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Alexander Prentice of Scotland and Iowa

Alexander Prentice of Scotland and Iowa
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 1999 and Revised 17 Sep 2011

Update of 17 Sep 2011: Christine Hadden's email of 17 Sep 2011 advises that she located a birth record for Adam Pentice: He was b. in Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland, son of George Prentice and Mary Lithgow. Adam is #1(x) in our Fall 2006 article entitled George Prentice of Shotts, Lanark, Scotland . That article now replaces this article
Updates of 12 Jul 2000 and 28 Jun 2009: Additional information about Alexander Prentice has kindly been provided by:
1. Mona Sarratt Knight, State Coordinator-IOWA at the USGenExchange, per her email of 12 Jul 2000
2. Stephanie Kerns' email of 26 Jun 2009.
3. Census records.

1. Adam Prentice, b. 1805, Lanarkshire., Scotland, and d. 1850 in Freemantle, Australia. He appears in the 1841 census in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, with his wife and son, Alexander. Adam was a stone-mason by trade, but followed merchantile business about twenty years. Adam and his family appear in the 1841 census in Airdrie, Lanarkshire. When Adam's wife died, two years later he went to Australia where he had friends, and remained there until his death.

He m. Margaret Rennie who was b. c. 1799 in Kilsythe, Sterlingshire, Scotland and d. 1Jun 1846 per Ancestry.com . She was the dau. of Alexander Rennie (1752-1828) and Elizabeth Kerr (1770-????) per Ancestry.com . They had 1 or more children, including:

  1. Alexander Rennie Prentice, b. 21 or 22 Dec 1829, Airdrie, Lanarkshire. . . . . . . [2]

2. Alexander Rennie Prentice was born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland, either 17 Dec 1828 or 21 Dec 1829, and d. 18 Jan 1901. He is bur. in Hazel Dell Twp., Pottawattamie Co., IA. At home in Airdrie in the 1841 census.

In 1852 Alexander Rennie Prentice, married Agnes Kirkwood, who was born August 20, 1832, Scotland, and d. 14 Jan 1900. She is also bur. in Hazel Dell Cemetery. Agnes was the dau. of Robert Kirkwood and Agnes Strang.

Stephanie Kerns' email of 26 Jun 2009 relates that in 1857 Alexander and Agnes bought tickets on a ship sailing to Australia. When the tickets were stolen, they "took this as a sign from the Lord that they were not to go to Australia." Instead, they sailed to the United States to join a brother of Agnes who had joined the Mormons and moved to Kanesville (later known as Council Bluffs, IA). Stephanie Kerns email of 26 Jun 2009 relates the following incident:

    The voyage by sailing ship normally took 7 weeks, but this ship nearly met disaster. A terrible storm tore away the masts so that they dangles over the sides of the vessel. The Captian ordered theship to be abandoned. Mrs. Stang, Alexander's Mother in Law, declared that if she had to die, it would be in her bunk.

    Alexander then went to the Captain and asked for tools to try to rid the ship of the masts. The story goes that he tied a handkerchief over his head and lowered over the side of the ship. He succeeded in getting rid of the dragging rigging and the ship righted itself. The ship then drifted for several weeks before landing on the southern coast of the United States. It is said that the Captain was so grateful that he gave the Prentice family his own cabin.

In 1857 Alexander and his wife arrived in New York city, 17 Apr 1857 and traveled directly to Pottawattamie County by way of Pittsburg and the rivers, landing at Florence, Nebraska, 22 May 1857, on a dark and stormy night. The captain charged them an outrageous price for remaining on the boat until morning.

Early in the morning Mr. Prentice's goods and family were set upon the bank until he could find a place for them. He crossed the rough prairie over to Mr. Kirkwood's, his brother-in-law, and made arrangements for settling temporarily. He followed the trade of carpentering, which he had learned in the old country, and this vocation he has pursued ever since, more or less, in connection with farming.

His first purchase of property was a house and lots in Crescent City, from the mother of James Gording. After remaining in the village of Crescent six years, Mr. Prentice sold out house and lots and bought forty acres of wild, rough land of Mr. Dunsmore. On this place he built a house 40 X 50 feet, barns, sheds, a brick milk-house, etc. planted a fine orchard and made many other valuable improvements. He was a carpenter by trade, farmed walnut trees and used them to furnish wood for the beatiful furniture in their home. He later added to his first purchase until he now had a fine farm of 280 acres, on sections 25, 27, 23, and 26. Eighty acres was in cultivation while the rest was hay, pasture and timberland.

His residence, a neat and comfortable house, was on a tract of 140 acres on section 26.

Mr. Prentice was a Republican on national questions and was a delegate to many state and county conventions; he was a member of the Good Templars order for twenty five years, holding the various offices of the lodge; and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Crescent City, of which society he was Recording Secretary for three years. He served as a reporter for Crescent Township to the State Agricultural Society for five years.

During the Civil War Alexander enlisted in Company A, 29th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but was discharged when it was discovered that the retina of his right eye had been injured; the injury had been inflicted by the cut of a chisel. He received a certificate of his citizenship by proof of his disposition to serve his country in the war, and proving an honorable discharge. Children:

  1. Margaret R. Prentice, b. 12 Feb 1855, Scotland. She m. Isaac "Ike" M. Barrett/Barritt and lived in in Fresno, CA. They had 1 or more children, including:
    1. Rennie Barritt, b. c. 1875, IA (per Ancestry.com).
    2. Harry H. Barritt, b. c.15 Oct 1877, IA, and 1.5 years later on 15 Jan 1879, IA.
    3. Isaac Rennie Barritt, b. c. 1879.
  2. Agnes Prentice, born also in Scotland, 27 Mar 1853. She m. Charles W. Caldwell/Colwell and lived in Council Bluffs. They had 1 or more children, including:
    1. May Colwell (per Ancestry.com).
  3. Mary Prentice, born in this county 7 Jun 1857, lived in Missouri Valley IA. She m. Axtel Allstrand and had 2 or more children, including:
    1. Henry Allstrand.
    2. Maybelle A. Allstrand.
  4. Adam Alexander Prentice, b. 14 Nov 1859, Crescent City, IA, and d. 15 Jul 1945, Pueblo, CO per Ancestry.com . A farmer on section 25 on land belonging to his father. Adam appears in the 1900 Pottawattamie Co., IA census with his wife, Ida May Nixon, b. Apr 1863, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA, and d. 18 Aug 1919, Manzanola, CO. She was the dau. of John F. Nixon and Lucinda "Cindy" Chloe Barritt. An Ancestor Chart for her can be found at Ancestry.com .

    Adam later appears in the 1920 census in Precinct 25, Otero Co., CO. He appears in the 1930 census in Spokane, Spokane Co., WA, with a 2nd wife named Cora P., b. c. 1870, IL. Children:

    1. John R. Prentice, b. Jul 1884, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA. He is likely the John R. Prentice shown in the 1920 census in Twp. 3, Fresno Co., CA, and in the 1930 census in Fresno, Fresno Co., CA with his wife, Mary, b. c. 1890, IA, and children:
      1. Earl(?) Prentice, b. c. 1909, IA. Not home in 1930 and not in 1930 census.
      2. Juanita Prentice, b. c. 1914, CO. At home in 1930.
    2. Pearl Cloa Prentice, b. 8 Feb 1887, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA, and d. 15 Jan 1954, Spokane, WA. She m. Arthur Perry Beckelhymer on 5 May 1914. He was b. 20 Apr 1888, North Loup, NE, and d. 8 Oct 1976, Portland, OR. An Ancestor Chart for him can be found at Ancestry.com . Son:
      1. Wendell Prentice Beckelhymer (1915-1981).
    3. Isaac Rennie Prentice, b. Jun 1891, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA.
    4. Agnes S. Prentice, b. Jul 1893, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA.
    5. Margaret/Maggie M. Prentice, b. Apr 1894, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA.
    6. Mary A. Prentice, b. Dec 1900, IA, Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA. At home in 1920.
    7. Robert Hinton Prentice, b. c. 1905, IA (per 1920 CO census). Not in 1930 census.
    Living with Adam and his family in 1900 is L. C. Bonefield(?), identified as Ida's mother.
  5. Isabella "Belle" Christina Prentice, b. 8 Apr 1862, IA, and d. 29 Nov 1958 in either Briookfield, IL or Dallas, TX. She m. Charles W. Atwood, of Council Bluffs. She m. Charles Atwood on 30 May 1888, Pottawattamie Co., IA. He was b. there 3 Jan 1862 and d. there 29 Jun 1942. He was the son of Selah Bradford Atwood and Mary Ann Blue. Theyand had 3 or more children, including:
    1. Charles A. Atwoodk b. 1889, Pottawattamie Co., IA, and d. there the following year, 1890.
    2. Ernest Atwood, b. Jul 1891, Pottawattamie Co., IA, and d. 1946.
    3. Walter Atwood, b. Aug 1893, Pottawattamie Co., IA. He m. Helen in 1914.
  6. Robert Lincoln Prentice, b. 3 Nov 1864. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]

3. Robert Lincoln Prentice, b. 3 Nov 1864, IA, and d. 3 Mar 1905, Pottawattamie, IA. Bur. Hazel Dell Cem., Hazell Dell Twp., Pottawattamie Co.;, IA. He lived on a farm on section 25. He appears in the 1900 Pottawattamie Co., IA census with his wife and family.

He m. Susan Mary Osborn in 1889. She was b. 30 Jul 1864, MO, and d. 10 Jan 1938. Bur in Hazel Dell Cem., Hazel Dell Twp., Pottawattamie Co., IA. She was one of the 9 children of James W. and Margaret Ester Osborn. An Ancestor Chart for her can be found at Ancestry.com . Stephanie Kerns email of 26 Kim 2009 provides the following information about them:

    Geoge was b. 2 Feb 1827 in VA and Margaret was b. 23 Feb 1834 in Baltimore, MD. Married 21 May 1857 in VA. He farmed the old homestead in VA for 5 years, and then moved to near St.Joseph, MO, where he remained until the spring of 1865, then moved to a small farm in Pottawattamie Co., IA. He increased his holdings to 500 acres, joined the Episcopah Church, and had 9 children: Olin, James, Charles, William,Susan, Lillian, Margaretta, George and Hunter.
Susan also appears in the 1920 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA census but without her husband, Robert, who may then be deceased. Their children:

  1. Hazel O. Prentice, b. 19 Dec 1890, IA. She m. Robert Oamek. No children.
  2. Arthur M. Prentice, b. Sep 1891, IA. He does not appear in the 1920 census but does appear in the 1930 census in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA with his wife, Ethel, b. c. 1897, IA. He does not appear in the SSDI. Daughter, per 1930 census:
    1. Lucile/Lucille Prentice, b. c. 1914, IA.
  3. Robert A. Prentice, b. 27 Feb 1894, IA and d. 3 Aug 1989, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA (per SSFDI). Not in 1920 census, but does appear in the 1930 census in Crescent, Pottawattamie Co., IA with his wife, Stella/Estella, b. c. 1894, PA, and children:
    1. Thelma Prentice, b. c. 1917, IA. She m. Mr. Johnson.
    2. Velma S. Prentice, b. c. 1917, IA. She m. Mr. Driver.
    3. Honor H. Prentice, dau., b. c. 1919, IA. She m. Mr. Besore.
    4. Roberta J. Prentice. b.c . 1926, IA. She m. Mr. Dallinger.
    5. Janice L. Prentice, b. c. 1920-30, IA. She m. Mr. Summy.
  4. Nellie Ruth Prentice, b. 5 Nov 1895 in Weston, Pottawattamie Co., IA and d. 28 Feb 1984 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA. Bur. in Hazel Dell Twp, Pottawattamie Co., IA. She m. George Clausen on 24 Mar 1915, Fremont, Dodge Co., NE. He was b. 27 Feb 1882 in Avoca, Pottawattamie Co. IA. Children:
    1. Wesley Prentice Clausen, b. 5 May 1916 in Council Bluffs.
    2. Dale Marvin Clausen, b. 25 Feb 1923 in Council Bluffs.
  5. Mary F. Prentice, b. Aug 1897, IA. Note she may be the same person who appears as "Isabel Prentice" in the 1920 census. She m. Howard Weare and had:
    1. Richard Weare.
    2. Robert Weare.
    3. Lawrence Weare.
  6. James Adam Prentice, b. 18 Mar 1900, IA. He appears in the 1930 census in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA with his wife, Theresa L. Dohse, b. c. 1901, IA. Her father was b. in Germany and her mother in "Austria-Bohemia" which might now be in the Czech Republic. No children are shown. Unclear whether in SSDI.
  7. George Erskine Prentice, b. 1 Mar 1903, IA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]

4. George Erskine Prentice. He was b. 1 Mar 1902, IA, and d. 2 Mar 1960, Council Bluffs, IA. He appears in the 1903 census in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA with his wife and family.

He m. Margaret/Marguerite E. Maloney on 12 Jan 1921. She was b. 8 May 1901, IA, and d. 18 Jan 1979, Council Bl;uffs, IA.. Both are bur. in Council Bluffs, IA. Children:

  1. Patricia Mary Prentice, b. 3 Aug 1921, IA.
  2. Donald Edward. Prentice, b. 25 Oct 1925, IA.
  3. Jo Ann Eileen Prentice, b. 2 Aug 1937. She is Stephanie Kerns' grandmother.

Also living in Pottowattomie, IA are the following men whose relationship to Alexander Prentice is not yet known

No other Prentices from Scotland appear in the 1860 Iowa census, so it would also appear that none of Alexander's kin accompanied him, or, if they did, they were either missed or moved elsewhere.

Who are the parents of Adam Prentice?

A further check of Scotland christening records at PrenticeNet shows an Adam Prentice who was chr. 26 Jul 1807 at Carnwath, son of Thomas Prentice and Mary Cassils. No marriage record for Thomas and Mary was found. However, Thomas may be the Thomas Prentice who was chr. 14 Dec 1774 in Carnwath, son of James Prentice and Margaret Meikle.

No marriage record was found for James Prentice and Margaret Meikle, but a marriage was located for James Prentice and an unidentified wife on 5 Feb 1775 in Carluke.

Whether the above entries are Adam's line is unclear and need further investigation.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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