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Dick Taylor


Hiran Frazee

This descriptive sketch is from Portrait & Biographical Album of Johnson and Pawnee Counties Nebraska published by Chapman Bros., Chicago, 1889 (p. 579).

HIRAM FRAZEE, deceased, had been connected with the farming interests of Pawnee County for nearly a decade, and had within that time developed from the wild prairie a productive and finely improved farm, that is justly classed among the most fertile and profitable states in Mission Creek Precinct.  It was a fine location on section 36, and here our subject built up a home that for comfort and coziness vied with any in the neighborhood.  The other farm buildings were neat and well kept, everything about the place indicating the thrift, orderliness and industry of the owner. 

Mr. Frazee was born Nov. 3, 1811, in Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio, to Isaac and Elizabeth (Harrison) Frazee, natives of New Jersey, the father born in Elizabethtown, in the eastern part of that State.  The paternal grandfather of our subject, John Frazee, who was of Scotch descent, was born in the New Jersey town mentioned.  He was a private in the Revolutionary War, served seven years in the ranks, and was at one time a prisoner in New York City some twelve months.  After the war he began farming in New Jersey.  He afterward bought 500 acres of land in Warren County, Ohio, purposing to settle there as a pioneer, but in 1806, while on his way to that State, was smitten with death, he then being scarcely past the meridian of life, he being forty-six years old.  The maternal grandfather of our subject, Isaac Harrison, was a New Jersey farmer, and was a lifelong resident of that State.  Isaac, the father of Hiram Frazee, went to Ohio in 1806, when he was eighteen years old, and becoming an early settler of Warren County, began to clear a farm.  He enlisted to quell Indian disturbances, under the leadership of Gen. Harrison, of Tippecanoe fame, and was with him when that noted battle was fought in November, 1811.  He afterward served for eighteen months in the American Army, under Col. Hopkins, in the war of 1812.  He then returned to his pioneer home in Warren County, and reclaimed the remainder of sixty-five acres from the wilderness.  In 1833 he became a pioneer of Clinton County, bought eighty acres of land, engaged in farming and stock-raising, and there closed his life in 1840, at the age of fifty-two years.  He was a man of strong character, and was a strict Presbyterian in his religious views.  The mother of the subject of this memoir died in 1821, and the father was married a second time.  Of the first marriage there were five children born, namely: John, Hiram, Esther, Harrison and Joseph, all now deceased.  Of the second union there were the six following children: Isaac (deceased.) Betsy, Polly, Ann (deceased), Harriet and Pamelia. 

He of whom we write grew to manhood in the forest wilds of Ohio, and by the experiences of pioneer life was molded into a stalwart, self-reliant, active youth.  His education was gleaned in a pay school, and after he was sixteen years of age he ceased to attend.  He remained at home until he was twenty-four.  He then went to work for himself, renting his aunt’s place in Warren County for twelve years.  He then rented other farms in his native State until 1853, when he decided to try life in another State, and in the month of December went by boat to Naples, land thence to Sangamon County, Ill., where he rented land for four years.  He then took up his residence in Springfield, that State, where he remained a year.  At the expiration of that time he resumed farming.  In 1860 he bought forty acres of land near Springfield, and was actively engaged in its tillage and in raising stock until 1879, when he disposed of his property there, having decided to try farming under the sunny skies of Nebraska.  Coming here by rail he rented land the first season, and thus gained time to look around for a place suited to his requirements.  He found such in his present farm, which was originally a tract of 160 acres of school land, with no improvement, and not a tree on it.  He broke the soil, set out groves of forest trees, and an orchard of three acres, partly fenced his land, besides erecting a good set of farm buildings.  Besides raising corn and the various other grains, vegetables, etc., usually raised by a Nebraska farmer, Mr. Frazee raised horses of fine blood and well-graded hogs.  In his farm labors he had the valuable assistance of his son, who was in partnership with him.  On this place he lived until his death, which occurred Feb. 9, 1889. 

Hiram Frazee had been twice married.  His first marriage, which took place in 1852, in Warren County, Ohio, was to Miss Nancy Cassedy, who was born in Ohio in 1815, and died in 1858.  His second marriage, June 17, 1862, in Sangamon County, Ill., was to Miss Sarah J. Morrison, daughter of James and Jane (Ewing) Morrison, natives respectively of Butler County, Ohio, and of a place near Lexington, Scott Co., Ky.  Her paternal grandfather, David Morrison, a native of New Jersey, became one of the pioneers of Butler County, Ohio, where he cleared a large farm.  Mrs. Frazee’s maternal grandfather, Robert Ewing, was born in Juniata County, Pa., and when a young man went to Kentucky, and engaged in the Indian wars, and afterward settled there and engaged in hunting and farming.  In 1807 he moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, but remained there only a short time before removing to Butler County, where he bought 200 acres of forest covered land, cleared it, and continued to farm it until his retirement.  He then went to Illinois with his grandchildren, and there died in 1856, at the venerable age of eighty-six years.  His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Brown, was of Scotch descent and of Kentucky birth.  She died in Ohio in 1846.  Mrs. Frazee’s father grew to manhood in Ohio, and there learned the carpenter’s and also the shoemaker’s trade.  He continued in his native county, engaging in farming the latter part of his life, until his death in 1831, while yet in life’s prime, he being but thirty-three years of age.  He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a man whose sterling worth was acknowledged by all who came in contact with him.  Mrs. Frazee’s mother died in Illinois, Dec. 31, 1887, at the advanced age of eighty-two years.  She had three children: John, who is deceased; Robert, in Illinois, and Sarah, the wife of our subject.  The latter was born on the banks of the Big Maumee River, in Butler County;, Ohio, Dec. 16, 1828.  Her father dying when she was a child of three years, she went to live with her grandparents, and was twenty-three years old when they moved to Sangamon County, Ill.  Of her marriage with Mr. Frazee two children have been born -- William M. and Mary E.  William is a very enterprising, intelligent young man.  He was born in Island Grove Township, Sangamon Co., Ill., Oct. 30, 1863, and since coming to Nebraska has identified himself with the young agriculturists who are fast winning an important place in the farming community of Pawnee County.  He ably assisted his father in making the improvements on his farm, and on him has now devolved its management.  He is an ardent Republican in politics.  Mr. Frazee’s daughter was born in Island Grove Township, Ill., Dec. 12, 1866, and also resides at home. 

Mr. Frazee was a man of high moral character, and possessed in a great degree the acumen, foresight and frugality that characterized his Scotch ancestry.  He had withal a kind disposition, and the needy and suffering never appealed to him vain for sympathy and material aid.  He was a thorough Democrat in his political sentiments, and took an intelligent view of questions of National import.  He interested himself in local affairs and had served on the School Board, doing all that he could to advance the cause of education, and the United Presbyterian Church at Mission Creek had in him one of its most respected members.  His death was not only the cause of great grief to his family and personal friends, but was felt to be in some measure a public loss. 

Transcribed for this site by Dick Taylor 1999.


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