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CARMICHAEL CABIN AND SURNAME and some pioneer history

The actual Carmichael cabin in the 1908 about a half mile north of the Lima Church.

The green dot at the upper right on a 1916 plat map shows the relative area of the Carmichael cabin on the road north our of Lima.

This view is of the north from the 2000+ road at the old Lima village and just west of the Lima brook (creek). Along the timber edge of the hill the habitat would be similar to that near the Carmichael cabin.

A pioneer cabin decomposes in the hills of the Dupont reservation in Ralls Co, Missouri.
Nature or progress has 'gobbled' up the pioneer farmsteads.

Pioneer times hand dug and limestone lined well on the Dupont reservation, Ralls Co, MO.
A structure lost in time, to be completely erased in the coming decades,
as is the legacy of the pioneers of Lima, Albany, Frog Hollow valley of the Volga River.


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Use the Fayette Index page to navigate to other pages.   This page last uploaded: 2/11/2003

Please note all pictures used on this page except for the one of the actual Carmichael cabin, Lima people and maps are personal pictures taken from various restorations and reenactments, and utilized to give a visual image of the subject.


Lima, Iowa, the Carmichael Cabin,
notes from the Union paper at West Union, 1976.

…The Carmichael Cabin picture was taken in 1908.

…The cabin was built in the late 1850’s, the early years of Lima by Sam and Mary Carmichael, about a half mile to the north of Lima at the base of the north ridge.

…Lost in the 1908 picture are two grandchildren, Velma Julian, age 3, and Hebert Juian, age 5, and the dog, Sport, and cat, Tabby. The children’s mother was inside the cabin at the time. Also unseen was the old sled, handmade by Sam Carmichael.

…In 1976, Velma Julian was residing in Riceville, Iowa and provided the cabin picture to the Union paper at West Union. Velma wrote, "I have no idea when the cabin was built, but it was in the early 1800’s (probably in 1858, bz).

...My mother was born in the cabin in 1883. She was the youngest and said grandmother (Mary) Carmichael was in her late 40’s at the time. Grandmother used to tell me about wolves coming into the yard and carrying off her geese and chickens.

...In the little village of Lima there was a store and a railroad station. The farm was about a half mile north of there. I remember Dr. Darnell coming out from West Union in his horse and buggy. Both my grandparents, Sam and Mary Carmichael died in the cabin, my grandfather, before I was born."

…The cabin was built over a period of time, the original log structure being that portion at the rear. The lean-to at the front was a later addition, as was the shed attached at the right.

…Mr. and Mrs. Joy Lamphier of West Union, made their home in the cabin from 1933-1938. Two of their children were born in the cabin. Mrs. Lamphier recalls that the Glover brothers, Bart and Freeman, lived in the cabin after them, and as far as she knows, were the last to occupy it as a home.

Note:  There are no Carmichael burials listed in the Lime Cemetery.  Sam and Mary may be in an unmarked grave or perhaps were buried near the cabin.  There are some Carmichael burials at West Union and in Grandview at Fayette, but no others listed close to the Lima area.  Presently I do not have a Carmichael tree to compare those names.  Anyone with Carmichael genealogy files to share, I would like basic tree info to utilized on this page.  BZ/2002.

Pioneer faces.

Lima, Fayette Co, Iowa
July 4, 1911 Celebration

9. Ray Warner
41. Aulden Oelberg
42. Arlie Oelberg
44. Lorie Davis
46. Donald Orr
47. Sheldon Chittenden
48. Chara Landas
49. Tom Greathead
50. Hattie Oelberg
51. ??
52. Mae Lambert
53. Ida Stannard
54. Buelah Warner
55. Emma Warner
56. Cleo Warner
57. Jehial Warner
58. Rufus Warner
59. Billy Earle
60. Lambert child
61. Ula Mae Howard
62. Charles Oelberg
63. Nettie Kuhens
64. Nora Oelberg
65. Laura Henry
66. Will Carmichael
67. Harold Oelberg
68. Ida Jones
69. Ella Carmichael
70. Silas Davis
71. Wiltz Pritchard
72. Reuben Jones
73. Carl Martin
74. Tina Warner
75. Bill Jones
76. Rueben Hensley
77. ??
78. Rebecca Kuhens
79. Viola Preido
80. Will Landas
81. Frank Landas
82. Frank Jones
83. Dell Kuhens
84. Grover Lambert
87. (mislabelled)


66. Will Carmichael  69. Ella Carmichael

Will's land can be seen just too the west of his mother Mary's name on the 1912 plat.


a time when the Carmichael cabin was built



...Like other lands to the east, as soon as the Native American’s were exploited and removed from the land, the frontier in Iowa was a magnet of free or cheap land. The first "legal" movement into the Iowa territory was in 1833, to shortly include the very SE area of Fayette County, however there were just a very few whites in Fayette county in the early years, and only about 850 by the 1850 census. The area north of the old Mission Trial in Fayette County about 1849.

...Early Iowa was public land and was generally sold or claimed with military bounty warrants in parts of sections after surveys were conducted. Public auctions for the land was generally held at the nearest federal land office. The military warrants were given to soldiers as a type of payment for service and could be used to claim or "buy" land. These warrants were often sold to others who could use them to claim newly opened lands. Squatters were settlers who may have come into an area, made 'claim' to land, cleared some small fields, put up shelters and started farming in hope of being able to buy the land they were on, which many times was sold to a higher bidder, or they would miss the auction/sales.

...A majority of the Iowa pioneers were coming in from locations a state or two to the east. Many were used to farming the cleared forested land of the east, or if from Europe, used to the intensive farming of very small fields. The tall and wet grass prairies of Iowa with its dense root system was unfamiliar and difficult to farm with the implements available.  In Fayette County, the true prairie just to the west of Brush Creek (Arlington) and Fayette, then on to the northeast, in general was not opened until starting in the early 1860's.

...Many early farmers tried to claim and clear forest land for farming and avoided the prairies, as to initially break open the heavy root systems of the grasses was nearly impossible with the early forest 'grade' plows.

...The first farmers into an area were often of the subsistence type, bringing with them almost all necessary supplies and tools, raising enough food and making enough items to survive without any significant outside support.

...When mills and trails were available, pork packing and flour shipping in oak barrels started to occur, along with selling butter, honey and other types of 'home grown' items.  Generally these early 'cash crops' had to be taken by oxen drawn heavy freight wagons or winter sleds toward the Mississippi River ports of McGregor or Dubuque or Guttenberg.  The development and transportation of agricultural implements and machinery also rapidly became an economic factor in early Iowa.  By the late 1850's and especially in the 1860's a few static and mobile steam engines started to be brought in from the River ports and assembled for power sources.  The were used in sawmills and grist mills, then for threshing wheat.  But still commodities were shipped by ox and horse drawn wagons and sleds until the rails arrived in the mid and late 1870's.

...The Civil War of the early 1860’s brought a huge demand for food and farm products, and thus an economic incentive to produce and transport goods out of Iowa to the cities and troops to the east.  Nearly all movement of men and goods headed toward the Mississippi.  Most of the farms in Iowa after about 1860 turned to row cropping and livestock production with the intention of producing a surplus to sell for cash income, thus necessities formerly made at home could now be purchased in general stores that would spring up every 2-6 miles in the countryside, often around some type of milling operation.  Thus came the development of the typical small farming society which lasted from the 1860's to the 1960's and is now completely gone.  There was community of farmers clustered around a small village of craftsman, businessman, professional every few miles.

...The early pioneer villages were only a few log cabins servicing and supplying the agricultural endeavors of the early settlers. Villages were very small and all transportation by animal power until the Railroads would economically change everything in the mid 1870’s. Lima and Albany were such villages.

The development of the typical small farming society of the Volga River Valley,
 which lasted from the 1860's to the 1960's, is now completely gone.

The cabins have disappeared, the fields returned to woody plants or 'progress.'

The hand dug wells are gone as are the ways of the pioneers. 

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All of my direct surnames were very early pioneers into Fayette Co, generally in the mid 1850's.  Growing up in Fayette and trekking the hills, prairies, streams throughout the county when the small villages and farms were so active and functional before the 1960's, the now lost history and memories of the pioneer generations and lifestyles from 1840-1960 continue to hold my interests.
Barry Zbornik
625 N. Section
Hannibal, MO  63401

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