~ ELIZABETH C. (HADLEY) CHENEY, b. 8 Apr 1822 ~
Related Surnames - HUGHES, BELLOWS, ELLIS, McPEAKE,
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Cheney, widow of the late Seth C. Cheney, whose residence is pleasantly
situated on section 13, Perry Township, has been a resident of Jackson County for half a
century. In that period she has witnessed the numerous transformations that have changed
the broad prairie lands, over which the Indians roamed at will, to a beautiful country,
adorned by cultivated fields, spacious dwellings, school buildings and churches, and
populated with an intelligent, thrifty class of people.
Our subject was born in Eaton Township, Seneca Co., Ohio, April 8, 1822, being a daughter
of Nehemiah and Anna (Hughes) Hadley. Her paternal grandfather, Parrot Hadley, was of
English origin, born in Vermont, and there reared to manhood. He was a farmer by
occupation, and, leaving his native State, located in Ross County, Ohio, where he spent
his remaining years. His son Nehemiah, father of our subject, was a native of Vermont,
born in Newberg, Orange County, Aug. 26, 1790. He learned the trade of a shoemaker in
that place, and afterward removed to Ohio, living for awhile in Ross County, and then in
Seneca County, where he worked at his trade, and also spent a part of his time in hunting
and trapping. In the spring of 1839 Mr. Hadley determined to push still further Westward,
Iowa being his objective point of destination. He accordingly constructed two canoes, in
which he transported his family and household goods down the Sciota River to Portsmouth,
where he embarked !
on a steamer for Bellevue. After living two years in that city, he took up a homestead
claim near Andrew and engaged in farming, devoting part of his time to his favorite
amusement - hunting and trapping. He lived there until his death, at the advanced age of
eighty-three years. His wife was born in Mifflin Co., Pa., and was of Irish descent, her
father, Patrick Hughes, having been born in Ireland. He was a smart, ambitious lad, a
brilliant scholar, and was educated in Cork for the priesthood. But, becoming enamored
with the charms of a beautiful Irish maiden, whom he determined to marry, he renounced his
vows of celibacy, and eloped with her to America. They located in Pennsylvania, where
they spent the remainder of their lives, he becoming an educator and superintendent of
schools. Mr. and Mrs. Hadley had a family of nine children, namely: Ruth (deceased),
Mary A. Elizabeth C., John (deceased), Hannah, Martha J. (deceased), Naomi, Jerusha
(deceased), and Minerva.
Elizabeth, of whom we write, was reared and educated in Ohio, being a young lady when she
came to Iowa with her parents in 1839. The ensuing two years she remained with them,
assisting her mother in the various duties of a well-conducted home. She thus received a
practical education that well fitted her for the duties she was soon to assume as a wife.
Her union with Seth C. Cheney was solemnized in Bellevue Sept. 20, 1841. He was of New
England stock, both himself and his father, Seth C. Cheney, having been born in
Massachusetts. When two years of age he was left an orphan, and from that time until he
was fifteen years old lived with his Grandfather Bellows, in Milford, a village near
Boston. He was then apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade, and worked at it
there until his removal to New York State, where he remained but a short time. He then
went West to Michigan, but not being very much impressed by the advantages presented by
that State, came to Iowa in 1840!
, and located in Jackson County. He took up a claim of 180 acres of land in Perry
Township, a part of which is now included in the County Poor Farm, and engaged in
agricultural pursuits. In 1847 Mr. Cheney removed to Andrew and resumed his former trade,
being thus employed until the spring of 1850, when he started overland to California with
a drove of cattle. He was four months on the way, and after arriving there engaged in
mining. He remained thus employed eighteen months, and was then compelled, on account of
ill-health, to return home, coming back by the way of Panama and New Orleans in the fall
of 1852. Mr. Cheney subsequently bought a farm near Andrew, which he managed a year, and
then opened a store in that city, and the ensuing seven years engaged in the mercantile
business. Disposing of his store and stock, he bought the farm now occupied by our
subject and her son, and carried it on until his death, which occurred in 1859. He was a
man of sterling worth, a !
good citizen, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he
affiliated with the Republican party.
After the death of her husband our subject managed the farm for awhile, displaying much
tact and ability, and then removed to Andrew. She lived in that place until 1880, when
she returned to the homestead, and has since carried on the farm in partnership with her
son Seth. It consists of eighty acres of valuable land, well watered by Jesse's
Branch, and particularly adapted to stock-raising, for which it is principally used.
To Mr. and Mrs. Cheney were born the following children: Sophia, wife of George Ellis, of
Cawker City, Mitchell Co., Kans.; Omar K., who lives in Washington; Lavinia, now Mrs.
McPeake, a resident of Perry, this county; Seth C., a prominent citizen of Perry
Township, who lives on the home farm, and carries it on in partnership with his mother;
Elba M., who resides in Oxford Junction, Iowa; and Henry L., of Fulton. Seth married
Miss Lydia McPeake in 1871. She died in 1880, leaving four children - William L, Scott
W., Lizzie C., and Maude D. Mrs. Cheney is an esteemed member of society, and is held in
high respect for her intelligence, ability, and sound common sense. In politics she is an
active supporter of the Republican administration.
("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published
in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)