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Zearing, Iowa 1956 History

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14Community History, Zearing, Iowa
1856–Iowa Census
Thomas Ragan, age 50, native of Ireland
Hannah, age 40, native of Ireland
Thomas Jr., age 0, native of Iowa

Note: We now come to the grand old names of our community. They are Gilmore, Wickham, and Norton. The three families purchased land in the territory which later became Lincoln township In the fall of 1855. They started farming in the spring of 1856. The three families have descendants living in our community in 1956.


Land Purchase—John Gilmore Sr. on September 26, 1855, 151 acres, Section 3, paid at the rate of $1.25 per acre, cash paid, including fees, $189.815.

John Gilmore Sr. was born in Ireland on December 24, 1831. His first wife, Martha, was also born in Ireland. Their first child, Elizabeth, was listed in the 1856 Iowa census as a native of Iowa, age 0.

John Sr. and Martha were the parents of five children. They were Elizabeth, William, James, Nettie, and Lydia.

Martha died on October 10, 1880. Elizabeth died on August 19, 1868. Lydia died on February 17, 1869. They are buried in the Illinois Grove Cemetery.

When James Breen died in Ireland, his widow, Elizabeth Breen, came to the United States. James and Elizabeth were the parents of three children. They were Maggie, Cassie, and Robert. Robert is buried in the Zearing Cemetery. Maggie married Fred Bump.

The widow, Elizabeth Breen, married John Gilmore Sr. John Sr. and Elizabeth were the parents of four sons. They were John, Thomas, Edward, and Luther.

The son, John, has lived in our community all of his life. For historical purposes he should probably be listed as John Jr. However, who would dare to list a well built man of Irish descent as Junior? So in this history the father is listed as John Sr. and the son as John.

John Sr. died on February 21, 1913. Elizabeth died on May 9, 1910. They are buried in the Zearing Cemetery.


Horatio Cone Wickham was born on September 10, 1833, at Enfield Falls, Tompkins county, New York. Pauline R. Mallory was born on June 6, 1837, at Dryden, Tompkins county, New York. Horatio and Pauline were married in New York on December 31 1857.

The following information was furnished by Lynn W. Eley from the land office files in Washington, D. C.

Section 10, W½ of the SW¼, $1.25 per acre, October 8, 1855, Horatio C. Wickham, paid $100.00.

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