lake has been especially favored, and prominent among the financiers who have so ably directed her affairs is Edgar D. Duncan. (MAD: name as given) He came to Salt Lake City in 1894 to assume charge of the National Bank of the Republic as its Cashier, which position he held until January 10, 1901, when he resigned in order to devote his entire time and attention to the management of his wide and varied enterprises. ....
            The subject of this sketch was born in Spring Hill, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1846, and lived there until nine years old. His parents then removed to Dubuque, Iowa, and here their son spent his succeeding years until his removal to Salt Lake City in 1894. His early education, such as it was, was derived from the common schools of Dubuque, but he started on his business carrer (MAD: sic) at an early age, first selling newspapers and doing well whatever came first to his hand and learning his lessons well ... He later worked at photography, securing employment in a studio in Dubuque and at the age of seventeen started in business for himself. Owing to the Civil War which was then at its height, the demand for breadstuffs was greater than the supply, and Mr. Duncan, realizing the opportunities that this state of affairs presented, entered that business under the firm name of Thompson & Duncan, and this he followed during the entire time that the war lasted. ... he is now a man of independent wealth.
            At the termination of hostilities he disposed of his interest in the milling business and entered the real estate and banking business, in which he was signally successful and followed that calling for the thirty years he remained in Dubuque. He was for many years cashier of the Dubuque County Bank and was a director in that institution prior to his election as cashier. ...
            J.K. Duncan, the father of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania and carried on an extensive iron business in that State. Upon his removal to Iowa he engaged in the real estate and loan business in Dubuque and followed that business until the time of his death. His family were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania and were highly respected and influential people in their community. His wife, Anna (Volephant) Duncan, and the mother of Edgar W. Duncan, was also a native of Pennsylvania and her brothers were also engaged in the iron business close to the establishment of her husband in that State. Her family were well represented in the Civil War, and, in addition to four of her sons who were enegaged (MAD: sic) in that struggle, she also had seven nephews serving in the Federal forces, one of whom rose to the rank of Brigadier General. Of her own sons, two were killed in action, while serving under General Sheridan and the other two, who also served on the Union side, were so shattered by the hardships they underwent as to be practically broken down at the time they were mustered out of the service.
            Edgar W. Duncan was married at Fulton, Missouri, on January 14, 1874, to Miss Lillian J. Lawther, daughter of Hans Lawther, who recently died at the advanced age of ninety years. By this marriage they have two children, one son, Amedee W., engaged in the insurance business, and who is married and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and one daughter, Edna M.
            During the seven years that Mr. Duncan served as cashier of the National Bank of the Republic, the deposits in that institution were increased under his administration .... In political life, Mr. Duncan is a believer in the principles espoused by the Republican party, ... Fraternal life, he is a leading member of the Knights of Pythias, ... he first associated himself with this order in 1878 ... during the convention of the Grand Lodge at Dubuque in that year (1888), Mrs. Duncan was made an honorary member of the order, a distinction never before accorded to any woman. ... He also holds membership in the Workmen's Order of Dubuque. He is also a member of the I.O.O.F. and the Elks Lodge. ... During the 21 years in which he was associated with Mr. John R. Waller in business at Dubuque, there was never a cross word between them. .... (MAD: Spring Hill, Fayette Co. PA; Fulton, Callaway Co. MO)

1882 "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men" by Franklin Ellis, 1828-1885; pub. Philadelphia : L.H. Everts & Co., 1882 (LH11284, HeritageQuest image 3/2007; FHL film 1,000,555 item 1, book 77; also University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library, Historic Pittsburgh Full-Text Collection)
      Pg.329: Uniontown borough ... In 1829, September 28th, John Kennedy Duncan and Dr. Hugh Campbell were ordained to the sacred office. Mr. Duncan was born and raised in Carlisle, admitted to this church upon certificate, and at once elected elder, and served faithfully for one year, and was dismissed in 1830 to the Tent Church. Thence he removed to Springhill, thence to Iowa City, thence to Dubuque [Iowa], where he died in 1869. (MAD: Carlisle, Cumberland Co. PA)


Mercer Co. KY Deeds (FHL film 191,822)
      24-380: 29 Jan. 1844, Asa Duncan and wife Polly (X) of DuBuque Co. IA Territory, late Polly Short of Green Co. KY, appoint Allen Short (son of said Polly) of Sangamon Co. IL, attorney to receive of admrs. of Ann Stone late of Mercer Co. KY, decd, all such estate as said Polly Duncan late Polly Short may be entitled as one of children, heirs and devisees of said Ann Stone late of Mercer Co. KY, decd., named in will of Ann Stone. Wit. M. Lewis, John Thompson. Rec. DuBuque Co. IA ...
      24-383: Whereas on 29 Jan. 1844, Asa Duncan and wife Polly late Polly Short of Green Co. KY made power of attorney to Allen Short ... and authorized Allen Short to appoint another attorney ... now Allen Short appoints Henry L. Mudd of Green Co. KY attorney. (pg.384 not microfilmed)


"The Washington Post" Washington, D.C., November 7, 1905 (transcription by and from Kathy Cawley 5/2004; MAD: Antrim, Hillsborough Co. NH; Edward A. Duncan, 1860 Dubuque Co. IA)
      DR. DUNCAN a Living Refutation of Oslerism.
      MINCE PIE SCARES HIM NOT. Hot Biscuit, Welsh Rarebit, Beer and Cigars Also Looked Upon by Him as Being Part of the Pleasures of His Old Age -- Took Lively Part in Civil War -- Of Scotch-Irish Decent.
      Dr. E.A. Duncan, the cheerful gentleman of seventy-five years, author of the short rhyme in the Sunday Post in refutation of Dr. Osler's contention that a man after the age of sixty is practically useless, was visited at his home, 1018 D street notheast, by a Post reporter, to whom he talked interestingly of his philosophy of life.
      Dr. Duncan may well lay claim to being the youngest old man in Washington. Spry and active as a cat; as full of life as a young man of twenty; ruddy complexioned and in the enjoyment of good health and appetite, he looks anything but what he is, a man of seventy-five. His philosophy is to avoid feeling old by associating with younger people, and to laugh at everything that is funny. He eats three square meals a day; hot biscuits, mince pie, Welsh rarebit, and everything he likes; drinks beer, smokes a dozen or so black stogies every day, and has not missed a day at the Pension Office for twenty years. He also drinks water, germs and all, and is of the opinion that the problem of age is, after all, more a question of the man than it is of what he eats or drinks, thinks or does.
            Of Scotch-Irish Descent.
      Dr. Duncan was born in Antrim, N.H., in 1830, of Scotch-Irish stock, his forefathers having emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland, shortly after the battle of Culloden (sp.), settling in New Hampshire at a locality, which they named after their home county. Early in life he went West, settling in Dubuque, Iowa, as a physician. In 1860, he helped to place Senator Allison in nomination for Congress. At the breaking out of the Civil War, Dr. Duncan enlisted as surgeon in the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, and performed such valuable service at the siege of Vicksburg that Gen. McPherson had him transferred from the Thirty-eighth Iowa to his own staff. Dr. Duncan served under Gen. McPherson until the siege of Atlanta, where he saw his commander killed.
      At the close of the war he remained for six years in the army as a military surgeon. He also was, for a time, mayor of Vicksburg under the reconstruction rule. Later he came to Washington, serving for a time as secretary to one of the Congressional Committees, and later getting an examinership in the Pension Office, a position he still holds.
      Dr. Duncan is a 'wit' and elocutionist as well as poet and writer, and through the winter is in constant demand at social affairs.
            The Birth of "Shellanna."
      During the battle of Jonesboro, which was regarded by the Unions as the key to Atlanta, a log cabin, occupied by some "crackers," stood right in the line of fire of both armies. The men of the cabin had fled, leaving an old woman and her daughter, who during the battle gave birth to a girl baby. Cannon shots and bomb shells had blown the roof off the cabin; a bomb had knicked an outer smoke house to pieces, and when the battle ceased it was found that a shell has crashed through the cabin within a few inches of the mother's head.
      The fact that a child had been born during the fight soon became noised about, and Gen. Logan and his staff, of which Dr. Duncan was a member, came to see the baby. The people were wretchedly poor, and the soldiers, in marching by, emptied their haversacks of tea, coffee, bacon, flour, & e., upon the cabin floor, for the benefit of the wretched inmates. At Gen. Logan's suggestion, "Holy Joe," as the chaplain was called, baptized the child after Dr. Duncan had dressed it up in some cloth which he cut from a deserted loom near by, and, at the latter's suggestion, the baby was named "Shellanna."
      Dr. Duncan wrote a full account of this affair some years after the war, and it has, since then, traveled everywhere throughout the United States. Before leaving, Gen. Logan gave the child's grandmother a twenty-dollar gold piece, the largest sum of money thay had ever possessed.


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