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Robert J McCurdy
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Birth: Jun. 14, 1809
Dunbarton Center
Merrimack County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Apr. 18, 1888
Davison County
South Dakota, USA

Robert J. McCurdy, son of Matthew Scoby McCurdy (1766 - 1850) and Elizabeth Fulton (1774 - 1842), was born 14 June 1809 in Dunbarton, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. He married Mary Sandborn Morgan 7 May 1840 at Bow, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Robert McCurdy moved his family from New Hampshire to Marion, Iowa. Robert died 18 April 1888 at Mitchell, South Dakota, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Mitchell, South Dakota. Robert and Mary's oldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth McCurdy Kennedy wrote up the family's history in a book titled CHAPTERS OUT OF A LONG LIFE. The following information is from this book.

Robert had a good common school education. He was attendant in the Insane Asylum at Charlestown Massachusetts, in April 1833, just before he was 24. Robert was married in 1840, to Mary Morgan of Bow, of Welsh descent. There were at least four of the Morgan girls, attractive and capable. The three elder ones, Mary, Harriet Amanda and Theresa, were called the "Three Graces". Robert saw Mary singing in the choir at Bow one day and thought he would like to see more of her. So he went over to Bow to see the school trustee who happened to be Mary's father. Pleased with the appearance of the young man, Mr. Morgan engaged him, so he became Mary's teacher. He was a good looking young man, considered "quite a catch" among girls of the neighborhood who were a bit envious of Mary. He wished to marry at once, but Mary was young, only 17, and demurred, waiting until she was 22 and Robert 31 before they were married. After Robert married Mary Morgan, they lived with his parents until the birth of their first child Lurandus.

Robert was about six feet tall, of a rather quick temper, quiet in manner, retiring, introspective, sensitive, with what his daughter Lyra used to call a New England conscience and a deep affectionate nature. He never swore, his favorite ejaculations being, "Well I vum" "I swan", "By golly"; and when his children had done anything unusual he would give his masterpiece, "Mirabile dictu", accompanied always by a little quaint smile. He played the clarinet in the State Militia band of New Hampshire. He was also a good singer and taught singing school occasionally. His father led the choir in Dunbarton for 40 years.

The old house in Dunbarton where Lurandus and Matthew were born was not the family home for long. He and Mary moved out and went to a house in Hopkinton, about 7 miles away. One morning, Robert had risen, started the fire in the kitchen stove and gone out to milk. Mary heard a groan and looking out knew at once the kitchen was on fire. She threw on a coat and was out instantly to help remove the furniture. The two babies both in one cradle, were carried across the road to safety. Robert went right over to Boscawen and purchased a farm on the high plateau overlooking the Great Pond which was from one to three miles in dimension and was called Webster's Pond.

Robert had acquired the "western fever". After selling the hill farm and moving down to the Kilborn house near to the pond, he had packed his traveling trunk one day and gone prospecting into the West, as far as Wisconsin and Iowa. In Linn County, Iowa, near the town of Marion, he finally chose a place that was to be their future home. In the fall of 1855 the family set out for Iowa. They travelled by rail to Burlington, Iowa, and then by steamer to Muscatine, Iowa, where they boarded a stagecoach to Iowa City. That first winter, a very cold one, was spent in a log cabin near Robert and Mary's friends Elijah Upton, his wife and daughter. Robert taught school for the first time in Iowa. The next spring, he bought a place one mile on the other side of Marion and became a farmer again.

After Mary's death following the birth of their last child, Robert raised his children with the help of his eldest daughters. As they began to leave home, Lurandus first, they moved west into the Dakotas (South Dakota), When all children had left home, Robert's daughter Lyra and her husband Daniel Earl Coman moved back into the family home to care for Robert. There they remained until 1882 when they listened to the call to "come West" and followed the rest of the family to Dakota.

There are two children in addition to those below where burials are currently unknown:
Mary Elizabeth (McCurdy) Kennedy (1844 - 1936)
Theresa Maria (McCurdy) Davis (1849 - 1929) 
Family links: 
  Matthew Scoby McCurdy (1766 - 1850)
  Elisabeth Fulton McCurdy (1774 - 1842)
  Mary Sandborn Morgan McCurdy (1818 - 1858)
  Lurandus McCurdy (1841 - 1888)*
  Mathew McCurdy (1842 - 1863)*
  Mary Elizabeth McCurdy Kennedy (1844 - 1936)*
  Lyra McCurdy Coman (1846 - 1909)*
  Frank McCurdy (1853 - 1926)*
  William R. McCurdy (1858 - 1927)*
  Daniel McCurdy (1798 - 1859)*
  Martha McCurdy Poor (1800 - 1891)*
  John McCurdy (1803 - 1826)*
  James McCurdy (1805 - 1806)*
  Robert J McCurdy (1809 - 1888)
  Maryann McCurdy (1815 - 1816)*
*Calculated relationship
Graceland Cemetery
Davison County
South Dakota, USA
Plot: First Addition, Secion 4, Lot 11
Created by: Susan Montague Lundt
Record added: Jun 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91699151
Robert J McCurdy
Added by: Dakotafaye
Robert J McCurdy
Added by: Dakotafaye
Robert J McCurdy
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Matthew Q Boeke
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Carol
 Added: Feb. 16, 2016
In memory of my great-great grandfather.
- Susan Montague Lundt
 Added: Jun. 10, 2012

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