Author Topic: Lysander W. Babbitt - Iowa (Ref. 090110-1)  (Read 16200 times)

Offline nord

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1548
Lysander W. Babbitt - Iowa (Ref. 090110-1)
« on: January 10, 2009, 05:05:36 PM »
 Although it was certainly made in Iowa, the excact location might be difficult to pinpoint. Babbitt was born January 31, 1812, in Ovid, Seneca County, New York. He grew up on the "Old Ridge Road" on the shores of Lake Ontario. He was apprenticed to learn the gunsmith's trade in Lockport, New York. After completing his apprenticeship he heeded Horace Greeley's advice to  "Go west, young man, go west" and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he opened a shop and was briefly in business. He is listed there in an 1837 directory, as a gunsmith at 14 Bank Street. Considering that the directory was likely compiled in 1836, he had probably moved on before the directory was published. For it was still 1836 when he arrived at Flint Hills, Iowa Territory, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, and opened a gunsmith shop. . Flint Hills is now the city of  Burlington. He remained in that location at least through the census of 1840, but in 1841 had a shop upriver at Muscatine, Iowa. The settlements along the Mississippi soon became too metropolitan for him, and he would often go off on extended hunting and trapping expeditions, leaving his wife and children and his shop in the care of friends. He spent months (1842-1843) exploring the headwaters of the DesMoines River, up into unceded Indian country where very few white men had been. Upon his return, he found that his wife , believing that he had been killed by Indians, was preparing to sell his property and return to her family back east. Soon after that, he did indeed sell his property, moving his family up the DesMoines River, where he opened another gunsmith shop in a log cabin, in what would later become Marion County, Iowa. After a short time there, he moved again to what was to become Knoxville, Iowa, where he opened a gunsmith shop and also became the first postmaster (in 1846). While in Knoxville he began to be involved in Merchandising, milling, and other business ventures that eventually took the place of his original trade, though he never lost his love for guns. He was known for being among the best rifle shots in that region, often shooting ducks, geese, and wild pigeons, in flight with a rifle.
Shortly after 1850, Babbitt moved again, this time to Kanesville, which was shortly re-named Council Bluffs. There, he purchased a newspaper, "The Council Bluffs Bugle", of which he was editor until after 1880. He had become involved in politics while living in Knoxville and served twice in the state legislature. While in Knoxville he began to study law and was accepted to the bar in 1847. He served again in the state legislature after locating in Council bluffs, and also served as mayor of that city. He sold his newspaper in 1881, and moved to Arkansas. He died in October 4th, 1885, in Beebe, White County Arkansas.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 07:32:24 PM by Dennis Glazener »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.