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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Lucian Moody Kilburn

Lucian M. Kilburn

Lucian Moody Kilburn, of Greenfield, has devoted much of his life to agricultural pursuits, but has also engaged in the loan and insurance business and since 1888 has been president of the Adair County Mutual Insurance Association.  He was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, January 20, 1842.  The Kilburn family is of English origin, the American ancestor being Thomas Kilburn, who was born in Cambridgeshire, England, in 1578, and came to America in 1639 accompanied by his three sons and two daughters, all of whom had then reached maturity.  He settled in Weathersfield, Connecticut, but one of his sons, George Kilburn, went to Rowley, Massachusetts, and was there registered in 1640 as a freeman, or landowner.  He was the founder of the branch of the family of which Lucian M. Kilburn is a descendant in the seventh generation.  His grandfather, Eliphalet Kilburn, was a Massachusetts minuteman at the time of the outbreak of the war between the Colonies and the mother country.  He participated in the battle of Bunker Hill and was also present at the capture of Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York.  His son Eliphalet Kilburn, Jr., was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, in 1804, and in 1832 married Mehitable Foster, who was born in Canterbury, New Hampshire, in 1803.  She was the daughter of Asa Foster, who also served as a soldier of the Revolutionary war but would never accept a pension or a land warrant for his services, believing it to be an improper thing to do so.  He died at his home in the old Granite state at the notable age of ninety-five years.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Eliphalet Kilburn, Jr., have passed away, the former in 1863 and the latter in 1899 at the age of ninety-six years.

Lucian M. Kilburn pursued his education in the New London (N. H.) Literary Institute and the Elmwood Academy at Boscawen, New Hampshire.  He left the latter institution in the fall of 1862 in order to respond to President Lincoln's call for three hundred thousand men for nine months' service, enlisting in the month of October as a private in Company E, Sixteenth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry.  He was at once elected by his company to the position of corporal and so served honorably discharged at the close of his term.  He participated in the engagement at Fort Burton, at the mouth of the Red river, in Louisiana, and after the capitulation of the fort was stationed therein with his regiment, remaining there for about two months.  Later the Sixteenth New Hampshire participated in the Port Hudson campaign, and after its close Mr. Kilburn's term expired.  Immediately afterward he returned home and for six months was ill with malarial fever.  The regiment had been assigned to duty in the swamps of Louisiana, and the hardships undergone there destroyed the lives of have of the men and disabled three-fourths of the remainder.  Privations, fever and malaria were rampant and the war took the full toll in health from the members of that regiment.

In November, 1868, Mr. Kilburn left New Hampshire and made his way direct to Fontanelle, Adair county, Iowa, although he had in the meantime spent a year and a half in the state of Massachusetts.  He was accompanied by his brother Charles and his mother.  His brother, Galen F., had already become a resident of Fontanelle, having made the journey from the east by stage in 1857, while Lucian M. Kilburn traveled by rail, the Rock Island having been built to Casey and the Burlington to Afton, Iowa.  On reaching this state Mr. Kilburn turned his attention to farming, which has been his chief occupation throughout his life.  He also taught school for two terms at Fontanelle.  Mr. Kilburn has dealt in loans and insurance and has been connected with various other business enterprises as a side line at different times.  Since 1888 he has been president of the Adair County Mutual Insurance Association, and he is also a director of the First National Bank of Fontanelle.  He continued his residence in that place until the latter part of 1913, when he removed to Greenfield, where he now makes his home.

On the 19th of October, 1870, in Adair county, Iowa, Mr. Kilburn was married to Miss Elizabeth H. Peet, a daughter of Josiah W. Peet, and to them have been born four children, two sons and two daughters, but Charles W. died in 1897, at the age of twenty-five years, and a daughter died in infancy.  Charles W. was a graduate of Highland Park College, Des Moines, with the class of 1894 and at the time of his death was assistant principal in the college at Memphis, Missouri.  The surviving son George G., born in 1874, was also graduated from the Highland Park College of Des Moines in 1894.  The daughter, Mary L., is the wife of Rev. Raymond M. Shipman, a Methodist minister now occupying a pastorate at Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Although Mr. Kilburn has passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey, he is hale and hearty, as alert mentally and physically as many a man several years his junior.  His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise.  For twenty years he served as treasurer of Summerset School township.  In 1893 he was elected to the Iowa state senate from the Sixteenth district, comprising the counties of Adair and Madison, to fill a vacancy caused by the election of A. L. Hager to Congress, and in 1895 was reelected for a term of four years, serving in the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth regular, the twenty-sixth special and the twenty-seventy special sessions of the Iowa general assembly.  His long residence in Adair county enables him to speak with authority concerning the events which have left their impress upon its history and, indeed, he has taken an active part in shaping that history.



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