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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 459 of 460

Hillsboro, in Henry County, Iowa, where he had engaged in mercantile business in a small way, to seek a broader field. When at Des Moines, he learned that the commissioners would meet to locate, the county seat of Story County on the following day. His attention was attracted by the opportunity that was offered to begin with the beginning, and he joined the locating party. How he secured a lot, contracted for the delivery of logs for a house, and raised the building on the day the town lots were offered for sale, is told elsewhere. This occurred on his twenty-eighth birthday, September 8, 1853. His wife and infant son had arrived at the cabins of J. P. Robinson, one of which the Alderman family occupied, on August 8. It was soon known that the material for the pioneer store was on hand, and Mrs. Alderman was frequently called on to open the boxes and supply pressing needs in advance of the regular opening day. In this manner, in the Robinson cabin, with the earth for a floor and a split-board roof to shut out the sky, was begun a business that has continued without cessation to the present. Soon after Mr. Alderman took possession of his place, near the southwest corner of the' courthouse block, it was more noted than any other place in the county. Being the only house in town, it must shelter the public as well as be the only place for mercantile traffic. It became the office of the county judge and of the only physician in the east half of the county. It was the only post-office, and within its walls occurred the first birth, the first marriage, the first death and the first sermon. During these years Mr. Alderman was school-fund commissioner, and was ordered by his superior officer, James D. Eads, of unsavory memory, to sell the university lands in the county at their appraisement. In obeying these orders, he had serious embarrassment for a time. Mr. Eads repudiated the acts of his subordinate, because the latter would not forward the funds illegally. But the firmness of Mr. Alderman secured title to the purchasers, and probably saved some money to the State, though at some risk to himself. Elisha Alderman, the grandfather of the Story County pioneer, was born in Connecticut about 1755. His father was captain of a British merchantman, and with his vessel was captured by a French war vessel, from which he made his escape in mid-ocean, and was picked up by a friendly sail, and landed at Boston. From this seaman it is said that all those in America who bear the name are descended. Elisha Huff Alderman, a son of Elisha, came with his father from Central-western New York in 1808, and settled in Southern Ohio. Here lie married Sarah Baker, whose father came from Germany. To this pair was born at West Rushville, Fairfield County, Ohio, September 8, 1825, the subject of this sketch. The father of T. E. Alderman was a farmer and contractor; he made brick and built houses for the neighboring farmers. The son wrought with his father in these labors. He was thus, at an early age, inured to honest toil. He followed his father's fortunes through various removes in Ohio, which included residence in Fairfield, Athens, Jackson, Scioto and Pike Counties, and December 2, 1845, landed in Lee County, Iowa. June 3, 1850, he was married in Clark County, Mo., to Hannah A. Reynolds, a native of Washington County, Ohio. The surviving issue of this marriage are a daughter, Minnie A., wife of J. A. Mills, the present treasurer of Story County, and the sons, Oscar B., Ed T. and Ulysses S. About twenty years ago Mr. Alderman associated with himself in business the elder son, and the style of the house became T. E. Alderman & Son. About two years ago the father retired from active participation

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