John Lockwood Dana was born near New Haven, Ohio, in 1826. He was a farm boy who attended Oberlin College and later law school in Cincinnati. After passing the bar exam, he married Harriet A. Davis at Fostoria, Ohio, in 1854 and moved to Iowa.
Harriet was born in 1835. He stayed briefly in Sigourney, and a year in Marshalltown, where he and his wife taught school.
He arrived in Nevada in April 1856, on his way to Omaha. He had to wait for the mud to dry before attempting the dreaded Skunk River crossing. In the meantime, Mr. Dana explored business opportunities in Nevada and purchased several real estate lots. That summer the family built a cabin on one of those lots and made it their home. Later, they enlarged and improved their home.
In 1857, he was elected to the Iowa General Assembly. That was the session that established Story County as the home for the Iowa “Agricultural Farm” later known as Iowa State College. Some credit Mr. Dana as being instrumental in the development of that project.
The Danas had a son, Frank, and two daughters, Florence and Mabel. Having a young family, Mr. Dana did not go into active duty when the Union called but instead became captain of a “home guard.” He prospered in his law practice and enjoyed the
patronage of Union veterans as a pension attorney.
Frank was a Story County Deputy Sheriff and later moved to Seattle, Washington, as did their daughter, Florence, Mrs. James Dwight Corry. Mr.and Mrs. Dana both outlived their daughter, Mabel, Mrs. Clyde Lockwood, who died in 1903. John died
in 1906. Harriet A. Dana died in 1923 and is buried in the Nevada Cemetery beside her husband and
Pioneer Families >