One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVIII
Particularly interesting is the story of the CLIFTON family.
NATHAN CLIFTON was among the early settlers of Union Township. He came
from the East and first settled on a farm where the Poplar Grove Church is now located. In fact, it was he and the farmer east of
him who gave the land for the old Poplar Grove graveyard. They each gave one-half an acre. The year of NATHAN CLIFTON's coming to
this section is not recorded, so far as is known, but it was very early. Some there are, who say that it was before the Indians went
away from the shores of Maxinkuckee, and that was in the late 'thirties. At any rate, it must have been a long time back.
NATHAN CLIFTON was a young man when he came here. It has been related, having been carried down in the family as a sort of tradition,
that when he came, one of his nearest neighbors was a CLIFTON too. His nearest neighbor was two miles or more away, and those others
who could be counted near enough to be "neighborly" were about six miles away, mostly up by Wolf Creek.
Among the first of the settlers of the Wolf Creek neighborhood, those who came not long after the first settlement there in '35, was
THOMAS K. CLIFTON. Nathan and Tom became the warmest of friends. They were evidently not in the least related. Anyway, they never
were able to discover any family ties between them. And the odd thing about it, so it is told, both were orphans, both had been "put
out," and both happened to come to this part of the wide universe pretty nearly the same time. They got to think of each other almost
as brothers, it is related.
Some of the descendants of THOMAS CLIFTON are today residents of Plymouth, while descendants of Nathan are to be
found still in the Poplar Grove neighborhood. LEWIS CLIFTON lives there, close to the church that has been so closely associated
with the family from the beginning.
Lewis, who descended from NATHAN CLIFTON, married MYRTLE LOWRY. The CLIFTON homestead is just south of the present State Road 10.
NATHAN CLIFTON had considerable land in the 'seventies in Section 13, near the Poplar Grove church and the eastern boundary of the
township. When he died, in 1883, he was the owner of 140 acres. These lands are located east of the north end of Lake Maxinkuckee.
Where the Poplar Grove Church is located, NATHAN CLIFTON had a tract of 99 acres on the south side of the road, in the southeast
corner of the intersection of Road 10 and the road to Rutland. To the west he had a 39 1/2-acre plot, in the southwest corner of the
same road intersection, where old District School No. 9 was located.
NATHAN CLIFTON was born January 1, 1818. He was married on May 14, 1840, to MARY SMITH, who was a daughter of CHARLES and LETTIE
(GILLAIN) SMITH born January 26, 1820. (The year has been given elsewhere as 1819). Her parents, who were married in 1818, early
settled in Marshall County. CHARLES SMITH died in 1867. His wife, Lettie, passed away in 1877. From the CLIFTON family record, we
glean the following information regarding the children of Nathan and Mary CLIFTON:
Charles Wesley, their oldest boy, was born February 24, 1841
and married ADALINE COLE, October 11, 1866. He became a minister in northwestern Iowa
Sarah Ann was born June 11, 1842,
and was married, August 5, 1860, to Isaac N. Voreis
Nancy Jane was born July 30, 1843.
She became Mrs. MITCEHL of Newel, Iowa
Letty Ellen was born May 11, 1845,
she died October 24, 1901 and was married to PULASKI WICKIZER, December 18, 1867
James Henry was born June 11, 1846, and died March 19, 1847
Mary Elizabeth died on June 15, 1852
Leander, who was born February 1, 1848,
was married to PAYSIE VALKE, December 30, 1871
Hugh S. was born January 15, 1850,
he died in 1911 and was married to SARAH J. LEWIS, October 8, 1872, she was born in 1849 and died in 1923
Thomas J., born May 23, 1853, was the youngest boy.
He was married, August 25, 1878, to IDELLA M. SNIDER. At the time of his death, this couple had enjoyed
twenty-two years of married life. The wife, Idella Margaret, was the daughter of CAROLINE SNIDER, and was
born in Jasper County, Indiana, May 15, 1861. She died October 14, 1907. JOHN THOMAS CLIFTON, the husband,
passed away December 6, 1900. Both he and his wife were buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery.
Julia married JOHN CLIFTON;
Both had the same family name, but were not related
Eliza Isabelle was born in Union Township,
near Poplar Grove, February 21, 1859and was married to CYRUS EZRA HIBRAY, January 14, 1877. There were five children.
She united with the M. E. Church at the age of thirteen. Later, with her husband, she joined the Methodist Protestant
Church at East Washington, where she worshiped till the time of her death. She passed away at Maxinkuckee, March 30,
1912, aged fifty-two, and was buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery. Her husband is still living at his home in Maxinkuckee
Rebecca, the last of the CLIFTON girls,
married I. C. BROOKE of Plymouth. She was born January 1, 1861, and died September 4, 1918.
The twenty-ninth annual reunion of the CLIFTON family was held August 19, 1934, when ninety-five members gathered at the country
home of Mr. and Mrs. ISAAC THOMPSON, the old CLIFTON homestead. Relatives were present [present] from South Bend, Rochester, Akron,
Tiosa, Hibbard, Argos, and Culver. WILL LOWRY was chosen president and Mrs. HELEN HULLINGER was named secretary-treasurer. The 1935
reunion was planned to he held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. HARLEY WALBURN of Akron. Mrs. SAVILA CLIFTON, of Plymouth, was the oldest
relative attending in 1934, while MAX HAGEN, of Argos, was the youngest.
NATHAN CLIFTON, the pioneer died June 29, 1883, aged 65 years, 5 months and 29 days.
John S. Clifton, of another family group, was born October 14, 1842, and died October 19, 1908. His wife, Savilla Weaver, was born
March 31, 1849.