George Child was born in Bath, New Hampshire, on December 15, 1832. He came west in 1850 to Peoria, Illinois, and in the fall of 1854 moved to Nevada, Iowa. He married Lavina A. Hall in October 1853. She was born April 14, 1831. The couple had eleven children of whom seven survived Mr. Child.
George Child served seven years as Sheriff of Story County, resigning to
enlist at the beginning of the Civil War in 1862. He enlisted in Company K, 32nd Iowa Infantry and was chosen First Lieutenant.
This was Colonel John Scott’s regiment, who also hailed from Nevada. On
one mission, they freed some slaves held captive in shackles. They sent the shackles back to the Story County Sheriff. Though doubtful they were ever used, they were kept for a while as a souvenir of the war. He returned to Nevada following an honorable discharge in 1865.
Mr. Child tried several business ventures. He was engaged with his brother-in-law in the dry goods and grocery business. He also owned a livery barn.
When Mr. J. C. Lovell, who owned the other livery in town, boasted about the speed of his horse, Mr. Child challenged him to a race. At stake was a parcel of land. Mr. Lovell won the race and the land but after the race Mr. Child bought the horse. Rumor had it that after the acquisition, Mr. Child then bragged about owning the fastest horse in town!
George Child was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of Nevada Lodge No. 99 of Masons.
Mr. Child, using local black walnut logs, built the third home in Nevada (presently 335 J Avenue). The oak floorboards were from the first logs cut at Jarius Chandler’s sawmill near Cambridge. Although moved from its original location, the cabin still stands as a tribute to the struggles and the joys of early pioneer life in Nevada. The Nevada Community Historical Society now owns the site. Lavina died November 12, 1881. George died on March 10, 1904, at his home in Nevada. They areburied in the Nevada Cemetery.
Pioneer Families >