Haskell family members settled in Iowa

Haskell family members settled in Iowa

Just as earlier generations of the Haskell family had migrated from Massachusetts to Vermont and then to western New York and Ohio, the young Haskells in the 1840s were staking out opportunities in the newly established territory of Iowa. 

We've seen how Ruth P. Haskell, later Daggett and Brooks, ended up in a small town 30 miles west of Dubuque, the Mississippi river city that was a gateway to the Iowa Territory. 

Here we'll talk about two of her brothers, Artemus Howe Haskell, who staked a claim to farm land in Washington County, south of the future state capital at Iowa City, and half-brother, Charles D. Haskell, who met his end on that claim in the spring of 1840.

According to Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (Chicago, 1887), Artemus was one of about a dozen men who first settled Iowa Township in Washington County in 1839, building cabins on the north and south bands of English River. 

These were all men of family, and in addition were a number of young unmarried men, each of whom made a claim to suit himself (generally enclosing some timber), the land not having been surveyed. These settlers built cabins, broke some prairie, raised a few crops and wintered here. 

A good mill site was found on the claim of A. H. Haskell, on the English River, on which a mill was begun, but high water carried off part of the timber, in attempting to recover which an unmarried brother of Mr. Haskell named Charles was drowned, and these parties never completed the building, selling the claim in 1841.

Later, a sawmill was built on that site, and in 1843, the remains of Charles Haskell were found embedded in a riverbank three-quarters of a mile below the mill. His body was buried in an unknown site in the vicinity.

I have elsewhere read a more detailed description of the drowning, which was witnessed by an associate Abraham Owens. But I can't find that citation at the moment. The thing I want to take note of here, however, is the middle name of the unfortunate Charles D. Haskell. 

The D stood for Daggett, which also became Ruth Haskell's married name when she wed Otis Daggett in 1819. Charles was born in 1815, four years before Ruth's marriage. This seems to suggest that the Daggett family had prior relationship with the Haskells, and that perhaps Ruth Haskell and Otis Daggett were cousins of sort, but I haven't yet found the connection.