Isaac Milburn Biography
Contributor: William Oliver Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Isaac Milburn is one of the representative farmers of Monroe township, living on section 23. He was born on the head waters of the Fundy Bay in the province of New Brunswick, August 12, 1818. His father was a wheelwright by trade, and he remained under the parental roof until twenty-one years of age, in the meantime assisting in the duties of the farm and receiving his education at the common schools. At the age of twenty-two years young Milburn went to the home of his brother-in-law, Oliver Dow, of Calais, Maine, who was a millwright by trade, and there acquired the same art. He remained at Calais four years, then returned home and entered the Academy at Mt. Allison, Sackvillle, New Brunswick, where he pursued a course of study for eighteen months and still has the certificate of his honorable discharge from the institution, as having successfully completed his education in the branches taught there. He then returned to Calais and worked at his trade as a journeyman for the following two years, and in 1850 turned his face westward, crossed the Mississippi and came into Iowa , locating in Monroe township and erecting the first sawmill built in this township, it being located on the section where he now resides. Mr. Milburn owned and operated this mill for the next twenty-five years, and in this, as in other undertakings, met with more than ordinary success. He is the owner of a fine farm of 435 acres, which he has industriously cultivated and superintended in addition to his other business interests, attending to them all intelligently and successfully. He also has nine fine dwelling houses in the city of Cedar Rapids, all centrally located and occupied by first-class tenants.
Mr. Milburn arrived in Monroe Township on the 3rd of June, 1850. Cedar Rapids at the time contained but two brick houses. Mr. Milburn entered eighty acres of the land he now owns, which formed a nucleus for his very fine homestead. He labored alone for four years in the young and enterprising West, and taking courage from the prospect of a successful future, he selected for himself a helpmate in the person of Miss Olivia McLaskey their marriage taking place November 28, 1854. Mrs. M., like her husband, is a native of New Brunswick, born in St. Patrick Township, Charlotte County, January 5, 1832. She was the daughter of Robert and Mary Gilman McLaskey. Her father was also a native of New Brunswick, and of Irish ancestry. His birth occurred on the 12th of October, 1800, and he died in 1884 in his native province. His marriage with Miss Mary Gilman occurred in 1826. His wife was a native of New Hampshire, born in 1886 and of English and New England parentage. Their household circle was completed by the birth of twelve children, one of whom died in infancy unnamed. The others were as follows: Eliza A. Olivia, Mary J., Lydia, Sarah M., Ruth, Cordelia, Robert H., Charles G., Ernest F., and Harvey, who died in infancy. Eight of these are now living.
The parents of Mr. Milburn of this sketch were Jeremiah and Sarah Smith Milburn, both from the parish of Stanhope, county of Durham, England. They were married in their native country and came to New Brunswick in 1818, settling in the parish of Hillsborough. Jeremiah Milburn was born in the year 1774 and died in New Brunswick in 1848. His wife was born in 1786 and died in 1858, also in New Brunswick. Mr. Milburn, Sr. was employed in the lead mines of England during his earlier years and until coming to New Brunswick, after which he was engaged in plaster mining, and he was also a wheelwright by trade.
The parental household consisted of ten children, as follows: Arletta married Mr. Convis Kinney, who is now deceased and she is living in Washington County, Maine; John married Miss Matilda Milburn, and they are living in Albert Co. New Brunswick. Betsey married Oliver Dow, and both she and her husband are deceased; Robert died at the age of two years; Joseph married Miss Martha McNutt, and they are living in Emmetsburg, Iowa; the next in order of birth is Isaac, the subject of our sketch; Robert, second, married Miss Susannah Woodworth, and they are living in Hopewell Parish, Albert County, N.B.; David married Miss Lorinda Cennett, and they are living in Hand County, Dak.; Mary became the wife of Jones Watson, now deceased, and is living in Calais, Me.; Sarah, Mrs. George Brown, lives in Turner County, Dak.
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Milburn are the parents of nine children, of whom seven are still living: William W., born Sept. 1, 1851, married Miss Eldora Freeman, and they reside on section 6, Monroe Township; Charles S., born July 20, 1859, married Miss Matilda Trinble; Addison R., was born Jan. 28, 1861; Lydia, born June 9, 1865, became the wife of John M. Mead, and lives in Dakota; Adelia was born August 28, 1866, and Benjamin, Aug. 3, 1874.
The subject of our sketch, not withstanding his success, business tact and the accumulation of fine property, is a man of quiet and unostentatious disposition, never seeking notoriety. This, perhaps, was his chief recommendation among his fellow-citizens, who determined that his true worth and intelligence should receive their just reward. Consequently he was solicited to fill such offices as they were able to bestow on him. In 1862 he was nominated as a member of the State Legislature on the Republican ticket, and elected by a majority of over 400. While a member of this, the Ninth General Assembly, he was on the committees of Schools and Universities, Military Affairs, and Judicial Districts. His opposing candidate was a man whose standing made him difficult to contend against, but Mr. Milburn was the choice of the people, being a Union man, and his opponent a Pro-slavery man in principle. Previous to this Mr. M. had served as Township Trustee and Justice of the Peace, and as a member of the School Board. During the recent great Prohibition movement in Iowa, Mr. M. became deeply interested in the question at issue, and earnestly gave his support to the anti-liquor movement. He takes pardonable pride in the reflection that his name stands on record as the supporter of pure temperance principles and against any compromise whatever with the soul-destroyer. In consideration of invaluable services in this direction, on the 22d of October, 1886, he received the nomination for Congress by the Prohibition Convention of the Fifth Congressional District.
The parents of Mr. Milburn were earnest and sincere adherents of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and although their son has by no means forgotten their worthy example and Christian life, he has not identified himself particularly with any religious denomination. His record as a man and a citizen has been a clean one. He has sought to do as he would be done by, and his honesty uprightness and integrity of purpose have been clearly indicated in the position he now occupies among his fellow-citizens. This speaks better for him than a printed volume of empty words.
Our subject is warmly attached to his family, and refers with pride and satisfaction to the fact that he has eight grandchildren. The family residence is finely located, and within and without is indicative of cultivated tastes and simple means. The entire homestead forms one of the most attractive spots in Linn County, and is observed with interest by the traveler through this section.
This biography is taken from "Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa" Chapman Brothers, pbl