States: Iowa: Johnson
Hon. Charles McCollister, was born January 8, 1790 in Maryland, died May 23, 1876 at his home in Pleasant Valley township, Johnson County IA. At three years of age his parents settled in Ross County OH. He was married October 15, 1818, to Miss Mary Stinson, and settled in Pike County, OH. The young couple began life in earnest and life in Ohio in 1818 was different from life in the west now. At that date no railroad took the farmerís wheat to the sea and no steamboat had ruffled the current of western waters.
Indian footprints were fresh in the forests where the young farmer hewed him out a house and cleared away the trees to let sunshine upon it. He tilled the soil and those of us who have seen his tall and stalwart form in old age, can judge how matchless must have been the force and how tireless the energy thrown into the labors of his prime. As the country settled around him and neighbors came nearer, his talents for public business were frequently called into use by his fellow citizens, and the sturdy young democrat was often called from his fields to administer such offices as the growing society and the polity of his State required. To civil administration was added service in turn in each of the lay offices of the Presbyterian Church which he had joined early in life and to which he remained a faithful adherent. About 1830 he was made associate justice of the court of common pleas, and during seven years service on the bench was distinguished by a natural aptness and a judicial ability which made it evident if he had been trained for the bar that he might have won the foremost honors of the profession. In 1837 he was entrusted with the finances of his county, by election as county treasurer, which place he held for three terms. His home was now no longer the frontier, but was teeming with population and furnished young men to migrate, as their fathers had done before them, and to found new homes in Illinois and younger Iowa. In 1851 he was chosen to the important office of probate judge, which he filled very acceptably for two terms. In 1855 he left the old home, consecrated by the memories of youth and hallowed by the trials of manhood, and coming to Iowa settled in Pleasant Valley upon a rich farm that bloomed around him like a principality. Here for a score of years he lived surrounded by his children and respected by all who came to know him. The talents which had served so well in the trusts committed to him by the pioneer neighbors of 1820, had grown with the growth around him and ripened into that solid capacity and judgment which never erred which so distinguished his very latest years. Source: History of Johnson Co, IA 1836-1882, Page 962.
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